Before the days of chemical relaxers and flatirons, South African women used a process known as whirling to straighten their strands. Port Elizabeth stylist Sandy Bishop explains the technique: "Wrap wet hair tightly around the scalp and place a stocking over the head to hold it in place. Use a blow-dryer to remove 80 percent of the moisture, then remove the stocking and wrap the hair in the other direction. Dry completely, take the stocking off, and brush the hair. It will be dead straight."
Conair Tourmaline Ionic Styler, $21; target.com.Read MoreLess