Hair Straightening Products for African-American Hair

The right tools make all the difference in getting a smooth, straight look.

Photo: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Many women long for straight hair, but most need a little help getting that chic and sexy look. All women, including African-Americans, should use products that are specifically for their hair type to get a rockin' good result. So get the 411 on what will help you win the straight-hair challenge.

Straighten Your Edges

You might remember your mother running a hot comb through your hair when you were a kid. And some were "fortunate" enough to have that comb heated on the stove, making straightening hair a virtual torture session. But breathe a sigh of relief: Today's technology has advanced. If you want to get your edges straight but are terrified of a hot comb, try an electric comb. It does exactly the same thing as the old-school hot comb but won't burn your roots.

Flat Iron

Investing in a good-quality flat iron can really make all the difference. "Essence" magazine recommends the Brazilian Heat After Dark 1-Inch Straightening Iron. This iron works wonders on relaxed and natural hair. There are tons of fantastic flat irons out there for you, so if you don't want to go this route, visit a beauty supply store and make friends with the associate. Have her recommend an iron that will get your tresses straight.

Straightening Creams

Before blowing out your locks, run a little straightening cream through them. Just like the flat iron, you have many options to choose from. Ask your hairstylist which one she recommends. Products work differently based on your exact hair type, so ask the person who knows your locks the best.

Ionic Blow Dryer

Straighten your hair while decreasing the damaging effects of heat. Ionic blow dryers also reduce the amount of time it takes to dry the hair. Any product that can speed up that process is definitely a winner.

Relaxer

You don't have to get a relaxer treatment to temporarily straighten your hair, but a chemical straightening treatment like a relaxer is the only way to keep your tresses permanently straight. It's important to find the right relaxer, depending on the texture of your hair and the sensitivity of your scalp, so consult with your stylist before getting your hair chemically straightened.

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