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Today’s naturalista doesn’t have to commit to wearing her hair either straight or curly. Some consumers who are natural may opt to stop relaxing, but still wear straight styles through thermal styling. Having the option to switch between both straight and curly textures generates challenges and concerns when it comes to rocking the style to a level you’re happy with. Women looking to maintain the same smooth styles from their relaxed days, especially those transitioning, experience frustration when it comes to locking in lasting styles. Natural hair doesn’t “behave” like relaxed hair. Those transitioning may have to grapple with multiple textures that respond to products, styling and the environment in multiple ways.
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Here are the chief concerns and solutions for switching from curly to straight and back again!
Not straight enough: There’s nothing like the frustration of having your hair straightened only to glimpse stubborn waves and curls which don’t work with the style. Those naturalistas seeking silky, uniformly straightened hair may have been told it’s unrealistic because of their highly textured hair, or that it needs to be “trained” through repeated straightening. Through straightening hair treatments, women who want to wear their hair without relaxers will still have the option of going straight easily. The hair becomes fortified with proteins that act as fillers to repair damage and assist the hair with retaining its texture for an extended period of time.
Permanent alteration of texture: For those who primarily wear their hair straight, thermal over-processing can occur, which results in hair that doesn’t return to its naturally curly texture when washed—similar to the effects of a relaxer. For naturally curly hair that isn’t frequently straightened, the hair may require higher heat temperatures to straighten, which can also alter the hairs texture. When the hair is treated with products that penetrate and fortify the hair’s inner layers, less heat is required to style the hair. Seeking treatments which do not permanently alter the hair means that women will always have the option of returning to their natural hair texture when desired.
Frizz and reversion: Once hair is straightened, one of the top concerns is reversion and frizz. Hair that is lacking moisture is prone to reversion as it draws from the humidity in the air. Women who attempt to wear their naturally curly hair straight might notice hair volume swelling, loss of curl definition and frizziness, especially as the summer months approach. Adding moisturizers that only sit on the hair but are hard to penetrate the hair shaft doesn’t remedy the problem and many women are averse to products containing silicones, which are ingredients that help prevent or reduce reversion. Products which infuse moisture as well as create a barrier to outside humidity fight reversion and reduces frizz.