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Your simple guide to straightening thick hair

These step-by-step instructions will help you get the sleek, straight look you've always desired. Picture Shutterstock
These step-by-step instructions will help you get the sleek, straight look you've always desired. Picture Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with ghd hair.

Thick hair is often envied, but those who possess this mane know the struggles that come with it-particularly when it comes to straightening. However, with the right techniques and products, it is a feat that can be achieved.

Now, with this guide, we will walk you through a simple process for straightening thick hair at home. Exploring the right tools, the optimal hair preparation methods, and some tips for maintaining your straightened hair for longer periods.

So, whether your thick hair is naturally curly, wavy, or rebellious, our step-by-step instructions will help you attain that sleek, straight look you've always desired. So let's get started!

Tools for straightening thick hair

Before we dive into the process, it is essential to have the right tools on hand. Here are some of the must-have items that will make straightening your thick hair a breeze:

High-quality flat iron

Choosing a hair straightener for thick hair can effectively tame even the most stubborn strands. Find a flat iron with ceramic plates, as they provide consistent heat distribution, reducing the risk of heat damage.

When using a flat iron, it's crucial to find one with an optimum styling temperature of 185C. This temperature is perfect for thick hair as it effectively straightens without causing excessive damage.

Wide-tooth comb

A wide-tooth comb is a must-have tool for individuals with thick hair. This comb is designed to detangle hair without breaking or damaging the strands. It also helps distribute the hair's natural oils, promoting healthier and shinier hair.

Use this comb after washing your hair and starting the straightening process to detangle your thick mane smoothly and safely.

Heat protectant

A heat protectant is one of the most important tools when straightening your hair. This product is a barrier between your hair and the heat from the flat iron, reducing potential heat damage.

It works by sealing in the hair's moisture, smoothing the outer layer of the hair, and conditioning the strands to prevent brittleness and breakage. Before straightening, apply a generous amount of heat protectant evenly throughout your hair.

Sectioning clips

Sectioning clips let you separate your hair into manageable sections, making the straightening process easier and more efficient. These clips hold your hair securely in place as you work with one section at a time, ensuring every strand gets evenly straightened.

They are a simple yet invaluable tool for achieving a professional, salon-standard finish at home. Before you start, divide your hair into several sections and secure them with sectioning clips. Start straightening from the lower layers and work up for the best results.

Preparing your thick hair for straightening

Now that you have your tools ready, it's time to prepare your hair for straightening. Here are some steps to follow before using the flat iron:

  • Wash and condition your hair: Begin with washing and conditioning your hair with products specially designed for thick or curly hair. These will help hydrate and nourish your hair strands, making them more manageable during straightening.
  • Apply a leave-in conditioner: After towel-drying your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner to further detangle and protect your hair from heat damage.
  • Use a wide-tooth comb: Gently comb through your hair using a wide-tooth comb to remove any tangles or knots.
  • Section your hair: Using the sectioning clips mentioned earlier, divide your hair into manageable sections. It will make it easier to straighten your hair evenly and thoroughly.

Straightening your thick hair

Now that your hair is prepared and ready, it's time to straighten those locks. Follow these steps for the best results:

  1. Start with the bottom layers: Begin by working on the bottom layers of your hair first. Clip up the top layers to keep them out of the way.
  2. Take small sections: Working with small sections simultaneously will ensure that each strand is sufficiently straightened without applying too much heat.
  3. Use the flat iron properly: Hold the flat iron vertically and clamp it down near your roots, then slowly glide it down towards the ends of your hair. Repeat this process until all sections of your hair are straightened.
  4. Don't forget the ends: Pay extra attention to the ends of your hair, as they tend to be more damaged and require more heat to straighten properly.
  5. Use a serum or oil for extra shine: Once you've finished straightening, add a few drops of serum or oil to your hair for extra shine and to prevent frizz.

Maintaining your straightened hair

Maintaining your straightened hair is equally as important as the straightening process itself. It is primarily because, without proper care, your hair may revert to its natural state sooner than you'd prefer.

Additionally, inadequate maintenance could lead to unnecessary heat damage and hair breakage. To maintain the straightness of your hair for longer while maximising its health and shine, follow the above helpful tips.


Straightening thick hair at home is not as daunting as it might seem. With the right tools, effective preparation, and careful execution, you can achieve sleek, straight hair that'll last.

Remember, the key to maintaining your style lies in a good aftercare routine. This will not only keep your hair straight for longer but also protect it from potential heat damage.

With a little patience and practice, you'll soon master straightening your thick hair, giving you salon-quality results right in the comfort of your home.