Hair Pros Explain How To Straighten Thick Hair

October 22, 2021

Most people with thick hair dread straightening their hair themselves. Unfortunately, a large portion of this dread stems from their lack of knowledge on how to straighten thick hair. To help, we have spoken to hair pros to get insight on how they straighten thick hair effortlessly.

Let us get down to business, shall we?

Seven Expert Tips On How To Straighten Thick Hair

Here are some expert tips to help you straighten your thick hair in half the usual time. Ensure that you do not skip any of these steps:

Wash And Condition Your Hair

Experts advise that you wash your hair to rid it of pent-up dirt and oils. Follow off with a good conditioner, preferably one that is lightweight. The next step would be to dry your hair off with a towel or an old cotton T-shirt. 

You can speed up the drying time by using the best blow dryer for thick hair, check list here. Either option is fine as long as you do not attempt to straighten your dripping wet hair.

Apply A Heat Protectant

All hair professionals concur that a heat protectant is a MUST. As the name suggests, a heat protectant protects your hair from the damaging effects of heat. You can also apply lightweight oils to nourish your strands.

Look out for hair oils that contain argan, cyperus, linseed, and coconut oil. They are great for thick hair strands.

Divide Your Hair

To make the task easier, divide your hair into smaller sections. That way, you can work through your hair in small bits without getting overwhelmed. A cheat would be to detangle your hair with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb gently before moving on.

Turn On Your Hair Straightener And Let It Heat Up

Next, turn on your hair straightener and set it to the correct heat settings. The right heat setting would depend on your hair type and since your hair is thick, you should aim for hotter temperatures. Preheating your flat iron cuts your styling time in half and also reduces frizz.

Do not try skipping this step; otherwise, the cold iron will cause your hair to go static. You don’t want to look like the 21st century Einstein do you?

Start Straightening Your Hair

Once your hair straightener is hot enough, you can start straightening your hair. For thick hair, experts recommend you start with a temperature of 350 degrees and work your way up to 400 degrees if it is not sufficient. Do not go above board; stop when you find the right temperature for your strands.

Ensure you start from the hair at the nape of your neck and work your way up slowly. For smoother hair, divide your hair into even sections and run the iron over each section slowly.

Styling Thick Hair: Resist The Urge to Comb Your Hair

The common mistake rookies make is combing their hair while straightening it. Rather, brush your hair; that way, your ends remain intact and you keep frizz at bay. The simple rule is to brush dry hair and comb wet hair.

Finish Off Your Hair

Finish off your hair with a silicone-based product to add a bit of gloss or shine to the hair. Alternatively, you can opt for a few drops of hair serum. Rub the drops between your palms and smooth them over your entire strands, but be careful not to apply too much.

Bonus Tip: How to Add Volume to Thick Hair

Straightening thick hair is a bit more complex because it is heavy. So if you want to add some volume to your hair, flip it upside down and straighten your hair that way. You can also spritz some volumizing spray to give your hair the much-needed lift.

How To Choose A Hair Straightener

Without a good hair straightener, all of the steps outlined above would fail to give you the desired effect. That is why we have made a list of important things to consider when selecting a hair straightener.

Plate Size

The first thing you should look out for is the size of the flat iron. The flat iron plates are of different sizes, so, ensure you select one that is suited for your hair type and length. The longer and thicker your hair is, the larger the plate should be. To be on the safe side, select a flat iron with plates that measure at least 2 inches.

Heat Settings

Modern flat irons come with variable heat settings to help you style your hair effectively. So, select one that has at least 3 heat settings – low, medium, and high. That way, you can control the amount of heat being applied to your strands.

Plate Materials

There are different materials that flat irons can be made from. However, experts advise that you select flat irons with plates made from ceramic, tourmaline, or titanium. Plates made from these materials distribute heat evenly around your hair strand so you have minimal heat damage.

Remember, a more costly hair straightener may not necessarily be the best. You always have to scrutinize the features they come with and make your choice based on that.

How To Get Healthy Straight Thick Hair

A sure way to get beautiful, frizz-free hair every time is to ensure that your hair is healthy from the inside out. Healthy hair not just leaves your hair looking sleek and beautiful, it also helps it remain frizz-free for a longer time.

Most hair stylists recommend plant based hair oil for keeping thick hair healthy. It penetrates your hair follicles and nourishes them from root to tip. You can do a hot oil treatment once a week to keep your strands healthy.


Straightening thick hair is not rocket science. However, once you know the basics and expert tips, you can achieve great results. Remember, as, with all heat styles, you will need a heat protectant and a great heating tool. Read up our tips on how to select the best hair straighteners and flat irons on the market.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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