Straight Hair Guide: Everything You Need To Know About It

A sleek mane is a wonder to behold, but it has many good and bad aspects.

Reviewed by Madison Dufour, Barber & Cosmetologist Madison Dufour Madison DufourBarber & Cosmetologist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Last Updated on
✔ Evidence Based

StyleCraze believes in credibility and giving our readers access to authentic and evidence-based content. Our stringent editorial guidelines allow us to only cite from reputed research institutions, academic journals, and medically established studies. If you discover any discrepancy in our content, you may contact us.

Straight hair is best described in two words – chic minimalism! You can style it in a tight, sleek ponytail, a messy top knot, or let it cascade loosely over your shoulders – it always looks on point. While some of us have to straighten our hair with a straightener or blow dryer, others are born with it.

A frequent misconception is that naturally straight hair is easy to manage as it looks smooth and frizz-free. But straight hair comes with a special set of problems. It can often look flat and lifeless and feel weighed down and greasy. This hair type requires TLC and a designated hair care routine. Check out some hair care tips to care for your silky locks!

What Is Straight Hair?

Straight hair is type 1 hair and lies flat on the scalp. It tends to be glossy and shiny compared to other hair types as the natural oils can travel from the root to the tip easily. That is also one reason that the straight hair surface reflects more light.

Usually, those with straight and silky hair have an oily scalp, and the hair is prone to greasiness.  Naturally, straight hair can be further categorized into three types. Let’s learn about them in detail in the next section.

Individuals of European or Asian descent are more frequently observed to have straight hair. A global study involving 2138 individuals examined their genetic makeup and found that Europeans and Asians tend to have less curly hair than Africans. Through genotyping, it was determined that the majority of European individuals have either wavy (46.6%) or straight (40.7%) hair, with a smaller percentage having curly hair (12.7%). Similarly, for Asians (both East and West), the predominant hair types are straight (46.7%) or wavy (41.3%), with a smaller percentage having curly hair (12%). In contrast, most individuals of African descent have curly hair (94.9%), with a minority having wavy hair (5.1%).

Understanding Different Types Of Straight Hair

Woman with Type 1A straight hair
Image: Shutterstock

Type 1 straight hair can be divided into three categories:

  1. Type 1A (Fine): This type of hair is poker straight, without any hint of curl or wave. The hair strands are thin and wispy and cannot hold curls even after styling. Usually, Asian women have this type of hair.
  2. Type 1B (Medium): This type of hair has a bit more volume and body and is not as flat as type 1A. When left unstyled, type 1B hair remains straight but can hold curls.
  3. Type 1C (Coarse): This type of straight hair is usually thick and coarse and may get frizzy. When air-dried, type 1C hair gives you a tousled look while still lying flat.

Type 1 hair appears manageable and has some advantages. However, it is not easy to maintain. Let’s evaluate the pros and cons of having naturally straight hair.

protip_icon Did You Know?
This hair type was introduced on the Oprah Winfrey Show in the 1990s by celebrity hairstylist Andre Walker to promote his new hair care collection.

Advantages Of Straight Hair

Woman brushing her manageable straight hair
Image: Shutterstock
  • It Is Manageable

Straight hair is easier to handle, style, and brush. It does not get tangled easily and looks sleek and smooth.

  • It Stays Moisturized

The natural oils from the scalp can easily travel down to the hair ends. This helps straight hair stay moisturized, nourished, and healthy. It also prevents split and dry ends, and the hair appears sleek and shiny.

  • It Is Easy To Grow Out

Compared to other hair types, straight hair is much easier to grow long and strong. The natural oils keep the strands polished, lustrous, and nourished and prevent hair breakage, dryness, and frizz.

Disadvantages Of Straight Hair

Woman brushing her greasy straight hair
Image: Shutterstock
  • It Lacks Volume

Straight hair lies flat on the scalp and lacks body. It is often a struggle to make it appear voluminous with hairsprays and other hair styling methods.

  • It Turns Greasy

Straight hair has smooth cuticles, and the sebum can quickly spread across the hair length, making it look greasy. Moreover, as the hair lies flat on the scalp, the sebum and grease are visible on the crown. Straight hair often needs frequent washing.

