8 Care Tips for Naturally Straight Hair
Just because you have the naturally straight hair other women lust after, doesn’t mean your hair care routines are a walk in the park.
In fact, your hair may even require a little more day-to-day maintenance, since straight hair is more susceptible to oil, dirt, and moisture.
Here are 8 of our care tips for ladies with naturally straight hair – and how you can get the shiny strands of your dreams:
1. You Need Regular Shampoos
Perhaps more than any other texture, straight-haired mavens need to stick to a regular shampoo schedule.
“Curlier, thicker hair tends to be drier and therefore does best with fewer washes and benefits from the buildup of natural oils,” explains Huffington Post’s beauty editor Ellie Krupnick. “But the minute my fine hair gets oily, it gets weighed down and screams out for a wash. More grease makes it limper.”
As part of your straight hair routine, wash your hair every other day with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to keep from drying out your strands, and use a clarifying shampoo once a week to keep your hair from getting weighed down by product build-up.
You should feel squeaky clean and ready to style.
2. Try Dry Shampoo Between Shower Sessions
Because your hair and scalp may be on the oily side, use dry shampoo between your showering sessions or after a workout to cut down on sweat, dirt, and product buildup.
“Use your fingers to loosely lift and section the hair, and focus on spraying the root area,” hair stylist John D. told Glamour. “Keep the can six to 10 inches away from the scalp when applying. This way, you distribute it not just on but also around the roots.”
Once the dry shampoo has worked its magic sucking up dirt and oil, you should be able to massage your scalp, run your fingers through your hair, and sail out the door.
A word of caution: dry shampoo shouldn’t take the place of your regular shampoo.
It’s great in a pinch, especially for creating volume, but it builds up over time on your scalp – just like any other product!
3. Create Volume
Especially if you have fine, thin hair, you may be in need of a volume boost. Create lift by using a texturizing spray, then blow drying your hair upwards from the roots.
But be careful about which type of products you use, beauty editor Jada Wong advises.
“Naturally, volumizing products that promise lift and height sound like an easy solution, but…certain types of these products can be too heavy and will only weigh down hair,” writes Wong at Refinery29.
“Instead, try a dry texturizing spray,” she suggests. “Since these sprays add thickness all over, they won’t create unnecessary weight at the root, which is a recipe for limp strands later on.”
4. Be Careful With Conditioner
While women with coarse or curly hair can use the extra boost in moisture, some straight-haired women can easily overdo it when it comes to applying conditioner.
This is especially true if you have fine or thin hair, and you should be extra careful of the formula you purchase, says beauty editor Rachel Krause.
Apply conditioner to the ends of your hair first, combing upward with your fingers. Never apply conditioner directly to your roots or scalp – unless you want to wind up with a greasy mess on your hands.
5. Give Your Blow Dryer’s Heat Settings a Workout
No – we don’t mean crank up the temperature. While you will need heat to get your volumizing sprays to do their thing, cool air can also help tame breakage or frizz.
First, says hairstylist Mark Townsend, rough dry your hair with your fingers, then apply a little bit of heat at your roots.
“Almost all volumizers you need to use a blow dryer with heat to activate them,” Townsend explained to Self.
Since too much heat can damage your hair, causing breakage or frizz, always finish your blow dry with a blast of cool air.
The cool air should help to set your style and add a healthy sheen to your locks.
6. Learn How to Battle Frizz
While curly-haired gals have to fight this battle, too, you’re not unfamiliar with frizz – especially when there’s humidity in the air.
Make your hair behave with a little dry oil, advises Cosmopolitan beauty editor Carly Cardellino.
“Keep straight hair from getting frizzy by brushing dry oil through it with a mixed bristle brush,” suggests Cardellino.
“While your hair is still wet, apply a moisture-locking dry oil…from your ends to midway up your hair shaft; oil acts as a barrier, keeping liquids from penetrating,” she explains.
Frizz halos, be gone!
7. Get the Right Brush
To prevent breakage, you’ll need the right brush at the right time. And for straight-haired ladies, that tool is a paddle brush.
“The flat surface makes this a great tool for smoothing, frizz, and static-fighting,” explains Sable Yong at StyleCaster.
“Plus, with its wide flat shape, it can fit more bristles on it and detangle your hair quicker and with less passes—so less shedding for you,” she adds.
But remember: never brush thick, straight hair with a paddle brush right out of the shower. You could wind up pulling, tangling, or breaking hair when it’s at its most fragile.
“To prevent shower-induced snarls, give your hair a brush before hopping in,” advises Renee Loux at Women’s Health. “If you like to comb in the shower, apply conditioner, untangle strands with your fingers, then use a wide-toothed comb before rinsing.”
Your hair will be happier, healthier, and shinier ever after.
8. See Your Stylist
Straight hair comes in all textures and densities, and it’s important to remember that your straight hair isn’t the same as someone else’s.
A good stylist will understand this, and give you a cut that caters to your particular texture. Your texture will also affect how often you head to the salon to keep your ends trimmed and your hair healthy.
While ladies with heavy, straight hair may be able to push their salon appointments to 8 weeks or more, women with fine hair aren’t so lucky.
“The challenge with fine hair is the need to constantly reshape it without cutting too much off,” stylist Nathaniel Hawkins told Allure.
According to Hawkins, you should wait at least 4 weeks to trim fine hair, but at 6 weeks, your hair will start to misbehave.
While your stylist can help you define – and tackle – your texture, you can learn more about your hair type at home by reading up on PopSugar’s natural hair type check list.
Which kind of texture do you have?
Don’t let straight hair fool you – it may look simple and straightforward to style, but naturally straight hair takes plenty of care and upkeep.
From mastering your shampoo and conditioner routine to zapping frizz during styling, there’s plenty you can do to make your naturally straight hair happy and healthy.