How to Straighten Your Curly Hair

Step 1: Wash and condition your hair. Use a gentle shampoo and a smoothing conditioner to prepare your hair for the straightening process. Straightening, no matter how gentle you are, is tough on the hair, so "babying" it with gentle hair-care products beforehand can help prevent more damage.

Step 2: Towel dry your hair until it's more "damp" than "wet". This means less time spent blow drying your hair, and that's a good thing! Try a microfiber towel, which is gentler on the cuticle of the hair than regular towels.

Step 3: Smooth a dime-size amount of a straightening cream, balm, gel, or lotion throughout the hair to get it ready for blow drying and flat ironing. Make sure you don't overdo it, too much can make your  virgin hair limp instead of straight!

Step 4: Using a round bristle brush, carefully pull your hair straight as you blow it dry. You can alternate between your blow dryer's hotter and cooler settings to make sure you're not overheating your hair. Keep doing this until your hair is completely dry.

Step 5: Never use a flat iron on damp hair—you must blow dry your hair first. Using a flatiron on damp hair can lead to damage that literally breaks the hair because the temperature of the flatiron on damp hair can cause the water in the hair to literally boil, and then burst the hair shaft.

Step 6: Put the top half of your hair in a bun or clip it on top of your head. Divide the bottom half of your hair into small sections about one to two inches wide. Using a comb, pull out a section of hair as taut as possible with one hand, while smoothing a flatiron along that section with the other.

Start at the roots of the hair and move to the end in one fluid motion, then repeat a couple of times to make sure that section of hair is straight. After one section is done to your satisfaction, repeat the process on the other sections.

Step 7: If you want a fuller look, apply a volumizing spray at the roots as you flatiron each section.

Step 8: When the bottom part of your hair is done, unclip the top part and begin working on those sections. Use a handheld the mirror to check the back of your hair in a separate mirror to make sure you didn't miss anything.

Step 9: When you're all done, use a small amount of a silicone serum or spray for a smooth and polished look. Serums work best on coarse, thick hair, while sprays are preferred for normal to fine or thin hair.