Step-by-Step Guide to Straightening Curly Hair

Posted by Dilen Patel on

As much as we love our natural curls, sometimes we just want to rock a straight hairdo. However, there is always that fear of damaging our curly hair with too much heat from the flat iron.

In our Ultimate Guide to Curly Hair Care, we mentioned curly hair is more prone to dryness. When you use hot styling tools on dry hair, you are risking damage to your curls. They can get fried, making them breakable. 

We’ve got news for you: there are ways to straighten your curl without severely damaging the curls. As long as you follow the proper techniques and use the right tools and products, you can have straight, sleek hair anytime you want. 

InStyler shares this step-by-step guide on how to straighten curly hair. First, here’s a list of the tools you’ll need:

Must-Have Hair Tools for Straightening

  • Wide-Toothed Comb: Don’t use a fine-toothed comb. This can tug at your hair and cause breakage.
  • Round Brush: Choose one with soft, sparse bristles to keep from tugging at your hair.
  • Blowdryer: We recommend using an ionic hairdryer. It dries your hair faster than a regular blowdryer, lowering the risk of heat damage.
  • Styling Iron: Make sure to use a flatiron that’s designed for curly hair. The wrong iron can fry your hair or leave creases when you straighten your curls.

6-Step Guide to Straightening Curly Hair

straightening hair

Step 1: Use a leave-in conditioner

Prep your hair by deep conditioning it ahead. The leave-in conditioner hydrates your curls, preventing split ends and breakage. It’ll also keep frizz under control, keeping your hair straight and sleek all day.

Apply just the right amount to damp hair. Start at the ends of your hair then stop near the middle. Don’t put conditioner near your roots because it might cause your scalp to oil up.

Be careful not to overapply conditioner. Otherwise, the product might weigh your hair down, making it look flat.

Step 2: Detangle your hair

Use a wide-toothed comb to make your hair as smooth as possible. Removing the knots and tangles will make straightening your hair easier. Plus, the end result will look much sleeker.

Remember to start combing the ends then work your way upwards. This way, the comb won’t cause knots.  

It’s best to comb curly hair while it’s still wet. Doing so keeps the frizz and fly away from the start. But you have to use the right comb or brush, otherwise, you might damage your hair. Don’t use a brush with bristles that are too dense.

Step 3: Apply heat protectant

Prep your hair by spraying some heat protectant which acts as a protective layer that lowers the risk of heat damage. It also helps seal in shine and moisture, keeping the hot styling tools from drying out your hair.

Step 4: Blow-dry in sections

hair dryer

With your hair prepped and protected, it’s time to grab your ionic blowdryer. Section off your hair then keep them in place by using clips. The thicker your hair strands are, the smaller the sections should be. Set your hair dryer on the medium or warm setting to minimize the intensity of the heat and risk of damage.

Dry your hair one section at a time to reduce all the moisture. Make sure you’re blow-drying in the right direction to maintain your hair’s volume. The technique is to blow-dry your roots upward, then dry the rest of your hair in a downward motion.

Use your round brush while blow-drying to help lock the strands in a straight position. This will significantly cut the time you spend on using a straightener.

When blow-drying curly hair, we recommend using a diffuser. This attachment spreads heat evenly on your strands, which helps retain your hair’s volume. Check out InStyler’s TURBO MAX Ionic Dryer + diffuser bundle if you don’t have a diffuser yet.

Step 5: Straighten in sections

Choose a straightener with temperature control features. This lets you reduce the heat of the tool, minimizing hair damage. Use the lowest heat setting to keep your hair from drying out.

Straighten your hair by sections to make sure you don’t miss a curl. Move the straightener downward at a continuous, even pace to avoid creasing your hair.  

We suggest using the chase method when straightening curly hair. This method involves using a rat-tail comb and your flatiron at the same time. Grab a section of your hair and place the rat-tail comb near your roots. Clamp your straightener on the hair above the comb then simultaneously glide both tools downward.

If you find it difficult to maneuver two hair tools at once, you can use a straightener that comes with a comb attachment. InStyler’s CERASILK Styling Iron, for instance, has a removable comb that mimics the comb chase method. It also has beveled edges that prevent your hair from creasing.

Step 6: Lock everything in with hair spray

Once you’re happy with how your hair looks, lock everything in using a hair spray. Use a volumizing spray for the roots to keep them from flattening. For the strands and ends, you can use a serum or finishing spray to add some shine to your pin-straight hair.

There you have it! Your hair is now sleek and shiny, without losing its bounce or risking heat damage. To prolong the style of your hair, avoid touching or running your fingers through your hair.

Don’t forget to wash your hair at the end of the day to get rid of the products you applied. Then, condition generously to counteract the effects of all the hot styling tools you used.

For more tips and tricks on how to style curly hair, visit our tutorials page. You can also check out our styling tools collection for curly hair.

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