Having naturally straight, smooth hair is often desired but not always genetically gifted. If your locks tend to be curly, kinky, or frizzy, you may wonder how to get a straight look without paying big bucks for expensive salon treatments. Luckily, there are several effective do-it-yourself straightening methods that guys can use in the comfort of their own home.
In this comprehensive hair straightening guide for guy, we’ll explore the most popular techniques and recommend the best products and tools to help you achieve sleek, polished straight hair on any budget. Whether you have wavy, coiled, or extremely thick hair, these tips will give you salon-worthy results and work with your texture.
Blow Dry + Brush
One of the simplest ways to straighten men’s hair at home is by blow drying it smooth using the right brush. Airflow from the dryer provides tension while the bristles stretch out the hair cuticle to create a straighter appearance. This method works well for mildly wavy or frizzy hair.
Choosing the Best Hair Brush for Blow Drying
The key is using the right brush for your hair type when blow drying. A boar bristle brush is a top choice for fine to medium density hair. The boar bristles grip hair well to smooth flyaways and evenly distribute your hair’s natural oils for a polished finish.
For thicker, curlier hair, use a paddle brush or detangling brush to straighten large sections at a time. These allow more airflow to reach your roots. Oval paddle brushes also create sleekness via the shape of the bristle surface. Those with ball-tipped bristles move smoothly through hair without pulling or scratching the scalp.
Alternatively, a thermal round brush with a ceramic barrel lets you add volume while smoothing for the coveted brush blowout look. Use a large barrel size around 1.5-2 inches for shoulder length or longer hair.
Choosing a Blow Dryer for At-Home Use
Attach a concentrator nozzle to your dryer to direct airflow and provide tension as you brush. This focused stream helps stretch and elongate the hair cuticle. Keep the heat between 300-375°F to minimize potential damage to your locks. Any hotter risks frying your hair, especially delicate fine strands.
Position the dryer about 6 inches from your head and work in sections starting at the back, moving layer by layer up towards your crown. Make sure to keep the hair taut. Aim the concentrated airflow down the hair shaft while simultaneously brushing ends to roots in a slow, controlled motion.
Take your time to do it right. Rushing through can lead to frustrating cowlicks around your hairline. For extra volume, flip your head upside down and blast the roots for lift. With some practice, this method leaves hair smooth, shiny, and straight minus harsh chemicals.
Flat irons provide an easy at-home method for achieving pin-straight locks free of frizz. They use hot plates to break down the hair’s hydrogen bonds and temporarily rearrange the cuticle layer for a straighter appearance.
Choosing the Right Flat Iron Material
Look for an iron with ceramic, titanium, or tourmaline plates. These materials evenly distribute consistent heat across the plates to minimize potential breakage or frizz caused by damaging hot spots. The smooth glide also reduces pulling and snags compared to metal irons.
- Ceramic irons are popular for their even heating and affordable prices. They work well for most hair types when combined with a heat protectant.
- Titanium plates heat up ultra fast and distribute heat more evenly than ceramic. Great for thick, coarse hair.
- Tourmaline-coated plates emit negative ions to help close the cuticle for smooth, glossy hair. Reduces static and frizz.
Adjusting Flat Iron Temperature
Set your flat iron to a temperature between 300-350°F before attempting to straighten men’s hair. Anything above 375°F risks severe damage, especially for fine, colored, or previously damaged hair. If your locks are healthy, you can slowly increase heat towards 400°F if the initial temperature isn’t flattening your curls. But avoid cranking it up to the max!
Step-By-Step Flat Ironing Technique
- Start with clean, dry hair. Apply a thin heat protectant spray or serum to shield hair from excessive heat styling damage. Even an oil like Argan oil works.
- Section damp hair and rough dry with a blowdryer using a paddle brush until hair is about 80% dry. This cuts down on flat iron time.
- Work in 1-2 inch sections on fully dried hair, clamping the iron close to the root with the plates directly against the hair shaft.
- In a slow, steady motion, glide the flat iron down sections of hair from root to tip. Use additional passes on very coarse or curly sections.
