How to Straighten Permed Hair

By LeafTV Editor

Women often desire a versatile hairstyle. While permed curls can be flirty, carefree and sophisticated, sometimes straightening curls for a clean, smooth look is more ensemble-appropriate. Temporarily straightening permed hair can require haircare products, a brush, and 30 minutes or longer, depending on hair length. However, it's possible to master the skill of smoothing out curls quickly and easily, and high-quality blowouts often look fresh and styled for several days.

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How To Straighten Permed Hair

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Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo and deep conditioner. Choose products that are marketed for their "smoothing" or "straightening" styling benefits. Additionally, use haircare products designed to protect chemically treated hair during heat-styling.

Towel-dry clean hair. Try to absorb excess water by patting your head, rather than scrunching up your curls. Comb hair from roots to ends, and part as usual.

Spritz hair with a heat-protectant spray, such as Aveda's Brilliant Damage Control (see Resources). Then, smooth a small amount of hair-straightening lotion, such as Aveda's popular Hang Straight product, all over hair, focusing on the tips.

"Rough dry" hair with a blow dryer. Using only your fingers to move hair, blow dry your roots for just a few minutes, removing excess water. Point hair dryer in the downward position, as this promotes smoothness and reduce frizz.

Divide hair into three main sections: two sides and a back. If permed hair has tight, small curls, drying hair in smaller sections may produce better results. Clip hair sections out of the way, as needed, during the drying process.

Use a paddle (or round) brush and blow dryer to straighten each section of permed hair. Tuck brush underneath hair section at the roots; then, directing the blow dryer heat onto the hair, pull the brush through the entire length of the hair section. Repeat step for each section until hair is fully dry.

Blast straight, dry hair with cool air. Many hair dryers offer a "cool shot" option; press this button, and direct blow dryer across entire head of hair. This will help set your new, straightened hairstyle.

Complete hair straightening with a high-quality flat iron. Adjust heat to a low temperature setting, and flat-iron hair in 2-inch sections.

Tame potential fly-aways with a smoothing product. Use a small amount of serum, such as Aveda's Smoothing Fluid, to finish off a straight hairstyle.


  • Remember to blow dry small sections at a time for the best results. Try using different kinds of brushes, such as thick, square paddles or 2-inch-round ones, until you find the perfect one for your hair type. Get hair trimmed frequently to snip split ends and keep hair healthy-looking.