With little effort, you can turn your curly hair into smooth and sleek hair, but, you’ll need a lot of patience. Depending on how tight your curls are, you can go from curly to straight in no time.
However, curly hair is naturally dry and prone to damage, so straightening the strands needs to be done with extreme care. If you follow the right steps, the style can last for many days. Here’s how to straighten curly hair and prevent breakage and damage.
How to Straighten Curly Hair
To make your hair straight and sleek, you’ll need to follow the right procedures. See the steps below:
- Wash and Condition Your Curly
You can do this with a conditioner and straightening shampoo. But, the first thing to do before trying to straighten your curly hair is to get rid of any product buildup or residue in your hair. Make sure to use a hair straightening shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for frizz control and prep your hair for straightening.
- Use Leave-in Conditioner
After showering, spray a little amount of leave-in conditioner on your curls to help lock in moisture, prevent spilt ends and breakage, and protect your hair against heat damage. In sum, the leave-in conditioner will help strengthen the strands.
- Apply Heat Protectant
To protect your hair against heat damage, apply a heat-protectant flat iron spray made with a strengthening keratin complex, to your wet curls. Make sure to coat every strand evenly to achieve maximum frizz control and smoothness.
- Dry Your Hair Thoroughly
If you have enough time, allow your hair to air dry completely to protect it from unnecessary exposure to heat and friction. If you need to dry hair quickly, try using a diffuser to reduce friction and disperse the heat. Brush your hair gently as you dry it to detangle and help coax the strands into straightness. Never attempt to flat iron wet or damp hair! Flat ironing wet hair is not effective and can cause additional damage to your delicate strands.
- Section Your Hair for Easier Straightening
Once your hair dries completely, split it into sections to make flat-ironing easier. The best way to do this is to begin from the bottom layers of your hair up. Pin the top two-thirds of your mane up, and work on the underside first.
- Begin Straightening
Beginning from the bottom-most layer of your hair, pull a small section and pull it through your straightener starting from the roots. Work with small enough sections that you only have to do two swipes of your flat iron. When the bottom layer of hair is straightened, unpin the rest of your hair and continue straightening another section.
Keep straightening until each strand is smooth and shiny. For the best results, use a flat iron with long plates for frizz control and quick straightening. Keep in mind that the ends of your hair tend to be the most delicate and prone to breakage. Also, the ends are thinner and require less heat to straighten. So, to help protect them from excess heat damage, stop mid-shaft when straightening your hair in sections. Then, when you’re done with all sections, gather all the hair and straighten the ends together.
7. Touch Up Your Straight Strands
Give your newly straightened have a good final look in the mirror. Check if you missed any spots. Run stubborn strands through your straightener again until you’re satisfied with the results. Then, put finishing touches on your new straight hairstyle with a frizz-fighting and hydrating smoothing cream.
Hair Straightening Mistakes You Should Avoid
If you’ve straightened your hair, but the results aren’t as sleek and shiny as you thought they would be, below are some of the most common hair straightening mistakes and how to fix them;
- Your Hair Wasn’t Dry Enough
Make sure each strand is completely dry before attempting to straighten. Not only will you fry your hair trying to straighten it when wet, but it also just doesn’t work very well.
- The Straightener Wasn’t in the Right Heat Setting
For curly thick and coarse hair, you’ll likely need to set your straightening iron between 350° to 400°. To avoid scorching your hair, start at the lowest setting, and increase the heat as you progress to achieve the desired results.
- You Used Too Many Styling Products
Styling products are very essential in achieving your perfect look. But, when you use too many products, you can weigh down your hair. Focus on using only the best products that hydrate your strands and protect them against heat.
- You Tried Straightening in Large Sections
Straightening thick and curly hair is best done in very small (one-inch) sections. Plus, smaller sections are more manageable and allow the straightening process to be more quick and effective.
More Hair Straightening Tips for Curly Hair
Here are more tips you should observe when straightening your hair.
- Deep condition to prevent damage since curly hair is already naturally dry, and heat styling can dry it out even further. Restore moisture and transform damaged, breakage-prone hair into stronger and shinier locks by deep conditioning the hair.
- Get trims regularly because too much straightening and heat exposure can cause split ends and frizzy strands. Therefore, ensure you cut your curly hair regularly to clean up dry ends and keep your hair looking healthy.
- Treat dry ends to tame frizz and nourish dry ends using any smoothing hair oil. Dry hair oil can revive straightened hair, making it look shiny and soft always.
- Some of the worst damage to your hair happens when you sleep on rough cotton pillowcases, creating frizz and friction and causing you to wake up with some wild bedhead. Consider swapping your cotton pillowcase for a silk one to reduce friction and prevent frizz.
- Avoid putting your hair up right after straightening. A newly straightened hair is much more susceptible to bends and kinks from hair elastics than a straightener that’s two or three days old.
You may not have to battle with unhealthy curly hair if you straighten it, trim it regularly, and stick to a hair care routine. Most importantly, use only the right tools and products for the best results, especially in your hair straightening process.