Thick hair is known to be the strongest type of hair because it contains all the 3 hair layers – the medulla, cuticle and the cortex. The medulla is the innermost part of the hair shaft which is usually empty spaces. The space is filled with protein and air. Thicker hair normally takes longer to dry as compared to others, and it can be resistant to different types of chemical treatments. It can resist breakage more than medium or fine hair. It can also tolerate heat well. This article includes guidelines on how to straighten thick hair properly and effectively.
There are some reasons why those with thicker hair want to straighten it. One is that straight hair is much easier to manage. Styling straight hair is also easy as compared to thick hair. Straight long hair can make you look stylish and elegant even without any accessories. While thick hair can make you look messy and unruly.
Straightening thick hair can be done in various ways. Using a hair straightener or a flat iron is the most popular and the easiest way to achieve this. However, there are things that you need to do before, during and after straightening to help you achieve the results that you want. By preparing your hair properly, and using the right tools, you can have shiny, straight and smooth hair in an instant no matter how thick it is.
Things You Need to do Before Straightening Your Hair
In preparation for the process of straightening your hair using a flat iron, there are things that you need to do first.
1.Wash and condition your hair
You can achieve better result if you start with clean and well-nourished hair. Use gentle shampoo to prevent stripping of your hair before you apply heat on it and make it susceptible to damage. It is important that your hair is properly hydrated, use straightening conditioner after shampooing. The product contains moisturizing ingredients like coconut water, argan oil, and macadamia oil that helps smooth your hair.
- Use a moisturizing shampoo if your hair tends to be very dry for added hydration.
- For very dry or heavily damaged hair, use deep conditioning mask before straightening your hair. As compared to the regular conditioners, this one is thicker and let it sit on your hair for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing.
2. Dry your hair
After washing and conditioning your hair with a towel until it’s only damp. If dry your hair partially before blow drying it means that you need only less time to use heat on it, which is important if you will use a straightening iron. Use a microfiber towel to dry it is more absorbent and softer.
3. Protect the hair from the damaging effect
To protect the hair from the damaging effect of heat on your hair, apply a heat protectant before you blow drying and straightening. The protectant will coat the hair so it will not burn and dry out easily.
- You can use argan oil.
- Apply only a little amount of heat protectant, just enough to lightly coat the length of your hair.
4. Use round brush to blow dry
Your thick hair requires additional work to straighten, so it will help if you blow dry it first. Use a round bristle brush to achieve smooth hair as you dry your hair. Work with your brush to pull the hair as straight as possible so you don’t have to use straightening iron that much. It is important that your hair is completely dry before you use the straightening iron.
- Straightening iron should not be used on damp hair. It will damage your hair seriously as the moisture can boil on your hair.
- Switch the setting of your blow dryer hot and cold as you dry it to avoid overheating the hair.
- Choose brush with natural bristles.
Tips on Choosing the Right Flat Iron
Flat irons or straightening tool is available in different sizes. For thicker hair, it requires larger plates. The straightening iron with 1 to 2 inch plates is ideal for thick, coarse hair.
- Choose the best flat iron for thick hairs with different heat settings. Other flat irons are available with low, medium and high settings. It is best to choose an iron that lets you set a precise temperature. Set it to the lowest amount of heat possible. If you have thick, coarse hair, set it at 350 to 400 degrees. If the heat is not enough adjust the temperature by 10.
- The plate is available in different types of material, and some may damage to your hair as compared to others. Choose flat iron that is made of titanium, tourmaline or ceramic because they heat more evenly thus it won’t damage the hair that much. These plates release negative ions which can make your hair shinier and smoother.
- Stay away from irons that are made of Teflon coated or ceramic plates. Because they don’t heat evenly, thus it can dry out thick hair.
During the Straightening Process
Heat up the iron to the right temperature. Most irons will alert you once it reaches the right temperature by either lighting up or beeping. Before you start using it on your hair makes sure that the iron is fully heated. If you use at too low temperature it might harm your hair since it will require you to go over the sections several times before you can smoothen it completely.
When straightening, it is best to work on small sections so you can be sure that you have smooth all of it equally. Start to divide your hair into two sections and then clip the top part of your head. Divide the lower half into sections around 1 to 2 inches wide or depending on the size of your iron plates.
- Accidentally running the iron over sections repeatedly will be avoided if you divide your hair into sections.
- The thicker your hair the more sections you should create.
- After completing the bottom part of your hair, remove the clip on the top half and start smoothing it.
Start half inch below the roots of your hair then glide the iron over each section of hair. Keep it in a steady pace, so it will not linger in one area longer than another.
- There are cases that you might need to go over to some sections more than once to straighten them completely.
- Use a hand mirror to look at the sections at the back of your heat to make sure that you have achieved the result that you like.
If you are on the section near the crown of your head, adjust your straightening motions. Lift the parts away from your scalp so you can get the iron closer to your roots, and pull the iron outward from your head to achieve the best result.
- Press the iron firmly over your hair as you move the iron in and out to make sure you straighten it to your desired result.
Apply a silicon-based shine product once you are done straightening your hair. Use a serum for thick, coarse hair. Place 2 to 3 drops on your palm and work it between your hands. Spread it over on your hair to coat all your hair strands.
- Do not apply too much serum it will make your hair look greasy.
- Apply the shine product on the body of your hair not on the roots.
There are no short cuts to straighten thick hair. You need to spend enough time, money and effort to achieve the desired result. This how to straighten thick hair guidelines will help you complete the process successfully and beautifully.