If you have straight hair, you can experiment with multiple styling options. From long layers to a neat bob, there are several looks you can try, depending on the face shape and hair thickness.

  • There Are Minimal Styling Options

Although straight hair is a dream for many, it lacks the texture and volume required to explore different styling options.

Straight hair is difficult to style and may need many products to hold a particular hairstyle. However, you can experiment with different haircuts and styles to spice things up. Here are a few tips.

How To Style Straight Hair

Woman with straight hair getting layers
Image: Shutterstock
  1. Layering 

Layering adds body, texture, and movement to your locks that would otherwise remain flat. Based on your face shape, work out the length of the layers. Ensure they frame your face and blend with the rest of your hair as they grow.

  1. Short Bob With Side Bangs

This hairstyle suits a round face. A short, angular bob is low maintenance and looks fabulous with the hair dropping right below the nape. You can go for sharp and bold cuts or keep the edges soft and feminine. This hair cut adds extra volume to your straight and flat hair.

  1. Braids

Braids are the easiest way to style straight hair. You can go for the classic middle part look or spice up your look with a side part and several mini braids. If you have long and straight hair, you can also go for the waterfall braid.

Straight hair requires maintenance. In the next section, we discuss ways to care for it.

How To Care For Straight Hair: Expert Tips

Woman washing her staright hair with a gentle shampoo
Image: Shutterstock
  1. Use A Gentle Shampoo And Conditioner

Straight hair is prone to grease and oil buildup and may require frequent washing (thrice a week). Always use a gentle, SLS-free shampoo and conditioner for regular usage. Use a clarifying shampoo once in a while to remove buildup. Look for products with apple cider vinegar, honey, hydrolyzed keratin, and aloe vera to keep your hair replenished.

  1. Apply Dry Oil

Even though type 1 hair is not prone to frizz, sometimes, humidity and weather conditions may cause frizz. In such a case, use a few drops of dry oil to shield the strands and minimize frizz.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can use dry oils like avocado, sesame, or rosehip seed oil in your hair care routine. You can apply it to wet hair or leave it on overnight and wash it the next day to manage the frizz.
  1. Avoid High Heat Settings

Use blow dryers and other heat styling tools at the lowest heat setting. When blow drying your hair, finish off with a blast of cool air to flatten the cuticle. Also, use a heat protectant before styling your hair.

  1. Use The Right Brush

A paddle brush is straight hair’s BFF. The flat surface reduces static and smoothens the hair, and the bristles can easily detangle the hair without causing shedding. Use only a paddle brush on dry hair. Brushing wet hair stretches and tears the hair causing broken flyaways, especially close to the scalp.

  1. Choose Conditioner Wisely

While other hair types may need additional moisture, people with straight hair should be extra careful while choosing a conditioner. A creamy and thick formula can easily weigh straight hair down and cause buildup. Always go for a lightweight formula.

Vivian, a YouTuber, shares her straight hair routine, offering tips for volume and maintaining a sleek look. She says, “Basically the steps I take to get straight hair and a few tips and tricks I like to do to make sure my hair stays volumized and doesn’t fall flat (i).” She recommends keeping your hair in a bun to prevent it from laying flat. She uses a heat protectant before heat styling her hair. She adds not to add any hair products only to the ends or mid areas of your hair and not on the roots. If you need to enhance hair volume, consider using a dry shampoo. She uses a hair spray after styling her locks. She says, “It’s really really simple but I feel like these little tips go a long way.”

In the next section, take a look at the type of products you can use to keep your hair healthy.

Best Products For Straight Hair

  1. Leave-In Products

A lightweight leave-in serum, conditioner, or oil can help repair dry and damaged straight hair and adds shine to it.

  1. Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo can absorb excess oil and grease from the scalp and keep your hair refreshed. It also helps minimize greasiness without weighing the hair down.

  1. Finishing Spray

Finishing sprays or texturizing sprays can add volume, hold, and texture to your straight and fine hair, making it easier to hold a particular hairstyle.

