Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Blow Dry Straightening & The Wrap

Q: I have long wavy hair and want to straighten it without the use of a flat iron or chemicals. Is that possible and how should I do it? I don’t want to damage my healthy long hair!
A: Aside from blow-dry straightening, there is only one method I know to “smooth” the hair. This is called a “wrap”. Let’s look at some basics of blow-dry straightening, and then discuss the wrap.
Young woman brushing her long wavy hair When performing a blow-dry straightening on the hair, the key factor is using a brush that will allow you to put tension on the hair as you blow-dry it. Work in sections from the bottom up and clip the hair you aren’t working on out of the way. Blow the whole head to a mostly-dry state, then separate the hair and pin it up except for a few inches at the bottom. Use a medium-high heat and low-airflow setting and brush the hair so that you pull the hair with some tension and keep it straight as you direct the hot air over the hairs. Aim the airflow in the direction the hair grows to keep the hair smooth and shiny-looking. Once you finish one section, lower another couple of inches and repeat the process, until you’ve straightened the whole head.
The smoothing method called the “Wrap” won’t make the hair completely straight, but it will smooth the hair and give a sleeker look. Start with damp hair (towel-dried works fine) and massage in the styling product of your choice. With fine hair use a light-weight product like mousse, and for coarser hair, use a gel-based product to give stronger hold. Comb the styling product through the hair and then you can begin the wrap process.
Tilt your head so that the crown is aimed at the ceiling. Using a comb, carefully comb the hair outward from the crown and along the scalp at a slight angle. Work your way around the head and then return to the crown and repeat the process, increasing the angle and making sure the hair lies close to the scalp.
Repeat this process until you manage to get all the hair (or as much as you can) winding around the scalp. Avoid “clumping” and crowding the hair as much as possible. Your finished result should be a smooth cap of hair wrapped snugly around the scalp. The process becomes tricky when dealing with longer hair lengths, but practice will allow you to master the process.
Once the hair is wound around the scalp, use clips to secure the ends of the hair, and allow the hair to dry naturally, or sit under a hooded dryer to dry the hair. When the hair is once again dry, perform the wrap process in reverse. Use the comb to break up the product that holds the hair to the scalp and other hairs working from the outside of the wrapped hair and working your way inward to the crown. Once all the hair is unadhered, you can use a brush to finish smoothing the hair.
The result should be a softly curved style that is “straighter” without needing flat irons and harsh processes.
Related posts:
How to blow dry your hair
The wrap styling technique for smoother and flatter hair
How badly will straightening damage my hair?
How frequently you can use a flat iron