Because of its thickness and coarseness, natural African-American hair is considered by some to be difficult to manage and chemical relaxers are the common solution to permanently straightening those kinky curls. However, more African-American women are embracing their natural curls and would rather not put damaging chemicals on their hair, losing both strength and curls. However, for those that want the option of wearing sleek, straight-haired styles every now and then, you can still get your hair as straight as you would with a relaxer, with the help of blow-dryer and a high-quality flatiron.
Wash, condition and moisturize your hair as you normally would.
Blow-dry your hair in sections using a comb attachment, which will help straighten the hair.
Turn your flatiron on to medium temperature. You may need to use a medium-high setting if your hair is very thick.
Part a small section of hair from the back of your head and run the flatiron over it from root to tip. You should need to do this only once to get the hair very straight. Going over it with heat multiple times will add unnecessary heat damage. Turn the heat up slightly, if necessary, instead.
Continue to part and flatiron small sections of your hair from the back to the front, going over each section just once.
Style your newly straightened hair as you see fit.
Add a small amount of antihumectant cream or pomade to the hair after straightening to keep the humidity in the air from reverting it back to curly too soon.
Use ceramic, high quality blow-dryers and flatirons which protect your hair from the heat and moisturize.
Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.