Straight. No Chaser

Straight and smooth hair isn't always the easiest to achieve, especially when working with naturally curly/wavy hair.  These days most of us already own a flat iron (aka straightener), but sometimes it doesn't always feel like it's working. Either it's not getting the hair straight enough or it seems like it takes forever and were doing more harm than good.

Tools needed: You will need a heat resistant comb, a few clips, a flat iron, and a heat protectant spray or a light styling spray (I like Aveda's Air Control).

With flat ironing your hair, there are a few basics we need to cover. Flat ironing your hair looks best on clean hair. If you have a lot of product in your hair, or if it needs to be washed, flat ironing it can make it look greasy, dull, and lifeless. Also, it is worth spending a few extra dollars on a nice flat iron like a ceramic one with temperature adjustments so you can change the temperature based on your hair type. If you have thicker coarse hair, your hair can withstand the higher temperatures, just remember to always keep the flat iron moving (think of how we iron our clothes, we don't let the iron sit on our shirts because it can burn. Same idea with hair). If you have hair that is on the finer side, use a lower heat setting.  Do not try to save some time by turning up the heat and zooming through this process. It will damage your hair and turn it into a brittle, dry, breaking mess (and if your hair is already damaged, try to skip the straightening. If you must do it, at least turn the temp down and give your hair a break).  Take your time and it will save your hair and give you a beautiful result.

After washing your hair, I would suggest using a leave-in heat protectant cream (I like the Ciment Thermique from the Resistance line by Kerastase) and any other products, then using your fingers as a comb, rough dry your hair.  (If you have curlier hair, I would suggest using your fingers just to work through any tangles, and slightly pulling the hair down in order to relax the curl and then switching to a paddle or round brush for tension which will pull the hair straight.  It will not look perfect, and more than likely it will look like a little messy but the flat iron will take care of that).  While drying, try to keep the air from the blow dryer pointing down.  If you flip your head over, again keep the blow dryer pointing down, never up into your hair since this will cause your hair to become frizzy and unruly. Make sure your hair is 100% dry, since the slightest bit of moisture can make your hair sound like a box of cereal. Snap. Crackle. Pop. Broken.

Once dry, section out you hair starting at the nape about an inch wide and clip the rest up. 

Now grab a heat resistant comb, and try to hold your hair in the comb while flat ironing since it will evenly distribute the hair in the flat iron and give a uniformly straight and smooth look. I also like to use a very light spray on each section of my hair as an additional heat protectant and to maintain any frizzies while adding shine.

Hair is not meant to go through such high temperatures, and with that we have to remember that such high heat (from 150-450 degrees) can cause breakage, dryness and dullness with repeated use which is why it is imperative to use a heat protectant in your hair, take your time, and work in smaller sections. While using a flat iron, try not to overwork a piece, which won't be necessary if you have smaller sections. If a section feels too thick, it IS too thick. Instead of flat ironing and pulling your hair away from your head try to keep your hair pointing down to your toes. It will keep your hair from getting a lot of volume and will give a nice smooth look. Our goal is straight hair, not half-done hair.

When you start nearing your final sections, part your hair where you normally wear it and then flat iron after you part it. 

If you are working around your face, try to add a little bend by directing your hair back instead of straight down.  It adds a little something while maintaining a smooth beautiful look.

Now add a light spray or a very light serum and now you have perfectly straight hair.