Whether you want to straighten hair for a super-sleek evening look or create more manageable curls, you can choose from a variety of styling products and appliances. Using a regular clothes iron may seem more like an urban legend than a practical solution. However, with the proper technique and care a clothes iron can be the most efficient and long-lasting way to straighten even the thickest and curliest hair.
Things You'll Need
Wash your hair with a mild shampoo and strong conditioner to protect it from the damage caused by hot appliances. Gently towel hair until it is just damp. Massage a straightening gel through the length of your locks to help them maintain the straightness throughout the day.
Blow dry hair with a medium temperature setting. Start with the dryer at the top of your head and move it down the length of your mane to straighten hair as much as possible and avoid adding too much body or frizz.
Separate hair into two segments parted down the middle. Pin one side up out of the way. Select a small section of the remaining hair and clip the rest back. Plug in the iron and set it to a medium-high non-steam setting.
Place a towel-wrapped palm underneath the top of the loose section of hair. Press the clothes iron to the outer surface of the hair as if clapped to your hand. In one long smooth motion, move the iron and hand down the length of the hair and through the ends. One pass of the iron should be enough to straighten hair.
Repeat with another segment of hair until the entire side is straightened, then clip that side back and perform the steps again for the second side. After all sections have been straightened, brush hair to blend the sections back together.
A clothes iron works especially well for thick hair that cannot be straightened with normal hair styling appliances.
Experiment with the iron temperature setting to find the most appropriate heat level for your hair type. Adjust the setting gradually to avoid burning.
References and ResourcesReview consumer testing results for clothes irons at Consumer Reports.
Purchase straightening gels from Paul Mitchell.