We often use different hair styling tools like flat irons, straighteners, hairdryers, which make your hair dry, brittle, and more susceptible to damage. But how many of you know that you can straighten your hair without heat? Heat is the main cause of hair damage, so choosing an alternate way to straighten your hair is safe. It might sound impossible, but it is not. Read on to know how to straighten hair without heat.
In This Article
How To Straighten Hair Without Heat
Research shows that the excessive use of a hair dryer can make your hair dry and rough, and even causes hair pigment reduction (1). Using styling tools can compromise hair integrity, making it weak and fragile.
Listed below are some tips to help you achieve a straight-haired look. Realistically, these tips might work on wavy hair mostly. If you have curly or coily hair, these tips might not work as well, but you can try a combination of them to achieve the desired results.
- Using Straightening And Smoothing Products: Straightening and smoothing products contain ingredients like keratin that smoothen your hair. These products also control frizz and improve hair manageability.
- Use Jumbo Rollers: This a technique for type 4 hair. Wrapping your hair in plastic jumbo rollers overnight can give you a straight and smooth hairstyle. It straightens and smoothens out the type 4 hair and styles it in sleek jumbo curls.
- Silicone Products: Silicones are used in many hair care products to smoothen your hair. The silicones used in hair care products – like dimethicone and polysiloxane – seal the hair cuticle, preventing any outer cuticle friction (2). This leaves the hair smooth and silky. Silicone compounds also offer heat resistance. However, they can damage the hair by sheathing it so much that it can no longer be moisturized. Hence, be careful with products containing silicones and avoid using them on afro hair.
- Hair Wrapping: Hair wrapping is another straightening technique for type 4 hair that requires an elastic band, some long bobby pins, and a scarf to keep the wrapped hair in place. Leave it overnight, and you’ll have straight hair in the morning. This protects your hair and prevents it from becoming frizzy.
- Cool Drying Your Hair: Modern blow dryers come with a cool setting, while regular hair dryers have a low setting. If you have a cool setting on your dryer, select that option. While cool drying your hair, brush it out with a round or flat paddle brush to straighten your hair. If your dryer has a low setting, keep it 15 cm away from your hair when drying it. Use a straightening serum before you start drying it.
- Overnight Straightening: This is another method for type 4 hair that requires hair ties. Wash your hair and allow it to air dry until it becomes damp. Then, part your hair down the middle and style it in two pigtails. Using other hair ties at three-inch intervals, secure your hair. Leave this hairstyle overnight.
- Hot Oil Treatment: Heat up a tablespoon of cold-pressed coconut oil and mix it with a tablespoon of castor oil. You can increase the amount needed based on your hair length and thickness. Apply the oil on your hair thoroughly and leave it on for 45 minutes before washing it off. You can also massage your scalp as you apply the oil to improve blood circulation and stimulate hair growth. A study showed that coconut oil helps control frizz (3).
- Deep Condition Your Hair: Deep conditioning your hair allows the strands to relax. This makes it easier to detangle and straighten your tresses. Opt for deep conditioning masks with moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, hydrolyzed protein, and coconut oil. You can also use cosmetic hair conditioners like regular and leave-in conditioners. They are made to reduce frizz, detangle hair, increase smoothness, and reduce friction (4).
- Use Straightening Masks: Straightening hair masks contain ingredients like biotin, collagen, and keratin that strengthen your hair and improve its elasticity. It allows your hair to remain straight for much longer. These straightening hair masks also smoothen your hair and prevent frizz.
- Cold Water Rinse: Rinsing your hair with cold water seals the cuticles and allows it to become straight. This works if you use a straightening shampoo or conditioner.
- Brush Damp Hair: After a head wash, pat-dry your hair with a soft absorbent cotton towel. Then, allow it to air-dry for a bit. Once your hair is 75% dry, gently brush it out in sections to straighten it. Keep brushing your hair until it dries completely. While this is a time-consuming process, it makes your hair sleek, straight, and smooth.
- Frizz Control: Wavy, curly, and sometimes even straight hair is prone to frizz. Hair becomes frizzy when static electric charge causes friction between the hair strands, leaving the outer cuticle surface open. To make your hair smooth without using heat, use a frizz-control serum. You can also try some natural remedies to get rid of frizz.
