Straight hair doesn’t always come easy, but when you’ve taken the time to coax your tresses into a super-sleek style, chances are you probably want it to last a day or two. The only problem? Everything from the weather and the environment to exercise and even sleeping — yes, sleeping! — can stand in your way. The good news: It is possible to prolong a smooth blowout or passes done with a flat iron for a couple of days, even if you’re the type to toss and turn while snoozing. All it takes is a few key products and some tried-and-true hairstylist tips for prepping, straightening, preserving and refreshing your locks after a full night of beauty sleep. Read on for everything you need to know about how to keep hair straight overnight so you can wake up and roll out of bed with fresh locks — even on day two and three!
How to keep hair straight overnight
You made it through the day and your locks are still intact, looking sleek and smooth. Now comes the real challenge: how to keep your hair straight overnight. Luckily, hairstylists know a thing or two about prolonging straight styles, and they’re sharing the ideal nighttime hair routine for straight styles below. Here, their 3 best strategies.
1. Brush hair right before bed
“With a boar bristle brush or paddle brush, brush your hair through to the ends to get everything smooth and gathered,” says Michelle Keoghan, hairstylist and owner of Shag Salon in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Brushing from scalp to ends distributes the oil that would lay on your hair at the roots.”
Think of it this way: not only does brushing help with your overall hair health, but putting in this little bit of work to prevent greasiness at the roots now will pay off in the morning when you wake up and don’t have to worry about oil build-up at your scalp. Tip: For those who wake up with very oily roots, spritz a small amount of dry shampoo on the scalp before going to bed. The spray will absorb any excess oil that forms overnight.
2. Toss on a smoothing hair accessory
It may be tempting to just hop into bed without giving any thought to putting up your hair or pulling it back. But the more deliberate you can be at this moment, the better your straight hair will fare overnight. No matter your hair length, the pros say you can benefit from using a silk or satin hair accessory while sleeping, since elastics and certain clips can cause dents. Plus, silk and satin are frizz fighters, too, but more to come on that.
Those with shorter styles might try sleeping with a silky headband, like fancii Audrey Satin Headband (Buy from fancii, $9), around their hairline. “I, myself, have curly hair, and the first thing that gets frizzy and curls back up after I sleep are my edges,” says Becca Raziuddin, hairstylist and director of artist education at Blo Blow Dry Bar. “However, keeping an elastic band with no creases around my edges keeps them flat while I sleep, maintaining a smooth hairline.”
And for longer locks, Raziuddin suggests softly rolling or twisting your hair into a loose bun, and securing it with a silk scrunchie, like Slip French Candy Skinny Scrunchies (Buy from Slip, $11.60), or a French hair pin, like The Hair Edit Sleek Chignon Pin (Buy from Ulta, $12.99). If desired, you can also wrap a silky scarf over your bun to prevent pieces from coming loose.
3. Sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase
Cotton pillowcase and our hair don’t work together, says Keoghan. The reason why? Cotton can rough up hair’s cuticle, especially if hair is fine or thin in texture. So if you haven’t made the switch to a silk or satin pillowcase, now may be the time.
Not only are these materials gentler on hair in general, but they’re also known to reduce frizziness and moisture accumulation at the roots, both crucial things for maintaining a straight style overnight. “The silk keeps your hair from breaking, getting frizzy, and keeping your head dry and cool overnight while you rest,” says Raziuddin. “Normal cotton pillowcases can cause frizz and damage to the hair and are not very cooling.” Keoghan recommends Kitsch Satin Pillowcase (Buy from Ulta, $19) since it’s more affordable than silk options but offer the same hair-smoothing benefits.
Styling tricks that help straight hair last longer
As important as following the routine above can be for how to keep hair straight overnight, your style’s longevity also depends on proper prep before and after blowing out your locks. Keep scrolling for the simple steps.
