Hair & Beauty Magazine

The BEST Products For Straightening Curly (& Afro) Hair

By Becca @glowgetterbecca
I've talked on my blog about how much I love wearing my hair curly, but that's a fairly recent thing... For years I permanently straightened my hair with relaxer, so when I started to grow that out and go back to my natural texture, I found getting my locks to behave to be a bit of a challenge. I've got it down to a tee now with the help of some amazing products, which I thought I'd share. So all you curlies, who find yourselves battling with the straightening iron, this is for you!
The Holy Trinity
These are my top three products when I want to straighten my hair. Seriously, I couldn't do it without them and I do have mild palpitations when I start to run out.
The BEST Products For Straightening Curly (& Afro) Hair

Phyto Phytodefrisant Relaxing Balm</> (£14.50 for 100ml) - This is probably my number one Holy Grail product of all time. I don't know exactly how it works, but it just works. Especially if you get very frizzy, like me. Before I used this product, I could spend hours straightening my hair, then step outside, and BOOM my hair would triple in size. If you feel my pain, you have to try this. I can go out in the RAIN now (with an umbrella - I'm not crazy) and my hair can withstand (if you get drenched I'm not saying it's going to stay poker straight, but it does build resistance massively). Btw it says "relaxing balm" but it is in no way permanent and doesn't contain any of the chemicals you would find in an actual relaxer. As far as I understand, it works by softening the hair and coating it so that the hair shaft is sealed and can't absorb any moisture, i.e. the cause of frizz.

Tresemme Salon Sleek Smooth Memory Frizz Controller Straightening Spray (phew!) (£4.99 for 250ml) - Now this I actually discovered before the Phyto, and it works on a similar principle, I think. It coats the hair, making straightening easier and preventing the hair from absorbing moisture once the cuticle is sealed with the straightening iron. My hairdresser actually recommended this to me, and it's this that inspired me to look for products that act as a sealant against moisture and frizz. On it's own this isn't as effective as the Phyto, but it was still better than anything I had tried previously. Plus, it's a heat protector, so I use the two together for the smoothing benefits and protection.

Moroccan Oil (£31.85 for 100ml) - This is the third of my can't-live-without products. I use this to add shine, to stop my hair from looking dry, and to cut my blow dry time. I have a LOT of hair. And it takes a loooong time to dry. A tiny pump of Moroccan Oil somehow makes it dry so much more quickly. It's a very light-weight oil and it smells amazing too. I know some people don't like to apply oils to the hair, pre-heat, but this still works well as a serum after you've finished all your straightening. I've never seen any adverse effects from using it when blow drying though.

Optimum Application
This is just the way I do it, feel free to experiment, but I get the best results for my hair this way. 
  • I start with wet hair that has been in a turban for approx 5 mins, so it's not dripping, but still pretty damp (you don't want it too wet or the product will be diluted and will drip out).
  • The first product I use is the Phyto. Taking fairly small sections, seven to eight in total, I comb about 2x pea-sized amounts into each section and then work it in really well with my fingers, making sure it is evenly distributed through the length of the hair, and each strand is coated.
  • If you have particularly frizzy sections, focus more product in those areas. My crown is much frizzier than the nape of my neck, for example.
  • Before moving onto the next section, I do a couple of sprays of the Tresemme and comb that and work it in too.
  • At this point I blow dry, section by section, with a comb attachment. Like I said I have a lot of hair and I've never really mastered the brush, but it helps to give a smoother finish, so if you can do it, go for it (I would if I could).
  • When each section has started to dry, I apply a little Moroccan oil. This helps to get the hair completely dry, quickly. I don't like to apply this to fully wet hair, but that's just my preference. I prefer to let the other products work a little first.
  • Once my hair is fully dry, I move onto straightening. I normally use GHDs and I like to add a little bit of a curl with the irons to give my hair a bit of texture, but at this point just style with your "hot" tool as desired.
The BEST Products For Straightening Curly (& Afro) Hair
  • Both the Phyto and Tresemme have a cumulative effect, so the more times you use them the more effective the products are. If you see don't see a huge improvement straight away, persevere a couple more times. I found this to be the case for the Tresemme, more than the Phyto, which worked amazingly first time.
  • The Phyto is heat activated so you might not see anything amazing happen when you're blow drying, in fact you might actually find that it feels a bit tacky. That goes away once you start straightening, and that's when the difference will really start to show.

Does anyone else have any hair care HG products? I'm totes a Phyto superfan!


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