How To Straighten Curly Hair: 7 Easy Steps

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Who wouldn’t want to have straight and smooth tresses? Your curls are definitely beautiful, but it can be quite difficult to tame them. Sometimes, even the strongest styling products don’t work on your curls, leaving them unmanageable. If you are willing to change your look, a good option could be to straighten your curly hair. Straight hair is the “in” look these days, but most women think twice before straightening their curly hair as they are worried about the damage. But with the right technique, equipment, and method, you can achieve the straight hair look without much damage. Keep reading to learn more about how to straighten curly hair the right way and common mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

What Should You Know About Curly Hair?

Curly hair can have different textures, and you should know a few things about them before going from curly to straight hair. There are three natural curly hair textures – wavy, curly, and coily. Straightening wavy or curly hair is easier than straightening coily hair. Here is the step-by-step guide to learn how to properly straighten your curly hair without any damage.

How To Straighten Your Curly Hair

Step 1: Rinse Your Hair With A Gentle Shampoo

Curly hair is more prone to frizz and requires a gentle shampoo and a nourishing deep conditioner to prevent any damage and frizz. Wash your hair with frizz-fighting shampoo and conditioner with lukewarm water to prepare your hair strands for the straightening process. Since hot water can strip off all moisture and natural oils from your hair, always use lukewarm water to rinse your hair. You should use hair care products that are gentle on your hair and can help prevent the damage caused by straightening tools.

Note: Apply a small amount of hair conditioner to the ends and lengths of your hair (avoid the roots). Also, use a T-shirt or a microfiber towel (it is gentler on the hair) to squeeze out excess water from your hair.

Step 2: Detangle Your Knotty And Tangled Hair

As curly hair easily loses its moisture and becomes dry, it makes your hair messy and tangle-prone. You should always use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your curly hair before straightening it. After all, you want your locks to be as smooth as possible. Gently glide the wide-toothed comb through your locks, starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots. It removes knots more efficiently and without pulling out your hair. Do this until your hair is tangle-free.

Note: Always comb your hair before taking a shower. This will prevent your hair from getting tangled when you wash it. Furthermore, do not brush your hair when it is wet and more prone to breakage.

Step 3: Prepare Your Locks For Straightening

Preparing your damp curly strands the right way before using a blowdryer is an essential step in the straightening process. Apply a heat protectant before using a blowdryer. It will protect your hair from heat damage. It provides up to 450-degree heat protection, seals in shine, and tames frizz. However, remember that using too much heat protectant can make your hair limp and sticky.

Step 4: Use A Blowdryer

If you have very thick, curly hair, blow-drying it can take more time. Grab a blowdryer and round bristle brush and section off your hair so you can focus on drying one section at a time. Brush down the section slowly while blow-drying it. Use the blowdryer on a low heat setting to minimize the amount of heat your hair is exposed to. Also, make sure that your hair is completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 5: Grab Your Hair Straightener

Pick up a small section and secure the rest of your hair with clips. Set your straightener on a low or medium heat setting. Once your flat iron has heated up, run it through the section of hair. Remember, never use a flat-iron on wet or damp hair.

Step 6: Use The Chase Method

If your straightener does not give you poker straight locks, then you need to use the chase method. It will give you the desired results you are looking for. In this technique, you need to use a rat-tail comb and a straightener at the same time to straighten your hair. It works to reach every strand of hair and limits the amount of heat you apply. Also, you should be able to smoothen your hair with just one pass with this straightening technique.

Place the rat-tail comb an inch or two below your roots, with the flat iron right above it. Gently comb through your hair and run the plates through it at the same time to straighten your locks. Repeat until you have silky locks.

STEP 7: Spritz On Some Hairspray

If you want a fuller look, apply a volumizing spray at the roots before you straighten each section. When you are all done, use a small amount of hair serum (works best on thick, coarse hair) or spray (works best on normal to fine or thin hair) for a polished look. Also, remember that using too many leave-in hair products will weigh down your hair and make it greasy.

If you don’t want to straighten your curly hair at home and are looking for a more long-term solution, you can go for a keratin hair straightening treatment. Find out all about it in the next section!

Keratin Straightening Treatment

If you regularly straighten your curly hair, then you know it is a tiresome process. In that case, you can consider thermal hair straightening or keratin straightening treatment.

A keratin hair treatment can take anywhere between 1 to 2 hours, depending on your hair type, length, porosity, and thickness. Before starting the treatment, the stylist shampoos your hair with a clarifying hair cleanser to remove any dirt and product residue. Once your hair is clean and fresh, it is divided into sections. Then, the stylist applies the keratin solution to your hair and lets it sit for an hour. Finally, they seal your cuticles and lock the keratin into your hair with a flat iron. This is an artificial way of putting keratin back into your hair. This treatment has many benefits like:

  • Shortens your blow-drying time by 50%.
  • Shiny and frizz-free hair for days without washing it.
  • Fixes damaged hair and maintains a volumized look.
  • Makes your hair smooth, shiny, and manageable.
  • Frizz-free, glossy, and lustrous hair.

Straightening your curly hair will give you a new look. But, you should avoid making some mistakes while straightening it. Let’s learn about them in the following section.

Mistakes To Avoid While Straightening Your Curly Hair

Before you start straightening your hair, make sure you do not make any of the following mistakes in the process:

  • If you blow-dry your hair in the wrong direction, you will reduce the volume of your hair. While blow-drying, your hairstylist pulls your hair upward to create volume at the roots. Hence, blow-dry the roots first and then the rest of your hair in a downward motion.
  • Make sure that you are not using too many hair care products before straightening your hair. All you need to use is a heat protectant that protects your hair from damage. When it comes to styling products, a little goes a long way. Also, too much conditioner on your hair also makes your hair limp and greasy.
  • Don’t sleep with your styled hair right away. The way you sleep on your hair can help preserve your style or destroy it, depending on what you do. Use a silk pillow cover instead of cotton pillow covers to avoid hair damage.
  • Not everyone’s hair texture is similar, so a high temperature is not suitable for all hair types. Always use a curly hair straightener with multiple heat settings. You should ideally use a low temperature setting for your strands to limit the heat damage.
  • Always consider the size of the sections you are straightening. If you find that your hair is not getting as straight as you want, decrease the size of the sections you are working with. Flat ironing large sections of curly hair may cut down on styling time, but it will not give you the best results.

Do you have curly hair and want to try out the sleek straight look? Then, straightening your curls is the best option. But, you should follow some tips to get frizz-free smooth hair after straightening. Using a heat protectant before blow-drying your and using your flat iron on a low heat setting are some of them. Follow the step-by-step guide given above and get the soft and silky hair of your dreams!

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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).