When you can, use heat-protective products. These truly useful products can help extend the time between trims. Some women find that using a heat-protective shampoo and conditioner leaves their hair slightly flat after styling. Try using one or the other instead of both at the same time. Experiment until you find what works best for you.
The more you blow-dry, the more you are likely to need to incorporate a deep-conditioning treatment into your regular hair-care routine. Even with the advances of heat-protective and heat-activated hair-care and styling products, nothing can replace a good old-fashioned deep-conditioning treatment.
Get regular trims. Frayed and split ends are especially noticeable on straight hair. You may notice that if you blow-dry your hair straight frequently, a month or so after a trim the ends begin to get a little frizzy, no matter what product you apply. This is your hair letting you know it needs a trim. Do it before the ends split, since afterward they may require a more drastic trim than you want.
Heat-styling the hair straight exposes it to a lot of stress. Inevitably, wiry, short hairs will spring up around your part near the roots, where they break off due to excessive pulling and stretching. The best way to tame these coiled frizzies is to smooth on a light coating of styling gel, starting from the part.
You may already use straightening or smoothing products with silicon, which are very effective in preventing frizz and keeping the hair cuticle smooth. But it is a better idea to use moisturizing styling products, such as hairdressing creams, directly after a trim and save the silicon-based products for when the hair has started to frizz slightly and you are closer to needing the next trim. This technique ensures that you are being as gentle to your hair as possible for as long as possible, before bringing out the silicon, which has little to no moisturizing properties.
Large, round, boar-bristle brush
Select size by testing that the length of the hair wraps around the brush only once. If it wraps around twice, you need a bigger brush that won't get caught up in the hair. Obviously, if you have very long hair, it will wrap around any brush more than once. In this case, purchase the largest brush available.
A great brush has just the right amount of grip and slide: The bristles grip the hair so it is pulled taut and straight, yet there is enough slide that you can draw the brush through the hair. The grip of the bristles should be chosen according to your hair type; mujeres with hair that is more wavy than curly will need a brush with a tighter grip. The grip of the bristles is generally affected by the stiffness of the bristles. Don't go overboard. If you have a headache or a neck ache from trying to keep your head up as you pull your hair straight, you need a softer brush.
Round aluminum brush (optional)
The advantage to aluminum brushes is that the inner core warms with the heat of the dryer, providing a styling and heat double whammy. They can be used in place of or in addition to a boar-bristle brush, especially on hard-to-straighten areas like the crown of the head or bangs.
Dividing the hair and sectioning off areas you have dried from areas you have yet to dry is essential, especially if you are a blow-drying novice.
Long-tail teasing comb
Use this to make clear parts as you section the hair.
This is for combing and evenly distributing product throughout the hair.
Available at beauty supply stores, professional dryers have a higher wattage (from 1,500 to 1,875, the highest available) than blow-dryers available at drug-stores (around 1,200). Professional dryers also have more options in terms of heat and air-speed settings. Some also come equipped with a cold-shot button, which you can use to seal the cuticle down smoothly for extra shiny, straight hair. The most important feature of a professional dryer is a nozzle attachment that targets the air into a smaller area, an absolute must for blow-drying hair straight. This allows you to target air and heat directly to the brush as you straighten.
Use a wide-tooth comb to distribute balm evenly over the entire head of hair.
These creams preserve moisture in extra-curly or damaged hair, which is put at risk for even greater damage by excessive heat. If your hair is dry but not extremely curly, a good option is to apply hairdressing cream only to the ends. Creams are heavier styling tools, so apply with a light hand.
Pomade or silicon drops (optional)
Hairdressing creams should eliminate the need for these, but pomades and silicon drops can impart extra smoothing to the ends of hair. Silicon drops in particular help combat frizzies if the weather is humid.
Use this to give your tresses an extra-straight look, or if your hair is still kinky or not smooth after you blow-dry.
Gently towel-dry hair, then use a blow-dryer with the nozzle removed until the hair is no longer soaking wet. Latinas with a looser curl or wave to their hair should dry until damp, minimizing the amount of direct heat hair gets subjected to in the styling process. For hermanas with a tighter curl, though, the hair is more pliable when it is wet, so you will have to resort to the direct heat sooner.
Apply the straightening balm and the cream on dry ends, if needed. Heat-protective styling products are also an excellent choice.
Divide hair into two-to-three-inch sections, using clips to secure the hair you are not working on. Begin with the sections in the back. Blow-drying your entire head can be hard on the arms, and the back of the head is the toughest part to get to. Do that area at the beginning and the rest is pretty easy. Be warned: Underlying layers that are not dried properly and remain damp will result in frizzy hair.
Place the large round brush at the base of the hair section close to the scalp, and situate the dryer so that the brush is parallel to the nozzle. This will ensure that the heat hits the hair evenly. Run the brush down the length of the hair, following with the dryer. You may have to redo certain areas, like the ends. After you think a section is completely dry, check for dampness by pressing your palm against it. Your hair should be pretty much bone-dry before you move on to the next section.
For areas where you want more lift or body, such as the crown, be sure to position the hair upward, away from the head, as you dry. Make sure the roots in particular are dried in this fashion. Applying a volumizing spray to the roots before drying also helps.
After you are done drying the entire head of hair, use hairdressing cream, pomade, or silicon drops. Apply a small amount to your hands, rub between the palms, and apply to the ends only. Silicon will help seal and smooth the fragile ends. Don't go overboard with these products, since too much moisture and humidity are the enemies of blown-out hair.