Get It Straight: The Curly Girl’s Guide to a Non-Damaging Blowout

Janell M. Hickman


Here at Beauty High, we love that our readers embrace numerous textures, styles and lengths across the board. However, sometimes a girl’s gotta switch it up right? Getting silky smooth, straight strands is no longer a fantasy for girls with curls, but we want to ensure you transform your hair with ease [Read: no excessive damage on your natural texture.] We tapped into three experts to help you get it straight–and return to your roots without trauma.

Blow dry the right way
“Before blow drying any hair of any texture, you should always apply a leave-in conditioner (like MIZANI’s D’Tangle Moisturizing Leave-In Milk) or blow drying serum,” shares MIZANI Artist Leatrice Carter of Time Studio. “Next, you want to detangle the hair by holding it from the bottom, working your way up to the root. Then, blot the hair [with a towel] to pre-dry a little before using your desired brush, like a Denman or traditional paddle option,” she continues. “Your curl type ranges from a 6 to 8 [see guide here], I would definitely recommend sectioning hair into about 4 to 6 sections to help you gain more control.”

Always use a heat protectant
“A heat protectant is an important part of any blow dry,” says Roxy Brennan of Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa. “[These products] help smooth and protect the hair from the blow dry, as well as any hot tools needed to finish the look.” However, she cautions against oil based products that can conduct heat leading to further damage. “I personally recommend cream-based heat protectants applied evenly while the hair is still damp.”

MORE: How to Get the Perfectly Tousled Blowout

Pick the right brush
“A round brush will give more tension and movement on the ends,” explains senior stylist Vanessa Fernandez of Butterfly Studio Salon. “Whereas paddle brushes provide less tension resulting in a more flat and straight look.” Carter adds, “Good paddle brushes have tiny protective balls to guard against hair damage. Using the proper brushes for the right hair type/texture can help to produce natural shine and body.”

Use hot tools with care
Excessive heat styling can cause delicate hair to  snap and potentially eliminate the curl all together. “The flat iron is most dangerous of all the hot tools in my opinion,” warns Brennan. “It should always be used on low heat and with little pressure. Excessive heat and pressure could break or even burn the hair strand,” she continues. “Burning your hair will relax the curl–but not in a good way!”

Reverse heat damage
“If you burned your hair it means that the temperature setting on your curling/flat iron is way too high,” cautions Carter. “This can also mean you’re heat styling way too often and you should cut down on heat usage.” Her prescription is a good haircut and intensive deep conditioning treatments to reverse the damage. Brenna is a fan of Paul Labrecque’s Lemongrass Hair Deep Conditioning Treatment. “The oils will improve the quality of the burnt strands while increasing shine and manageability overall.”

Keep strands straight longer
“Starting with the proper shampoo and conditioner (like the Kerastase Nutritive Bain Oléo-Relax line) provides a good baseline,” says Fernandez. “It will promote shine and sleekness to the hair.” Next, a light application of Deesse’s Elujuda Fluent Oil post blow-dry can “help maintain that sleek look for the rest of the day,” according to Brennan.

Avoid (permanent) chemical treatments
“Most chemical processes deplete the hair of moisture,” explains Fernandez. “It is very hard to get it back to normal.” Brennan explains more in depth saying, “Chemical services affect the natural hair in different ways–what it all boils down to is if the ‘disulfide bond’ was broken. Once this bond is broken and reattached in a new pattern ( i.e. curly, wavy or straight), the hair can no longer be permanently changed back to its original state.” Unfortunately, your only two options are to let your hair grow out or opt to cut off the chemically treated sections.