What is Happy Hair?

To us, happy hair is natural and naked. It’s hair that has the least amount of any type of intentional chemical or heat exposure. Happy hair means no chemically engineered generic products, no hot tool styling, and no sulfates. But why is happy hair so important? We spoke with our head chemist, Mark, about why you should make your strands happy and go product and heat-free this summer.

One of the main problems with generic hair styling and cleansing products is that they actually leave behind a lot of residues that are invisible to our human eyes. “These residues can have a tendency to make it difficult to brush or comb the hair, and it can in time, lead to internal breakage,” Mark says. The chemicals left behind can also damage your hair’s outside cuticle, to the point where light won’t reflect properly, leaving it limp and lackluster.

Happy hair, chemical and product free, means that your hair will thrive in its natural state, completely free from any nasty left-behind residue and the pollutants that come with it.

If there’s anything we know about using hot tools to style your hair, it’s that even though your hair may look great for a few hours or days, it’s simply not worth the damage that you’re causing your locks. “If you expose anything to heat for a long period of time,” Mark says, “it makes it weaker.” This weakness can ultimately make your hair break. “Imagine pulling on a spring,” he says, “you pull it to a certain point and it snaps back to its initial point. But if you pull it past a certain point, if you exert too much force, it will never go back to its original state.” This is precisely what happens to hair when it’s exposed to too much heat. Happy hair, sans the artificial heat, means preserving your natural texture and strength, which will ensure that it stays healthy for years to come.

Chemical products are so common because they are extremely cheap and cost effective to make. It’s true, dangerous sulfates and chemicals are simply much more convenient to manufacture, but to be honest, that doesn’t seem like a very safe justification to use it on your hair. “In the long run,” Mark says, “they really cause more harm than they do good.” Happy hair means not only embracing your natural texture and style, it also means embracing a healthier, safer lifestyle.

Four Quick Tips For Keeping Your Straight Hair Happy

Because it doesn’t take a product army to maintain your hair health

The Best Natural Ingredient For Straight Hair
Coconut milk, by far, is the best natural ingredient used for straight hair because of its organic qualities that help prevent follicle breakage. Coconut milk has natural straightening properties, so it’s going to help you maintain your silky texture. Start by coating one-inch sections of your hair, from your root to your tips, with coconut milk before your next wash. Leave your strands coated for about twenty minutes, and then proceed to wash it out with your normal shampoo and conditioner routine.

How To Naturally Add Volume To Straight Hair
If you have straight tresses, you’re no stranger to how difficult it is to volumize your hair naturally without using a hot tool or a styling product. But as it just so happens, volumizing your hair naturally is possible -- if you don’t over wash. Washing your hair every day or too often is actually what may be making your hair flat and lifeless -- straight hair actually increases in volume and health with a lot less washing.

How To Sleep On Straight Hair
The most efficient way to sleep on straight hair requires one key rule: brush your hair before going to bed. This will completely detangle your strands and help prevent breakage and follicle distress overnight. Make sure you are starting from the root of your hair to the bottom of your strands with a comb or brush of your choice -- and we also suggest going to sleep with your hair to the side, away from your face, elastic and bobby pin free.

How To Style Straight Hair Without Hot Tools
Try air-drying your hair in French braids overnight, to add extra volume and texture your hair for the next day. Your hair will naturally mold into volumized curls, and because they formed over the night hours, you won’t need an added product to maintain the look.

All-natural And Vegan Hair Treatments You Can Find In Your Kitchen For Healthier Hair

Because your hair deserves better than ‘industrial cleansers’

Here’s a scary thought for you: the hair products we use every single day are filled with all sorts of chemicals. Ranging from sulfates to things we can’t even pronounce, there’s definitely something up with generic hair products that shouldn’t sit well with us. In fact, a lot of the chemicals used in different types of hair aids, specifically in shampoos, are made from the same chemicals used in industrial cleaning. Talk about terrifying.

So, we’ve rounded up four all-natural and vegan hair treatments catered to straight hair that are much healthier and safer for your hair in the long run.

