Discover this technique of temporarily straightening natural hair with no damage to the hair structure
If you have natural black hair chances are that you are already in love with your texture and wouldn’t change it for the world. As well it should be! But like anyone else, you don’t mind the occasional bout of ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ and would like to change your look temporarily.
If you have natural very curly/kinky hair, particularly 4a/b hair types, you will appreciate that it will take more heat to get ‘relaxer straight’ results when you flat iron your hair. The downfall of using too much heat on your hair is that it may damage it irreparably i.e. burn it straight! Nobody wants to risk the health of their hair for the sake of straight locks for a week. An alternative is required.
This is where the coconut and lime ‘relaxer’ could help you. The ‘straightening’ effect achieved is most noticeable in slightly wavy hair. In African American (black) hair, the results are more subtle and with continued application, it results in loosening or elongating the curl pattern which makes heat styling much easier. This technique is by no means new; it has been used for years by Asian women to straighten their curly hair safely without the use of chemicals.
The original recipe involves mixing coconut juice with the lime juice and leaving in the fridge overnight until a cream forms on top. This cream is then applied to the hair and left for a few hours then rinsed off. The remainder of the mixture is then discarded. The main issue with this recipe is that even though the coconut milk with solidify slightly when put in the fridge, the natural heat from your body once applied to the hair will make it runny again and you may find that a lot of the treatment will end up running down your face and neck! Another problem is the wastage involved as only a small percentage of the coconut milk is being used. The recipe below is a version of the original allowing both for the dryness of natural black hair with minimum wastage of the ingredients. Here’s how to make the treatment:
1 tin of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons of lime juice
2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch
Empty the coconut milk into a saucepan add the extra virgin olive oil and whisk until well blended. Coconut milk varies in consistency by brand so depending on how thin the mixture in the saucepan is, add 2-3 tablespoons in a separate bowl and mix this with the lime juice until the mixture is lump free then add to the coconut milk & olive oil mixture. Put the saucepan over a medium heat whisking constantly. The purpose is not to cook the mixture but to activate the cornstarch which will thicken the mixture to a ‘conditioner’ type consistency. This should take a couple of minutes. If you find the mixture is still too thin then add a bit more cornstarch or if you get a brand of coconut milk that that is very thick to begin with, you may omit the corn starch altogether.
Apply the mixture to your hair in sections to ensure it is evenly covered. Cover with a plastic cap then under a steam cap for ½ hour to an hour. If you don’t have a steam cap but you have a hooded dryer, read this article on how to give your hair a steam treatment without a steam cap.
Depending on the length and thickness of you hair, the mixture will be enough for 1-2 applications. Place any remaining treatment into a plastic jar/container and freeze until you require it next.
Proceed to shampoo the mixture out of your hair thoroughly then proceed to deep condition as usual with an ultra moisturizing conditioner. Remember, the final rinse should be done with cold/lukewarm water to close the hair cuticles and seal in the moisture.
Roller set your hair with only a glycerine containing product like S Curl along with some heat protectant for the softest results. Sit under a dryer for up to 90 minutes or until the hair is thoroughly dry. To complete the look flat iron the hair in sections with one swipe on a medium heat (you will not need much heat to get your hair straight). Style as desired.