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How to Straighten Natural Hair

Updated on December 24, 2011
Natural State: Braid Out
Natural State: Braid Out | Source
Straightened and Pin Curled
Straightened and Pin Curled | Source

Having curly hair is amazing but sometimes we just want to change it up. The best thing about natural hair is that it is so versatile; you can pretty much do anything with it. A great way to really change up your style, and do something different, is by straightening your natural hair.

Straight hair is beautiful but for naturals it is also dangerous. We have to worry about heat damage.

Of course we want to apply enough heat so that our hair actually straightens but we also want to be careful that we don’t apply to much heat that will burn and damage our hair.

I have a few tips that will help you combat heat damage and give you that beautiful straight look.

Blow Drying Or Stretching?

After the hair is washed and conditioned, you are ready for the next step which is to prepare your hair for the flat iron. Blow drying the hair is a great way to get it stretched out enough for flat ironing.

Before blow drying, make sure you apply a good heat protectant. A heat protectant will coat the hair strands and absorb the heat from the blow dryer.

A heat protectant that I like to use is Silk Elements MegaSilk Heat Protection Spray. Another good one is Fantasia IC Hair Polisher Heat Protector.

What I like to do when blow drying my hair is use the coolest dry setting. I don’t use the cool shot button but I use the coolest dry setting. My dryer has 3 temperature settings cool, medium, and high plus a cool shot button. It also has two blow speeds.

I use the blow dryer on the lowest temperature setting with the highest blow speed to dry my hair about 80%. Then I turn the temperature up to the highest setting. This allows me to use less heat when drying my hair.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

The Tension Method

Another important step I like to use when blowing my hair is the tension method. This is where I anchor the ends of my hair down so that there is tension. The tension allows my hair to dry stretched out instead of tight and curly.

While holding down the ends of my hair, I take the blow dryer and blow dry my hair. I like to hold the blow dryer in a downward motion to try to seal my cuticles as well.

The Chase Method

After blow drying we are now ready to flat iron. As many naturals know, after blow drying the hair, we are left with a hugh mass of fluffiness. Trying to work through this can be a hassle.

What I like to do when flat ironing my hair is use the chase method. Much like the tension method, the chase method is all about holding the hair as straight and tight as possible for the best and straightest results except with this method you use a comb to detangle while flat ironing,

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Flat ironed HairChase Method w/ Denman BrushChase Method w/ Small Tooth Comb
Flat ironed Hair
Flat ironed Hair | Source
Chase Method w/ Denman Brush
Chase Method w/ Denman Brush | Source
Chase Method w/ Small Tooth Comb
Chase Method w/ Small Tooth Comb | Source

To do the chase method, you will need either a paddle brush, denman brush, or a simple small tooth comb. These tools help hold the hair straight and they also detangle the hair as the flat iron passed down the hair shaft, giving you even better results.

A common problem a lot people have when straightening natural hair is bushy ends. Like I stated before, using the chase method prevents having bushy ends because the comb or brush, helps detangle and straighten the ends before the flat iron gets to them.

Basically, the flat iron chases the brush or comb while you are straightening that section.

Flat Ironing

When I flat iron I use the highest setting because my hair texture is medium thickness with tight curls. Depending on how thick or fine your hair is, the temperature you use may be different.

I also use two maximum passes with the flat iron and I DO NOT hold the flat iron on my hair for longer than ten second. I also keep the iron moving at a steady pace.

Before I flat iron a section of hair, I put a little bit more of the heat protectant on it.

How Often I Flat Iron

To eliminate damage even more I only flat iron my hair a maximum of two times per year. I don’t want to put too much heat on my hair because it is very stressing on the hair strands. I also usually flat iron my hair in the winter months to avoid any possible reversions from summer heat and humidity.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pin Curled HairPin Curls
Pin Curled Hair
Pin Curled Hair
Pin Curls
Pin Curls


Because I don’t like to use too much heat on my hair when I straighten it, I don’t go back in with a curling iron to bump up the ends. What I like to do it pin curl the ends. This gives my hair bounce and volume and a nice bumped look.

If you want, you can also use the flat iron to bump the ends as you flat iron.

I hope these tips help and thanks for reading! =)


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    • mismazda profile image

      mismazda 5 years ago from a southern georgia peach

      Very informative hub..I use these methods on my daughter's a process, but I have to do it..I do not plan on putting any chemicals in her hair.

    • KySmith profile image

      Kyndall Smith 5 years ago from Milwaukee

      Your welcome and appreciate you commenting! =)

    • profile image

      Rere lovely 5 years ago

      Thanks u helped me so much.