By Aki­lah of ItsAkilahObviously.com

I like wear­ing my hair straight every­one once in a while. I straight­en it 4 times a year at most, and it real­ly switch­es up how I have to treat my hair and helps me see how much it’s grown. It’s super sim­ple. You can do it in just 3 easy steps (that might take 3–4 hours):

Step 1: Wash and Condition

After wash­ing your hair, prop­er­ly mois­tur­iz­ing with what­ev­er you like. I used Shea Mois­ture Curl and Style Con­di­tion­ing Milk (a tiny bit because the smell gets over­whelm­ing) and let it dry on my hair. I then detan­gled and sec­tioned my hair into 10–12 lit­tle buns with hair-ties. This makes blow dry­ing way eas­ier because you can just go from pony­tail to pony­tail and real­ly make sure the hair is dry.

Step 2: Blow-dry hair.

I use medi­um heat because I don’t like it when my hair gets crunchy or smells like burn­ing bacon. Do one pony­tail at a time, mak­ing sure it’s ful­ly dry. Because my hair is so coily, I know it isn’t dry if there’s a par­tic­u­lar­ly kinky piece. Remem­ber, the objec­tive is not to get your hair super straight, but to get it super dry.

Step 3: Flat Iron your hair.

I sug­gest invest­ing in a real­ly good flat iron if you want to do this on a semi-reg­u­lar basis. I use the Paul Mitchell flat iron (the one with the green parts) to flat­ten out the hair. It runs about $125, but I’ve had it for like 5 years, and it is still going strong.

Make sure to apply a heat pro­tect­ing spray, and only do sec­tions as wide as the flat iron. Don’t get dis­cour­aged if you have to blow dry some parts again to make sure they’re dry enough to be flat ironed.

The most impor­tant part of main­tain­ing straight­ened nat­u­ral hair is mois­tur­iz­ing real­ly well. You will end up with loads of break­age if you don’t mois­tur­ize. I sug­gest braid­ing straight­ened hair at night, or at least wrap­ping tight­ly with a leave in con­di­tion­er!

Ladies, what is your flat iron­ing tech­nique?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

Leave a Reply

57 Comments on "How to Flat Iron Natural Hair in 3 Easy Steps"

Notify of
avatar
Tina

What type of mos­tur­iz­er would you sug­gest using on straight­ened nat­u­ral hair?

Jennifer

My hair does this look just with the blow dry… I need help fig­ur­ing out my hair type…

Evy

The most impor­tant part of main­tain­ing straight­ened nat­u­ral hair is mois­tur­iz­ing real­ly well.and the steps you provide of the straight­en­ing hair is great.

Lisa

seems very easy and great, is Paul Mitchell flat iron is more effec­tive, there are so many oth­er prod­ucts with added fea­tures then this ?

Angel Christian

Very good step about how to flat iron nat­u­ral hair.Thanks for the giv­ing 3 easy steps.

trackback

[…] You can find the Eng­lish ver­sion here:   http://blackgirllonghair.com/2012/09/how-to-flat-iron-natural-hair-in-3-easy-steps/ […]

me

What kind of heat pro­tect­ing spray do you use? I have one but it makes my hair sticky???

deanna

love your hair , and just want­ed to say I LOVE your tum­blr. i’ve actu­al­ly seen your page quite a few times.

Shaikela

Hi u did but get a lit­tle more straighter
[filecomment image[/file]

Carmen

Does it mat­ter what kind of blow dry­er you use? Because I know when I’ve got­ten it straight­ened in a salon it was pret­ty straight once they fin­ished blow dry­ing. When I do it at home, it still pret­ty fluffy after blow dry­ing and I have pret­ty fine/thin hair.

Felicia

I have a sim­i­lar ques­tion that had been post­ed. How do you mois­tur­ized your hair on e it’s straight? Like what should you put on it dai­ly? I was think­ing a water based pro­duct will make it kinky

Get straight hair

Mag­nif­i­cent beat ! I wish to appren­tice even as you amend your web­site, how could i sub­scribe for a blog web site? The account helped me a appro­pri­ate deal. I were a lit­tle bit acquaint­ed of this your broad­cast offered bright clear con­cept

Carmen

Why the many neg­a­tives or thumb downs? It looks like the per­son is a non Eng­lish speak­er, and used the online trans­la­tors which do not trans­late appro­pri­ate­ly because direct trans­la­tions usu­al­ly come out sound­ing fun­ny due to the place­ment of words with­in a sen­tence. Be nice! Just because you don’t under­stand some­thing don’t be quick to write it off.

Melissa

Great tuto­ri­al! I most­ly use some pro nat­u­rals moroc­can argan oil on my co-washed hair before straight­en­ing and it leaves my hair super sleek and soft.

