A few years ago I stumbled across a video of a stylist flat ironing the hair of a child. What was intriguing to me was that the iron was extremely thin, and I had never seen anything like it. The stylist took so much pride in her work as she was trying to demonstrate the effectiveness of the iron and technique. It turns out that what she was doing was a little more than just flat ironing; she was perfecting the art of Thermal Relaxing.
Harsh chemicals from perms can wreak havoc on the hair and scalp if not properly cared for. Even if someone manages their relaxer perfectly, there will come a day when the person wishes to flat iron their hair despite having a perm. Naturals try to avoid heat as much as possible, but even we want to wear our hair straight at times. This is where Thermal Relaxing comes in; this is a process that combines the effectiveness of a pressing comb and a flat iron together without using a pressing comb at all. It gives the straightness of a press, the shine of a flat iron and the look of a perm with no chemicals involved.
The Feather Flat
The Feather Flat was invented by a black man by the name of Stan “Milstan” Nash. Mr. Nash purports it to be the thinnest flat iron available on the market. Being that it is so thin, it allows the user to get very close to the scalp. What is special to me about it is that it holds the heat within itself. When you get close to your scalp you do not feel the heat on your scalp the way that you do with a traditional flat iron or hot comb. He calls it Thermal Relaxing because it truly looks like the person just received a fresh relaxer.
Using the Feather Flat
You must have a stove to put your iron in to heat it up, it is not electric. You can use the same temperature for the whole head of hair. It does not matter if your hair is more coarse is spots or very coarse all over. When I use the Feather Flat, it typically takes me about an hour to flat iron. I am a natural with multiple curl textures in my hair, and I also take short breaks in between sections to prevent me from tiring. I am kind of awkward with using the Marcel style handles of any kind, but even still I am able to produce a beautiful result. I love the fact that my hair does not look humid when I finish. You know the look that I am talking about, where it looks like you did your hair at home yourself. Even though I do my hair at home myself sometimes, I don’t want it to look like it. I like my style to look crisp and fresh and this is what I get with every usage. Mr. Nash has a complete array of irons of different shapes and sizes but I have only purchased this one.
Tips for Thermal Relaxing
[checklist]Make sure your hair is clean and dry beforehand. Allow your Feather Flat to heat.[/checklist] [checklist]You do not necessarily need to blow dry your hair, but if so make sure you do not use too much heat. I do not blow dry my hair at all. On the day that I will use the Feather Flat, I wash and condition and apply my styling serum. Then I pull my hair back and wrap it around itself into a bun and I sit under the dryer until it dries. Once I remove the bun, my hair is almost straight without using additional heat.[/checklist] Section your hair into very small parts. I don’t like to do any parts larger than 1 ½ inches at a time. I stretch the section of hair out and rub the roots with the Feather Flat in a downward motion. Place the hair in between the iron and begin the Thermal Relaxing process. Repeat this until each section is done. Once I flat iron, I like to wrap my hair and tie it up to allow it to set overnight, but you may style as you wish.