Can You Straighten Braiding Hair? A Complete Guide

how to straighten braiding hair

Synthetic or braiding hair has come a long way. As time passes and technology evolves, it is becoming difficult to distinguish between natural and braiding hair. Due to the challenges of styling and managing natural healthy hair, synthetic manes are an excellent alternative for pulling off occasional braided styles. But can you straighten braiding hair to create trendy, gorgeous, sleek looks?

Braiding hair is made from synthetic fiber like acrylic or nylon. Therefore, it is sensitive to high temperatures unless it is heat resistant. While you can straighten braiding hair, it might not revert to its original texture.

But there are ways to straighten your braiding hair without damaging it, as explained below. If you employ the following technique, you will likely be able to revert synthetic hair to its earliest texture. 

This article looks closely at whether you can flat iron your braiding hair. If not, what other option do you have to straighten the synthetic hair? So, Let’s get into it!

Why Can’t You Flat Iron Synthetic Braiding Hair?

Various types of synthetic braiding hair are available, including those made from low-quality and premium quality fibers. The most famous braiding hair is kanekalon, created using modacrylic fiber. It is soft, lightweight, and has a tactile feeling to the skin, just like natural hair.

Even made with kanekalon, synthetic braiding hair is extremely sensitive to temperature. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wise to straighten it using a flat iron. According to a study, kanekalon can’t withstand temperatures above 250 °F and stiffens as you go above this and subsequently breaks away.

While there are a few videos on the internet where people tried straightening their kanekalon braiding hair with the help of flat iron, the manufacturing brands don’t recommend this.

You may succeed in straightening the synthetic braids, but the hair will turn kinky and rough after some time. Also, you may lose the softness and feel of braiding hair and have to throw it away and repurchase it.

But is there another way to straighten braiding hair while not damaging it? I have explained it in the following to help you get silky smooth synthetic hair from kanekalon braids.

How To Straighten Synthetic Braiding Hair?

Typically, synthetic braiding hair is not heat resistant. So, we will use warm water, steam, and a blow dryer to straighten it while controlling the temperature. However, you may employ the usual flat iron straightening technique if you have heat-resistant braiding hair.

The following technique is to straighten braiding hair sensitive to high temperatures.

Step 1: Detangle The Braiding Hair

Detangling the braiding hair before trying to straighten it is crucial. You need to be careful to prevent frizz and breakage. So, use a wide teeth comb to detangle the synthetic hair.

Brush it in small sections starting from the end or tips of braiding hair. Never comb it straight from the roots to the ends. Otherwise, the braiding hair can break away easily.

Choosing the right brush for synthetic braiding hair will help you detangle it within a few minutes. You may never have to employ the brush you use on your natural hair. It can contain oil which is damaging for the artificial braids.

Step 2: Dip The Kanekalon Braid Hair In Warm Water

The most critical step to straightening braiding hair is how do you control the temperature. Typically, synthetic hair can’t withstand dry heat like flat irons. But, you can use the moist heat from warm water while controlling its temperature to get smooth and silky hair from kanekalon braids.

Usually, the braiding hair is put on a wig head, and then we pour warm water on it for 10 to 20 sec to straighten the hair.

However, after detangling the synthetic braiding hair, you can dip it in warm water with a temperature between 160°F to 190°F for 10 to 15 sec.

To control the temperature of water while boiling it, use a thermometer. If you put the braiding hair in too hot water, it will melt away or shrink. So, ensure the temperature is in the suggested range when dipping the synthetic hair.

Step 3: Smooth The Frizz

The heat from the warm water will straighten the kinky braiding hair after you take it out. However, if some frizz remains, don’t try brushing it away because it can damage the synthetic fibers

So, how will you smooth this frizz? Use your fingers gently to detangle the remaining curls.

  • Pick strands having frizz.
  • Press your fingers while moving them down.
  • It is like you remove water from a wet cloth with your finger.
  • As the braiding hair will still be warm, it will get straightened.

Step 4: Dry The Braiding Hair

When it comes to drying the braiding hair after straightening it with warm water, Don’t use the heating tools like a blow dryer. Let it dry on its own, or tap it with a towel. But never rub braiding hair together with a towel; otherwise, it will get curly and kinky again.

You can use the fan if you are in a hurry to dry synthetic hair or cool air from the blow dryer.

Repeat the procedure if your braiding hair does not get straight after going through the above four steps. But when you reiterate the process, let your braiding hair dry first.

You may need to repeat these steps twice, depending on how much straightening you want.

How Can You Straighten Heat-Resistant Synthetic Braiding Hair?

When the synthetic braiding hair is made from heat-resistant fiber, it will not get straightened by the process discussed above. So, you may need to employ the flat iron for it.

  • Detangle your braiding hair starting from the ends and doing it in small sections.
  • Take a small area of it and apply a heat protectant to it. 
  • Set the flat iron temperature between 310°F to 350°F and use it.

You can go up with temperature for a few degrees if braiding hair resists straightening. Repeat these steps on all of the strands.

Executive Summary

Wearing braiding hair is fun and allows you to pull a hairstyle that might not be possible with your natural locks. But you can also get bored putting on braids all the time and may want to straighten them. You can straighten braiding hair using warm water while controlling its temperature range between 160°F to 190°F. We won’t suggest flat ironing your synthetic braids unless they are heat resistant.