- Beware Of Humidity: Humidity can make your hair frizzier and more unmanageable. Use humidity-control products that provide protection against weather conditions and keep your hair smooth.
- Natural Ingredients: There are many natural hair masks, packs, and oils that can help smoothen and straighten your hair without the need for heat styling tools. Ingredients like coconut oil, honey, and lemon juice not only straighten your hair but also improve its health. Check out a few of these DIY natural remedies below.
I. Coconut Milk And Lemon Straightening Hair Mask
You Will Need
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Mix the coconut milk and lemon juice together.
- Leave the mixture in the refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, apply the mixture to your hair from the roots to the tips
- Leave it on for 30 minutes.
- Wash it off with cold water and a mild shampoo.
Once a week
Why It Works
Lemon juice eliminates frizz, while coconut oil conditions and softens your hair. Coconut oil can seep into hair strands to straighten the bonds and make hair silky smooth. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove either of these effects.
II. Milk Serum Spray
You Will Need
- 1/4 cup milk
- Spray bottle
- Pour the milk into the spray bottle.
- Spritz the milk over your hair, making sure to cover every section of hair.
- Leave it on for 30-45 minutes.
- Rinse it off with cold water.
Twice a week
Why It Works
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the proteins in the milk are said to strengthen and fortify the cuticle surface, thus reducing frizz.
III. Milk And Honey Straightening Hair Mask
You Will Need
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Mix the milk and honey to form a smooth paste.
- Apply the paste all over your hair. Leave it on for two hours. You can use a shower cap to cover it.
- Wash your hair with cold water and a mild shampoo.
Once a week
Why It Works
Anecdotal evidence suggests that milk contains proteins that nourish and strengthen hair, while honey is a natural emollient that retains moisture and prevents frizz. This blend makes your hair smooth and silky.
IV. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
You Will Need
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Mix the apple cider vinegar and water in a jug.
- Wash your hair with a gentle sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.
- Rinse your hair with the ACV water.
Once a week
Why This Works
Apple cider vinegar removes excess oil, dirt, and grime from the hair. It is said to remove any clogging particles and reduce frizz.
But the questions remain.
Are the Effects Permanent?
No, the effects of the above suggestions are not permanent. 3C-4C hair might revert back to its coily nature because of extrinsic factors like weather. Using smoothening products might change the structure of your hair over time, but there is no evidence to prove it.
- Using heat to straighten hair can damage your tresses.
- Using jumbo rollers, applying straightening and smoothing products, and hair wrapping are some heatless ways to straighten your hair.
- Regular hot oil treatments and deep conditioning are also a few ways to smoothen out the texture of your hair.
In the quest to look fashionable, we often use heat styling tools to straighten our hair. Unfortunately, heat damages your hair and renders it weak and brittle. You can, however, use heatless methods to make your hair smooth, straight, and frizz-free. These include using hair-smoothening and silicone products, deep conditioners, jumbo rollers, straightening masks, humidity-control products, and hot oil treatment. These suggestions, however, do not provide long-lasting results. If you are looking for a temporary makeover, try out the hair-straightening masks listed above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do eggs straighten hair?
Eggs are known to contain proteins, vitamins, and minerals which are nourishing for hair. A homemade hair mask with eggs can act as a natural conditioner and softener, and temporarily straighten hair.
Does olive oil straighten hair?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that our hair’s natural oils behave very similarly to olive oil and that is why olive oil can help balance the nutrients in the hair and make them shiny and healthy. It can help weigh the hair down and straighten it temporarily.
Does rice water straighten hair?
In Asian communities, anecdotal evidence suggests that rice water not only helps nourish the hair, but also helps manage frizzy hair and make it sleek, shiny, and thick. For naturally curly hair, rice water is known to enhance curl patterns.
- Hair Shaft Damage from Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer, Annals of Dermatology, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22148012
- Hair Cosmetics: An Overview, International Journal Of Trichology,
- Herbal Hair Cosmetics – An Overview, World Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Development, physicochemical and functional analysis of anti-frizz leave-on emulsion with coconut oil, International Journal of Phytocosmetics and Natural Ingredients, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338907943_Development_physicochemical_and_functional_analysis_of_anti-frizz_leave-on_emulsion_with_coconut_oil