Straight Talk: This Curly Girl Also Loves Straight Hair

Published in: Hair



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Looking back, I realize now that holding a scalding hot laundry iron inches away from my face probably wasn’t the smartest thing I’d ever done, but I was a curious teenager, and I’d heard from my friend Jessica that the quickest way to get straight hair was to iron it.

(pause)

Okay, this was the early ’90s, and flat irons hadn’t quite made their way into every straight hair-challenged girl’s bathroom yet, so, one day, after pressing the wrinkles out of my favorite pair of Z. Cavariccis and my black-and-white polka-dot shirt (complete with sheer black sleeves!), I placed my long, wavy hair on the ironing board and…

(Seriously, do NOT try this at home.)

It didn’t take long to turn my unruly lion’s mane into a sleek curtain of straight hair. “Victory!” I roared. Adrenaline burned through my veins! — or I guess it could have been heat from the iron.

This went on for about two weeks until the day my mom walked in on me. What followed was A LOT OF YELLING! And that pretty much put an end to that particular kind of ironing.

But it didn’t halt my quest for straight hair. I picked up a few more straight hair tricks in my 20s that weren’t so, um, dangerous. One stylist taught me how to straighten with a round boar hair brush and a blow dryer. I spent half of my 20s using that combo.

Now in my 30s, I’ve embraced my natural waves, but I still like to switch things up and rock a straight hair look from time to time, like for job interviews, or whenever I don’t feel like fussing with my curls.

Nowadays, though, I rarely bust out the boar hair brush and blow dryer. Flat irons are just so much faster for me (15 minutes, vs. up to an hour for the brush and dryer).

There are tons of different ways to straighten hair, but here’s the one I use. After I wash and condition, I apply a heat protecting leave-in cream while my hair is still wet. Then I let it dry. I prefer to air dry, but I will use a blow dryer if I’m pressed for time.

Once my hair is dry, I re-apply a heat protectant spray and, section by section, run through it with the flat iron. After that, I apply a serum or cream to the ends to tame flyaways and add shine.

I’m a curly girl through and through, but I also like straight hair. :) It’s fun to let that girl come out and play sometimes.

What about you? Do you like to wear your hair straight? If so, what process do you use?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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  1. when i use to straighten my hair i would use my chi i havent done it in 2 years. it was just to much for my hair to handle. my mom cut it really short and now its 19 inch long and i havent looked back lol
    candace grubbs recently posted … Tortellini italiano

  2. Adria says:

    I wash and condition my hair, then spray some Tresemme heat protectant spray. I let it dry almost to the point of being completely dry, then I use a blow dryer and a flat boar brush (the ONLY time a brush goes through my hair!) to straighten it, then to follow up, I use a BedHead flat iron. I don’t think the BedHead works very well, so maybe I can convince the Hubinator to get me a CHI. If using the CHI can help me skip the brush, that would be great!

  3. sareena says:

    :) :) :) you look very nice with straight hair. :D

  4. LorraineER says:

    My aunt and mom were total hippies and way before flat irons they used to iron their hair with a real iron and ironing board. My mom even did that to my hair for my first school dance, lol! The point being people did actually do that so you’re not crazy for trying.

  5. Gina says:

    I know you use Tresemme’s heat spray (which I love too!) but what heat cream do you use? I’ve been straightening a lot lately, because it’s about time I head back to my hair dresser. When I let it do it’s own thing, it looks crazy!

  6. Vijaya says:

    It’s nice that you can rock either curly or straight. Straight hair looks dreadful on me, IMO.
    Vijaya recently posted … MAC Jeanius Look- Diva In Distress

  7. Nina says:

    in the past month, ive learned to embrace my wavy hair … but for work, i still straighten it 2 or 3 days out of 5.

    i cant be sitting in my desk sending our crew men to jobs all around the world in my marilyn monroe curls (thats what happens w/ the hot rollers, and thats what the hubs calls them) …. :D

  8. Trisha says:

    I straightened my hair every day from elementary school to about 20. While I liked it, I really don’t want to do it again. It’s a lot easier to let it air dry and be curly. And, you know, it looks good.
    Trisha recently posted … Free Beauty Bag From Target While Supplies Last

  9. Silva says:

    You look great with straight hair! I have wavy hair and would like to straighten it, but I’m way too clumsy to even thin of using a flat iron :P
    Silva recently posted … P2 Elegant

  10. Connie says:

    Karen you look gorgeous with straight hair! :)

    I’m still trying to figure out a good style for my hair. My hair is mostly straight but it’s very thick so it takes forever to get pin straight or curl. Bummer..

  11. Cindy says:

    You look great with straight hair! I used to straighten my hair in high school, but I don’t do it anymore because my hair is really dry and damaged. I let my natural texture do it’s thing and I always air dry. Also, I now realize that straight hair didn’t look so good with my round face, hehe.

