The issue about how to get rid of curly hair for guys is an interesting one. First, you can never “get rid” of curly hair permanently. The only solutions available to you are temporary ones that will require repeated treatments periodically to keep it straight.
Who’s to blame for having curly hair in the first place? Well, it’s a genetic thing so mom and dad will have to shoulder the responsibility. But, the real question should be about whether or not you really want to get rid of it.
The ladies seem to like it. Anyway, so be it, let’s examine how to get rid of it.
The Physics of Curly Hair
So, what are we messing with in figuring out how to get rid of curly hair for guys? As I said, genetics is what you’re fighting. OK, so hair is protein and the protein the body produces to make hair healthy is keratin.
At the molecular level, the bond characteristics of sulfide atoms in the keratin compound determine whether the hair is curly or straight. A disulfide bond connects two atoms together. The further apart the two atoms are when they bond results in a bending of the keratin compound to maintain the chemical bond.
Each hair on your head has millions of bonded sulfide atoms in it. That creates curly hair. The closer the distance between two bonded sulfide atoms, the straighter the hair will be.
Salon & Home Methods of Straightening Curly Hair
There are two approaches to getting this done. First, is the salon treatment. Then, you can do some things at home if you think you have the skills and patience.
Most of the methods we will talk about use heat or chemicals in some way to achieve straightening. Both heat and chemicals come with the risk of doing damage to your hair if you don’t prep correctly and use the tools using the techniques that minimize risk.
This procedure will straighten your hair for a few days after which the process must be repeated. As the title suggests, a high powered blow dryer with an air concentration attachment is the primary tool along with a wide toothed comb, round barrel style brush, shampoo/conditioner, and heat protectant chemicals and anti-frizz hair products. A straightening iron might be needed as well.
The key to success is in preparing the hair and scalp for the intense heat you’re about to subject it to. There are five steps to preparing the hair for straightening:
- Wash the hair with shampoo/conditioner
- Blot the hair dry. Do not rub, twist or do anything to entangle the strands of hair.
- Comb the hair out using the wide-toothed comb. This will reduce the pulling and tugging on the hair by the barrel brush during the straightening process.
- Apply the heat protectant chemical or anti-frizz serum and be conservative with how much you use. This protects the hair from heat damage during the actual blowout.
- Get away from the humidity created by the hot water during the hair wash to a humidity-free corner of the salon. If your hairdresser friend is doing this at home, get out of the bathroom.
The blowout can now proceed using this series of events:
- Rough dry the hair using the blow dryer without attachment until it’s just damp but not dry.
- Depending on the length of your hair, the hairdresser may have to separate the layers of hair and pin up each one to be dried and straightened in a sequence that minimizes interference.
- Now, the blow dryer with concentrator and barrel brush take it from here. Keep the dryer about 2 to 3 inches from the layer of hair being dried as you lift and separate the strands of hair with the barrel brush.
- It may take repeated passes over the same layer to get it totally straight and dry.
- If your hair is particularly curly, the added step of using a straightening iron to finish the job may be necessary.
The Brazilian Keratin Treatment
From the salon perspective, this one is a relatively straightforward procedure. It lasts for six to eight weeks but, it’s not cheap. The cost can range from $125 to $400 depending on where you live.
It’s also new to the hair straightening scene, and although it has no known side effects or problems, some of the chemicals used are actually banned in Canada and the European Union. There is a U.S. Federal safety alert published by OSHA as well as an informational site if you want to be well-informed.
The process used is a two-step one:
- The application of a liquid keratin compound comes first. Every strand of hair must be treated.
- The liquid keratin must then be sealed in place using a formaldehyde substance which is where all the controversy comes in.
The bottom line here is that the process is extremely effective in straightening hair. However, once you’ve had the treatment applied, you have to keep going back every six to eight weeks to keep it looking healthy. If you don’t, the hair will deteriorate resulting in the need to cut off the dead hair and let it regrow to reestablish a natural, healthy crop of hair.
Essentially, you’re replacing the body’s natural keratin process with an artificial one, and you just have to keep on doing it, or the hair will die.
Try a New Haircut
You always have the choice to try a new hairstyle that minimizes the curliness of your natural hair. That generally means a shorter cut that counters the physics of why your hair is curly in the first place.
If you recall from the discussion on science at the top of this piece, hair is curly because of the elongated nature of the natural bonding of sulfide atoms in the hair. The logic then follows that if the hair strands are kept short, the curliness will be minimized.
This video will take you through a typical salon hair straightening experience just to show you how it’s done. It’s short, so enjoy:
Natural Ways to Straighten Curly Hair at Home
As you might suspect, the natural methods to straighten hair involve using foods in their various forms to influence the hair to go straight. Most of these are one step processes if you don’t include preparation of the formula as a step.
Coconut Milk Treatment
We are taking advantage of the natural hair conditioning properties of coconut milk. The theory behind the process is that coconut milk mixture will make the hair soft and pliable thus influencing the curls to go straight or least relax enough to give the appearance of straighter hair.
The mixture is easy to make using a blender. Carve out the coconut fruit and throw it into a blender with milk. Use the paste to coat your damp hair and let it sit for an hour. Rinse it out with warm water, and you’re done. Repeat as often as you want to in achieving the desired look.
Cow's Milk & Honey
This is another solution that takes advantage of the natural properties of both milk and honey. Milk has been shown to be a natural hair straightener, and honey provides the hair conditioning properties necessary to let the milk do its job.
This will end up being a thin mixture that can be applied using a spray bottle or you can just pour it on and rub it in. Let the hair absorb the mixture for about 2 hours and then rinse it out with warm water.
Olive Oil & Egg Mixture
One-half cup of oil to 2 eggs will make the mixture you’re looking for. This is a bit of a misdirection play because what you’re actually accomplishing with this mixture is de-frizzing the hair which, in turn, makes it “look” straighter.
Hey, perception is everything in today’s world. Apply it your wet hair and let it soak in for about an hour before you rinse it out with warm water.
Celery juice has demonstrated the ability to straighten hair. Prep for this on is a bit more complicated, but the results are worth the effort. You need fresh celery and a blender and don’t throw out the celery leaves.
Puree the whole shooting match until it’s practically a liquid. Spray it on or pour it over your head and work it in each strand of hair. Let it soak in and do it’s job for about an hour and then rinse it out with warm water. Style to your desired look.
The Final Word
The way most of the hair straightening methods work is to break the natural disulfide bonds of the hair temporarily that then allows the hair to take on a straight appearance. The operative word there is temporarily.
The body is a powerful mechanism that always looks to restore the natural balance of things and, in time, will restore those natural disulfide bonds in the hair and return it to its original state. Then. It’s a story of rinse and repeat as necessary to keep the look you want.
Of course, we’ve seen that there are processes that attempt to replace the natural order of the body. That comes at a price both literally and figuratively. Be well-informed about any hair straightening process, so you know what you’re getting yourself into before you commit to it.
So, that’s it for how to get rid of curly hair for guys. I recommend you try some natural ways at home first and figure out what it is you really want or maybe find the solution the easy way.