How To Straighten Thick Natural Black Hair Without Heat Damage

How To Straighten Thick Natural Black Hair Without Heat Damage

Don’t compromise your curls for the sake of the style!

Imagine being able to wear your natural curly or kinky hair straight week after week while still retaining length and avoiding the dreaded heat damage. Let’s face it, some of us prefer not to use relaxers on our hair but we enjoy wearing our hair straight from time to time (or even all the time!) but don’t want to risk our strands.

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Let’s get started . . .

When thinking of straightening your natural black hair you must first understand that straight hair is just another hairstyle. People with naturally straight hair will always want to add curls and people with curls will always want to straighten their hair occasionally. It’s human nature! Learning to care for your hair in its natural state should make up the bulk of your hairstyles with straightening only being one of them. This mindset will greatly improve the overall health of your hair!

Now that you have made the decision to get your natural hair straight, you must be prepared. Any styling that involves applying heat to the hair can be damaging but it’s not all doom and gloom! There are certain ways you can arm yourself against heat damage and give you the sleek style you want for that special event whilst not compromising your lovely kinks and curls.

Here’s how:

➜ First things first, pick the best straightener for your needs, a tourmaline ionic one would be the best but a ceramic one will do just as well.

➜ Before attempting any straightening, the hair should be completely clean and freshly deep conditioned with a penetrating conditioner. Deep conditioning gives hair that added bit of moisture so that it doesn’t dry out completely during the heat styling process. Some low molecular weight conditioners especially those containing cetrimonium bromide will also help combat against heat damage.

➜ Apply a leave in conditioner as well as a good heat protectant and comb through the length of the hair to evenly distribute the product. Choose a heat protectant with glycerine as this has been shown in studies to prevent excessive moisture loss. A silicone serum heat protectant can also be used in addition for an extra smooth finish.

➜ Black people have a variety of hair textures which can be straightened in different ways depending on the thickness and the degree of curl. Loosely curled or coiled hair can be straightened and smoothed out with just a roller set on large rollers (Read the article ‘How to cheat at roller setting’). Thicker hair will require a bit more attention and heat.

About Alma

Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.


  • ✔︎ Discover the truth about black hair growth
  • ✔︎ Identify tips that you can start using today
  • ✔︎ No expensive products to buy
  • ✔︎ Perfect for beginners!

  • Liz

    I’m so late with this but when do you apply the coconut oil, before the heat protectant (before flat ironing) or after you apply the heat protectant (before you flat iron)?

    • Alma

      Better late than never Liz. I use coconut oil after heat protectant personally. I can’t imagine that there would be too much wrong with doing it the other way around though :)

  • I would like someone with 4 hair to make something like this or comment on their trial and errors. I have much thicker hair and would love something out there for women like me. This is just not very helpful but great thought

  • nyawira

    i have always had natural black african hair . i am purely kenyan. when i was young i had long beautiful healthy hair. around the age of 11. i shaved all my hair . stayed till the age of 14 and started re growing my hair. but it wount grow back as before . i admit it might be because of heat damage but i have reduce to blow drying my hair once a month. what can i do. there is no major change help please:(

  • I’ve bought myself a HSI hair straightener. I was naive enough to think that all I need is to turn it on and it will do the rest. It seems that much more steps need to be done if I want the hair straightener to give me a more optimal result. Thanks for the tips and advices!