Unfortunately for me, I'm not the kind of girl who has ever had the luxury (or the guts) to just waltz out of the house with damp, freshly-showered hair, knowing that it will just dry "au natural" and magically fall into place in an hour or two. Since my natural coif is most accurately described as "frizz ball," "rat's nest," or "bushwoman" (and I just don't have the nerve to rock any of those looks in public), I've been around the block with my share of flat irons. As a result, I've perfected the act of at-home hair-straightening to an efficient art, free of arm cramps and follicle-frying woes that many less-experienced tress flatteners tend to suffer from. While I don't condone punishing your unruly locks by attacking them with a flat iron every day, as heat overload will just cause your mane to misbehave even more, straight hair doesn't have to be a chore saved only for special occasions, and it doesn't have to take hours out of your day! Click READ MORE for eight simple steps to you can use to achieve a stress-free straight mane!1. Get rid of your old straightener. Trust me, if you want to make that dream of a sleek mane blowing in the wind into reality, you must first acknowledge the fact that if you plan to keep frying the heck out of your hair with one of those mammoth gold-plated Hot Tools irons circa 1999, the only healthy hairstyle you'll achieve is going to have to be bought from the wig shop.2. Yep, you guessed it - Replace your old iron with a quality straightener! While they're not exactly as affordable as the ones you might find on the shelf at Longs or RiteAid, ceramic flat irons like the Solia or HAI are a darn good investment! And with free shipping at Folica.com, it pretty much pays for itself after just a few uses with all the time you'll save and the load that will be lifted off your back once you've obtained genuinely straight, weightless hair!3. Wash hair with a moisture-rich shampoo and conditioner like Frederic Fekkai Glossing Shampoo and Conditioner. Before you get out of the shower, rinse hair briefly with cold water (it might be uncomfortable, but pain is beauty!) -- this seals in the moisture and gives your hair a shiny finish.
4. Towel-dry hair gently to get rid of excess drips and dampness. Before your 'do starts going 'fro on you, mist or smooth in a small dollop of heat protectant product such as GHD Thermal Protector, available at Sephora. Now you're ready to bring on the heat!5. Part and blow-dry your hair in sections, using a fat paddle brush. I'll admit, I get impatient and am often tempted to just throw my head upside-down and go to town maniacally attacking my damp hair with heat to just get the process over with, but you'll see that straightening with smoothly-dried hair will prove to be much easier than attempting to take on a blown-out frizz puff. Trust me.6. Once your hair is completely dry, part your hair again into smaller manageable sections, starting at the nape of your neck, then rub in a tiny drop of straightening balm like Samy Silk serum. Instead of running the flat iron rapidly through your hair like you would with a brush, clamp down on each section and slowly pull it through, visibly smoothing and straightening as you go. While this might seem like a more time-consuming method, you actually save time by doing a more thorough job and eliminating the need to return to sections you've already straightened for touch-up. Additionally, you won't rip out strands of hair like you would when haphazardly raking the iron through your mane like a frenzied frizz-fighter.7. When you've finished ironing all sections of your hair, mist with a humidity-fighting finishing spray for a final dose of shine. Try Living Proof No Frizz Styling Spray to add that final shield of sheen. It can also be spritzed on later for an instant smoothing touch-up.8. To protect your tresses from excessive heat damage, don't straighten daily! To keep that sleek style fresh for another day, comb in some Oscar Blandi dry shampoo at your roots and bangs to revive locks without having to reheat them!