  12. Tatiana Jarquin says:

    I once ironed my hair with a laundry iron as well because a friend told me it was the sure way to straighten my hair, but it was so difficult to do it, that I only did it once, lol.

    I have wavy hair like yours Karen, but I’ve just gotten an internship and I want to rock straight hair at least a few days of the week (it looks more professional imo); so if you could do a tutorial video or a step by step write down with pictures on how to blow dry your hair I would love you forever because whenever I try to blow dry my hair I always end up with a BIG frizzy mess of hair. I know it’s easier to flat iron it, but sadly I don’t have one of those awesome flat irons that straighten wet hair :(

  13. Sara flemmIng says:

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who used the irOn! Obviously now I know how silly it is, but it did work very well! I have curly hair and straighten everyday! I only wear it curly if it’s raining very hard or I have a day off!

  14. corinne says:

    you ever think of doing the Keratin treatment? It has seriously changed my life! I had super curly hair (think Curly Sue lol) and I got the treatment done about a week or so ago…and now my hair is STRAIGHT…granted i still have to flat iron (hairdresser warned me that i would still have waves) but i have NO frizz and i can flat iron my hair in 10 min versus the 1+ hour it took before…LOVE IT and totally recommend it.

  15. Tracy says:

    I give up straightening my hair. I always had to fight frizz. Now that I leave it curly/wavy, I have less frizz to deal with and less products I waste money on!
    Tracy recently posted … Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy Is My Love Too!

  16. Tekoa says:

    My hair is straight naturally and to keep it that way all it needs is brushing. I’ve described my hair as babyfine, smooth and sleek when I’m in a good mood. Or flat, boring and utterly lacking in any form of volume when I’m irritated. lol.

    • Amanda says:

      HA! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that is totally hot and cold with my hair. I’m just like you – on a good day I think it’s wavy, thick, and am thankful for all the natural volume I have. On a bad day (which unfortunately seems to occur more often than the good days) I think it’s dry, frizzy, poofy, and wish it was stick straight!!!

  17. bisbee says:

    My hair is a short layered bob – I have to start with a blow dryer and round brush since my hair is way too curly to just let it dry and then use the flat iron! Also, I blow it out first and then just touch up with the flat iron – if I make it too straight it takes out all of the body. I have a LOT of hair, but it’s fine and I need some of that fullness!

    And yes…when I was in high school back in the olden days (late 60′s) my mother ironed my hair a few times…but we never kept it up. Which was a good thing for my hair!

  18. Your hair looks fantastic straight, especially with that cut. My best friend in high school used to iron her hair too–she had really frizzy, kinky hair. Mine was always so thin and flat my ears stuck out.
    Cindy (Prime Beauty) recently posted … Anastasia ILLUMIN8 Eye Shadow Palette- Finally Anti-Aging Eye Shadow! plus Giveaway!!

  19. sheetal says:

    Hi i have a wavy hair and i like to iron my hair once in a while i use only the hair protecting spray, which leave in cream do you use .

  20. Tuesday says:

    LOL! I am SO glad I am not the only one who tried to iron her hair with a real iron. OMG – in those days I would have tried anything. I have a relaxer on my hair – which makes my hair less curly than it would be – but getting rid of those intense waves is pretty tough. I used to blow dry it straight all the time as well. But since flat irons have come a long way since the 90s, I don’t have to blow dry much at all these days. I’ve also recently discovered the Brazilian Keratin Treatment. I am very much in love, but it’s probably not the route to go if you still want to rock waves sometimes.
    You look fab with wavy/curly hair btw so don’t sweat the straight stuff!

  21. Jamie says:

    I wore my hair wavy throughout high school cause I never had the time to straighten. i was always jealous of girls with stick straight hair. When my first flatiron and I met in college , it was a love affair for several years. Now a days, its usually a toss between flat ironing and curling. It’s rare for my hair to be worn natural anymore.

    love you with wavy hair :)

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Jamie. For years I was jealous of my friends with stick straight hair. I spent a crazy amount of time trying to get mine to look that way!

      Anywho, what flatiron do you use?

  22. Rachel says:

    your hair looks fantastic! what products do you use? i’ve got super-curly 3b hair, and it seems like no matter what i do it takes an hour with a chi straightener to get it relatively straight. any tips?

  23. Alice says:

    I straighten my hair most days, because sometimes when it’s left to do its own thing it goes a little wonky. I’m thinking I need a better stylist. :/

    Anyway, I spray some heat protectant into my damp hair, work some heat protectant/shine serum into the ends, and blow dry. I’d love to let it air dry every morning but I don’t have that kind of time before work. Then straighten, and maybe add some more serum at the end to the tips of my hair. Et voila!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alice,

      A great stylist can change everything! Before I started seeking people who specialized in curly hair I could never do wash-n-wear hair. I still need a little bit of product to get it to look respectable, but I no longer have to wrestle with it every morning…

      Anywho, what flat iron do you use? I’m all about the Sedu!

  24. Blue says:

    You look super super pretty with straight hair!

