Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Problems with Straightening Hair

Q: I have used GHD straighteners for 4 years and when I first purchased them they were the miracle product. I was searching for poker straight sleek hair. However I think I have almost straightened my hair to death as over the past few months it will just refuse to straighten, even if I go over it with the flat iron time and time again. My hair was luscious and long but I have gradually had more and more cut off as it was getting more and more unruly. I have recently had some layers added and the full length sits just above the shoulder.
I thought having a good cut would solve my styling problems but nothing has changed; the problem is now half way through the day I have these layers that will not stay flat and flick out which gives me a really dated look. I love to wear my hair sleek and straight and even tried leaving it to dry naturally for up to 2 weeks at a time thinking this will improve its condition but once I straighten it again it's the same old problem. I seem to spend a fortune on products: hair masks, leave in conditioners, serums etc but none seem to make any difference and I am now at a loss as to what to do. This problem is really getting me down, please help!

A: It sounds as though your hair is becoming more and more damaged by the heat styling. There are two things that come to mind for you to consider:
One is to give your hair a real break and stop trying to straighten it. Get and use a shampoo designed to give sleek and smooth hair, with the conditioner, and use the shampoo when the hair is dirty, but condition the hair every day. If you must use a blow dryer to dry your hair, be sure to use a diffuser attachment and a leave-in conditioner to give it additional protection and keep the heat setting on the dryer as low as possible.
In addition, get a protein rich conditioning crème and give yourself a deep conditioning treatment at least twice a week. Apply the crème to the hair, cover it in a plastic cap and either use a hair dryer or heated towels from your clothing dryer to warm the hair for at least 20-30 minutes before rinsing the conditioner from the hair with lukewarm water.
Remember that it has taken time for your hair to reach this level of damage, and will also take time to recover. Be patient, and you will be rewarded in the long run.
The other option that comes to mind is to look into getting Thermal Reconditioning for your hair, also known as Japanese Straightening. This service, done properly, boasts wonderful results for giving you beautifully healthy, sleek, straight hair. It sounds like you may be a good candidate for the service, provided your hair hasn't been lightened chemically too much from it's natural color, and you are not of African descent (African-ethnic hair types do not respond well to the processes used in Thermal Reconditioning and cannot receive the service).
I do wish you the best of results, regardless of what you decide to do. Meanwhile, be sure to take care of your hair.
Related posts:
Damaged hair
Heat styling
Thermal reconditioning
How can I get glossy pin straight hair?