How to Get Super Straight Hair

How to dry and flat iron hair, plus, your options for chemical straightening

How to straighten wavy or curly hair
How to straighten wavy or curly hair. andresr / Getty Images

If you want super straight hair, you have a few options. You can either use tools including a hair dryer and a flat iron, or you can use chemicals.

In this article, I start with the easiest methods to get super straight hair and move on to the pricier, more complicated methods. But all of these will leave your wavy or curly hair stick straight -- as long as you follow my directions.

How to Blow Dry Your Hair Straight (Free)

The secret to super straight hair is a great blowout.

My friend Laura was born with amazing curly hair and to get her hair straight involves such tedious drying, brushing and flat-iron that she's developed amazing biceps from doing her hair.

I am not kidding. There's enough work involved that I would be driven to use chemicals (more on that below). But a good blowout can last several days. I recommend using a dry shampoo in between shampoos to help with any greasiness that naturally occurs.

Here are my tips on getting your hair super straight.

  1. Shampoo your hair correctly. This means scrubbing your scalp for a couple minutes and rinsing your hair thoroughly to get out all the suds. Get the full scoop in my article, The Right Way to Shampoo Your Hair. If you do it correctly, you will buy yourself an extra day or two between shampoos.
  2. Towel-dry hair so that it's barely damp. This will cut down on your drying time.
  3. Work in a straightening balm like LOreal Paris Oleo-Keratin Smooth Intense Xtreme Straight Creme or Alterna Bamboo Style Pin Straight. Start by coating the ends, working your way up the hair shaft. Finish by combing the product through hair.
  1. Section your hair so it's easier to dry. Depending on how much hair you have you may want to simply section a top section and a bottom section or 4 sections. Just pull hair into a tiny bun and secure with a ponytail holder. Always dry underneath first.
  2. When drying hair, use a paddle brush like Moroccanoil's P80 Brush, which was created to smooth hair.
  1. Always use a nozzle on your blow-dryer. This helps direct the heat.
  2. When drying hair, always point the nozzle downward and hold the hair as taut as possible with your brush. This cuts down on frizz.
  3. This is not the time to bend over and blow dry your hair from below, that only adds body, as does blowdry underneath the hair. Never "fluff" as you dry. Remember, you aim is to have hair that falls like a curtain, smooth and straight. See my list of the Best Blowdryers.

It may take a while to perfect your blow-drying techniques, but I give more tips in my article, The Perfect Blowout: How to Blow Dry Your Hair Like a Professional and don't miss 13 Mistakes People Make When Blow-drying Their Hair. 

Use a Flat Iron to Smooth Hair Straight (Free)

Sometimes all you need for smooth straight hair is a good blow dry. But many times you should follow this with a flat-iron. For full step-by-step instructions, check out my article,  How to Use a Flat Iron.

It's very important to work in sections when straightening hair. And I believe in following all of this with a gloss or serum. Simply rub the gloss between your palms and "palm it" through hair. I recommend Opulent Hair Serum and Argan Oil for Hair Treatment By Arvazallia.

Get a Professional Blowout (About $50 or so)

I strongly recommend getting a professional blowout for the days when you just don't feel like doing it yourself. A good blowout will last a few days and while a blow-out can cost $50 at some salons, you can get great deals on Groupon and Gilt City for discounted blowouts.

Don't miss How to Keep Your Blowout Fresh on the Second Day.

Get Your Hair Chemically Straightened ($100 on Up)

The more permanent option for stick-straight hair is to get is chemically straightened. This works best on very wavy or curly hair. If your hair has just a bit of wave to it (most hair does), this isn't your best option. You should save your money and stick with the dryer and flat-iron.

Options for chemical straightening include:

  • Japanese Hair Straightening Treatments. Japanese hair straightening is a popular method of straightening curly or wavy hair into pin-straight locks. It's a bit controversial because it can wreck havoc on hair if done by an inexperienced stylist but some women swear by this method for straightening their unruly curls.

  • Keratin Hair Treatments. Keratin hair treatments (also know as "Brazilians") smooth out and straighten wavy or curly hair. They're super popular across the country, but these treatments, which rely on formaldehyde (a known carcinogen when inhaled), are also very controversial.

  • Straight Perms. Straight perms actually use perm solutions to straighten hair rather than curl them. I recommend getting them done in a salon, but you can do them at home with perm solution and a wide-toothed comb.