There are also a few beauty myths regarding straight hair.  In the next section, we have explored the truth behind those myths.

Myths About Straight Hair

Myth 1: Cold water helps keep the hair shiny and straight.

Truth: Cold water helps flatten the cuticles, retain moisture, and make the hair smooth. Water temperature cannot change your hair type.

Myth 2: Heat styling tools at high temperatures help maintain straight hair.

Truth: No. High temperatures may make it easier to straighten the hair quickly, but it may also cause severe damage and lead to breakage and frizz.

Infographic: 6 Tips For Maintaining Straight Hair

Straight hair is versatile and can be styled into a top knot or left open. While this hair type is easy to style, it can also become greasy if not cared for properly. Check out the infographic below for simple tips to maintain straight hair easily and properly.

6 tips for maintaining straight hair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Straight hair lies flat on the scalp and is easy to distinguish. It stays moisturized and is easier to handle and grow out when compared to other hair types. However, it often turns greasy and lacks volume, and there are minimal styling options for this hair type. Braids and layering are some styling techniques for straight hair. Using a gentle shampoo and conditioner, applying a dry oil, avoiding high heat settings on styling tools, and using the right brush may help manage straight hair. Also, using lightweight leave-in products, dry shampoos, and finishing sprays may help keep your hair healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does rice water straighten hair?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that rice water helps straighten hair. The presence of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals may help straighten hair. However, limited studies are available to prove these claims.

Can coconut oil straighten hair?

Yes. Coconut oil is the only oil found to reduce protein loss in damaged hair, and it helps decrease frizz and offers hair nourishment (1). In addition, it may help make your hair smoother and straighter.

Can aloe vera straighten hair?

Aloe vera gel can penetrate your hair shaft, moisturize it, reduce the frizz, and possibly help make it straighter.

Does straightening cause hair loss?

Yes. Excessive use of chemicals and heat during the straightening process can cause hair damage, which can make it thin and result in hair loss.

Does milk straighten hair?

Milk is considered a natural hair straightener. Milk proteins, like casein, may help reduce dry hair and smoothen the tresses. This naturally helps straighten your hair. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

Is straight hair rare?

No. Straight hair is one of the most common hair types in the world. Around 45% of individuals have straight hair (2).

Key Takeaways

  • Straight hair usually looks chic, smooth and sleek, and are easy to take care of.
  • Fine, medium or coarse, and straight hair, most often than not, lacks volume and can appear flat, greasy, and lifeless if not taken proper care.
  • Though there are few styling options for straight hair, layers, bangs, and braids can add some dimension and variation to your hairstyle.
Straight Hair

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn 5 easy home remedies for perfect hair straightening. Get salon-quality results without the expensive price tag by checking out the video below.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Hair Cosmetics: An Overview
  2. Common Variants in the Trichohyalin Gene Are Associated with Straight Hair in Europeans
Was this article helpful?
Madison Dufour
Madison DufourBarber & Cosmetologist
Madison Dufour is a licensed and practicing barber and cosmetologist with 10 years of experience, as well as an entrepreneur running several hair businesses, including MadisonD Barbering and The Exquisite Find Hair Blog. After working behind the chair for several years, she felt the calling to start the non-profit Barber in a Bag that teaches basic hair cutting skills in street and slum communities in South America.

Read full bio of Madison Dufour
Ramona Sinha
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze with 11 years of experience in writing and editing. She has authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She graduated from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, and did her post-graduation from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal.

Read full bio of Ramona Sinha
Eshna Das
Eshna DasAssociate Editor
Eshna is an associate editor and a certified skin care coach. She has over three years of experience, a triple main bachelor’s degree in psychology, English, and journalism from Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, and a master’s degree in psychology from Sampurna Montfort College, Bengaluru.

Read full bio of Eshna Das
Swathi E
Swathi ESenior Beauty & Lifestyle Writer
Swathi has a postgraduate degree in English literature from The English And Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and over three years of experience in writing on beauty, health, and lifestyle. She also has a diploma in English journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Kottayam, and is a certified skincare coach.

Read full bio of Swathi E