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Pressing-Hair.info

Information about Pressing, Hot Combing, and Straightening Black, African American, and Kinky Type Hair

How To Keep Your Hair From Reverting

As far as I know, pressed hair will revert a little bit between presses. This is because all hair is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs moisture from the air. That is a fact of life. So the real issue is how to keep water absorption to a minimum while keeping your hair healthy and maintaining a nice press. Here are my suggestions:

  1. Use gentle, moisturizing products for dry and/or black hair. Avoid mineral oil, petrolatum, sulfates because these contribute to hair dryness. The drier the hair, the more water it will want to absorb from the atomosphere. Use an oil based thermal protectant (like a natural hair oil) for your hair when pressing it. It will protect your hair from the heat of your appliance, and help to seal out moisture from the outside air.
  2. You may have to experiment with different products, and the order in which you use those products. Different textures of hair can respond differently to the same products. For me, I've found that pressing first with hair oil, and then going over the same hair with a little bit of pomade makes all the difference in the quality of press I do on my hair, and how long it lasts.
  3. You may have to experiment with different hair straightening tools.
  4. After you wash and condition your hair, be sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove all hair products. Excess hair product left in the hair (after shampooing and conditioning) may cause the hair to revert somewhat.
  5. Wear a shower cap when showering.
  6. Tie your hair up at night with a silk scarf or a silk sleep cap. Silk, which is a natural fiber, is preferable to synthetic fibers for pressed hair because silk breathes.  Synthetic fibers hold in heat and moisture making pressed hair more likely to revert.  
  7. If your ends are hard to straighten that is because the ends are the oldest and driest part of any head of hair. Consider trimming them just a teeny bit to see if that makes a difference.
  8. Press your hair at the right temperature. Too much heat is not good, but you need enough to make a difference. I press my hair at about 370 degrees Farenheit. For me, that is just about right. Too much more makes the hair too straight, less, and it the press just doesn't last. If you don't know what temperature to try, start at about 300 degrees Fahrenheit and work your way up slowly. I don't recommend going over 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. If you are using a flat iron, use it at the right temperature. When I straighten my hair with my flat iron, the right temperature is about 330 degrees Fahrenheit. I have found that my flat iron, when set to the same temperature as my pressing comb, seems hotter, and makes the hair straighter. So to compensate, I turn it down. That is another reason why I strongly recommend getting an electric appliance with a variable temperature gauge. You need to be able to control the temperature so that you can find what works for you. Don't let the manufacturer determine what temperature you should straighten your hair at. Most manufacturers recommend a temperature that is much too hot for black, African, and kinky hair.
  10. Let your hair cool down, and go over it once more at the same, or at a lower temperature than you pressed it at the first time.
  11. If you have been pressing your hair for a while, and you find that it doesn't seem to hold a press like it did when you first started pressing it, you probably need a protein treatment. If you do treat your hair with protein, be sure to moisturize it well also.