Kamilah

So, I am con­fused about the main­te­nance of straight hair. Like, I get that it should be mois­turised. But wouldn’t the water in a leave in revert it?

patricia

i use oils like vatika oil or sweet almond oil about twice a week to mois­tur­ize my hair.

MzKane

Good arti­cle! I would like to wear my hair straight from time to time, but I do not want a relax­er. For me, it’s not about being main­stream, it’s about look­ing like I used to look with straight hair. But I don’t think I could do a relax­er. I like my hair big. And my hair likes to be big. I can blow it out, but it resists the flat iron. Lol.

Beverly
I straight­en my hair often and just want­ed to offer a few tips  1. The dry­er you use is just as impor­tant as the the flat iron you use. The straighter you can get it the eas­ier it will be to flat iron 2. As oth­ers have stat­ed use the least amount of pro­duct pos­si­ble. The more you use the heav­ier your hair will be. I like the chi serum and I use their ther­mal pol­ish­ing spray as well. 3. Flat iron super thin pieces. It takes longer but you won’t have to go over the piece more than two times (if that) 4.… Read more »
Jo Somebody

Came here to say, what a pret­ty young lady! I don’t straight­en, but I enjoyed your pho­tos. Call me crazy, but I real­ly like your hair in Step 1! Lol!

Mary in Md
I straightened/flat-ironed my hair for years. I had the same reac­tion as many of the pre­vi­ous com­menters to the final result. I’m not try­ing to be crit­i­cal. But, the thought I had was you can get the final result show in this post with less heat. If you braid your hair and do a blow out. So why flat iron and run the added risk of heat dam­age. That’s my thought. Also, I always tried to avoid more than one heat ses­sion. I would rec­om­mend just flat-iron­ing in small sec­tions after stretch­ing the hair with braid or some oth­er non-heat… Read more »
anon

is it time to rename this site nat­u­ral girl straight hair? there’s been a lot of love for the flat iron in recent posts. the­se styling tips are obvi­ous­ly use­ful to lots of peo­ple but i think it’s inter­est­ing that ‘main­stream’ beau­ty is so dom­i­nant on this forum.

Liv

She’s love­ly!!! Such healthy hair.

I actu­al­ly straight­ened my hair yes­ter­day morn­ing. Used my handy dandy max­iglide, love it. Washed & con­di­tioned my hair, put some grape­seed oil on my wet hair then did 5 jum­bo two strand twists used the hair serum that came with the max­iglide and blow dried each section.…then put some cac­tus flow­er oil on my hair and pro­ceed­ed with the max­iglide, pin-curled each sec­tion and that’s it.

Sue
I have nev­er used a flat iron but the­se are the steps I use when blow dry­ing. Typ­i­cal­ly, I put the hair in braids overnight and by morn­ing it’s stretched out. I make sure it’s mois­turised, spray some water and apply shea but­ter before blowdry­ing using the ten­sion method.  I have found that some salons can achieve the sleek straight look WITHOUT a flat-iron—they have real­ly hot blow dry­ers! If that’s your thing go for it. Of course using a heat pro­tec­tant is key of course although you could still have dam­age at high temps. I typ­i­cal­ly prefer the puffier… Read more »
Aiych
She’s real­ly pret­ty! Also this is typ­i­cal­ly how my hair looks after flat iron­ing, but I usu­al­ly ban­tu knot it or some­thing because bone straight isn’t my favorite in the first place.  For some­thing sleek­er (?) you might want to opt for a hot comb + flat iron com­bo and some good heat pro­tec­tant lol. Even though she does not blog any­more, Mop Top Maven’s web­site has some pret­ty fan­tas­tic tips for press­ing, her hair was always very healthy look­ing too. To be hon­est I prefer the slight­ly puffy hair. I can get the same look with a blowdry­er HOWEVER when I… Read more »
LBell
Like Jen­niD, I’m pret­ty mil­i­tant when it comes to this top­ic but since that mil­i­tan­cy applies only to ME and MY hair and also because I wasn’t always a mil­i­tant I thought I’d com­ment in the spir­it of sis­ter­hood too. :) I co-sign a lot of the major points but espe­cial­ly the­se: — Using no pro­duct at all or very lit­tle pro­duct espe­cial­ly when it comes to fine-haired folks. It seems coun­ter­in­tu­itive but it kin­da works. Also, if you’re fine-haired and using a serum, use a TEENY TINY bit. - Using the right amount of heat. I’d rather go over a sec­tion 3–4… Read more »
Anne

I use the full Gar­nier Fruc­tis sllek and shine col­lec­tion. Its made to straight­en hair. I use the conditioner,leave in conditioner,blow dry cream, flat iron spray, and the serum. It work great. I have very thick hair 3c, 4a.

