No matter how coarse, curly, or untamable your hair is, with the proper techniques and products you can achieve the straight hair you are looking for. There are various ways to straighten hair including professional treatments such as Japanese Hair Straightening, Keratin Heat Treatments, and relaxants. This guide will focus on how to straighten your hair with a flat iron, so you can achieve the straight look in the comfort of your home without spending hundreds at the salon.
How to Straighten Hair with a Flat Iron
1. Prepare Your Hair
- Wash and condition hair as usual. Towel-dry your hair to 20% dampness.
- Apply heat protectant product to your hair from the roots to the ends.
- Use a hair dryer and comb or paddle brush and start drying the hair encouraging straightness by brushing through the hair as you dry.
- With medium to long hair, use sectioning clips to separate 2 inch sections of hair so that you can concentrate on one section at a time.
- Depending on your hair type, you may want to apply another small amount of heat treatment spray or serum at this point. Do not do this if your hair is prone to oiliness.
2. Flat Iron Your Hair
- Turn on your flat iron, and allow to heat up to the desired temperature. For thicker, coarse or African-American hair, a heat setting of 400°F to 450°F; for finer hair, a setting of 200°F to 250°F is more appropriate. Check out “What is the Best Hair Straightener?” for more information on temperature settings.
- Start with a small section on the un-clipped bottom and use your flat iron on small, ¾ inch to 1 inch sections at a time, pressing slight pressure down the length in a swift smooth motion. Avoid using too much pressure which may cause snagging or pulling of the hair.
- Repeat this step on the next 2 inch section of clipped hair and repeat this process around your head with the flat iron.
- On thicker or coarser hair, the iron may need to be run through the section 2 to 3 times to achieve a lasting result
- When all sections are complete, with sectioning clips removed, run the flat iron through larger sections of hair in a faster motion to blend the edges.