How to Straighten Your Hair When It's Wet

Wet hair can quickly transform into sleek locks.
... Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Sometimes it feels like you need a magic spell to escape your hair's frizzy business. Sometimes you just want a day off from the power of your hair's natural texture and style. Hair is easiest to shape right after it has been washed because the hair strands are still malleable. Blow-drying wet hair to create that sleek, straight, high-fashion look right after a shower is an affordable way to get glossy locks that last all day without the magic spell.

  • Smoothing shampoo
  • Smoothing conditioner
  • Smoothing heat protectant
  • Large alligator clips
  • Small, round brush with nylon bristles
  • Blow dryer with flat nozzle head
  • Flatiron
  • Light-hold hairspray

1 Shine Showdown

2 And condition your hair

Wash and condition your hair with a smoothing shampoo and a smoothing conditioner that are formulated for your hair type. These products will moisturize your locks and make styling easier while reducing the likelihood of frizz. Leave your conditioner in place for at least five minutes, and wash your hair with warm water, rather than hot.

3 Dry

Dry your hair with a towel to remove all the excess moisture, leaving you with damp hair.

4 Spritz all of your hair

Spritz all of your hair from root to tip with a smoothing heat protectant. Run your clean fingers through your hair gently to spread the product evenly throughout the strands.

5 Draw a horizontal part from behind your right ear

Draw a horizontal part from behind your right ear around the back of your head to behind your left ear. Clip up the hair above the horizontal part with a couple of alligator clips.

Separate a 1-inch-wide section of hair from the loose hair below the part. Place the round brush underneath this section of hair right at the root.

Attach a flat nozzle head to the end of your blow dryer, and turn the blow dryer onto a medium heat setting. Direct the heated air over the separated section of hair that is on the round brush. Make sure the air is pointed towards the ends of the hair to smooth and shine the exterior of the hair shafts.

Pull the brush gently down the hair shafts, keeping tension in the hair. Pull the brush with the hair at a horizontal angle to encourage the shafts to lay smooth.

Release the brush straight off the ends of the hair rather than curling the hair under; this will help you to get that straight finish.

Repeat the blow-drying process with the rest of the loose hair, working in 1-inch-wide sections.

Release the hair from above the horizontal part when you have finished blow-drying the bottom section of hair. Separate a 1-inch-wide section of hair from the newly released hair and begin to blow-dry this section as you did with the lower layers of hair. Keep working with small sections of hair until all of the hair has been blow-dried straight.

Turn on a flatiron to a medium-high heat setting. Separate a 2-inch-wide section of hair, insert the section at the roots into the open, hot flatiron and clamp the flatiron closed. Pull the flatiron slowly down the strands of hair towards the ends. Use a small amount of tension and keep the flatiron moving as you style.

Repeat the separating and ironing process throughout all of your hair -- working in 2-inch-wide sections -- to seal in the smooth finish.

Spritz the hair with a light mist of light-hold hairspray to help encourage the shafts to stay smooth all day.

  • Unplug the flatiron when you have finished using it.
  • Avoid using really hot air when drying your hair so that the hair shafts don't frazzle from heat exposure.
  • If you want to minimize heat damage, skip the flatironing.
  • Always use a heat protectant before applying any kind of heat styling to your tresses.

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.