Rear view of curly black girl and cityscape

Straightening ethnic hair can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially if you choose to not use a relaxer or other harsh chemicals on your hair. However, you can naturally straighten your curly locks without wasting hours of your time.

Wash and condition your hair. Always start with clean hair.

Towel-dry hair. Massage in a leave-in conditioner. John Frida makes a product called Frizz-Ease which is very beneficial for keeping ethnic hair straight. It works by closing the hair shafts, effectively preventing humidity from entering the hair and causing frizz. This step is crucial if you want straight hair. There are other products on the market that also prevent frizz, but Frizz-Ease is the most popular.

Dry hair using a blow dryer, preferably one with a brush attachment. If you do not have a brush attachment for your blow dryer, use a regular brush. Slowly brush hair in downward strokes as you steadily chase the brush with the heat from the blow dryer. This should straighten your hair, although your hair will still be poofy.

Part your hair into four sections, using a comb, two in the front and two in the back. Secure with hair clips.

Start with one of the back sections and remove 1/4 inch of hair from the hair clip and comb through, to ensure the strands are tangle free. Take the flat iron and clasp over the root of the hair. Apply pressure as you steadily glide the flat iron down the hair shaft. Make one solid motion, to avoid creating kinks and bends in the hair.

Return to the hair shaft you've just flat ironed and redo twice, or until hair is straightened to your satisfaction. Don't do more than three times.

Continue to flat iron hair, section by section, until hair is completely straightened.

Maintain straightened hair by sleeping in a satin or silk scarf. To prepare hair, part hair down the middle and use a comb to wrap hair flatly against your head. Use flat hair clips to secure hair to head. Wrap scarf around hair and tightly knot.


  • The key to flat ironing is consistent heat, so repetition is very effective in straightening hair.

  • Buy a quality flat iron with ion-neutralizing effect, as found in ceramic irons.

  • Always wrap hair at night to maintain straightened hair for longer.