ta ney-ney

1.i start at least a week before by mois­tur­iz­ing my hair and doing deep con­di­tion­ing treat­ment. 2. cow­ash or sham­poo leav­ing a lit­tle bit of con­di­tion­er in the hair 3. add leave-in con­di­tion­er to soak­ing wet hair. 4 add a heat pro­tec­tant serum/ straight­en­ing creme/ ker­at­in infused cream 5. sec­tion hair into 4 squares 6. blow dry on high heat for a quick min­ute 7. pre­heat the flat iron and check for heat. 8. apply flat iron with one to two pass­es in each small/thin sec­tion

With this approach i achieve “perm-like” straight­ness to my hair!
[imgcomment image[/img]
[imgcomment image[/img]
[imgcomment image[/img]
[imgcomment image[/img]

LaVette
I flat iron my hair a cou­ple times a year also. Last week was the most amaz­ing expe­ri­ence. I con­di­tioned it then sec­tioned it in 4. Put a bit of Argan oil on each sec­tion. Then I used Kinky Kurly’s Knot Today and brushed it in sec­tion by sec­tion with my den­man. I then let it air dry overnight. I noticed it dried even­ly since I put a lot more KKKT in than nor­mal and I brushed it through. By the time I was ready to flat iron, it took me only 20 min­utes to straight­en my BSL hair. I… Read more »
JenniD

That’s anoth­er good tip! Air dry­ing your hair and stretch­ing your hair results in bet­ter straight­en­ing plus you don’t get a dou­ble heat wham­my with the blow dry­er and flat iron.

LaVette

Yeh, it worked real­ly well. That blow dry­ing is just a chore any­way!

JenniD
As a nat­u­ral who is pret­ty mil­i­tant when it comes to straight­en­ing my hair I will how ever in the spir­it of sis­ter­hood share some tips because I use to be the hot comb queen back in the day lol.  From the pic­tures and the text writ­ten she appears to not want to dam­age her hair, hence the use of medi­um heat and a poofy look. In my opin­ion this is good enough depend­ing on what style you are going for. But If you are going for a more sleek straight look you’ll need to use a high­er heat and prob­a­bly… Read more »
Jo

Very good tips by the way.

My comes out sim­i­lar also as it’s very thick and there no lay­ers cut in it so it has a block look.We have to be real­is­tic with our out­comes as afro is thick­er and will put up a fight unless dam­age is the aim.tue Youtube he many vire­os on this top­ic Sun­show­er143 and Sim­ply­ounique to a few.

My tips is :
Day1
*pre-poo hair treatment/wash n condition/apply leave ins
*airdry my hair and braid overnight to keep more mois­ture
Day2
*blow dry hair using the ten­sion method
*flat iron on Medi­um heat using comb chas­ing method

Jo

*excuse my typos

cosmostoomuch

I just have to say that I love the­se pho­tos! They have so much per­son­al­i­ty and are so pret­ty.

Akilah

ahh­hh thank you!

df

um, she is GORGEOUS.

Akilah

awwww, thank you!

hmm mmm

yup stun­ning

meowmix

Co-sign:)

J.Nicole

I flat ironed my hair about 3 or 4 weeks ago for the first time in the 2+ years I’ve been free of chem­i­cals. I used sim­i­lar steps except using a bunch of pony­tails. I’ll try that next time (when­ev­er that may be.… prob no time soon). I also don’t like the “too straight” look. I feel like I have to go extra hard to prove it isn’t a perm lol. Plus, I find that when it isn’t too straight I have more flex­i­bil­i­ty and don’t go through the shock of not hav­ing my curls dur­ing that inter­val…

Angela

OMG I sooo need this! On the week­end I decide to straight­en my hair. I spent sev­er­al hours (start­ing at 5pm) blow-comb­ing and flat-iron­ing. 5 hours lat­er when I decide to give up, I still had an afro. Only dif­fer­ence was that the hair felt much dry­er than when I start­ed. Chups.

Akilah

Right? When I use the Chi hair pro­tec­tant, it usu­al­ly makes my hair super straight, too! I would say before I start­ed using the sweet flat iron and par­ti­tion­ing my hair, I would always be dis­cour­aged at my hair’s abil­i­ty to lay down, but this helped!

xo
Aki­lah

Kesha
I agree… I had a white styl­ist in small town Okla­homa (i’m in the mil­i­tary and that’s were i was at the time lol) just deep con­di­tion apply a small amount of Chi heat pro­tec­tant (less than a dime size in her hand and rubbed through my hair) then blow dry and flat iron… then fol­low up with a light oil mist. My hair was soft and frizz free with no heat dam­age! I find the more or the heav­ier the pro­duct the more frizzy/ burnt fried chick­en smell i get when straight­en­ing… I only do this 1–2x per year… Read more »
Ally

I thought the image of Step 3 was her hair actu­al­ly blow dryed. I don’t mean to be neg­a­tive or any­thing, she is obvi­ous­ly free of straight­en­ing her hair the way she wants to, but if this is going to be the final result I don’t see the pur­pose of even flat iron­ing her hair.

