Straightening Frizzy Hair

Techniques for Smoothing and Shaping

This page details specific techniques for straightening frizzy hair using a round brush and hair dryer or a hot air brush.

You'll also find information on frizzy hair products and general advice on styling hair that's curly or frizzy in this section.

Long, smoothed out hair. Long smoothed out hair.

Preparing the Hair

Here's a complete list of curly hair products that'll help with straightening frizzy hair.

Straightening frizzy hair begins long before you get out your hair styling tools. Read our tips on combatting frizzy hair. Squeeze hair in a towel to remove some of the moisture. DO NOT RUB! Rubbing will rough up the outside (cuticle) layer of the hair, which can cause breakage, tangles and frizz. Rake your chosen product through the hair, making sure to smooth it in well enough to cover all sides of the hair and underneath.

Rough-dry your hair by blowing it in different directions while pulling your fingers through. The idea here is to remove most of the moisture and begin creating volume, while loosening the curl a bit. Your hair won't begin to take shape with a round brush until it is almost dry, so this step prevents that 45-minute blow dry session you dread so much. Just make sure you direct the airflow away from your scalp.

When straightening frizzy hair with a very tight curl pattern, avoid the rough-drying described above in the hairline, fringe and top sections, or whichever area has the most tenacious curl. Styling those extra-difficult areas from nearly wet will give you a smoother finish.

Part off a small section (1-2 inches deep) of hair in the nape of your neck and clip the rest up out of the way...

Bring on the Roundbrush!

If you are styling your hair with a brush and hair dryer, it is imperative to aim the airflow away from the scalp and down along the surface of the hair strand when straightening frizzy hair. Use the highest heat setting for coarse, curly hair, less heat for fine to medium textured hair.

If you are using a hot-air-brush, grasp the ends of your hair to create adequate tension. Heat and tension are the two main requirements for smoothing hair. Smooth the brush along the length of your hair, slowing at the ends and winding the brush up slightly to create a bit of a bend.

The most important factor in not getting a round brush caught in your hair is to go in clean. By that I mean lift the section you are working with up off of the hair below it and make sure when you insert the brush that you don't drag in any hair from other sections

For straight ends, don't allow the tips of your hair to curve around the brush at all. Direct the flow of air straight down over the surface of the hair and sweep it out over the end of the brush.

Repeat this scalp to ends process two or three times per section, each time a little quicker than the last. The idea is to decrease heat damage and increase drying time by keeping the brush and hot air flowing. It sounds like a lot, but it's actually quite efficient because you can work with larger sections and moving quickly helps maintain tension on the hair, resulting in a smoother finish. You'll find it's worth the effort. :o)


For added shing when straightening frizzy hair.

Twirl the brush to anchor it into the root sections, spinning at least a few times around before moving down the hair strand . This'll serve two purposes...
Creating Adequate Tension and Increasing Shine!

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Let down the next section of hair and repeat the steps listed above. Take the time to concentrate on the ends and be sure that each section is completely dry, even a slight bit of moisture can induce fuzz. At the same time though, over drying when styling hair can be damaging. There is a happy medium. If you're in doubt, wait a few minutes for the hair to cool, it's usually easier to feel any remaining dampness when the hair has cooled off.

To build volume when styling hair in the top and crown (the volume zone), angle the section at least 90 degrees from the scalp when you pull it up in the brush. It's called "overdirecting the hair" and is very effective for adding lift. In areas where you want to create shape or direction from the roots, wind the hair around the brush in the direction you want the hair to wave and hit it with heat, then either give it a blast of cool air from your blow dryer, or if you're using a blow brush allow the hair to cool before you disturb it again. The same rule applies for curling the ends of your hair, first heat it, then cool it.

The hair must be heated to alter its shape, and cooled to set it. If the hair is disturbed before it's set properly, you'll lose some of the shape you just laboured to create. Frustrating? That's why I've mentioned the whole heat/cool thing a few times here. This is a universal rule no matter what tool you're using or effect you're trying to achieve.

Smooth and Define After Straightening Frizzy Hair

If your hair is fine emulsify a small dab of liquid silicone in your hands and gently smooth through the ends of your hair. If there are a few fuzzies at the top, smooth a small amount on only the surface. Too much of any product when styling hair that's fine will weigh it down and create a "stringy" look. Not pretty. If your hair is medium to thick, use either a liquid silicone or a pomade (Anti-Humectant Pomade in humid areas) Same application as above. Remember to emulsify. It's especially important here because pomades can be thickish.

Try to identify individual waves and pieces moving in the same direction and smooth them together to help define things. Styling hair is very much an artform, which means you need to keep an eye on your medium for inspiration. Watch for any "fluke" happenings that look appealing or interesting and take advantage of them -- Sieze the opportunities. Really, if you pay attention, you'll see what I mean. Whether you use a finishing spray or not is personal preference. I usually don't when styling hair to smooth and soften unless the style still needs a bit more support. Generally, I prefer to leave the hair in it's most moveable, natural state. But you do what works for you!

Related Pages

Frizzy Hair Product
Curly Hair Product
Try out new hair colors and styles on your own photo.
Find your next look without the commitment.