If you have curly hair, you’re probably well aware that it can sometimes take an array of hair styling- products and heat tools to go from curly to straight hair. While using the best flat iron for curly hair can work in your favor, it shouldn’t be your only method for straight hair of your dreams. Lucky for you, we know all the tricks of the trade to help you on your journey to smooth strands. Keep reading to learn how to straighten curly hair the right way and common mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
- What you should know about curly hair
- How to straighten curly hair, step by step
- More tips for straightening curly hair
What You Should Know About Curly Hair
Before you learn the ins and outs of going from curly to straight hair, there are a few things you need to know. Not all curly hair textures are the same. There are three natural hair textures-wavy, curly, and coily.-that determine the difference between a loose or tight curl pattern. So, you may find that someone with wavy hair may be able to straighten their hair easier than those with coily hair, since it’s much closer to a straight texture to begin with. So learning how to properly straighten hair naturally is a must for a salon-approved finish. That being said, you may need to take a different route when straightening your natural hair for desired results.
How To Straighten Curly Hair, Step By Step
1. Use a Leave-in Conditioner
Curly hair is naturally dry and tends to be coarse. So it is really important to add moisture with products. Pay attention to the ingredients lists–coconut oil, castor oil, soybean oil, almond oil, aloe, milk protein, honey, and apple cider vinegar will all help to moisturize and nourish the hair. One great way to keep the hair hydrated is to use a leave-in conditioner, Apply some to towel-dried hair, starting at the tips and massaging your way up, stopping just before your roots. Not only will this condition the hair, it will also keep frizz under control, which is key when working with curly hair. The amount of leave-in conditioner you use will vary depending on your hair length, but be careful not to overapply, otherwise, you'll weigh the hair down.
2. Don’t Skip a Heat Protectant
People with mildly wavy or straight hair can sometimes let their hair air dry before using a straightener, but curly-haired folks should always opt to blow dry damp hair instead. Yes, this does mean more heat exposure. Because this hair type is so prone to overdrying and breakage, it's important to add an additional shield to your fragile locks. Following up the leave-in conditioner
3. Blow Dry Hair in Sections
With your hair now fully primed and prepped, it's time to grab your blow dryer and a round brush. Grand explains that this step is crucial for straightening curly hair. She advises against rough drying (using only a hair dryer with no tools to dry your hair as fast as possible) as this can increase frizz.
Before you begin, split your hair into small sections, using a hair clip or hair elastic to keep the rest of the damp hair out of the way. Then, with the blow dryer on the medium to low heat setting, use the round brush to keep the targeted section straight as it dries. Make sure your hairdryer has a nozzle attachment on and is always pointed down, This will help the hair to get straight faster and control frizz.
Once one section is dry, move on to the next until the entire head is dry. Your curly hair should now be smooth, but don't stress if it's not perfectly straight at this point. That's what flat ironing is for.
4. Grab Your Flat Iron
Be sure to use a straightener with temperature control capabilities, Curly hair is naturally dry and has an uneven hair fiber shape, it tends to be more fragile than naturally straight hair. To protect curly hair from breakage, overdrying, and frizz, it's super important to use the low to medium heat settings on your flat iron (ideally nothing over 375 degrees Fahrenheit). We also suggest reducing heat damage by investing in a straightener with single-pass technology to minimize the number of times you use the iron on each strand of hair.
Split your hair into sections again. Next, pick up a one-inch section hair with a fine-tooth comb, then clamp the straightener down on the section just above the comb so that the straightener is essentially following in its wake. Now glide both down the hair shaft, making sure to move at a continuous, even pace down the section. Repeat until all hair has been straightened!
5.Lock The Straight Hair in Place Hairspray
After all that effort, you'll definitely want to do everything you can to make sure the hairstyle stays in place. To help keep the strands straight, lightly mist the hair with hairspray. Be sure to hold the hairspray at least a foot away so that the product gets evenly distributed. Also, make sure not to go overboard. Too much product will weigh hair down while also making it stiff and crunchy.
More Tips For Straightening Curly Hair
1. Blow Dry Before Styling
People with mildly wavy or straight hair can sometimes let their hair air dry before using a straightener, but curly-haired folks should always opt to blow dry damp hair instead. Yes, this does mean more heat exposure, but using a round brush to do a quick blow out will help to lock the strands in a straight position and will dramatically cut down on the time you spend actually straightening the hair with a flat iron.
2. Use As Low a Heat Setting As You Can
Curly hair is naturally dry and has an uneven hair fiber shape, this means it tends to be more fragile than naturally straight hair. To protect curly hair from breakage, overdrying, and frizz, it's super important to use the low to medium heat settings on both the hair dryer and the flat iron (ideally nothing over 375 degrees Fahrenheit).
3. Invest in a Silk Pillowcase
Using hairspray will definitely keep your hairstyle locked in place throughout the day, but if you want to also ensure next-day results, Grand suggests sleeping on a silk pillowcase. These pillowcases cut down friction between the hair and the fabric and will do wonders to prolong the results of straightened hair.
If you’re in the mood for more curly hair tips and recommendations, we’ve got you covered.