Best ways to straighten hair naturally

You know what they say: everyone with curly hair wants straight hair, and everyone with straight hair wants curly hair. If you’re like me, you’re stuck somewhere in the middle, with wavy hair that never does exactly what you want.

Many of us desire the silky, smooth hair we see in magazines and on the runway, but achieving that look sometimes seems impossible (or at least time consuming). And then there’s the inevitable damage that comes from using flat irons/straighteners and chemicals.

Keep reading to learn more about natural ways to straighten hair without a hair straightener.

Natural ways to straighten wavy hair

The following methods won’t give you that pin-straight look that you’ll get from a flat iron, but they are much less damaging and will give you straight, healthy hair with a bit of volume. They work best on wavy hair (rather than curly hair).

The following tips are also appropriate for guys looking to get straighter hair.

1. Wet to straight

Get straight, silky hair naturally by forcing your hair to dry straight.

After you shower, squeeze excess water out of hair with your hands or a towel and then brush your hair out straight. As it dries, continue to brush every 5 minutes.

This is a great method for men and women looking to get straight hair without using any heat. The only downside is that it can be time consuming for people with long hair.

2. Straighten hair overnight

Straightening your hair overnight is easy and convenient. And it’s one of the best ways to save time in the morning.

First, get your hair wet either by washing it or spritzing it with some water. Use a brush or wide-toothed comb to brush your hair until it is completely free of tangles. Next, use your hands to work a small amount of Argan oil into your hair (this will help lock in moisture).

Next, you are going to separate your hair into sections and wrap them around your head:

  • Part your hair down the middle
  • Comb one half of your hair over the top of your head to the other side (like a comb over) and behind your ear
  • Comb the remainder of this section around the back of your head, over the opposite shoulder
  • Section by section, wrap your hair around your head, combing as you go and holding each section by the base
  • Comb the ends behind your ear and around the back of your head
  • Using a bristle brush, brush over each section again – this will help your hair stick together and lie flat
  • Use duck bill clips to hold each section of your hair in place (this will make it a lot easier to brush over the bottom half if you have longer hair)
  • Brush the lower half of your hair up over the top of your head (brushing the hair over the clips)
  • Use a bristle brush to keep sections smooth and blended
  • Continue until all of your hair has been brushed over and around your head
  • Use bobby pins to keep hair in place when you are finished
  • Wrap a scarf around your head to keep the pins from falling out while you sleep
  • In the morning, gently unwrap your hair and comb it out

Click here to learn more about a Venezuelan movie that takes a look at how hair type affects perception (Chicago Tribune).

3. Maintain straight hair with a regular hair mask

The following hair “mask” contains coconut milk, which acts as a natural cream conditioner. When used consistently, it will help straighten and relax the hair. We also recommend using shampoos and conditioners with smoothing agents.

To make the mask, combine the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the mixture over low heat; stir until mixture is smooth. Let the mixture cool, then apply to hair. Let sit for 25 minutes, then wash with lukewarm water. Repeat twice a week for 2 months for best results.

Add a few drops of coconut oil to reduce frizz.

4. “Permanent” hair straightening at home

Instead of paying top dollar for a damaging chemical treatment that could contribute to future hair loss/ graying, make your own straightening cream at home with natural ingredients.

The following recipe won’t leave your hair as straight as a salon treatment would, but it is safe for all hair types and colors and won’t contribute to signs of aging.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons gelatin powder
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Heat the coconut milk in a pan on low heat. Stir in the coconut oil. In a separate bowl, mix the corn flour powder and the gelatin powder. Pour the dry mixture into the coconut milk and stir until the mixture thickens.

Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Add lemon juice and honey.

Make sure your hair is clean, dry, and free of tangles before you apply the cream. Separate your hair into sections with a comb or brush, and apply the coconut mixture to each section. Begin at the roots and work towards the ends.

Pull each section straight and down with your fingers.

Leave the coconut cream in your hair for 30 minutes; rinse with cold (not hot) water. Follow up with conditioner (not shampoo) and rinse with cold water. Do not use a towel or blow dryer to dry hair. Just brush your hair out straight and let it air dry (refer to wet brushing technique above).

Avoid shampoo and styling gels for a week.

You can also try an at-home keratin treatment, many of which sell for less than $50.

OGX Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy (just $34.99 on Amazon) is a 30-day treatment designed to smooth and relax hair. The formula features coconut oil, keratin proteins, cocoa butter, and avocado oil. Along with a straightening effect, the treatment also strengthens hair and improves shine.




  • Cheaper than salon alternatives
  • Results last three or more weeks
  • You can do it at home


  • Treatment requires a flat iron
  • Chemical solution is toxic
  • Product can discolor blonde hair
  • Application process is tedious
  • Product has an unpleasant chemical smell

Click here to read more about DIY hair straightening (New York Times).

Straight hair: instant fix 

Unfortunately there’s no way that I know to achieve straight hair instantly. If you’re looking to straighten your hair in 30 minutes or less, I would bit the bullet and use a ceramic flat iron.

Click here to learn more about hair straighteners.

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