How to Successfully Flat Iron Natural Black Hair

It is pretty normal to get tired of your natural black hair and dream of those straight, shiny hair. But it can be a task to flat iron your natural Black hair if you don’t know the correct technique. There are a lot of things you have to do right to get properly straightened hair. We have covered a few tips and techniques in this article for you.

How to Flat Iron Natural Black Hair – 14 Steps


1. Begin with Well-Conditioned Hair

As we all know, natural black hair is more prone to damage, and therefore you should use the heat very carefully on it. Always avoid using your flat iron on dry and brittle hair as it is more likely to cause breakage. Following your shampoo and conditioning routine before deciding to straighten your hair is necessary, as well-conditioned hair will ensure your hair is adequately moisturized. 

2. Flat Iron your hair only after deep conditioning 

As mentioned earlier, you should only use your flat iron on your hair after they have been conditioned deeply. If your natural hair is more on the drier side, conditioning is essential before using heat to prevent heat damage. 

3. Detangle your hair using afro hair comb

Black woman using afro hair comb

Even though you might have conditioned your hair correctly, it is crucial to detangle your hair before going through the process of straightening them. We have found this Firstline Sleek 3″ Wide Hair Comb Perfect For Natural & Afro Styles. You might feel lazy to go through the whole detangling process, but it is vital if you want to keep breakage at bay. It is advisable to use a wide-tooth comb to detangle wet hair in proper sections.

4. Choose Whether You Will Natural Air Dry or Blow Dry

Woman in a hair salon, blow drying hair

Another step is to choose how you want to dry your hair. Both Air drying and blow drying have their perks and cones. But since you would like to protect your hair from excessive heat styling, it is recommended to Natural Air dry your hair before straightening it.

Blow-drying takes less time to dry your hair, but because you will use heat to straighten your hair already, you should air dry to protect your hair from double heat exposure. We found this Salon Performance INFINITIPRO blow dryer from CONAIR quite handy.

5. Use Smoothing Balm or Serum on Your Hair

If you wish to protect your hair from heat damage, never go ahead with the straightening process without applying a smoothing balm or serum as heat protectants. They help minimize heat damage and protect your hair from dryness, breakage, and split ends when exposed to continuous heat for a long period. Always make sure to gently apply the serum to every section of your hair so that there is no uneven distribution of heat in your hair.

6. Avoid Oil Before Flat Ironing 

You should always avoid putting oil into your hair before straightening it. It will weigh down your hair, and the styling will not stay on your hair for an extended period. You can apply oil before a few days and then wait for your hair to absorb it. But, you should not use oil just before styling your hair as it will fry your hair. You won’t even get your desired look, and what’s worse, it will even damage your hair. 

7. Only Flat Iron Dry Hair

Heat and water have never been a good combination, and therefore you should not mix them. Again, straightening your damp hair will just fry it. It will also increase the chances of frizz in your hair. So, always either blow dry your hair entirely or let it air dry properly before going through the process of straightening it.

8. Go Slow and Steady

Never rush through the process of straightening your hair. In this way, you are only damaging your hair. Flat Ironing your hair requires a great deal of patience, as you have to go through every strand and every section differently, and it requires time. If you are in a hurry, skip straightening your hair.

If you try to straighten them quickly, taking thick sections simultaneously, you will have to go through the same areas more times than usual, which will only cause excessive heat damage. Always brush your hair section properly before using a flat iron on them, as it will smoothen your hair, making the process a little easy for you.

9. Choose a flat iron that has adjustable temperature settings

Every different kind and texture of hair needs a different temperature to straighten your hair. If you have thin and fragile hair, the flat iron with only 450°F heat won’t work for you as it can quickly burn your hair. Similarly, if you have extremely coarse hair, only low-temperature straighteners won’t be suitable for your hair, as it will take you a great deal of time to straighten your hair. So, always choose a flat iron with adjustable temperature settings.

Take a look at some of the best flat iron for natural black hair styles. 

It is also essential as not all sections of your hair require the same heat setting to straighten your hair. Some areas may be thicker than the others and vice-versa. So, an adjustable setting flat iron is the one for you if you have different textured hair.

10. Adjust the temperature as needed- choose the low temperature to start

When you start straightening your hair, you might have very little or no idea about the accurate temperature for your hair. That is pretty normal, so you should always keep adjusting it to know the correct temperature suitable to straighten your hair. Remember to always start with lower temperatures to protect your hair from burning. You can gradually keep increasing the temperature if the lower settings don’t work for you.

11. Part your hair in very small sections

To straighten your hair correctly, always part them in tiny sections at the same time. Wider areas will not allow you to straighten your hair properly. The width of your section also depends upon the size of your straightener. But, if you try to flat iron a more expansive section, you will have to go through the same strand a lot more times than usual which will use up more of your time and damage your hair as well.

12. Take a small section in the back to determine the temperature of your hair.

Just because your friend straightens her hair at 450°F does not mean your hair requires such a high temperature too. So, before beginning your straightening process, always take a small section of your hair for the temperature test. Once you know whether it is correct for them or not, you can go ahead with the flat ironing process.

13. Continue this until you have completed your whole head.

Continue the same process and steps mentioned above until all your hair is appropriately straightened. Keep checking the temperature constantly to determine it is not burning your hair. Take sections that can be straightening only with one or two passes. Follow all these steps thoroughly to get the best possible results.

14. While sleeping, wrap your hair with satin scarf 

To keep your hair in place for an extended period after using a flat iron, proper care is necessary. For the same, you should wrap your hair while sleeping. It helps to reduce breakage and tangles and can ease out your morning routine.

Tips and Suggestions After Straightening Natural Black Hair


Refrain from touch-ups

As tempting as the touch-ups seem to you, you should refrain from doing it. As constant touch-ups will not do any good to your hair and, on the alternative, will spoil your style. 

Do not Flat Iron every day

The most important thing you should keep in your mind is protecting your hair from excessive heat styling. It would be best if you did not flat iron your day daily to protect your hair’s health. Extreme heat damages your hair to an unrepairable extent. Only straighten your hair when necessary and try to maintain it by taking proper care. If you maintain it, your hair will stay straightened for quite a long time, and you won’t have to use a flat iron regularly.

Always wear a satin scarf to bed or use a satin pillowcase

To keep your hair straightened for a long time, some steps are necessary. While you wrap your hair when you are going to bed, always use a satin scarf to do the same. A satin scarf or using a satin pillowcase helps to minimize the nighttime breakage and also prevents your hair from getting dry, which ultimately protects it from split ends.

Don’t use oil or other products after straightening

Avoid using oil for a short period after flat ironing your hair, as it may weigh down your hair. Moreover, it will reduce the lifespan of your straightened hair. So, it is advisable to not use oil or other products after styling your hair, 

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