Straight hair is appealing for many reasons and for a lot of women who have coarse, curly, and thick hair it’s a lot of hard work to achieve that sleek look and straight texture. For a lot of women they know that blow-drying will slightly tame their curls and flat irons are always an option but what are the best options for straightening your thick curly hair?
Straighten Your Hair with a Flat Iron
This is the simplest and most cost effective way to straighten your curly hair at home. You want to find a flat iron with a ceramic or titanium (not metal) plate, this ensures the heat is distributed evenly and will prevent damaging spots of your hair. These plates also prevent frizz and create lots of shine. If you plan on straightening your hair more than 3-4 times per week than use ceramics because they are the least damaging. The temperature should be kept between 350 – 450F for coarse and curly hair.
Choose a size depending on your length:
- Long hair: plate size (mid-back or longer): 1” – 1.75
- Medium length (shoulder): 1” – 1.25”
- Short (chin length or shorter): .5’”– 1”
Invest in a great heat protector and apply evenly around your hair – avoiding the roots because it will weigh them down. Divide your hair into sections (at least 3 or more) and straighten by strands about 1-2” in width for proper straightening. Straighten about .5” inch away from the root so you still have the volume from your natural texture.
Straighten Your Hair with a Blow Dryer
You have to dry your hair completely before you use a flat iron on it anyways, so why not skip the flat ironing and simply straighten your hair with the proper blow-drying technique? You should invest in a great blow dryer. Not all blow dryers are created equal so find one that best suits your coarse curly (and probably frizzy hair) such as an ionic blow dryer but the basic standard is that the dryer is 1800 – 2000 watts.
Before you blow dry you should apply a small amount of straightening serum (and some contain heat protection too). When your hair is wet you should ‘rough dry’ it and this simply means to turn it on high heat and high speed and concentrate on drying your roots and use your fingers to separate roots and create volume. You want the dryer to point downwards so that you are working on creating a straight texture. Continue this until your hair is about 70% dry.
Next you should divide your hair into sections (at least 3) and grab a hairbrush. If you want to create volume and a little bit of texture then a round brush is ideal but if you want it poker straight then a paddle brush is best. Take sections of your hair about 3 inches wide and hold is out with the brush, then you want to dry the hair with the nozzle of the blow dryer facing downward towards the tips of your hair. Once a section is dry, repeat until you’ve finished. Applying a smoothing product will complete your straight hair look.
Keratin Straightening Treatments
If you want something more permanent than the abovementioned techniques than you can opt for keratin straightening treatments such as the Brazilian Blowout. The product is applied and then your hair is blow-dried and flat ironed and you avoid washing it for 3 days. The results for these types of treatments are effective and but the therapy does not break your hair bonds permanently so they do return over time, typically 3-4 months. The costs of these treatments range from $300-600.
It’s also essential to note the health concerns over these types of treatments. The treatment contains formaldehyde, the same type of carcinogen found in cigarettes and can be dangerous if inhaled. They can also cause damage to your hair.
This is great for those who don’t have actually kinky curly hair but rather coarse and wavy hair. This method saturates your hair with a chemical that breaks your hairs bonds then it is rinsed, dried, and thoroughly flat ironed. The process is lengthy and can take up to 8 hrs. depending on the length and thickness of your hair. For 3-4 days you must avoid washing or styling your coarse hair but once the process is complete you will have straight and sleek hair until your hair actually grows out. Unfortunately, these permanent straightening techniques only leave you with one hairstyle: poker straight. This technique can cost anywhere from $400 -$1500.
You can also opt for a relaxer to soften tight curls or make coarse hair more manageable. You simply put the relaxer solution on your hair for 20-30 minutes, rinse, and neutralize. This costs around $50-$250.