This Is How I Straighten My Natural Hair Without Damaging My Curls

Photo: Courtesy of Benjamin Stone.
My relationship with my hair has always been complicated. I first got my hair relaxed when I was 9-years-old and decided to go natural during my junior year of college. Throughout school, I spent an insane number of hours before a mirror, with a YouTube video playing on my laptop, as I tried to learn how to style my curls. Not to mention the fact that all of the cash I earned from my part-time sales gig was spent stockpiling Kinky Curly gel and trying new Shea Moisture products from Target.
But that changed when I entered "the real world." Work, relationships, and my personal life prevented me from dedicating time to my hair as I did before. Flat twisting my entire head after 10-hour work days felt like a second job and — frankly — I couldn't be bothered. Slowly but surely, straight hair came creeping back into my life like a bad ex, and I began straightening my hair with hot tools once a month. That turned into once a week and now wearing my natural hair straight has become a regular, more convenient part of my lifestyle — but it's a risky game to play.
I love wearing my hair straight because of how simple it makes my life, but I also love having the option to rock curls whenever I want. However, heat and natural curls aren't always a match made in heaven. Excessive heat is damaging to curly hair and improper use of it can cause dryness, frizz, breakage and — worst case scenario — permanent damage to your curl pattern.
But through plenty of trial and error I've found a routine that allows me to wear my hair straight without frying my curls to death, so I can switch from blowout one day to twist out the next. If you're like me, and enjoy being "naturally straight," but haven't found a reliable set of products and tools to add to your rotation, I broke down every single product I use to keep my curls alive, ahead.
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