Currently trending on Facebook is this video: The Art Of Thermal Relaxing Natural Hair Without The Use Of Chemical Relaxers. It caught our eye because we love and can appreciate a beautiful press out. Everyone should experience one if they are open to safely heat styling their hair. However, the uncontrolled heat and “thermal relaxer” style of straightening demonstrated in this video can send the wrong impression to someone thinking about flat ironing their hair to get it as straight as a relaxer would if they don’t realize what they are signing up for.
The company, Milstan Thermal, claims that this thermal Feather Flat Iron replaces a pressing comb. There is no argument from us that it can lay some roots–it’s faster and smoother that we’ve ever seen done with a hot comb without at least some flinching from the steam that burns your scalp. The Feather Flat Iron was invented by Stan “Milstan” Nash. He claims that the heat is contained within the iron and that when it’s pressed close to your scalp, you don’t feel the heat unlike a regular flat iron.
Even though this press looks bomb, our current feelings on thermal relaxing natural hair (or any texture for that matter), is a big fat no for a few different reasons. No temperature regulation means heat damage. Heat damage. The idea of thermal relaxing sounds like fancy way of heat damaging your hair (or the even fancier heat training for those in denial of heat damage). It’s can also be very dangerous rhetoric to describe pressing one’s hair out as getting a relaxer. They are not the same thing. By doing so, it in many ways upholds the idea that a relaxer is the gold standard in straight hair for black women.
The stylist claims that this press lasts her client three weeks even with four to five days of working out each week. We call heat damage simply because healthy natural hair can’t get through one sweaty workout without reverting. Thermal relaxing natural hair looks amazing but does not appear to be a healthy way of styling your natural hair overall because of the lack of temperature regulation and with so many passes of the flat iron over one area of hair. Though we’re not saying not to try this type of straightening, just proceed with caution. There are also much more healthier ways of straightening your natural hair so be sure to read: Why Does My Hair Smell Burnt After I Blow Dry Or Flat Iron It?.