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Straighten Up, Curly!
By Ron King
It's hard to imagine the difficulties women went through to straighten their hair back in the "good old days." With no specialty tools available at the time, women had to use things like a clothing iron to get the desired look. Dangerous and damaging, but there was no other choice, then.
Today there are effective appliances and products that will help ease the transition from curly to straight.
Getting your hair straight is not a quick and easy task, especially if your hair is extremely curly. Thick or long curly hair can take hours to get right.
So, this is certainly not a quick style change to try before a first date.
But it is certainly doable. However, there are some steps you should take to make the process easier.
Begin by washing and conditioning your hair. Use a deep conditioner, otherwise straightening hair can leave it dry and damaged. Towel-dry your hair and apply a straightening gel. The gel will help prep your hair for the process. Allow your hair to partially air dry before bringing out the hair dryer.
Pin the top portions of your hair up on top of your head. Work just 1 section of your hair at a time. Use a brush (flat paddle or round) to pull a small section of hair straight while drying it with a hair dryer.
Repeat this process, section by section, until all of your hair is dry.
If your hair is very curly, you will probably see some frizz. Don't worry; this will go away when the process is finished.
You are now prepped and ready to straighten.
The best tool for straightening curly hair is called a flat iron, which come in several different widths. The best one for our purpose is 1.5 inches wide. This is easier to work with and provides better control than larger models.
Most flat irons have multiple temperature settings. Hair types respond to heat uniquely, so you must experiment. Until you know otherwise, start with the lowest setting and work your way up in temperature until you get the results you want.
You can get one at most drug stores or beauty shops. You want a ceramic model for stubborn curly hair. Prices range from $30 to $200. Don't buy the most expensive flat iron at first. Sometimes the cheaper models work just as well.
The most important key to straightening success is good prep. With well prepped hair, any reputable flat iron should give you a smooth, frizz-free look.
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