Confessions of a Heat Straightened Natural: Melissa W.

What’s your name where are you from?

Melissa Williams from Oklahoma

What is your regimen?

I get my hair done professionally every 2 weeks if I have the funds. By the end of 2 weeks my hair still looks good but dandruff arrives. Otherwise I do it myself. I wash, blow dry, flat iron and wrap if i just want it straight. If I want some curl I add curl while flat ironing and then roll the first night and pin curl or twist into bun every night after. I sleep with bonnet or scarf and NEVER use a plastic shower cap because it causes me to sweat my hair out.

How often do you straighten?

Every 2 or 3 weeks unless I’m in a kinky/curly mood or it is the summer time.

What products and tools do you use?

I use Mizani Thermasmooth products when I straighten my hair on my own. I have no idea what my beautician uses. I TRUST HER SO MUCH WITH MY HEAD OF HAIR!! Soft and Beautiful is what I use when I am on a budget. Love them both but Mizani has done me well. 🙂

Why have you chosen to wear your hair straight as opposed to kinky/curly?

I’m not sure, because I wear it both ways….My great grandmother was a full blood Seminole Indian. When I wear my hair straight I feel in touch w/my Native American roots. Sometimes I just like it straight, it really depends on my mood though because I LOVE it curly and kinky though too I feel exotic when it is big. Some days I wake up and I’m like, “Ohhh I want big hair today, I need a big runway size curly fro.” Part of the reason I have not been wearing it curly as often is because of heat damage. I live in OK and the person that does my hair here has done it for over 7 yrs. When I moved to Memphis for 3 yrs I was waiting til visited OK to get my hair done professionally. I got lazy and let someone new do my hair. Well….the beautician damaged my hair. Some of my hair is permanently straightened and DOES NOT CURL unless I use tons of product. Even then, the curl is lost within hours or by the end of the day. I’m in the process of growing it out.

Do you feel there is enough information for naturals who wear their hair straight?

Not really, if there is I have not been exposed to it that much. When I look in magazines the natural hair section is usually about using hair weaves, styles for locs, and braids etc. Many naturals I know are new to the natural hair club, they are easily frustrated and opt for a weave when wanting hair straight. Or they end up applying heat too often to maintain their own straight hair. I used to have to retouch my hair all the time, but I think part of that is getting hair “trained” as they say and knowing that when it is humid straightened natural hair survives in a bun. In my opinion though, my hair is just used to heat and the years of heat have over time loosened my natural curl pattern (when they say get it trained, I actually think this is what happens). It took me years to learn my hair and what works for it. I just happened to come across the Mizani products for straightening hair online when I was looking for something to enhance my natural curls.

What has helped you in your healthy hair journey?

Websites, forums etc… I just started exploring websites and forums in the past 2 years since my hair has been damages. I have not consistently stayed into any of them, but I do remember AfroGlitz being one. Found tons of good info there. Other than that I have a friend that is natural and loves trying new things. She explores the net and reports back to me with suggestions.

Any advice for other heat straightened naturals?

  • Be easy on the heat.
  • Try not to put heat on your hair more than once a week,
  • Always use heating tools that have dials on them so you can adjust the temperature.
  • Use a heat protectant.
  • Don’t stress over getting it too straight… do what you can and wrap it 3 days in a row, it will smooth it out a bit more.
  • Do not let just anyone straighten your hair, choose someone that has hair similiar to yours and/or someone that really KNOWS and has patience for natural hair. Otherwise they tend to get frustrated, and will use too much heat, or have the wrong expectations of how your hair should behave.
  • Make sure to take a break at least once a month for a week or so and lay of the heat. What I do is wash, braid while wet, and wear crinkly. Or just wash and wear w/a headband (and tuck and pin my unruly straight pieces)

Where can we find you?

I am on twitter @insidemine and my email is

Be Blessed (=


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