How to Straighten Curly Hair
How to Make Curly Hair Straight
First things first…It’s important to remember that whatever hair you’ve been blessed with, whether it is curly, wavy, or straight, it is beautiful! Working with your natural hair is usually most simple and effective, but for those times when you want a bit of a change from your curly or wavy locks, here are some instructions for how to straighten curly hair easily and with the least amount of damage.
How to Naturally Straighten Curly Hair
*Tips on how to straighten curly hair naturally at home:
- Wide-toothed comb
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Spray Leave-In Conditioner
- Hair Dryer (preferably with a nozzle/diffuser)
- Hair Serum
- Flat Iron
- Heat Protective Spray
- Hairspray (optional)
- Silicone Hair Shine Solution
1. Shampoo and condition your curly hair with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
2. Gently towel dry your hair removing as much moisture out of the hair as possible.
3. Spray on a leave-in conditioner. Our favorite leave-in conditioners are:
DermOrganic Leave-In Treatment with Argan Oil
4. Using a wide tooth comb, part and comb your hair. You absolutely cannot straighten knotty hair.
5. Work a hair serum through your hair.
6. Work a heat protective spray or serum into your hair.
7. Dry your hair in sections using a paddle brush or large rounded brush. Using a hair dryer nossle extension to direct the air down the hair shaft works great! When blow-drying, be sure your hairdryer is pointing down from root to tip along the hair shaft. Take your time. This step is essential and makes all the difference in your end result.
8. After your hair is completely dry, put the top half of your hair up into a bun.
9. Divide the bottom half of your hair into small, thin sections. For best results use sections that are 1-2 inches wide and only about 1/2 inch thick.
10. Take a section of hair and hold it taut with one hand while using the other hand to hold the flat iron and clamp it down over the hair as close to the root as possible. Hold the hair firmly in the flat iron and be careful not to touch your skin with the flat iron.
11. Glide the flat iron down over the small section of hair in one fluid movement. If it is not completely straight after the first pass, do it again, and sometimes even several times before it becomes how you want it. Do not be alarmed if you see steam rising from the iron. The plates are very hot and there is often moisture in the hair plus moisture from the sprays that can cause steam to rise from the hair being straightened.
12. Continue to do this around your head, straightening small sections all the way around as you go. After you get the bottom hair straightened, remove the bun taking the middle section out, putting the top hair back in the bun, and repeating steps 9 through 11 on the middle section of hair. When you finish with the middle section, do the same with the top section.
13. Examine your work in a mirror. Glide the flat iron over any missed spots.
14. Do not spray your hair with water or add mousse. This will only cause your hair to curl or frizz again.
15. If you are going to be in a humid environment, apply hair spray.
16. Add a small amount of silicone based hair shine solution. Add only a few drops and rub between your hands and then smooth over hair.
17. When you wash your hair, it will return to normal. Most hair can go at least 2-3 days without being washed. Also, the less you wash your hair, the less oil your hair will produce over time. The more you wash your hair, the more your scalp will produce oil. Oil is what our scalps produce to protect our hair, and so when we constantly shampoo it away, our scalps think it needs to produce more.
Hair Straightening Tips & Warnings:
- DO NOT BURN YOURSELF! Be extremely careful when using a flat iron, especially around your face. If you do burn yourself, run the burned area under cool water right away.
- Do not use hair spray unless you need it. It can cause drying over time.
- Don’t straighten your hair everyday because it will become damaged.
- Using a wide-toothed comb is better than using a brush when your hair is wet. Using a brush can stretch the hair and cause it to break.
- Don’t go over one piece of hair too many times as it can damage your hair.
- If you are in a rush and need to dry your hair, DO NOT attempt to straighten your hair when it is wet thinking you can eliminate the blow drying step. You will be frying your hair by using your flat iron as both a drying technique and a straightening technique. Always dry hair completely prior to straightening. The only exception to this is if you use an ionic or wet to dry straightener.
- Keep your flat iron moving. Do not leave the flat iron on one section of your hair.
- Unless you are flat ironing over a section that has been hair-sprayed, if you hear a sizzling noise, stop – that is the sound of your hair sizzling and burning.
- The biggest mistake people make when attempting to straighten their hair is pointing the blow-dryer in a direction other than down along the hair shaft. So, tip #1 is when blow-drying, be sure your hairdryer is pointing down from root to tip along the hair shaft.
- Prior to starting your blow-drying, use a heat protection spray. Our favorites are:
Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide (Our VERY VERY MOST favorite!)
- Instead of moving your straightening iron slowly over the hair, run it over the hair faster and more than once. This will definitely reduce heat damage on your hair shaft.
- Make sure you dry your hair with the blow-dryer completely. Leaving areas damp, even just a little damp, will result in your hair frizzing, waving, or curling.
- A great way to get your hair pin straight is to apply hairspray to a section of hair and then to immediately use your straightening iron on it. Note: You may hear a sizzling sound, but that’s the hairspray, not your hair.
- If your hair is fragile or fine or thin, use a lower setting on the iron. If your hair is thick or course, use a higher setting. When in doubt, use a low setting and work your way up to what works best. This will be the least damaging for your hair.
- Again, do NOT straighten your hair with a straightening iron when your hair is wet or damp. A straightening iron is meant to be used on dry hair. It just won’t work on wet or damp hair. The only exception is using an ionic or wet to dry straightener. Instead of using two heated plates, it acts as a blow-dryer causing less damage and less frizz. The most popular wet to dry straighteners are:
Remington Wet 2 Straight 2″ Wide Plate Wet/Dry Ceramic Hair Straightening Iron
Conair BC173 Professional Tourmaline Ceramic Wet & Dry Straightener
- For thick and/or coarse hair, use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. This will help the hair to be less frizzy.
- Do not clamp too hard with the flat iron.
- Use a paddle brush when drying your hair.
- If you are not getting the results you like, try a different method or take a break so you do not end up damaging your hair.