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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.
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,