If chemical relaxers, flat irons and hot combs are too tough on your hair, don't worry. There are alternatives to harsher treatments that can still leave your hair straight, smooth and glossy. These alternatives help to relax hair without leaving it dry or damaged, which means you'll be left with healthy, beautiful and straighter locks.
If blow drying your hair and following up with a flat iron is too damaging, skip the flat iron and get yourself a good blowout. To get the best result and avoid damage, go to the salon. If you prefer to give yourself an at-home blowout, start by shampooing and conditioning your hair as usual. Towel dry your hair and apply a quarter-size dab of anti-frizz serum to your strands, applying from root to tip. Blow dry hair in 3-inch sections using high heat and a round brush. Roll each blow-dried section in Velcro rollers immediately after straightening. Once you've finished, take your rollers out and you're all set.
If just blow drying doesn't leave your hair quite as sleek as you'd like, prep your hair first with a straightening balm. Just apply as directed to damp -- not wet -- hair and follow up with a blow dryer and a round brush. The added oomph of a straightening balm will also help to keep your blowout straight for longer.
A few relaxers are chemical free. They're not as strong as chemical relaxers, which means that they may not get your hair as straight, but they also don't damage hair like chemical relaxers, so it will be healthier and more vibrant. Generally, non-chemical relaxes loosen the natural curl pattern, which will make it easier to straighten your hair if you decide to use another method, like a blowout.
To avoid direct heat on your hair, try a roller set to smooth naturally curly hair. If you like to wear your straightened hair with a bouncy curl, this is the most effective way to snag the style. If you're not looking to have much of a curl, use larger rollers -- the larger the roller, the looser the curl. Try mesh rollers or ones with built-in holes, which allow heat to flow through the hair, making drying time faster. After rolling hair, sit under a hooded dryer to get hair as sleek as possible. If you'd prefer no heat, skip the dryer and air dry instead.
- Allure: Fekkai Coiff Contrôle Ironless Straightening Balm
- Allure: John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray
- Essence: Office Obsession: Phytospecific Phytorelaxer
- NapturallyCurly.com: A Guide to Straightening Transitioning and Natural Hair Safely
- Seventeen: The Perfect Blowout
Pamela Simmons has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles on fashion, beauty and other topics have appeared on Denim Therapy and other websites. Simmons serves as an editor and public relations manager for CHIC.TV. She holds a Bachelor of Science in international affairs from Georgia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from Mercer University.