Step 1: Start with a heat protectant
After washing and conditioning your hair as usual, spritz on a heat protectant. Since wavy and curly hair both depend on heat to style it straight, a heat protectant will help keep your hair healthier and can prevent damage to natural curl patterns. Keoghan likes EVO Day of Grace Pre-Style Prime (Buy from Amazon, $27.20) because it’s very lightweight and hydrating.
Step 2: Apply a smoothing hair ‘cocktail’
Next, while your hair is still wet, it’s best to apply a product to smooth hair and create some structure so your straight style sticks. Keoghan likes to pair a smoothing cream, like EVO Easy Tiger Smoothing Balm (Buy from Amazon, $9), with a holding product such as a gel or mouse. “Make a little [hair] cocktail — mix your serum, smoothing lotion or leave-in with your gel or mouse — together. This combination gives your hair structure and helps the smoothing product work better so you’re not dealing with limp hair,” she says. Apply the mixture all over damp hair and comb through with a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute.
Step 3: Blow-dry in smaller sections
Now you’re ready to pick up the blow dryer, first by doing a rough dry before you go in with a round brush. “Technique is very important when it comes to this,” says Raziuddin. “You will want to start by pre-drying your hair — never blow [out] your hair when it is soaking wet, as this can cause damage. The curlier/frizzier your hair is, the less you will pre-dry.” Then, Raziuddin suggests taking sections of hair (no larger than the width and depth of your round brush) and blow drying these pieces straight using tension to stretch the curl pattern. “The more tension you use, the less you will need a hot tool after you finish blow drying,” she says. After doing this on your whole head, working from front to back, your hair should be sleek and voluminous.
Watch the below video from the Luxy Hair YouTube channel for a sleek blowout tutorial.
Step 4: Set the style with a flat iron + hairspray
For a truly straight, shiny finish, though, you’ll likely want to break out a flat iron. Follow the same sectioning concept mentioned above as you work your way around your head, concentrating on the areas that really need it. “Your iron is just for finishing, so it really should be passed through quickly and maybe not even on every section of your hair,” says Keoghan. “Unplug the iron before working your way to the very front. The hair on your hairline is a little bit finer, she notes, which makes it more prone to damage, “so you want to be careful here.”
Along similar lines, very curly hair types will fare best with a targeted approach to the hairline with the flat iron. “If you have coily hair, you may need to take smaller sections to properly hit the roots,” says Raziuddin. And once hair is sleek, seal in the smoothness with an anti-humidity hairspray, like L’Oréal Paris Extra Strong Hold Hair Spray (Buy from Ulta, $6.99).
Quick ways to save a straight hairstyle
So you followed all the stylist-approved steps for straight hair outlined here — including prep, styling and overnight upkeep — and you’ve still woken up with a few creases and crimps? Don’t fret! These 3 smart solutions will help.
1. Tame frizz and flyaways with a serum
If you’ve lost a bit of your sleekness and need to fight frizz, reviving your straight style is relatively simple. “For someone whose hair isn’t as curly, a simple brush through and a touch of product for smoothness may work well,” says Raziuddin. Keoghan advises using 1-2 pumps of serum, like John Frieda Frizz Ease Serum Extra Strength (Buy from Amazon, $10.49), in this case. “Put a little bit of it in your hands — really get it moving — then throw that through the mid-lengths and ends for a little bit of smoothing,” she says. Bonus: Many serums can also work as heat-protectants, too, should you need to break out the flat iron again.
2. Banish oiliness with dry shampoo
Dry shampoo can help refresh your hair post-brushing, too. “Your hair is still pretty fresh, so don’t overdo it,” cautions Keoghan. “Just use a little bit underneath the crown and at the parting.” Or spritz a small amount on fingertips and work through the roots to absorb excess oil on the scalp.
3. Smooth out kinks with a flat iron
Finally, if you’re dealing with a lot of frizz or your hair is on the curlier side, Raziuddin says you may want to touch up your edges with quick pass of a flat iron. Just spritz hair with a heat protection before doing so to ward off damage.
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