curly hair using rollers

We don’t typically talk about straightening our hair, but we know that versatility is one of the top reasons curlies love their hair.  Unfortunately, a common way of flattening our strands is by sticking them between a straightener or using hot air and brushing them out. Applying heat is our enemy… it’s easily one of the most damaging routines for hair. While heat may make hair straight and temporarily sleek, it also strips it of its natural moisture. Hair that is over-heated can become so dry and brittle, that it leads to loss of curl pattern, increased breakage and, in some cases, loss of entire strands.

While many believe that heat damage is caused by repeated use of heat tools, the truth is that just one use can cause permanent damageBut have no fear! We have compiled 4 methods for efficient no-heat straightening. Note that most of these methods work best for Type 2’s and 3’s. You may not get the stick straight results that you do with a flat iron, but at least your curls will bounce back damage-free afterwards!

The Wrap Method

When hair is still wet and freshly combed, split it into sections and pin them individually against your head, ensuring they are flat and tangle-free. When finished pinning, put a head wrap or scarf around your head to ensure the hair stays in place and secure it with bobby pins. To avoid frizz, use a silk scarf to eliminate any friction between the hair and material. As Natalie says in her tutorial, make sure you allow yourself at least 6 hours to let your hair fully dry before taking it down and revealing sleek, straight hair!

The Elastic Method

The toughest part about this method is finding your all your lost hair ties that you swore grew legs and ran off. When you do find them and your hair is wet, comb out any tangles and apply a frizz-free product. Put your hair in a ponytail low enough to avoid any pulling. Then, start sectioning the ponytail with additional hair ties in small increments of about an inch apart. Make sure you use soft hair elastic ties to avoid hair breakage. Note: this method is similar to “banding,” which is how you can stretch Type 4 hair to make it longer. This same “banding” method works to actually straighten Type 2 and 3 hair.

The Curler Method

While using curlers for straightening hair may seem counterintuitive, it can actually help flatten hair while you sleep. For this to work, make sure you use large, wide curlers and roll them very tightly so no curl is allowed in the hair. Start by spraying hair with straightening spray and make sure hair stays wet throughout the process for the best results. We love Beauty With MJ’s tutorial on this!

Cool Blow Dry

Avoiding heat doesn’t mean you have to give up on your blow dryer altogether. You can use it on the cool setting while sectioning and continuously brushing hair with a vented brush to get a straight look. Start by using a product such as Carol’s Daughter Chocolat Smoothing Blow Dry Cream, Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum or Twisted Sista Frizz Control Straightening Blow Dry Cream. This method may take a little longer than using heat, but it’s much safer for achieving straight hair.

What’s next?

Our next question is, “Can You Straighten Curly Hair with a Steamer?

Our friends at Cantu have helped wavies go straight and back to wavy again!

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