A coconut oil primer treatment is one of the best things you can do for your straight hair. The saturated fatty acids in coconut oil will penetrate into your hair and will prevent water from seeping into your locks. Start by coating your strands in coconut oil for a couple of minutes, and then rinse it out and shampoo your hair as you would normally. This not only protects your hair during its wash, it will keep your cuticle intact. We recommend you do every time you wash your hair. “The more you pre-treat straight hair with coconut oil, the better,” our Head Chemist, Mark weighs in.

After you’re finished shampooing your hair, follow your routine with an apple cider vinegar or lemon juice wash. “These washes will lower the pH of your hair,” Mark says, “it will not only seal your cuticle, but it will also prevent frizz and allow light to reflect off of it more purely, adding shine to your straight hair.” Simply comb through your wet hair with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, and proceed to wash it out after a few minutes. We recommend you stick to this treatment once a week -- because you don’t want to over-treat your locks with too much acidity.

Another excellent all-natural straight hair treatment is a beer rinse (we’re not kidding). “Hops extract has been shown to add immense volume to your hair,” Mark notes. The combination of beer’s low pH level and extract will also serve as a cuticle sealer and will make your hair appear fuller, especially good for adding volume to lifeless locks. Simply rinse your locks with a store-bought IPA, (we recommend using a beer with a high hop content), leave it for a few minutes, and wash it out again with water. We recommend also using this treatment at most, once a week!

If you’re looking to clarify your scalp and increase blood flow, look no further than an essential oil to cleanse dandruff and rejuvenate dry skin. “Things like tea tree oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, and orange oil, will not only help fight the fungi that lead to dandruff, they will also stimulate the capillaries at the root of your hair and in your scalp,” Mark adds.

How To Air-dry Your Straight Hair The Right Way

Because who wants to blow dry hair when you have the summer heat?

There’s nothing better than being able to air-dry your hair during the summer heat. Not only does this practice save you from the major hassle of having to take out your blow-dryer, it’s also a lot healthier for your hair because you’re protecting your strands from excess, artificial heat. Since avoiding hot tools and dryers is essential to maintaining ‘happy hair’ this summer, we’ve included four ways to air-dry your straight locks these coming summer months:

It’s fine to use a wide-toothed comb and run it through your hair once or twice when it’s wet, but avoid a brush and that repetitive brushing motion. There is a lot of weight on your wet hair which causes a lot of stress and stretching of your hair strands (remember the snapping spring analogy?)

The heat from blow-drying basically is just steaming your hair. If you have to get your hair dry quickly, using your blow dryer on the cool setting is a fantastic alternative as it uses the force of the air rather than heat. Remember, keep the brushing when your hair is wet to a minimum (see above!)

Towel-dry your hair gently rather than roughly tousling it (back and forth). Run the towel in a downward motion throughout your hair, applying slight pressure. Try swapping your typical terrycloth for a microfiber towel -- the softer material will keep your follicles intact, and make it easier to air-dry altogether.

Wet hair causes an extra pull to your hair and that weight isn’t great, especially for long-haired gals. Avoid going outside with really wet hair as the excess moisture on your hair is an extra magnet for ultraviolet rays and pollutants that you find outside.

Kimberly (@Kimicoyo) Tells Us How She Maintains Her Straight Happy Hair

Why do you choose to wear your hair natural?
It makes me feel good knowing that I’m not stressing out my hair more than I already have. I currently have color treated hair so it’s slightly dry and brittle. I want to give my hair a rest at as much as possible. When I don’t do anything to my hair I definitely notice how much healthier it feels (less dry and more silky!)

What are some styling tips and tricks when you’re rockin’ it natural?
My hair is pin straight so when I get out of the shower, I sometimes will braid my hair overnight and take it out in the morning to give it a bit of texture.

In terms of styling, over the past few years, I’ve grown to really like parting my hair down in the middle and doing a low pony. I think it looks chic and it takes like less than a minute to do. Or I like to do a quick milkmaid braid, which is super cute with any outfit!

Any other words of wisdom to impart for other straight haired gals looking to rock their natural hair?
I feel like everyone always wants what they can’t have. Ever since I was little, I always wanted wavy or curly hair. I eventually learned to accept and love my straight hair.

We put a lot of stress on our hair and it deserves a break every now and then. Figure out what style works best for you and just go for it :)

Thanks Kimberly!