Lynn

Well I’m gonna be kind of neg­a­tive and say why oh why go through all that work just for your hair to only look blow dryed in the end? If I’m gonna flat iron my hair it’s gonna be laid!

Brianna

I agree. I know peo­ple don’t always flat iron to get straight hair. I know I don’t. I won­der if you braid­ed your damp hair, let it dry, then blow­dried; may­be you’d get the same results with­out flat iron­ing? Your hair looks beau­ti­ful regard­less.

Tyler

Yeah, I def­i­nite­ly agree. For me the point of flat iron­ing is to achieve a straight look. Oth­er­wise I can just braid my hair and comb it out or blow dry it for basi­cal­ly the same look that’s in this final step.

Jessica

lol. That’s what I thought. I was like “Where is the final result!?” She’s pret­ty thought.

Akilah

Good feed­back! I guess we all sort of have dif­fer­ent ide­al out­comes when we do our hair, right? I don’t like it when my hair looks real­ly straight because it looks real­ly fake to me. Just per­son­al­ly, I think it makes it look like a weave. I usu­al­ly just do this if I want a real­ly pow­er­ful top-knot or wavier hair after I do a braid out. 

xo
Aki­lah

Lele

I hate flat iron­ing my hair because after I fin­ish, it usu­al­ly looks just like it did when I blew it out with the hair dry­er, and I’m like “FOUR HOURS OF TIRED ARMS FOR THIS?? I COULD HAVE JUST GAVE MYSELF A DARN BLOW-OUT!” and I have good flat irons, too.

I’ve tried at least 3 dif­fer­ent meth­ods with all dif­fer­ent prod­ucts, and always the same results. I am nev­er look­ing for a bone straight result, either.

Akilah

Yeah! I actu­al­ly like mine a bit puffier because when I used to relax, I found my hair made my head look too big. It was awful. Did you make sure your hair was real­ly dry? That’s like the worst advice for nat­u­ral hair upkeep, but great for flat iron­ing.

If you’ve done those things, may­be God just thinks your fro is too fierce to flat­ten! xo
-Aki­lah

Lele

Too fierce to flat­ten? I like that! lol

I do make sure my hair is super dry, so I don’t know what the prob­lem is. Well, I guess there isn’t real­ly a “prob­lem”, but may­be my hair is just telling me to stop try­ing to defy it.

Stace
You might be putting too much pro­duct (mois­tur­iz­er) into your hair before you flatiron. I had this expe­ri­ence and my hair is actu­al­ly relaxed. I found that when I applied a leave in and then my mois­tur­iz­er that my hair wouldn’t flat iron straight. It would just frizz back up like how it was when I blew it out. I don’t like to pass the flat iron more than once or twice over any sec­tion of hair. After going to the salon once for them to cut my hair, the styl­ist actu­al­ly didn’t apply any pro­duct after the sham­poo and… Read more »
Lele
It could be the pro­duct because I notice that back when I was going to the salon on a bi-week­ly basis, my styl­ist would use so lit­tle pro­duct. All she’d do was deep con­di­tion under the dry­er, Blow dry, spray what I believe was heat pro­tec­tant, flat iron, and then spray with oil. The prob­lem is that it dam­aged my hair and made it dry as hell, and I couldn’t put any water-based pro­duct in it or it would poof up. Oh, and before she actu­al­ly flat ironed it, she’d have to use the press­ing comb, too (my hair was… Read more »
Stace

“clean” as in pro­duct free

Danielle

1. I wash and con­di­tion then let my hair air dry in out 8 braids. I find that strech­ing my hair lessens the time with the blow dry­er and some­times, I don’t need the flat iron after­wards. I use a heat protectant/straightening serum pri­or to braid­ing.

2. Start­ing from the back of my head, I blow-dry with a round brush in small sec­tions.

That’s it. Some­times on day 3 or 4 I use flexirods if my hair gets a lit­tle frizzy or flat iron.

My blow-dry­er and flat iron are both Hot Tools, the helix series

Akilah

That braid idea is amaz­ing. I need to try it next time, because I real­ly did take a long time to do it, and it didn’t turn out as good as when i go for it the next day after let­ting it dry!

wpDiscuz