The ironed, centre-parted look is back. Here’s how achieve poker-straight locks.

Glass-like, ironed-straight hair a la Kate Moss in the 1990s is back, centre parting and all. But don’t be fooled; it’s not the low-maintenance alternative to a beachy wave. Far from it. Getting silky, frizz-free locks that don’t get fried by over-heat styling takes maintenance and know-how. Here are our top styling tips and hair products to get the poker-straight look, damage-free.

Lay The Foundations

Firstly, achieving a super-smooth finish has a lot to do with your hair texture, as well as its current condition. That said, your best hope of achieving a mirror shine look that’s poker-straight is on well-maintained hair. A blunt-cut long bob is a modern take on the 90s style; it will stop poker straight hair looking flat and lifeless and give it structure. Do talk to your hair stylist about the shape that will suit your face, rather than being too trend-led. Also ensure that you get their advice on how you can achieve a straight finish at home, with the least effort.

In-Shower Tips

Straight hair begins in the shower. Wash with a shine-boosting shampoo, such as Drunk Elephant’s Cocomino Glossing Shampoo, then comb through conditioner with a wide paddle brush to get rid of any knots and ensure all strands are coated (we love Aveda Botanical Repair for deeply nourishing, soft locks). Once you’re finished, squeeze excess water out rather than roughly towel drying, which will fluff up the hair shaft, encouraging volume and frizz. Buy Cocomino Glossing Shampoo here.

Deep Treatment

If you’re serious about maintaining a silky, poker straight look, hair condition is key. A once a week deep treatment mask will not only repair hair from heat styling (more on which below), but also ensure hair is hydrated to stop frizz and help keep those ends from fraying. Developed by A-list hair stylist, Jen Atkin (clients include Hadid and Kardashian), Ouai’s fine-to-medium hair treatment masque is packed with shea butter and hydrolysed keratin to fight frizz, strengthen and enhance moisture levels – all with a perfume-worthy blend of bergamot, lychee, white musk, champagne and rose to leave hair feeling and smelling pampered. Shop it here.


The route to poker-straight hair is, inevitably, via some kind of heated styling, which can damage hair and cause brittle, frizzy locks – the exact opposite of the 90s do you were after. To prevent damage, spritz hair with a thermo-protectant, such as Living Proof Straight Spray. Heat activated, it springs into action, delivering long-lasting shine and a frizz-free veil of weightless protection that lasts all day and shields hair from UV damage, too. Shop it here.

The Kit

When ironing hair, do not go over 350 degrees and always ensure hair is bone-dry before you begin. Hold your hair taunt and pass over small sections once or twice (no more!) in a downward movement to close the hair shaft for a glass-like shine. Begin with the underneath layers and work your way to the top. Start at the very root if you are looking for a sleek finish, or two inches down the length if you want to maintain some volume at the root. Dyson’s cordless Corrale straighteners are a far cry from the first-gen kit used in the 90s. Their flexible copper plates shape and gather hair as you straighten, using half the heat, thus causing half the damage. A 21st-century, gentle way to getting the poker-straight look. Shop them here.

Beat The Frizz

Stop humidity undoing all your hard work and apply a top-coat of Amika’s Glass Action Universal Elixir to calm any errant flyaways. It will keep kinks at bay, whilst nourishing with omega 7-rich sea buckthorn oil for shine-boosting hydration. Shop it here.

By Lydia Mansi
June 2021


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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.