Proper Way to Flat Iron Curly Hair

Posted by Mike Hakopyan on

Sleek, straight hair can make a big style statement. Straight hair is often easier and more versatile when it comes to styling. However, achieving pin-straight strands can be challenging for people with curly hair.

Curly hair is naturally dry and more vulnerable to heat damage. So any straightening methods need to be done carefully to avoid burning your hair and doing irreversible damage.

Okay, lets get into it!

Steps Involved

To flat iron curly hair properly, you must consider your curl pattern and natural hair texture. Tightly coiled hair may need additional care or repeated treatments to adequately straighten each strand, while dry, porous hair needs a high-strength protectant to avoid damaging the hair’s cuticle.

To flat iron kinky hair or curls, follow these simple steps:

1. Shampoo and Conditioner

You'll want to wash your curls to remove any product residue or build-up before using the flat iron.

Now, if your hair is dry or prone to breakage, choose hydrating formulas containing shea or coconut emollient oils. It'll help a lot!

Another type of treatment you can apply is a keratin straightening treatment, such as ApHogee Keratin Reconstructor.

Do this before using your conditioner to relax your strands and allow the flat iron to work more effectively.

K. got it. What's next?

2. Leave-in Conditioner and Heat-Protectant Flat Iron Spray

Spray your curls liberally with a leave-in conditioner to lock in moisture, prevent split ends, and protect them from the damaging heat of the flat iron.

Next, comb through with a wide tooth comb to coat every strand. For maximum smoothness, look for a spray that contains keratin, silk aminos, or glycerin.

3. Dry and Detangle

You never want to flat iron wet or damp hair.

This generates steam which can dry out and damage your delicate strands.

Air drying is your friend here since you save your hair from the heat exposure of a hair dryer.

You'll want to gently detangle your hair as it dries. This process will also make flat ironing easier, but be careful not to over-brush!

4. Section Your Strands

Split your dry hair into sections, working from the bottom layers up. If you have longer hair, you’ll need to pin up at least half of your hair to access the interior strands.

Keep in mind that it’s hard to access your interior hairs once you’ve straightened the outer layers, and trying to reach these hairs can lead to accidental burns. (ehem, ehem...try our Ear Covers and prevent burns on your ears)

Working from the underside first is much safer and creates a more consistent, finished look.

5. Straighten

Pull a small section of your hair taut, and then, starting from the roots, pull it through your flat iron.

You will want these sections to be small enough that they only require two swipes of your straightener.

By the way, flat iron with long plates can speed up the process and help with frizz control as you straighten.

Once the bottom layer is smooth and shiny, unpin the rest of your hair and continue the same process.

You may notice that straightening the thin ends of your hair requires less heat. To curtail heat damage, stop straightening your hair mid-shaft, then straighten the tips once the rest of your hair is straightened.

That's all there's to it!

6. Touch Ups

You may have to run your more stubborn strands through the flat iron once or twice more to achieve the sleek style you’re looking for.

You can complete your look with a hydrating smoothing cream to help fight frizz.

To avoid excess heat damage, you should not flat iron your hair more than once or twice a week.

If your hair is straight on top but curly underneath, it can be a sign that you are overusing heat styling tools (though sometimes this is just genetic).

It may also be a sign that you are using excess bleaches, dyes, and chemical treatments, or overbrushing your hair, which has changed the texture of your strands.

Avoid flat ironing chemically damaged hair and use a wide tooth comb or a pick rather than a hairbrush to detangle your hair.

One last thing...

You should also use a deep conditioning mask once every two weeks to restore your hair’s moisture and repair damage done by heat tools and chemical treatments.

curly hair flat iron

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