How to Get Dead Straight Hair Using a Straightener

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With practice you'll get perfectly straight strands every time--no stylist required.
With practice you'll get perfectly straight strands every time--no stylist required. (Image: hair dresser at work image by Laser from Fotolia.com)

Nothing beats professionally straightened hair fresh and gleaming from the salon--but like all good things, it never lasts. Not to worry: With practice you can get sleek, straight strands at home. When sort-of straight just won't cut it and only dead straight will do, it's time to pull out all the straightening stops: heavy-duty hydrating products and a blow-dryer before you break out the straightener, small sections of hair and plenty of patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Moisturizing shampoo and conditioner
  • Silicone-based defrizzing serum
  • Leave-in oil treatment
  • Heat-protectant hairspray
  • Blow-dryer
  • Hair straightening iron
  • Paddle brush
  • Round brush
  • Hair clips

Start with a rich, creamy hydrating shampoo and conditioner to prep your strands for straightening. Opt for products containing heavy-duty emollients. When you shop for products, check the ingredients for oils and butters in particular--for example, olive or apricot kernel oil, cocoa or shea butter.

Gently pat your hair dry with paper towels or even an old cotton T-shirt. Rubbing your hair roughly with towels or wringing it out with your hands can muss up the cuticles, setting the stage for frizz.

Blend a dab or two of leave-in hair oil with a quarter-sized amount of silicone-based defrizzing serum together in your hands. Rub your palms together and then smooth through your hair. Start at the bottom, since your ends are the driest and most prone to frizz. Then rub just what's left at the top--you don't want too much product at the roots or they could start to look a little greasy.

Brush your hair with a wide paddle brush.

Pin back your hair with the hair clips, leaving just a small section behind. Begin blow-drying just that section. Glide the round brush through the section of hair at a steady pace, following behind the brush with the blow-dryer. Try to keep the blow-dryer positioned so that the nozzle is always pointing downward over your hair. This helps to smooth down the hair shaft for a smoother, frizz-free shine.

Keep working on that section until its completely dry. Continue working in sections until all of your hair is evenly dried.

Mist your tresses with a heat-protectant spray, then pin all but one small section back out of the way again.

Set your iron to about 325 to 400 degrees. To avoid frying your lovely locks, always use the lowest setting you can get away with. Finer and curly hair especially should stick to the lower end of the heat spectrum.

Glide the straightener through small individual sections of hair, starting with the bottom layers and working your way up to the crown. Use moderate pressure when straightening--if you clamp the iron down too hard on your hair, you'll rob your style of body.

Never linger on one spot of hair for longer than a second or two; keep the straightener moving at a moderate, steady pace.

Stick with small sections--straightening too much too fast is a common mistake.
Stick with small sections--straightening too much too fast is a common mistake. (Image: straightening hair image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)

Finish with a shot of cold air from the blow-dryer to seal the cuticle.

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References

  • "Curl Talk: Everything You Need to Know to Love and Care for Your Curly, Kinky, Wavy, or Frizzy Hair"; Ouidad and Jennifer Schonbrunn Hinkle; 2002
  • "The Complete Book of Hairstyling"; Charles Worthington; 2002
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