I was born with stick-straight hair so it doesn't take much more than a blow dryer and a brush to tame my mane. But my friend Laura was born with amazing curly hair and to get her hair straight involves such tedious drying, brushing and flat-iron that she's developed amazing biceps that she claimed she got from simply straightening her hair.
So how to get your hair straight and sleek? Here are some tips:
- Wash hair first. You'll get better results if you don't start with already dried hair.
- Towel-dry hair so it's barely damp. This cuts down on drying time.
- If you have wavy hair, spritz a straightening product on hair (I like Bumble and Bumble's straightening spray) or a smoothing cream. Glamour magazine recommends Pantene Pro-V, which you can find at any drugstore.
- Dry hair with a paddle brush pointing the nozzle downward. You want to avoid adding body to hair, so don't "fluff" as you dry. You're aiming for stick straight hair. You want it to hang like a curtain.
- Follow with a flat iron. Start at the hair closest to the nape of the neck, ironing in small sections.
- Finish by running a shine serum through hair. Skip this step if you have oily hair.
Photo of Rachel Bilson by Jemal Countess/Getty