Whether you hair is too curly, unmanageable, or you just want to go for a new and different look, there are several ways to straighten your wavy locks.
These include blow dryers, flat irons, styling gels, hair relaxers, as well as expensive Brazilian or Japanese hair straightening treatments available at some salons.
Just remember that some hair straightening techniques are potentially damaging to your hair, so the experts usually advise that you consider choosing carefully among several hair straightening methods before you decide to go for the smooth and luxurious straight hair look.
With a number of options available, the following tips will help you decide which method is best for you:
1. Blow dryer
Whenever humidity's power to curl hair needs to be counteracted, a blow dryer and a large paddle brush are probably the most common way to straighten your hair.
Before you begin, be sure to shampoo and condition your hair thoroughly to protect it and make it easier to brush through.
In order for this method to work, the blow dryer usually has to be set to its highest setting. To lessen the damage, always hold the blow dryer at least 5 inches from your head.
Use a big, round paddle brush to make it easier to grab larger sections of hair.
Start at the roots as you hold a section of hair taut and apply the blow dryer until it is dry. Go down each section, continuing to hold it taut with the brush, until the ends are dry and straight.
Finally, go through your entire hair with the blow dryer set on low to ensure that no moisture is left behind. Any sections left even slightly wet will inevitably wave or curl up during the day, ruining the whole effect!
2. Flat iron
To ensure less damage to you hair always choose a flat iron with a ceramic plate, not a metal one. Before you begin, also purchase a deep conditioning moisturizer to protect your hair from drying out. For extra insurance, also pick up a heat-protective spray.
Carefully follow directions that come with your flat iron - most importantly the heat settings. Similar to a blow dryer, dry heat is the catalyst for de-curling hair, but use extra caution when using a flat iron.
Some experts advise clasping each section of hair and slowly going down until straightened, but a safer method might be to use a rapid, sweeping motion (repeated several times) to lessen the chances of damage and burning.
3. Hairsprays, gels, mousses, leave-in conditioners
These are the best solutions if you want to quickly and temporarily straighten or to make hair more manageable.
Straightening gels can also be used together with blow drying to ensure the best possible outcome. But easy does it when using balms, mousses and hairsprays to avoid hair from feeling oily or stiff to the touch from overuse.
4. Brazilian or Japanese hair straightening
Although heavily promoted by some salons as the easiest and most long-lasting systems for straightening hair, most beauty experts warn against these methods due to the often harsh chemicals used in the process.
In the Brazilian system, a strong styling solution and flat iron are used to straighten hair, but lasts after only a few washings.
Of the two methods, Japanese hair straightening is the more expensive (at an average cost of hundreds of dollars per treatment) employing several solutions including a hair relaxer. It is also the most permanent, however, resulting in up to 6-months of straight hair before you have to repeat the procedure.