ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APRIL 3 2012
“Ok, so you’ve just straightened your hair, it’s silky, bouncy and totally smooth…you’re loving it! But wait…it’s bed time and you need to protect your hair….eek!”
As most of you probably know, the best way to preserve straightened hair overnight is via wrapping. Wrapping is basically a technique where you use your head as one big giant roller. Hair is brushed in a circular direction around the head allowing it to be covered and protected without any bumps and creases. This post however, isn’t really concerned with the actual technique itself. Today, what I really wanna talk about is the potential dangers involved with wrapping. Like all good things, moderation is the key and wrapping is no exception. Wrapping can be a great way to prolong a straightened style which in turn minimises heat usage ergo healthier hair. However, if done without due diligence, wrapping can cause some serious damage and breakage. Below are my top tips for wrapping hair the healthy way.
After using direct heat, hair is extra dry and fragile and prone to breakage. As wrapping hair requires considerable mechanical manipulation, it’s vital that your hair is moisturised and pliable enough to withstand the pressure. Make sure you use a light moisturiser before wrapping; it also helps the hair stay in place and reduces fly-aways. I use Kerastase Sublimateur Jour to moisturise my straightened locks. It’s very light and keeps my hair hydrated and soft.
Use the right tools
Using the right comb/brush is so important when wrapping hair. Some people use a small tooth comb, others a paddle brush and others still a bristle brush. I’ve tried all three and I find the best method for me is to use either my Denman, Paddle or Mercier brush for the initial wrap, then smoothing with a bristle brush just before I cover with my scarf. Combs don’t work very well for me and I feel they cause too much damage. I find that the Denman/Paddle/Mercier brushes work so well because they have flexible plastic bristles which are fairly wide spaced and work smoothly and evenly through the hair.
Don’t be afraid to use hair pins
When my hair is especially silky, wrapping can be a nightmare as my hair just won’t stay in place. I used to spend ages brushing over and over in an attempt to get my hair to behave which of course increased the risk of mechanical damage to my strands. A strategically placed pin takes way all the hassle and doesn’t actually leave much of an indentation in your hair. In fact this method is also called a doobie (yeah I know all I could think about was weed!).
Switch it up
It’s VERY important that you change the direction of your wrap regularly. I used to wrap from left to right only and began to notice that my scalp on the front left side would get very tender. This was because I was constantly forcing hair on that side to lie against its natural direction; eventually my hair started to thin out in that area. I now alternate the direction in which I wrap, especially if I’m wrapping frequently.
Try an alternative method
Cross-wrapping is a great alternative to the traditional wrap as it allows your hair to lie in its natural direction and reduces tension in the delicate areas such as the nape and edges. Similarly, Pin Curls are a great way to preserve your hair over-night, plus you get the added benefit of lovely bouncy curls.
Other than the wrap itself, damage can be caused via your hair covering. Make sure you use a silk or satin scarf and try not to tie it too tightly. Other than the headache you’ll give yourself, the tension could cause damage to your hairline. If you also use a bonnet, make sure the elastic part doesn’t rest directly over your hairline and edges. You can try a silk or satin hair wrap as an alternative to scarves.
Use in Moderation
If you don’t NEED to wrap your hair, don’t do it! Wrapping is something I think should really only be done for 2-3 days at a time with a good break in between. Find another way to preserve your style or even change the style altogether. I usually straighten only on the weekends and wear by hair straight from Saturday to Monday. The rest of the week I’ll either bun or French braid my hair.