How To Straighten 4C Curly Natural Hair And Control Shrinkage

Expert tips on giving the coarsest curls a sleek and smooth makeover with minimal damage!

By Arshiya Syeda

Are you in the mood to go from 4C curls to silky straight hair? And are you overwhelmed by how difficult it is to straighten your 4C hair? We feel you. Stretching 4C type hair requires patience and the right products. However, the process can be simpler. This article takes you through an easy tutorial to straighten 4C natural hair without heat damage. Scroll down!

How To Straighten 4C Kinky Hair Without Heat Damage

Straightening 4C type curls is challenging. But not protecting your hair from heat can damage it irrevocably. Hence, go from kinky to straight hair without heat damage. You must use products that protect your hair from the heat of a hair straightening tool.

 You Will Need

  • A moisturizing shampoo
  • A conditioner
  • A heat protectant
  • A silk infuser
  • Tangle teaser brush
  • Rat-tail comb
  • Hairbrush
  • Blow dryer
  • Flat iron
Stylecraze Says
You can also use smoothening or keratin shampoos instead of moisturizing shampoo. They may help smoothen your coily tresses easily.

Follow these steps to change your 4C kinky hair to silky, shiny, and straight hair.

 Step 1: Wash your hair with the shampoo and apply a deep conditioner.

Step 2: Part your hair into four sections.

Step 3: Take a section and apply the heat protectant to the coils.

Step 4: Apply the silk infuser for a silky smooth finish.

Step 5: Hold the hair section with the tangle teaser brush and blow dry it.

Step 6: Use the hair brush to lift the roots and blow dry again for a straighter finish.

Step 7: Twist this section and start blow drying another section of your hair.

Step 8: Use the rat-tail comb to section your hair.

Step 9: Take a small section of your hair and use the flat iron (at a medium heat setting) to straighten it.

Step 10: Follow the “chase method” –  comb your hair and slowly use the flat iron to chase the comb.

Step 11: Repeat the process.

Step 12: Use the flat iron to add volume and waves.

Step 13: Brush your hair.

 Voila! Can you stop seeing yourself in the mirror?

Straighten 4C Curly Hair – Before And After

The main drawback of straightening 4C natural hair is that it causes shrinkage. This means your hair curls back again and becomes short. However, there are ways to reduce shrinkage. Check out the next section to know more.

How To Control Shrinkage 

  • Blow Dry The Roots – Section your hair and use a brush to lift the roots. Blow dry those areas and brush your hair thoroughly. This is an easy way to control shrinkage.
  • Twist Your Hair While Washing Section your hair and twist it before washing. You can also make Bantu knots. Untwist only one section at a time and apply shampoo and conditioner. Yes, this might take time, but it will save you from going back to square one.
  • Keep Frizz Away If your hair becomes frizzy, it might shrink. The best way to keep your hair frizz-free is by applying coconut oil or a coconut milk hair mask. Apply coconut oil gently to your hair and blow dry it. Apply coconut milk hair mask and twist your hair in sections. Wash it the way mentioned in the previous point.
  • Wrap Your Hair With A Scarf This is definitely one of the best ways to prevent shrinkage. Use a silk or satin scarf to wrap your hair (do not twist your hair) before sleeping.
  • Use A Shine Butter – Shine butter is rich in oils that prevent frizz and shrinkage and keep the hair shiny.
  • Moisturize Your Hair Apply almond, olive, or argan oils to your hair every day. This will keep the strands hydrated and prevent shrinking.
  • Go For Blowouts Blowouts are the easiest way to keep your hair straight and control shrinkage. However, avoid frequent blowouts as that can damage your hair.
Did You Know?
The more you straighten your hair, the looser your curl structure gets. For example, curls that were once tight S-shaped coils might become loose spring curls.

There are several benefits of straightening your 4C kinky hair. Scroll down to know what they are.

Benefits Of Stretching 4C Hair Type 

  • You Can Flaunt Long Hair: Straightening your hair can add length to your locs. If you have an upcoming occasion or want to flaunt long hair, consider straightening your 4C curls.
  • Makes The Hair Manageable: Curly hair is gorgeous but can be challenging to manage. Not combing or taking proper care can make the hair frizzy, rough, and brittle. Straightening helps make your coily hair manageable. You do not have to worry about tangles or spend time and money maintaining them.
  • No More Tangles: Detangling curly hair can be a good arm workout. Jokes apart, detangling is time-consuming, tiring, and can lead to hair breakage. Straightening the hair helps reduce time and energy detangling knots. Also, you can protect your hair from breakage and frizz.


Straightening or stretching 4C natural hair can be done easily at home. It can help you achieve a stylish hairstyle and prevent breakage. What are you waiting for? Follow the steps mentioned above and flaunt your silky smooth hair!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the normal percentage of 4c hair shrinkage?

You can expect up to 10% shrinkage of 4c hair after straightening it.

Is shrinkage a sign of healthy hair?

Yes, shrinkage is normal and a sign of healthy hair. If your hair shrinks easily, it means you have minimal or no heat damage.


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Arshiya Syeda is an editor at StyleCraze. Prior to that, she was a content writer and combined her writing and... more