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How to Flat Iron 4C Hair Like a Pro

How to Flat Iron 4C Hair

If you have 4c hair, you might feel like it’s impossible to achieve a sleek, straight look without causing heat damage. 

However, with the right tools and techniques, you can safely and effectively flat iron natural hair.

In this article, I’m sharing some tips and tricks for flat ironing 4c hair without causing damage.

How to Flat Iron 4c Hair

When flat ironing 4C hair, there are a few steps you need to follow to minimize heat damage and keep your natural black hair healthy. Here is each step in detail: 

Preparing Your Hair

Before you begin to flat iron your 4c hair, it’s essential to prepare it properly. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Wash your hair: Start by shampooing and deep conditioning your natural hair. This will help to detangle and soften your hair. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner to prevent your hair from becoming dry and brittle.
  • Apply a styling product: After washing your hair, apply a moisturizer or conditioner to your hair. This will help to protect your hair from heat damage and make it easier to straighten.
  • Blow dry your hair: Use a good hair dryer to blow dry your 4c hair. This will help to stretch your hair and remove any excess moisture. Use a blow dryer with a comb attachment to concentrate the heat and prevent your thick coarse hair from becoming frizzy.

Protecting Your Hair

When flat-ironing your 4c hair, it is important to protect it from heat damage. Here are the steps that will help you protect your natural hair while achieving silky straight hair:

  • Use the right temperature: Set your flat iron to the appropriate temperature for your hair type. The ideal flat iron temperature for 4c hair is between 350°-400° degrees Fahrenheit or 175°-200° degrees Celsius. Avoid using high temperatures as this can jeopardize your hair’s health. 
  • Don’t flat-iron wet hair: Never flat-iron wet or damp hair as this can cause serious damage to your natural curls. Ensure that your hair is completely dry before using the flat iron.
split screen of woman before and after silk press
Youtube @supa natural

Sectioning Your Hair

Once you prepared your natural 4c hair to be flat-ironed, sectioning it is the next step. This is crucial to ensure that you achieve a beautiful natural hair silk press, especially if you have thick hair. 

Sectioning your hair makes it easier to work with, but also prevents hair damage from overusing the flat iron in one area. Here are some tips on how to section your hair for the perfect sleek look:

  • Divide Your Hair into Sections: Divide your hair into four to six sections, depending on the thickness and length of your hair. Use hair clips to secure each section in place, so they don’t get in your way when you’re working on another section.
  • Begin with the Back Sections: Start with the back section of your hair and work your way to the front. This way, you can easily see which sections you’ve already flat-ironed and which ones still need to be done.
  • Use Small Sections: Take small sections of hair, about one to two inches wide, and run the flat iron through each section from root to tip. This will ensure even heat distribution throughout your hair and that you get a smooth and sleek finish.

Flat Ironing Your Hair

The last tip to flat iron your 4c hair strands with minimal damage is to use the right tools and techniques. 

  • Start at the roots: Start flat ironing your 4c hair at the roots and work your way down to the ends. Use a rattail comb to detangle your hair as you go, and be sure to move the hair straightener slowly and steadily to avoid burning your hair. For even better results, you can use a hot comb to get to your roots. 
  • Finish with a Serum: After you finished straightening your natural hair, apply a serum to your hair to add shine and reduce frizz. Use a small amount of serum and apply it evenly throughout your hair. 
  • Take your time: To achieve the best possible end result with fewer passes, make sure to take your time and be gentle with your hair. Remember that the goal is to prevent any breakage or damage.
pictures of a woman sectioning her hair for flat ironing
Youtube @starring lia

Maintaining Your Style

Now that you know how to flat iron your 4c hair, it’s time to learn how to keep 4c hair straight. Here are some tips to help you keep your hair looking sleek and smooth:

Use a Silk Scarf or Satin Bonnet or Pillowcase

Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase can cause friction and damage to your hair, leading to frizzy hair and breakage.

Instead, use a silk or satin bonnet or pillowcase to protect your 4c hair while you sleep. This will help your hair retain moisture and prevent it from becoming dry and brittle.

Use a protective style

Another tip for maintaining silk presses is to put them in a protective style overnight.

You can wrap your hair around your head and secure it with bobby pins, or you can even put your 4c hair in bantu knots to keep it straight. Just know that it may lead to some light waves. 

