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How to Straighten Curly Hair in 2024 | Step-by-Step

Do you have tons of curls and frizzy hair to deal with? If so, you probably envy those with straight hair. Don’t worry — by following our guide, you will learn how to straighten curly hair quickly and easily.

How to Straighten Curly Hair: A Summary

There are only eight simple steps that you need to follow to straighten your curly hair. Follow these steps closely to achieve a natural-looking straight look:

  1. Shampoo and condition your hair
  2. Dry your hair with a microfiber towel
  3. Comb your hair thoroughly
  4. Put a heat protectant in your hair
  5. Dry your hair with a blow dryer and a round brush
  6. Part your hair in two different sections
  7. Use a flat iron to straighten every section of your hair
  8. Add serum or hairspray to keep your hair in place

How to Straighten Curly Hair in 8 Easy Steps

Learning to straighten your hair can take a bit of practice, but once you get the steps down, it will come naturally to you. Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these steps so that you end up with gorgeous straight hair. 

Step 1: Shampoo and Condition Your Hair

Every beautiful hairstyle starts with a good cleanse, so be sure to shampoo and condition your hair before you begin. If your hair is clean and dry, it will be much easier to use a flat iron to straighten it. You should also consider investing in anti-frizz shampoo and conditioner if you want straighter and smoother hair. The products you use matter.

Use lukewarm water when in the shower since hot water could damage your hair. Be sure to add conditioner to the middle and ends of your hair while avoiding the roots. You could also use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the conditioner evenly on every strand of hair.

Lastly, apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair after you get out of the shower. Moisturizing with a leave-in conditioner keeps your hair healthy despite frequent heat styling. Start at the tips of your strands and move up. Stop applying the leave-in conditioner right before you reach the roots, as it may weigh your hair down. 

Step 2: Dry Your Hair With a Microfiber Towel

After you wash your hair, use a microfiber towel to remove excess water and moisture from your hair. Be careful not scrunch your hair, since doing so can mess with your curls and their shape. You also want to avoid rubbing your hair with the towel, as this can lead to frizziness. Instead, use a gentle blotting technique or wrap your hair up in the towel while you do your makeup. The goal is damp hair (not sopping wet and not too dry).

Once you’ve finished drying with a towel, it’s time to comb out any tangles on your head.

Read Next: How to Get Rid of Frizzy Hair

Step 3: Comb Your Hair

Comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb, starting at the ends and working your way up to the root. The type of comb you use matters. Notice, we keep saying comb and not brush. With the exception of wet brushes, which are designed to detangle wet hair, most brushes cause immense damage and breakage when raked through wet hair. Don’t use them.

We recommend a thick-toothed plastic comb or, if you must use a brush, use a boar brittle brush or a wet-to-dry brush to protect your hair from breakage.

If you find your hair is still very tangled and a comb isn’t enough, you might want to spray a detangler in your locks and then try combing it.

If you decide to comb your hair while washing it in the shower, you can bypass a second combing. Instead, you can use your fingers to remove tangles. A second combing is not necessary and skipping it will help you prevent frizziness.

Step 4: Add a Heat Protectant to Your Hair

Now, you’ll want to work a high-quality heat protectant through your hair. Before you use a heat styling flat iron and a blow dryer, it is essential to safeguard your hair with a heat protectant so that it doesn’t get damaged by the styling tools. 

When choosing the best heat protectant, look for an anti-frizz option meant for straightening hair with a heat styling tool. In addition, a heat protectant with argan oil is perfect for thick, curly hair. Spray the heat protectant liberally over all of your hair.

Step 5: Blow Dry Your Hair With a Round, Bristle Brush

Now, it’s time to blow dry your hair in separate sections using a round bristle brush. Before you turn on the blow dryer, section your hair into two parts. While working on one part, keep the other secured with hair ties and hair clips.

Now, start the blow dryer at a medium or a low heat setting. As you’re blow-drying each section, use the round brush to keep your hair as straight as possible. Make sure your blow dryer is also pointed downwards to avoid any frizz or flyaways. 

Move from one section to the next until your hair is dry and smooth. Don’t stress if your head is still curly; the straightening process is not over yet.

Read Next: How to Get Rid of Flyaways

Step 6: Part Your Hair Into 4 Separate Sections

You’ll need to part your hair into four separate sections before you begin straightening it with a flat iron: Two parts in front and two parts in the back.

You can separate the hair into even smaller sections if you have very thick hair. Separate your hair into sections based on the size of your brush. Bring the strands up from the bottom to the top and clip them into place.

Use hair clips to keep your sections from overlapping. You can then remove the hair clips from one section at a time when you’re ready to start using a flat iron to straighten your curls.

Read Next: Best Flat Irons

Step 7: Use a Flat Iron to Straighten Your Hair Sections

A flat iron with temperature control settings is essential when straightening your hair. Since curly hair is naturally drier and more fragile, you’ll need to use the low to medium heat settings on your flat iron to ensure you don’t damage your curls.

The highest setting you should use is 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Some flat irons also have single-pass technology, which is great since you won’t need to pass your hair through the straightener multiple times. This will protect your curly hair from extra heat-related damage.

Use a fine-tooth comb to grab each section of hair and use the flat iron to move down your strands right above the comb. Move at an even pace at each strand and repeat if your hair is still curly. Repeat these steps until every section of hair is fully straightened.

Step 8: Add A Serum or Hairspray to Keep Your Hair From Curling or Frizzing 

Once you’ve taken part in all of the above steps, you need to keep your hairstyle from frizzing and curling back into its original shape. Hold the hairspray bottle about one foot from your head before spraying. 

You should use a light mist of hairspray to keep your straightened strands in place. This will let your hairspray evenly diffuse across your head.

Be sure not to use too much hairspray. If you overdo it, you’ll end up with crunchy and rigid hair. You can also add shine by applying a serum. You’ll find that serum can also hold your hair in place.

Read Next: Best Setting Spray

Things to Consider

Woman with long curly hair and a flat iron in a studio showing us how to straighten curly hair

Denis Orea/Shutterstock

If you’ve followed the steps above, you’re mostly good to go. However, you’ll need to consider a few different points, such as:

  • Trim your hair to remove split ends will create healthier-looking hair. Aim to get your hair trimmed at least every three months if you can
  • Deep condition your hair every week or at least twice per month to keep moisture in and prevent breakage
  • Add some essential oils to your hair. The best options are argan oil or coconut oil, which are excellent at repairing damages caused by heat
  • Use low heat settings when straightening your hair, especially if you have fine and curly hair
  • Use a silk pillowcase when you sleep at night keep it straight and frizz-free
  • Although it’s tempting to straighten your hair every day, less is more when it comes to heat treatments. Even with heat protectants, your hair will still get damaged over time. Limit hair straightening to once or twice a week or less to if your lifestyle permits.

So, How Do You Straighten Curly Hair?

There are eight simple steps you need to take to straighten your curly hair. You’ll need to shampoo and condition your hair as well as comb it, dry it out with a towel, and apply a heat protectant to your head.

Lastly, you’ll need to blow dry it, separate your hair into sections, and use a flat iron to straighten your strands. With a straightened head of hair, everyone will be complimenting you on your gorgeous hairstyle. 

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