- When finished, spray with lightweight hairspray to lock in straightness and shine.
- Allow hair to fully cool before applying additional products like pomade or serum.
Using the right temperature and technique, flat irons can temporarily transform curls or waves into a smooth, polished straight look. Just be cautious with bleach or chemically treated hair. Now let’s look at another heated option – hot brushes.
Hot brushes combine heated ceramic bristles with a brush design, allowing you to straighten and style men’s hair simultaneously. The technology allows for even heat distribution and more control vs using a separate flat iron.
Hot brushes like the Reverse-Air Dryer use an internal fan to pull hair taut for an easy straightening motion. More budget-friendly but still effective options from Revlon, In Styler, and Conair are available too.
When shopping, look for a hot brush with adjustable temperature settings up to 450°F maximum. Carefully work from roots to ends in sections, tilting the brush bristles under to provide tension as you smooth hair. This tension straightening method leaves hair looking naturally smooth – not poker straight.
Hot brushes add volume and visible lift at the roots while eliminating frizz. Frequent use can help train unruly hair overtime. The only downside is less versatility in curling or flipping ends compared to irons.
For semi-permanent straightening that lasts 6-8 weeks, try an at-home keratin treatment. These offer similar smoothing results to the popular Brazilian Blowout but without using formaldehyde.
Keratin treatments work by infusing a protein called keratin into the hair cuticle. The keratin bonds temporarily seal and relax the hair shaft. This makes it straighter, smoother, and less prone to frizz or curling in humidity for up to 2 months.
However, not all treatments are safe or effective. When shopping, look for the following:
- Formaldehyde-free – Safe formulas use other active ingredients for smoothing instead.
- 10% or higher keratin content – This ensures enough protein to adequately coat and straighten hair.
- Customizable formulas – The ability to adjust treatment strength for your hair texture prevents overprocessing.
DIY keratin treatments involve thoroughly cleansing hair, then applying the product in sections following instructions. Exact steps vary by brand but typically include waiting 30+ minutes before rinsing completely. Use the provided neutralizing shampoo once timing is complete.
While results can seem transformative, beware of any products claiming permanent chemical straightening. These require harsh ingredients and damage bonds over time. A keratin treatment simply makes hair appear straighter temporarily before the effects fade.
Using the right styling products enhances straightness from heat tools and helps you achieve a lasting sleek look:
- Blow dry creams like R+Co Bleu Melanin Infused Cream protect from heat up to 450°F and reduce drying time. Apply before blowouts.
- Heat protectant sprays like Tresemme Thermal Creations form a barrier against hot tools up to 230°C. Mist before flat ironing or hot brushing.
- Anti-frizz serums like Drybar Sake Bomb nourish hair and block humidity that can undo straightening. Use after heat styling.
- Keratin smoothing creams like GK Hair’s Taming Cream uses polymer technology to relax hair and promote straightness over time with consistent use.
- Silicone serums like Bio Silk Therapy add lubrication for an ultra smooth feel and act as a protectant during heat styling.
How often can I straighten my hair without damage?
Limit heat tools to 2-3 times per week max to maintain integrity. Deep condition with a hair mask weekly and use a leave-in treatment with thermal protection. And give hair a break with low-manipulation styles or wearing hats on off days.
My hair gets frizzy again halfway through the day – help!
Carry a silicone serum like Bio Silk with you for touch ups. Mist hair with water and reapply product to smooth frizz. You can also touch up with a flat iron on cool setting as needed. Avoid going outdoors with humidity when possible.
Can I undo the straightening process and go back to my curly hair?
Yes – stop using heat and keratin treatments and over time your natural texture will return. Use sulfate-free shampoos, deep conditioners, and embrace curly hairstyles while your hair transitions. Avoid chemical straighteners which permanently break bonds.
With the right tools, techniques and products in your arsenal, you can unlock straight, polished men’s hairstyles in the comfort of your own home. Just remember to adjust heat based on your hair’s properties, use protectants, and avoid over processing that leads to damaged locks. Show off your suave new look!