Many African-Americans choose to wear their natural hair rather than over-processing it with perms and other chemicals. However, wearing your natural black hair doesn’t mean that you are limited to just one hairstyle. You can straighten your hair, which will give you the flexibility to wear it in many styles. With just a little preparation, you can successfully learn how to straighten natural black hair.

Things You'll Need

Shampoo and condition your hair before attempting to straighten it. Conditioning the hair gives it the extra moisture it needs to endure the heat of the straightening process. Part the hair into four to eight sections. Use pins to hold the sections in place.

Blow-dry each section of your hair on cool or low heat. Do this until your hair is completely dry. Blow-drying pre-straightens your hair and ensures the best results. Braid your hair in large braids if you don’t have access to a blow dryer.

Apply a heat protectant and leave-in conditioner. These will protect your hair from the heat applied to your hair when you begin straightening it.

Use a temperature-controlled appliance such as a flat iron to straighten your hair so that you can monitor the temperature of the heat applied to your hair. Don’t use appliances that you have to heat on the stove. The high temperature of such appliances can burn your hair.

Set the appliance on the lowest effective setting, and try not to exceed medium. Straighten each section of your hair. Run the appliance over each section of hair no more than twice to avoid damage.

Wear a satin sleeping cap to bed. This maintains the straightness of your hair. If you don’t protect your hair while sleeping, it will be frizzy when you wake up.