Hair Care

How to Straighten Natural Hair In Depth Guide

how to straighten natural hair

All ladies love the effect of the magic wand on their hair. Which magic wand am I talking about?  A flat iron. It not only leaves your hair all laid down and sleek, but it adds that particular shine to your hair. But that is when it is used right.

To put to it use and have the best results, you have to prepare your hair first. Using the right products the right when to get the right results. Here’s a details step by step guide on how to straighten your hair using a flat iron

How to Straighten Natural Hair with a Flat Iron

Wash your hair: Use your preferred shampoo and conditioner to get rid of all the dirt and build up and rinse it thoroughly to ensure your hair is squeaky clean. You could also opt to co-wash only. This is when you only use conditioner to clean your hair.

Dry your hair: In this step you’re mostly adviced to let your hair air dry. An absorbent towel is also recommended. Avoid wollen towels as they tend to encourage a lot of shedding as you dab it to your hair.

Detangle: This is where many people get it wrong.  You do not necessarily need to use a comb and be ruthless while at it. Gently unravel any knots that may have formed working your way from the tips of your hair strands to the roots.  You can finger detangle or use a wide toothed comb to do it.

APPLY A HEAT PROTECTANT!!: I wrote this in Caps because I can not insist enough on this.  Heat can cause a lot of damage to your hair and therefore a heat protectant helps stop that damage. Generously spray your heat protectant and evenly distribute it on your hair strands.

Let the flat iron heat up: For about five to ten minutes,  let the wand warm up

Choose a temperature based on your hair texture: This is very vital. You cannot achieve that silky look by using the wrong temperature for the right hair texture. For instance,  4C hair type tends to be very full and fluffy compared to type 3 , 2 or even the fine 1.Therefore , to perfectly tame the vibrant 4C hair strands, you will need a temperature between 200 °C – 250°C / 400 -450 F.

For a slightly voluminous Type 3 , Type 2 Type A 150°C – 180°C will do the trick. Use the lowest heat setting for Type 1 .  You know your hair texture, adjust to suit what fits you best, but do not over do it.

Section your hair: Divide your hair into manageable sections and hold them with clips. This allows for better results since you will cover all areas of the head.

Let the straightening begin:

  • This is where the magic happens,  where the crampled hair strands are sleeked down neatly into straight strands.
  • Separate the hair into a portion that can easily fit into the flat iron.
  • Begin from the roots by placing the flat iron about 3 inches away from the scalp. This is to avoid the damaging of the roots of the hair scalp and to avoid getting burnt.
  • Gently clamp your flat iron the on the hair and run the it down to the end of the hair. It’s perfectly normal to see steam rising from the flat iron. It is just the heat protectant evaporating. However,  if you notice a burning smell, you’ve probably overdone it.
  • Repeat it on that particular hair strand until you have achieved the soft texture you desire.
  • Concerning the amount of time to spend on a lock of hair,  that is an issue you’ll just have to estimate for yourself. Different hair types vary,  all I can advice is that don’t not overdo it.
  • Repeat this procedure to the rest of your hair. If the heat is too low,  gradually turn it up not drastically.
  • Adjust the heat throughout the straightening to suit your desired look.

There are also some important tips tha one should always remember :

  • Invest in a good flat iron and watch your hair sleeked down.
  • As tempting as it is avoid frequent use of heat on your hair. It may lead to cases of  thin hair, stunted growth and at it’s worst alopecia.
  • Only flat iron hair that has  dried.

How to straighten natural hair without heat

We also have that group of women who want to straighten hair but without heat.  It may be a handful but it is definitely doable.

If you’re a transitioning naturalista or just a woman looking for ways to length retention,thus is definitely the way to go. But before we start, let me inform you that not only will keeping off heat spare your hair from damage caused by heat,  but you also retain volume and length while at it. Let’s jump right to it.

  1. Get the right hair products. As cliché as it may sound,  the products you use play a big role in the condition of your hair. There’s a reason why some shampoos are branded “straightening shampoo”.They not only cleanse but also help frizz out your hair. Conditioner do this even better.Use a generous amount to help in smoothing out your hair.
  2. Modify your method of washing. Avoid scrubbing your hair in circular motion since it ends up causing  knots.

Straighten Natural Hair

Hair tie method

Similar to African threading, sections of the hair are stretched out by securing the hair with a hair tie within a 2 inches distance between each hair tie.

Hair straightening masks

There’s a wide range of masks that strengthen,  moisturize and soften your the hair hence easier straightening. These masks are not only effective but also affordable. In fact,  you can whip them up your self. Here are few hair masks I’d recommend.

  • Coconut milk and lemon juice mask.
  • Milk and egg mask.
  • Milk and honey mask.

Different hair masks yield different results on different hair types. You will just have to try them and find out what works with your hair.

The trick with this masks is to let them sit on your hair for about 30 minutes. After the first rinse,  ensure you do a final rinse with cold water to close up your cuticles.

