Straighten Curly Hair

frizzy hair How To Straighten Curly Hair The Right Way

Get silky smooth locks without sacrificing the health of your hair.

If you have naturally curly hair then you’re well aware of the toll that heat styling can take on your strands. If you want to get straight hair, it takes an array of styling products and the right heat tools to get you there. While using the best flat iron for curly hair can work in your favor, it shouldn’t be your only method for straightening your curls, especially if you have Afro-textured hair. There’s also a proper technique you need to follow to get the straight hair of your dreams. So we’re sharing the tricks of the trade to help you on your journey to smooth strands. Check out our tips on how to straighten curly hair the right way so you can avoid common mistakes that can ravage the health of your hair and do damage to your curl pattern.


Tip #1: Don’t Treat All Curl Patterns Equally

By now you know that not all curly hair textures are the same. Whether you’re dealing with wavy hair, curly strands, or coily hair — and whether you have a loose or tight curl pattern — will make all the difference in how quickly your hair straightens. You may find that someone with wavy hair may be able to straighten their hair easier than those with coily hair. So you may need to take a different route when straightening your natural hair than someone with different curls than yours.


Tip #2: Start With Freshly Washed Hair If Possible

Set the stage by washing your hair with a frizz-fighting hair-care duo, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Frizz Defy Shampoo With Marula Oil and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Frizz Defy Conditioner. Use lukewarm water to rinse your strands, since hot water can strip your hair of its natural oils and leave you with dry, frizzy hair. After shampooing, use a small amount of conditioner on the lengths and ends of your hair only. And use a microfiber towel or a t-shirt for a gentle touch while you dry.


Editor’s note: Curly hair tends to be more frizz- and damage-prone. Adding a nourishing deep conditioner into the mix can save the day. Try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner for some extra TLC.


Tip #3: Always Detangle Before Heat

You should always get a round of detangling in before straightening curly hair. After all, you want your locks to be as smooth as possible. Reach for your favorite detangler, grab a wide tooth comb and gently work them through your strands from the ends to the roots until your hair is tangle-free.


Tip #4: Prep Before Your Blow-Dry

It’s essential to prep your damp strands the right way before reaching for a blow-dryer. Spritz a heat protectant, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray, over your entire mane. It provides up to 450-degree heat protection, seals in shine, and calms frizz.


Tip #5: Blow-Dry In The Right Direction

There’s a reason why stylists pull your hair upward when they blow-dry it at the salon. Nope, it’s not just some fancy show —  the upward motion can help create volume at the roots. Instead of trying to re-do your full mane, focus on blowing your roots upward. Then, after you’ve dried your roots, feel free to blow-dry the rest of your mane in a downward motion to help create straight movement toward your shoulders.


Tip #6: Choose A Flatiron With Temperature Control 

One of the easiest mistakes you can make when straightening natural hair is to use a hot tool that doesn’t have a dial to adjust the temperature. Everyone’s hair texture is different—so while a universal temp could work great on someone else’s hair, it may be too high or low for your hair. Look for a curly hair straightener with multiple heat settings. Keep in mind, you only want to pass the heat tool through your hair once or twice. This will help limit the damage the heat does to your strands.


Tip #7: Use As Little Heat As Possible

We can’t stress this tip enough: Setting your blow-dryer on the medium or warm heat setting to minimize the amount of heat that’s applied to your hair is important. It’s best to use less heat on your strands to prevent damage down the road. You’ll also want to make sure that your strands are completely dry before straightening them. Never attempt to use a flat iron on wet hair or even damp hair. It can cause quite a bit of damage to your strands. Set your flat iron on the lowest heat setting possible, too — remember, the goal is to only have only one or two swipes of the straightener go through each section of hair. 


Tip #8: Try The Chase Method

If one or two passes of the flat iron doesn’t leave you with straight strands you’ll need to switch things up—the chase method will deliver the results you’re looking for. This technique is all about running a rattail comb and a curly hair straightener through your locks at the same time. It works to lift every strand of hair, which limits the amount of heat you apply, and you should be able to smooth your strands with one pass.


Tip #9: Limit Your Number Of Pre-Straightening Products

Greasy-looking hair and straight strands do not mix. Make sure you aren’t loading your hair up with product pre-straightening to avoid that scary situation. All you need to use beforehand is a small bit of leave-in conditioner (which should dry down before you straighten) and heat protectant, which you should apply to your hair section by section before using a flat iron.


Tip #10: Never Skip The Heat Protectant

Never, and we repeat, never skip heat protectant when you’re using hot tools. We mention this in tip four as prep for blow-drying, but heat protectant is the first line of defense in keeping damage at bay. The L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In offers both heat protection and smoothing, to ward off frizz and static while you work your way to a silky, smooth mane.


Tip #11: Work In Small Sections

If you find that your hair doesn’t seem to be getting as straight as you’d like, consider the size of the sections you’re working with. You may think passing your flat iron over larger areas will cut down on your styling time, but it will only make the process longer by being inefficient. Separate your hair into smaller, one-inch sections using claw clips to hold the parts you’re not working on. You’ll be able to straighten each section much quicker, and it could even allow you to work with a lower temperature.


Tip #12: Limit Your Number Of Products Post-Straightening

After you’re finished blow-drying and flat-ironing your hair, you might be tempted to apply a ton of styling products to help keep your look in place and add a little shine. But when it comes to styling products, a little goes a long way. If you want to use a hair serum, like the L’Oréal Paris Elvie Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In, apply a dime-sized amount from your mid-lengths to your ends. Don’t apply anything to your roots, since they can easily start to look greasy. Plus, applying product to your roots risks weighing them down and undoing all the effort you put into boosting volume.


Tip 13: Don’t Forget To Seal Your Style With Hairspray

Using too much leave-in product will weigh your hair down—it’s a fact. But you should still set your silky locks with a spritz of hairspray like the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Strong Hold. This will ensure that your newly-straightened strands stay in place without the greasy or weighed down finish.


Tip #14: Avoid Tossing Your Hair Up Immediately After Straightening

We love an updo as much as the next gal, but pulling your hair into one can put kinks in your hair. Leave your hair down after straightening until it’s completely cool. If you need to get your hair out of your face, use a soft hair tie to pull your hair into a low ponytail.


Tip #15: Sleep On Your Hair The Right Way 

In order for your silky strands to go the distance it’s important to protect your hair at night. The way you sleep on your hair can help preserve your style or destroy it, depending on what you do. Before you hop into bed, make sure to wrap your hair up in a silk scarf or bonnet. Traditional cotton pillowcases can also be rough, which can mess up your straight style, so opt for a silk pillowcase if you don’t have a scarf.


Next: Our Best Curly Hair Products


 

Edited and Photographed by: Shalwah Evans