6 Ways to Straighten Your Hair Naturally at Home

Avoid the electric straightener with these tips and tricks.

side profile shot of woman combing wet brown hair with brown comb

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Want to straighten your hair without using heat or chemical straighteners? Fortunately, you have a few options.

While you won’t get the ruler-straight look that heat and chemical straighteners provide, you’ll have healthy hair that’s straighter than it was before. Results will vary depending on the consistency of your hair, but hopefully some of these tips—or a combination of them—can get you closer to the look you're going for.

1. Brush wet hair until it dries

woman faces camera and brushes out wet hair with brown comb with two hands

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

After washing your hair, let it air dry completely, but continue to brush it every five minutes. Pull out and hold each section of hair for a few seconds to encourage it to straighten out. You can also do this in front of a fan, which is faster, but requires constant brushing.

2. Wrap wet hair tightly

3/4 profile shot of model with damp hair combed over on both sides secured with bobby pins

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

When your hair is wet, comb and divide it down the centre. Comb the left portion all the way over to the right (yes, it’s a combover of sorts) and wrap around the back of your head, securing with bobby pins. (One tip is to slide a piece of thin card stock under each bobby pin to prevent dents forming.) Flip the right section over the left side, wrap, and pin in the same way. Let it air dry completely. You can wrap in a silk scarf and sleep on it to reduce frizz.

3. Roll your hair

back shot of woman reading book while hair is secured in extra large rollers and pins

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Use large hair rollers, i.e. the size of soda cans, to roll sections of wet hair and secure them tightly against your head. Let dry completely. This is important, because the slightest bit of moisture can make the curl or wave come back.

4. Use overnight hair bands

back shot of woman with damp hair and two low pony tails secured in multiple places with hair bands

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Divide damp hair into one or two low ponytails. Fasten with a soft hair elastic, then add additional elastics every inch or so down the ponytail, in order to hold it together. Make sure the elastics are fairly loose so that they won’t leave a noticeable mark on your hair. Go to sleep and let it out in the morning.

5. Twist hair into a bun

back of woman's head, with her left hand gently resting on loosely coiled top bun

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

If you have fairly obedient, straightish hair to begin with, then this method will likely work for you, though it’s not effective on my stubbornly wavy hair. Make a ponytail of damp hair and twist like a rope. Wrap around itself to make a bun and secure with an elastic. Let air dry, then brush out.

6. Make a natural straightening mask

wooden breakfast tray in white bed with various DIY natural hair masks ingredients and comb

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Full-fat milk (coconut or dairy) has a conditioning effect on hair, which smooths it and tames it, helping it to hang straighter.

The Free People beauty blog recommends making a milk and honey mask. Mix 1 cup of whole milk or coconut milk with 1 tbsp of honey and let it soak into your hair and scalp for one hour before washing out.

You can also mix 2 cups milk with 1 egg. Soak your hair in it for 10 minutes, then squeeze out, don’t rinse, and wrap with a plastic cover for another 30 minutes. Wash out and brush dry.

back of woman's head while she applies diy mask treatment to dry hair strands

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

A recipe from Naturally Curly recommends applying the following DIY straightening mask in order to relax and straighten your hair: 1 cup coconut milk, 4 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp cornstarch. Heat at low temperature and stir until smooth. Cool, then apply to hair.

To all of these methods, add a few drops of sweet almond or coconut oil to further tame frizz and smooth out the look.

Other Suggestions

You can rinse your hair with cold water in the shower, as it tends to get rid of frizziness and straighten it somewhat. Try putting on a hat while your hair is air-drying to flatten it. You may have to twist, tuck, and pin longer parts to ensure everything's covered. Consider drying your hair partially with cool air (use the cold setting on your dryer), then wrapping and pinning it tightly against your head overnight.