More: Straighten Hair Without Heat Damage

Put your hair up in a bun.

Form a a ballerina bun and firmly secure with a hair tie. This method works for wavy and hair types.

Bonnet hair dryer.

Spend 10 minutes in the hair bonnet and leave to tell the tale. With the right temperature setting, you can straighten, dry and style your hair in a hair bonnet.

Blow your hair

Well this is basically cheating but hey,  this is a cold blow. Hold your hair dryer near your hair and gently direct the cold air to your hair.

Essential oils. Apply essential oils on your scalp and hair and watch your hair straighten out without you lifting a finger. If you’re wondering what are these essential oils,  they are the likes of coconut oil, macadamia oil , argan oil and many more. These oils easily penetrate through hair giving it a smoother feel.

Jumbo rollers

Rollers are not only for creating those beautiful curls you want,  they also come in handy in straightening. By wrapping hair around the jumbo roller,  the hair is stretched to its maximum hence straightening in the process. Plastic roller are preferable.

Brush it out

After washing your hair,  gently start brushing it out,  slowly your hair strands will begin to stretch out.Repeat this until your hair is completely dry.

Wrap your hair

This common hair drying method requires the use of long Bobby pins. Different hair types are wrapped differently but the basic way is that you take a section of your damp hair and stretch it to the opposite end of your head and secure it at the tip with bobby pins. Wear a satin bonnet and let it dry.

How to straighten natural hair without heat damage

With the knowledge  that heat can cause a lot of damage to your hair, one should sought out ways that can minimize this damage.  Here are a few effective ways to achieve a frizz – less hair look while still reducing the damage.

  • Use a heat protectant: Invest in a heat protection serum and a silicone based one is most advisable. Do your research we’ll before settling on a particular product.
  • Use a smoothing dryer to prep hair before using blow dryer.
  • Seal it all with right product: Apply sheen and essential oils to your strands . Water-based creams are not adviced as they tend to create shrinkage especially with 4C hair type.
  • Section your hair using  hair clips: A good number of heat damage scenarios are due to trying to blow dry the entire head full of hair at once. Sectioning the hair enables concentration on the parted section.
  • Essential oils: These oils will ease your scalp and maximize of your hairs growth. They also help lay down your hair after blow drying

More: How to Deep Condition Natural Hair

Straightening Natural 4C Hair

Given the thick nature and coarse texture of 4C hair,  it’s no surprise that most people may assume that this hair type is very strong and doesn’t easily shed. As a matter of fact,  4C hair type is the most delicate hair type and requires a lot of mantainence Heat is on of the things to avoid for 4C crowned women. However,  there are was to straighten your 4C hair without heat.

  • Bantu knots: This is simply planting small sections of your hair into three strand twist. It helps straighten 4C hair especially given the high shrinkage level of 4C hair.
  • Twist: Plaiting two strand twist is not only a styling method for hair straightening. It is similar to Bantu knots only that the plaiting technique here is two strand twisting.
  • African threading: This method is often used by women with thicker hair textures. It is basically wrapping  small sections of your hair with crocheting thread. This keeps the hair stretched out and even reduces frizz.
  • Blow out: By setting your blow dryer on cold air setting you can easily straighten your hair .

Straightening natural hair without frizz.

While some women may love the frizzy look in hair,  we all agree that once in a while a straightened look will do. Question is,  how can you straighten your natural hair without frizz.

  1. Use a blow dryer: This hair styling tol, is the mother of heat styling tools.Ionic hair dryers give off better results ensure minimal frizz as possible. I’ll recommend research before settling on a blow dryer to purchase.
  2. Use a flat iron: Opt for a flat iron with ceramic plates rather than steel as they often tug hair strands. Ensure you know how to use it and read through the manual. It is there for a reason.

Quick tips

  • Apply oil or sheen after blow drying.
  • Always blow dry in a downward motion.
  • Use serums that are silicone based for shine,  smoothness and heat protection.
  • Ensure your hair is 50% dry before use of heat.
  • Always keep your hair tools clean.
  • Draft a hair regimen that you will consistently use and be keen on deep conditioning.
  • Consider  hair supplements like protein and biotin.
  • Always flat iron clean hair.
  • Give your hair some recovery time before using heat on it again. I know this is not as easy at it sounds but considering the amount of damage you’ll impact on your hair, it is worth trying.
  • Get yourself a satin bonnet and satin pillow cases. This reduces the friction between your hair and the bonnet hence reducing cramping..
  • Consider minimizing use of heat on your hair. It may sound restricting considering the numerous hair styles you can achieve with heat, but at the end of the day, you need healthy hair.

My final word concerning hair, irrespective of the hair type, how good you take care it determines how good your hair look. Remember different hair reacts differently.

What works for me may not work for you. Have the patience to experiment until you find the right regimen for your hair. Lastly, use heat and use it wisely.  Everything in moderation, the styling and the straightening.