  25. lyss says:

    haa i used to use a blowdryer to straighten my hair but when i finished all the heat from the blowdryer make me extremly hot. and a bit sweaty on my face so not worth it.. now i stick to shower. heat protectant and straighten it also in sections.

  26. Amee says:

    you looking beautiful in straight hair!!!
    I have curly hair and me too big FAN of straight hair.. and even I had straighten my hair 2 yrs ago.. but after the straighting my hair became very dry.. faced hair loss problem.. now after 2 yrs also still my hair condition is worst..

  27. Jenn says:

    I just use some sort of heat protectant and straighten it by one inch sections…. it takes FOREVER (upwards of an hour) because I have so much hair, but I will seriously let it ride for a week before getting it wet again. My hair is so thick and dry it doesn’t look dirty after a week (I’m half black), and all I have to do every morning is hit the front with a flatiron and use some cream on the ends. Brilliant! A small price to pay for an hour once or twice a week!

  28. Kelly says:

    Karen, your hair looks great either way, straight or curly. Lucky you!

    I had “Marcia Brady”-straight hair until I hit college and it suddenly decided to become wavy-frizzy like my mom’s hair. On a few occasions I’ve gotten it to do the Pre-Raphaelite ringlet curl, but I can’t count on my hair cooperating very often so most of the time I either curl or straighten it. Anyway, when I want my hair to be stick-straight, but glossy and touchable too, then I use hairdryer, round boar brush, and Straight Sexy Power Straight Straightening Balm. That stuff works like a charm! Garnier Fructis Haircare Leave-In Conditioning Cream, Sleek & Shine is also good in a pinch.

  29. Nathalie says:

    I used to flat iron every day because I felt gross with curly hair–and the result was really damaged and dry hair with crispy ends that did not grow. Last fall I began to accept my curly hair. I’ve been trimming it once a month and it’s growing rapidly–trying to grow out all the breakage and brassy color from old old dye jobs. I only allow myself to straighten it once a month or no more than twice a month–usually for special occasions when I want to look sleek. My hair is frizzy and a little unruly but I use my CHI serum every time I wash my hair. It’s meant for straightening but it’s my HG for taming the frizz and it’s not sticky like every other product I’ve tried.

  30. Tracy says:

    I rarely straigten/curl my hair anymore (just lazy and less vain in my middle-age), unless I’m going out for a special occasion. My hair is sooo thick, blow drying takes forever, and seems to leave me with “frizz halo”, lol. I’ve found the best way to achieve smoothness is to comb thru with a wide-tooth comb, then pull back into a loosely twisted bun & secure with a ponytail holder. I’ll do this in the morning and left it dry that way til time to get ready to go out. Seems to help “flatten” the curl/wave at the roots, and then the wave left towards the ends is no problem with a flat iron or large barrel curling iron. Best of all, much less frizz to fight.

  31. Courtney says:

    What a timely post! My hair is very thick, very long, and very curly (with patches of different curl patterns, even!). I’d love to be able to use the method you describe, but unless I’m out in summer sun and heat, it takes my hair almost a full day to air dry. Blowing it out in sections takes more than an hour and still leaves me with waves, so then out comes the flat iron (used in even smaller sections). It’s no wonder I hadn’t straightened my hair in over three years. But I randomly did last night, using the trusty blowout method and the rotating hot iron from the infomercials, the InStyler. Shockingly, it actually worked pretty much as advertised (though there was no time difference versus a traditional flat iron at all). Don’t know that I’ll be straightening again for awhile, but it’s nice change of pace.

  32. Karen says:

    I have super thick curly hair so I let my hair air dry till it’s about 70% dry and apply paul mitchell super skinny serum along with a few spray of beyong the zone heat protectant then i blow dry it with a regualr vent brush. After that i’ll just let it sit for 30 min or so and then add a few sprays of tresemme heat protectant and then flat iron with my paul mitchell iron at 380 degrees. My hair is silky straight after that and you would never have guessed that i have curly hair naturally.

    For those with thick. culry hair looking for an amazing flat iron you HAVE to get the Paul Mitchell. I used the Chi for years and it’s absolute crap compared to the PM.

  33. Nikki B. says:

    I’m a natural chick but there are many times (usually when the cooler weather hits S. Florida) that I love to straighten my hair. When I do straighten my hair I wash it with a clarifying shampoo then do a deep condition treatment. After I wash it out I rub some One N Only Argan Oil & Special FX Silk Serum through my hair, section my hair in four and thoroughly detangle my hair. If I have time I’ll let my hair air dry but if not, I’ll use my fantabulous blow dryer (Hot N Gold 1875 watts) which takes all of 15 minutes. I then add some more argan oil & silk serum to each section prior to using my InStyler (which really works). Generally I don’t have to do anything other than that but sometimes I feel that my roots aren’t as straight as I’d like so I take my T3 and go through it. I can rock the straight hair (and get TONS of comments that I relaxed my hair) for a week or two.

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