How to Keep My Hair From Getting Nappy

by Tracie Grimes

Straighten nappy hair with a permanent straightener, temporary straightener or a texturizer.

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Bad hair days come in all forms; frizzy hair, flat hair, curly hair, dull hair. “Nappy,” or hair that is tightly curled, can be especially frustrating because taming those tangles takes time and patience. There are a few ways to get rid of nappy hair: You can use a permanent straightener, opt for a temporary chemical straightener or you can apply a texturizer, which is a mild relaxer that loosens curly hair. Conquering your nappy curls may take a little more planning and work, but with a little effort and a few dabs of product, you can turn your bad hair day into a smooth, silky-locks kind of hair day.

Items you will need

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Towel
  • Blow-dryer

Permanent Straightening

Step 1

Apply a relaxer on your hair if you’re looking to permanently straighten it. “Permanently” is a bit of a misnomer because you’ll need to apply the relaxer again in six to eight weeks — the time it takes for your hair to grow out — to keep your hair straightened. You can have this done by a professional at a salon, or you can do it yourself. If you opt for the DIY method, part your hair into four sections and work with one section at a time.

Step 2

Rub a dab of petroleum jelly along your hairline to keep the relaxer from oozing onto your skin. Put on plastic gloves and apply the relaxer to each section of your hair using the applicator brush. Brush the relaxer cream from the roots to the end of your hair. Smooth the relaxer with your gloved fingers to ensure complete coverage.

Step 3

Allow the relaxer to set for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 4

Rinse the relaxer from your hair with warm water and then shampoo and condition your hair.

Step 5

Use a deep conditioner on your hair regularly to keep your hair from becoming brittle, dry and damaged. Also, try not to use hot styling tools such as blow-dryers, curling irons and straightening irons.

Temporary Straightening

Step 1

Shampoo, condition and towel-dry your hair.

Step 2

Comb the tangles from your hair with a wide-tooth comb.

Step 3

Apply straightening oil or lotion to your hair, working from the roots to the ends.

Step 4

Blow-dry your hair, combing it as you dry. You can also use a comb attachment on your blow dryer.

Texturizing

Step 1

Wash and dry your hair. Divide your hair into four sections and apply the texturizer to each section. Carefully read the instructions and then apply the texturizer to your hair according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 2

Work the texturizer through your hair from end to root. Rake your fingers through your hair and ball up the ends as you make a fist. Leave on the texturizer only as long as directed on the package, which is generally no more than eight minutes. Set a timer and remove the texturizer as soon as the timer goes off.

Step 3

Rinse your hair with warm water and shampoo using a neutralizing shampoo. The neutralizing shampoo will produce a pink or blue lather when texturizer is present, so repeat the shampooing process until the lather is white.

Step 4

Condition your hair with a high-quality alcohol-free conditioner.

Step 5

Reapply the texturizer every six to eight weeks, but apply the product only to new hair growth. Applying it to hair that has already been texturized will make your hair uneven — the retexturized hair will be straighter than the newly texturized hair.

Tips

  • See a professional stylist before chemically straightening or texturizing your hair to get advice on which products to use. Perform a “strand test” to determine the best type of chemical or texturizer to use on your hair. Strand tests are done by professional stylists to determine your hair’s strength and elasticity.
    Nappy hair is more tangled when it’s wet, so when you’re combing wet hair, start from the end of your hair and comb to the roots. This will help keep the hair from breaking. Wear a scarf when you sleep and apply a pomade or gel in the morning. Texturizers work best on short to medium-length hair for those who want to have more manageable curls. Texturizers aren’t as harsh as chemical straighteners, but they don’t straighten hair as dramatically as chemical relaxers.

Warnings

  • Apply the relaxer only to your hair, not to your scalp. Chemical relaxers can cause hair breakage, hair thinning, lack of hair growth, scalp irritation, scalp damage and hair loss.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in California, Tracie Grimes began writing in the medical field in 1984. She has since expanded her areas of expertise to include DIY projects, parenting and craft articles. She is a monthly contributor to "Kern County Family Magazine" and "Bakersfield Magazine," with work also appearing in parenting magazines across the United States. Grimes received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University.