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Image: Shutterstock/Svyatoslava Vladzimirska

Here’s something that doesn’t seem like it would be too easy to mess up: straightening hair. But a natural impulse is to reach right for the flattening iron, and that’s a good way to fry your gorgeous strands. It might not be apparent right away, but eventually your hair could become frizzy and prone to split ends with overuse of those heat styling tools. So below are several ways to straighten hair without reaching for the flatiron.

Invest in smoothing products 

The easiest way to straighten hair at home is, of course, to invest in decent hair smoothing products. These products run the gamut, from shampoos to sprays to creams. Many of these products also come in steps and kits. One such example is K+Frizz Control Kit, which comes with a deep cleansing shampoo, formaldehyde-free keratin treatment, salt and sulfate-free shampoo, nourishing conditioner and hair hydration mask. This keratin treatment is supposed to treat extra frizz.

For an easier idea that doesn’t take multiple steps, there is also ENJOY Straightener, which is a spray-in product that smooths and straightens. Reviewers state they can apply this to wet hair before brushing, brush and let it dry naturally, even though the directions call for blow drying.

There are also tons of straightening shampoos and conditioners out there, as well. Paddle brushes also work well for getting straight, non-knotty hair.

Milk rinse

A popular natural remedy for frizzy, crimped hair is a milk rinse. It requires just cold, plain milk. Add some milk to a spray bottle (about half a cup for very long hair, work down from there if your hair is shorter. Add more if you have thick hair). Spray your hair with the milk, making sure to saturate it. Comb your hair and leave the milk in for about ten minutes.

Then wash the milk out with shampoo and condition like normal. Brush your hair right after the shower while it’s still wet. That should help with some of the frizz that leads to crimped hair, since milk is very moisturizing.

Serum and blow dryer method

I know, I know, the idea is to avoid heat tools. But this requires using your blow dryer on a cold setting. While you have damp hair after washing it, add some anti-frizz serum or smoothing spray, ideally not a product that is meant to be used with a heat tool.

Dry sections of your hair while holding the strands outward to keep them straight while drying. It might take a bit longer than a heat setting, but it won’t damage your hair.