Avoid Humidity

Humidity can cause your 4c hair to revert back to its natural hair texture, undoing all of your hard work. Avoid going out in humid weather, or use an anti-humidity spray on your hair to help keep it straight.

Touch Up as Needed

After a couple of days, your hair may start to lose its straightness. Keep a small flat iron or hot comb on hand to touch up any areas that need it. Be sure to use a heat protectant before applying heat to your hair.

Don’t Overdo It

While it may be tempting to flat iron your hair every day, doing so can cause heat damage and lead to breakage.

Try to limit flat ironing to once or twice a week, and use a leave-in conditioner to help protect your hair from heat damage.

By following these tips, you can keep your 4c hair looking straight and sleek for days. Remember to take care of your hair, and it will reward you with healthy, beautiful locks.

back of a woman with a silk press in a hair salon
Instagram @silkpress.princess

Choosing the Right Flat Iron

When it comes to choosing the best flat iron for your 4c hair, there are a few things you need to consider. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

  • Plate Material: The material of the plates on your flat iron is essential. You want to choose a flat iron with plates that will not damage your hair. Ceramic plates are a great option as they distribute heat evenly and reduce the risk of hot spots. Tourmaline plates are also an excellent choice as they emit negative ions that help to reduce frizz and static.
  • Plate Size: The size of the plates on your flat iron is another factor to consider. For 4c hair, you want to choose a flat iron with wide plates. This will allow you to straighten larger sections of hair at once, saving you time and reducing the risk of heat damage.
  • Temperature Settings: Different hair types require different temperature settings. For 4c hair, you want to choose a flat iron with adjustable heat settings. This will allow you to choose the temperature that is right for your hair type. Generally, the best temperature for 4C hair is between 350°F and 400°F.
  • Heat Protection: Using a flat iron on your natural hair can cause heat damage. To protect your hair from heat damage, you want to choose a flat iron with heat safety features. Look for a flat iron with a temperature control feature that will automatically shut off the iron when it reaches a certain temperature.
  • Brand and Price: When it comes to choosing a flat iron, brand, and price are also essential factors to consider. You want to choose a flat iron from a reputable brand that has a good reputation for producing quality hair styling tools. However, you don’t have to break the bank to get a good flat iron. The Babyliss Pro Nano is a great option for a very good price. 

By considering these factors, you can choose the right flat iron for your 4C hair and achieve the best silk press possible.

Related post: How Long Does a Silk Press Last on 4C Hair

blue hair straighteners

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I straighten my 4C hair without heat damage?

  • Make sure your hair is healthy before applying heat
  • Use a heat protectant before blow-drying and flat ironing
  • Use a flat iron with adjustable temperature settings and start with the lowest heat setting
  • Avoid using the flat iron on wet or damp hair
  • Use a comb to detangle your hair before flat ironing
  • Don’t go over the same section of hair repeatedly with the flat iron

What temperature should I use to flat iron my 4C hair?

  • Start with a low-temperature setting, around 300-350°F
  • Adjust the temperature as needed, depending on your hair’s thickness and texture
  • Avoid using temperatures above 400°F, as this can cause heat damage

What products should I use on my 4C hair before flat ironing?

  • Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to keep your hair hydrated
  • Use a leave-in conditioner or detangler to make your hair more manageable
  • Use a heat protectant spray or serum to protect your hair from heat damage
  • Avoid using heavy oils or butters, as these can weigh down your hair and make it harder to flat iron

How often should I flat iron my 4C hair?

  • Limit flat ironing to once a week or less, to avoid heat damage
  • Use other styling methods, such as twist-outs or braid-outs, to switch up your look without using heat

What are some tips for keeping my 4C hair straight in humidity?

  • Use a humidity-resistant hairspray or serum
  • Avoid touching your hair too much, as this can cause frizz
  • Tie your hair up in a bun or ponytail to keep it out of the way on humid days
  • Use a silk or satin scarf or pillowcase to reduce friction and prevent frizz

Can I flat iron my 4C hair without a relaxer?

  • Yes, you can flat iron your 4C hair without a relaxer
  • However, it may take more time and effort to achieve a straight look, and you may need to use a higher-temperature setting
  • If you’re considering getting a relaxer, make sure to do your research and consult with a professional stylist to determine if it’s the right choice for you.

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