Learn how to get straight, sleek hair in 7 steps.
Straight, sleek hair makes quite a statement, and with a little effort (and a lot of patience!), it’s totally doable. Depending upon how tight your curls are, you can go from curly to smooth in no time.
Curly hair is naturally dry and prone to damage, so straightening your strands needs to be done very carefully. It’s a delicate process involving lots of heat-protecting products, but if you do it correctly, your sleek style can last several days! Here’s how to straighten curly hair and help prevent damage and breakage.
Before attempting to straighten your curls, you need to get rid of any product residue or buildup in your hair. Use a hair straightening shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated to control frizz and prep your hair for straightening.
After showering, spray a liberal amount of leave-in conditioner on your curls to help lock in moisture, prevent breakage and split ends, and protect against heat damage.
To add even more protection against heat damage, use a heat straight flat-iron spray with a strengthening keratin complex. Be sure to coat every strand liberally to achieve maximum smoothness and frizz control.
If you have the time, let your hair air dry completely to save it from unnecessary heat exposure and friction. If you need to dry hair quickly, try using a diffuser to disperse the heat and reduce friction. Gently brush your hair as you dry it to detangle and help coax your strands into straightness. Never attempt to flat iron wet or damp hair! Flat ironing wet hair is less effective and can cause additional damage to your delicate strands.
Once your hair is completely dry, split your hair into sections to make flat-ironing more manageable. The best way to do this is to work from the bottom layers of hair up. Pin the top two-thirds of your mane up, and work on the underside first.
Working from the bottom-most layer of hair, pull a small section taut and pull it through your straightener starting from the roots. Work with small enough sections that you only have to do two swipes of your flat iron. When the bottom layer of hair is straightened, unpin the rest of your hair and start straightening another section. Continue until each strand is smooth and shiny. For the best results, use a flat iron with long plates for quick straightening and frizz control.
Pro Tip: The ends of your hair tend to be the most delicate and prone to breakage. The ends are also thinner, requiring less heat to straighten. To help protect them from excess heat damage, stop mid-shaft when straightening your hair in sections. Then, at the very end, gather all of your hair and straighten the ends together.
Give your newly straightened locks a good once-over in the mirror. Did you miss any spots? Run stubborn strands through your straightener again until you’re satisfied with the results. Then, put the finishing touches on your new sleek style with a hydrating, frizz-fighting smoothing cream.
If you’ve straightened your hair, but the results aren’t as sleek and shiny as you had hoped, here are some of the most common hair straightening mistakes and how to fix them.
Defined, frizz-free curls start in the shower. Use our tips for washing curly hair to achieve gorgeous, healthy-looking curls!
Learn to take care of curly hair to help you get the bouncy, defined curls you crave.
Tips for finding the right haircut for your curly hair—without the pouf.