December 13, 2012

How I Straighten 4A Hair

Check out my updated method for straightening 4A hair 
using bantu knots here!

I don't straighten my hair too often because I get scared that every time I straighten it, my ends will break off. I like straight styles but I try to keep the use of my straightener to a minimum which I am hoping will help it to grow. When I do straighten it, I try to deep condition the night before to give my hair a boost of moisture and elasticity to help prevent breakage. 

I'm not picky with deep conditioners but I happened to have these ingredients in my house and so these are what I used to make a safflower coconut oil mask. This is very oily, so if you don't use shampoo, I would suggest leaving out the oils and just using coconut milk alone or oat milk instead. I heated up my ingredients in a bowl so that they would mix and so they would soak into my thirsty hair. I find that pre-straightening masks help prevent as much breakage from happening the next day. I also find I don't shed as much in the shower and when detangling.

Pre-Straightening Hair Mask:

Safflower Coconut Oil Mask Recipe:
1/2 C. coconut milk
1 Tbs. Safflower oil
1 Tbs. Coconut oil

My Regimen & Products: 

Over night hair mask (Safflower coconut) 

Bottom, left to right:
Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Shampoo
Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Conditioner
Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner
Giovanni Vitapro Fusion Protective Leave-In Treatment
Smooth N Shine Polishing Instant Repair Hair Polisher

My 4-Step Straightening Routine:

1. Hair mask

To apply the mask, I separate my hair into four sections. I apply the mask to each section and twist into bantu knots as I go to keep my hair less tangled. I end up with around 8-10 twists (2-3 per section). I cover the hair with a plastic bag and then slept with the mask in. 

2. Shampoo & condition

The next morning I shampoo and condition using Trader Joe's Nourish Spa shampoo and conditioner. Since the mask I used is extremely oily, I shampoo twice. I leave the conditioner in for about 5 minutes and then rinse it out. After I rinse, I add less than a quarter sized amount of conditioner back into my hair and scrunch it through. I don't rinse this out entirely which helps with detangling later. (Freshly washed hair above). 

3. Blow out

After my hair is washed, I dab with a towel to remove excess water and then part into four sections for detangling. I apply a dime sized amount of the Giovanni Direct Leave-In to each of the four sections and come through with my Denman brush from ends to roots.

I keep my hair divided into 4 sections for blow drying, too. Before blow drying, I spray on a few pumps of a light non-oily heat protectant (Giovanni Vitapro Fusion Protective Leave-In Treatment) onto each section since I use the high heat setting. I split each of the 4 sections into 2-3 smaller sections and blow dry each section, clipping straight hair out of the way as I go. 

I don't have a comb attachment to my blow dryer so I use the Denman brush to smooth out my hair while I blow dry straight. If I had a blow dryer with a comb attachment, I'd use that. 

4. Straighten 

After blowing out my hair, I part into 4 sections. I apply a dime size amount (very little) of a heat protecant serum (Smooth N Shine Polishing Instant Repair Hair Polisher) evenly onto each section. The cones in this product help smooth and shine the hair making the straight style last longer. 

I work with a small strand of hair at a time, clipping back the rest of the section out of the way. I brush through gently with my Denman brush (or a small comb) and then run my straightener over twice. If I need to, I comb through again and re-straighten. After I finish straightening the section, I leave the hair out and move on the other sections until it's done. 

The way my hair is cut is really layered so I accentuate the layers by rolling the straighter under as I pull which adds some texture and volume. 


Check out my updated method for straightening 4A hair 
using bantu knots here!


  1. Very pretty! I love it! Your hair looks great, and I'm going to try that mask!!

  2. That sounds awesome and your hair looks great! I definitely need to try this.

  3. Nice! I have 4a hair too and I think the best thing I discovered for straighten was raw Shea butter ... You don't have to even blow dry ... I just cowash in the morning and do a wet bun and by the time I get home my hair is dry. So I put just take lil pieces of hair apply the butter , detangle then use the brush chasing method to straighten the piece of hair and it's pretty much completely straight on the first pass ! The Shea butter really helps to hold the straight style for looooong !

    1. Sounds easy! I don't usually like wearing my hair wet but maybe this would be good for the Summer time.

  4. looks great! did you say you didn't rinse out all of the conditioner? or were you referring to the leave-in conditioner? Thanks!

  5. Thanks! I need to update this post with my new regimen...and update my blog in general! I usually rise out all of the conditioner and then sometimes I may reapply a little bit if I think my hair needs it...Otherwise I'll just use the leave in. If I do leave some conditioner in my hair, I'll go lighter with the leave in. I just try not to use too much conditioner and/or leave in to avoid buildup. :)


Any insight?