You see other people having smooth, luxurious hair after straightening.
You wanted that.
And you flat ironed your hair.
But the results aren’t what you expected.
Your hair is stiff and flat. It’s not smooth and silky like what you wanted.
What happened and where did you go wrong?
In this post, I’m going to talk about why your hair is stiff after flat-ironing.
As a curly girl myself with 3B- 3C hair, I have tried straightening my hair several times with poor results.
I’m going to cover all the mistakes I made that resulted in stiff, weird straight hair.
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Why my hair is stiff after flat ironing? 9 mistakes you’re probably making
Apart from telling you what mistakes you are probably making, I will also give you tips and help you correct them so that you can straighten your hair with minimal damage and get good results.
Let’s dive in.
1. You don’t know your hair type
Before straightening your hair, you need to know what your hair type is.
More than understanding the curl pattern (curly/coily/kinky), you need to understand what your hair texture is like.
Hair texture can be:
- Fine and delicate
- Thick and coarse
Hair texture basically is identifying the diameter of your hair strands, not the density of your hair. This post explains the difference between fine hair and thin hair.
Based on what type of hair texture you have, the products and methods for straightening your hair will change.
Fine hair means your hair strands are very thin and light. Fine hair is more fragile and prone to breakage. It is easily weighed down by products and requires clarifying shampooing between washing to completely get rid of products.
If you have fine hair, it means that you don’t need that much heat to straighten your hair – it will straighten quite easily.
Coarse or thick hair is very easily visible and if you look at a strand, it’s generally darker.
Coarse or thick hair is less prone to color or chemicals – meaning it is difficult to style it and you will require more heat and pressure to straighten it.
So, coarse hair can be very dry and will need more deep-conditioning treatments when straightening since it becomes frizzy and dries out easily.
2. You aren’t using the right heat setting
Now that you understand if you have fine or coarse hair, you need to use the right heat setting for your hair.
Based on the type of hair texture you have, you have to use the following heat setting:
- If you have fine hair, you should use heat at 170 degrees celsius or 338 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you have coarse hair, you should use 185 degrees celsius or 365 degrees Fahrenheit.
This means that if you are using a straightener that doesn’t have a heat modifying setting or is really cheap and just has a switch-on button, don’t use it.
It is only going to damage your hair and not give you the results you want.
You want to be very careful when you are using a really high heat setting on fine hair – it can burn since it doesn’t require much heat to get straightened. This will damage your hair.
One of the best straighteners that comes with 3 beautiful heat settings and gives you glossy, smooth hair afterward is the Dyson Corralle Hair Straightener.
Yes, it is pricey but if you want glossy hair and you genuinely care about your hair looks and feels – you can’t go wrong with this product.
3. You aren’t prepping your hair
You shouldn’t be flat ironing your hair directly.
If you are going to be using a flat iron without prepping your hair, you will have to use a lot of heat and this is going to damage your hair and make your hair look frizzy or stick out weirdly.
You have to flat iron clean hair that is also moisturized.
Prepping your hair before flat ironing is crucial because you need your hair to be moisturized so that it becomes soft and shiny after straightening.
Just shampoo and condition your hair regularly but use a shampoo and conditioner that doesn’t dry your hair or leave it too frizzy.
It should moisturize and deep condition your hair. One of the best shampoos and conditioners you can use is the Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner set.
This will nourish and moisturize your hair and leave your hair soft.
Make sure you detangle your hair in the shower – you can’t have knots and tangles when straightening – it will not give you good results.
4. You aren’t using a good leave-in and heat-protectant spray
It is very important to coat your hair with a protectant spray that protects your hair from heat damage.
Simultaneously, a leave-in will help you get that soft, shiny hair after straightening.
The Chi Infusion silk will strengthen your hair follicles with soy protein and if you have strong hair, it will show after straightening. Your hair won’t be brittle or hard and it will be more shiny and flowy after straightening.
Both these products are a little on the expensive side but I have found no better product on the market than these and I’ve tried practically everything.
Please make sure that you apply the leave-in products while your hair is still damp after the shower. This will ensure that the leave-in products penetrate your hair properly and coat the follicles thoroughly.
5. You aren’t working in sections when blow-drying
After you have applied your leave-in, immediately section your hair while it’s still damp.
Section your hair into 4 quadrants.
This will make it easier for you to work on your hair and straighten your hair one section at a time.
6. You aren’t blow-drying your hair before using a flat-iron
You need to stretch your hair follicles and flatten them entirely before straightening them.
You can’t put curls or waves directly in a flat iron – you’re not going to get the results you want.
Work on one section at a time and gently blow-dry your hair in smaller sections while combing it downwards using a simple pain-free detangling brush like this.
When you are working with the roots of your hair, use a Denman brush.
Every curly girl should own one (not just for straightening) but also for enhancing curls.
After you are done blow-drying your entire hair, then it’s time to move on to flat ironing.
7. You aren’t sectioning properly when flat-ironing
Your hair should be dry when you are flat-ironing it.
After blow-drying section by section, there is no chance that it can be wet – so this is a given.
But even if it is damp, don’t flat-iron your hair. It needs to be bone-dry.
This is the key to getting beautiful flowy straight hair afterward.
It is very crucial that you use teeny tiny sections when you are flat ironing your hair.
If you use very big sections, the heat will not distribute evenly and you’ll end up with frizzy hair and flyaways.
So apart from creating 4 sections horizontally before blow-drying, you need to section your hair into smaller sections vertically when blowdrying and flat ironing.
This is the major reason why people have flyaways and frizzy hair – when they don’t section enough.
8. You aren’t pulling your hair when using a flat-ironing
The tension you pull your flat iron downwards with is very important because this holds the hair in place while the flat iron is working on your hair.
If you simply pass the hair through the flat iron without pulling it downwards, it isn’t going to straighten your hair properly.
This will force you to pass the flat iron through the same section of hair multiple times causing more heat damage.
So, do it well the first time by holding your hair firmly and pulling it downwards.
9. You aren’t using a serum afterward
Your hair should already be glossy if you’ve followed all the steps properly.
But after flat ironing, it is crucial to use an anti-frizz serum. You can use the Herstyler Anti Frizz Argan Oil serum that is enriched with vitamin E.
This will ensure that your hair is glossy and smooth after flat ironing.
Simply apply it to your palms and gently rub it all over your hair.
It will give your hair a smooth finish and help it stay frizz-free.
You can watch this video to understand the process better:
Unfortunately, it always takes a few tries to get it right – this goes with any hair experiment.
That’s why it is important to be patient throughout the process and not rush with the blow-drying or flat ironing.
I’ve done this a lot as a teenager and in college and I know how much we want to hurry things.
But the results are worth the wait.
I hope this post helped you understand why your hair is stiff after flat ironing and what you can do to avoid that.