Sleek, Straight Hair — The Safe Way

Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.

Julie Ricevuto

Sleek, straight hair is a regular on the red carpet, but it’s not a simple look for everyone (especially the curly girls!) to achieve. Hours (or minutes) after you straighten your locks, frizz starts to rise, split ends erupt from the high temperatures, and the natural wave or curl can reappear.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Change your products and technique, and you won’t need to scorch your strands to get your desired look. Here are our tips for safely straightening your hair.

1. Smooth Your Strands
Start off on the right path by using a deep-conditioning treatment once a week to nourish hair. The right groundwork will make your mane much easier to work with in later steps.         

2. Wash The Right Way
Wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo, and use a leave-in conditioner to flood it with moisture. Then, use a dime-sized amount of straightening cream throughout hair for a smoothing effect. (Be careful not to overdo it with the products, though, or you’ll end up with greasy roots and limp strands!)          
Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
3. Part Into Sections To Blowdry
It’s much harder to blowdry your hair when it’s one big mass. Section off damp strands, so only a thin layer of a section is down while hair clips hold up the rest. Then, aim a blowdryer with a nozzle attachment an inch away from your hair.     

Have Your Round Brush Ready
With a round bristle brush, slowly pull your hair straight as you blowdry with the nozzle aiming downward. Use this method throughout all the sections, until hair is completely dry (this may take some extra time, depending on how thick it is!). Keep your flat iron away at this stage: Using it on damp hair can actually make it boil and burst the hair shaft due to the high temperature.           

Prep & Protect
Spritz your dry hair with a heat protectant, concentrating on the ends in order to protect your hair from burning. If you want a fuller look, spray roots with a volumizing spray before flat-ironing.           

Choose The Right Flat Iron
Although they're hot tools, flat irons also protect and prevent any additional damage. Choose one with tourmaline ceramic plates for a smoother glide and anti-frizz properties. Try Karmin G3 Salon Pro Hair Styling Iron for its use of negative ions and infrared heat, which removes static and gives an extra-silky shine. Anti-slip edges and a tangle-free swivel cord keep it safe and prevent any accidental burns as well.
Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
7. Begin Straightening
Section hair just like you did during the blowdrying step, with a thin layer of hair loose around the nape of your neck. Clamp your pre-heated flat iron on about one to two inches of your sectioned hair and run it down the length of your hair. Depending on your texture, you may need to run the flat iron through a second time to fully straighten your locks. Continue this process on the remaining sections.           

8. Boost Shine
Once your hair is completely straight, finish it off with a small amount of shine serum, focusing on the ends to avoid greasy roots. Serums, rather than sprays, work better on coarse, thick hair since their formula is heavier.             

Extend Your Look
After all your hard work, keep your sleek look going for a few more days by spraying dry shampoo at your roots whenever hair starts to get greasy. Fluff the dry shampoo into your locks to absorb excess oil and get rid of any powdery spots. Voilà!

More from Hair