Straight hair is neat, stylish, pretty and convenient, but the methods which most of us use to obtain it often come at the cost of the health of our hair. It’s no secret that heat and chemical straighteners lead to hair loss and permanent damage. Luckily, however, there are several alternatives. Here are six easy and harmless home solutions to straighten your hair naturally. These may not achieve exactly the same effects as traditional hair straighteners (especially on very curly hair), but are sure to keep your hair silky, healthy and frizz-free.
1. Condition with Cold Water
Warm water opens hairs’ cuticles, allowing shampoo to clean the hair thoroughly. Cold water, on the other hand, closes the cuticles and seals in moisture—flattening hair, reducing frizz and making it shiny. While you should always shampoo with warm water, so that the dirt and oils that have accumulated can be properly removed, it’s advisable to condition or at least give your head a final rinse with cold water before stepping out of the shower.
2. Coconut Milk Hair Mask
For naturally straight hair, use a homemade hair mask comprising lemon, coconut milk and extra virgin olive oil. To prepare the mask, whisk together 1 cup of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and pre-mixed slurry of 3 tbsp. corn starch and 4 tbsp. lemon juice in a medium sauce pan. When the mixture thickens to the same consistency as store-bought conditioner, remove it from the saucepan and massage through your hair. For enhanced straightening effects, you can even cover your hair in a shower cap and apply gentle heat from a hair dryer to the outside.
Wash your hair thoroughly after letting the mask sit in your hair for at least half an hour. The coconut milk contains vitamin E, fats and fiber which, along with the extra virgin olive oil, moisturize your hair and reduce frizz. The lemon juice also works to relax hair, thereby making it straight.
3. Aloe Vera Hair Mask
All you need to do to make this hair mask is mix half a cup of aloe gel with about 10 drops of an essential oil of your choice. Massage this mixture into your hair and leave it on for a few hours or overnight. Besides relaxing the hair and reducing frizz, aloe also helps reduce dandruff, hair loss and split ends and strengthen the hair.
4. Banana Hair Mask
There are several ways to make banana hair masks. Combine 2-3 mashed bananas with 2 tablespoons each of greek yogurt, olive oil and honey. As usual, massage this gooey mixture into your hair and allow it to sit for at least one hour before washing your hair thoroughly with shampoo. The high sugar content of bananas and other nutrients, such as folate and vitamin B6, lock in moisture and relax the hair. This mask is very gentle and therefore, safe to use on colored hair.
5. Hot Oil Treatment
Gently heat some coconut, jojoba, castor, or olive oil in a water bath (you can also use a mixture of oils, although coconut oil is traditionally used). The total volume should be about 3-4 tbsp. Massage the warm oil into clean, damp hair, from roots to tips. Wrap your hair in a heated towel for half an hour before thoroughly washing out the oil with shampoo. The treatment straightens your hair by hydrating it and protecting it from protein loss.
6. Overnight Hair Wrap
Apply leave-in conditioner to wet, just-washed hair. Brush your hair thoroughly and divide it into five sections. Pull your hair tightly and secure it by either pinning them in straight sections around your head or using multiple hair ties along the length of each section. This is meant to allow your hair to dry while it is held straight. Leave the pins or hair ties in over-night. When you open them in the morning, Your hair should be straight.
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