Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
African-American hair has been pressed, relaxed, cut, colored and flipped many different ways -- all while being put on a public platform and discussed for centuries. Chemically relaxed African-American hair has been deemed "more attractive" and socially desirable for centuries. Today, more African-American women are choosing to remain natural -- but sometimes going for a chemical-free straight look. There are several different ways African-American women can have a "relaxed" look without using chemicals.
Meet the Press
The hot comb is maybe the oldest tool used in a black hair technique called "pressing." Most African-American women have a story about their grandmothers or mothers placing the hot comb on the stove to heat before laying it to their hair. Pressing is a good way to straighten new growth without chemically altering it. It's important to make sure the temperature is not so blazin' hot that it burns your hair strands.
Lay It Flat
Flat ironing is probably the most common technique used to straighten African-American hair. It is important to be careful with the temperature as well as how often heat is applied to your hair when using this tool. Flat irons come in a myriad of different types and sizes. It's wise to invest in one that will last a long time if you plan to stay chemical free.
Blow and Go
Blow dryers don't just dry hair. With a comb, blow dryers can be used to straighten hair as well. This is the best way to go when straightening color-treated hair because the heat is not so close to your strands.
Wash and Roller Set
Getting a wash and roller set is the most popular hair technique in Dominican hair boutiques. Some consider it healthy because you're getting a wash then sitting under a bonnet dryer in rollers. You can accomplish body without having to apply extra heat. Just wash, set, sit under the dryer and go. Some women get blow-outs after the wash and roller set, but that requires more heat.