How to Add Serious Texture to Stick-Straight Hair

Updated 04/24/19

When the messy bedhead look, with its cool, undone texture, skyrocketed to the top of every must-try beauty trends list, we were all excited. Among the most excited? The girls who wake up with that natural texture on a daily basis—with just a spritz of texturizing spray, they were set. But those with fine, stick-straight tresses were decidedly absent from that wash-and-go group. However, super-straight hair can achieve roughed-up texture—it just takes a little more coaxing. We enlisted celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin to show us how it’s done.

Scroll through to see our step-by-step tutorial on how to add serious texture to even the straightest strands!

texture on straight hair
Justin Coit


Start with damp hair. Freshly washed is fine, but if you just lightly dampen second-day dirty hair, you’ll have a little more natural texture to work with.

Justin Coit

Step One: Part

Part your hair down the middle. Use the tail of a comb to get the most precise, straight part.

Justin Coit

Step Two: Sea Salt Spray

Spritz sea salt spray all over, getting the roots through the ends. Atkin is a fan of Sachajuan’s Ocean Mist ($28).

Justin Coit

Step Three: Dry and Scrunch

Use a blow-dryer to rough-dry your hair, scrunching the ends as you go.

Justin Coit

Step Four: Smooth Dry

When your hair is almost completely dry, finish blow-drying with a boar-bristle hairbrush to evenly distribute the product.

Justin Coit

Step Five: Add Bends

In small one- to two-inch sections, add horizontal bends down the length of your hair with a flat iron. Take one piece of hair and roll it under (towards your scalp) with the flat iron. Release the iron. Then, pick up where you left off, this time bending the iron in the opposite direction—up, away from your head. Continue this process, alternating directions down to your ends. Finish the ends by smoothing them straight down.

Justin Coit

Step Six: Spiral Curl the Front

Wrap a few face-framing pieces of hair in the front around a one-inch curling iron. Hold the iron vertically to get the downward spiral. Leave the ends out, and don’t clamp down on the curling iron to get the most natural curl.

Justin Coit

Step Seven: Fix and Finish

Lightly finger through the ends, pulling apart any sections that are stuck together or look too finished. Atkin says you can scrunch in dry texture spray for more texture, or add a small amount of pomade to the ends for even more piece-y separation.

Justin Coit


These steps work on any hair type and hair length. If you have long hair, the only difference is you’ll need to add a few more bends as you go down the length of your hair.
Photographer: Justin Coit
Hairstylist: Jen Atkin
Makeup Artist: Roxy
Producer: Jenna Peffley
Model: Corrie
Check out Atkin's website Mane Addicts for even more hair inspiration!

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