I was born with curly and wavy hair, and although I love sporting curls, sometimes I wished I had straight hair. However, thinking of having my hair permanently straight is not on top of my list, nor getting a hair re-bond every few months. The only solution I can see is learning how to use a hair straightener so I won’t be spending more than is necessary just to satisfy my straight hair needs.
Choosing the Right Straightener
A hair straightener is one of the best styling tools that I invested in as it can do more than just make my hair look salon straight. I also found out that I can make my curls more pronounced with such a tool well. The first time I decided to use a flat iron, I checked online to see which one will suit me best. I did not realize that there are too many options! If this is your first time to get one, I think you should start with the size. The best way to figure out the right size is by determining your hair type.
What is the Difference Between the Different Types of Straighteners?
A lot of people make the assumption that all flat irons are the same. But if you take a closer look, you will learn that they are not. Here are a few examples of these styling tools today.
- Titanium straightener. Titanium is a durable material that is also great for straightening dry, coarse hair without leaving any frizz. This is because the plates tend to release more negative ions that solve the frizz issue.
- Tourmaline straightener. Tourmaline coated plates deliver a smoother surface that prevents hair pulling and tugging thus delivering better results.
- Ceramic irons. Ceramic is commonly used in straightening tools because the material is known to deliver even heat which is essential for delivering sleek and shiny hair.
- Ionic flat iron. Ionic-based straightening tools produce more negative ions to counter positive ions to minimize the appearance of frizz.
What are the Qualities of a Good Hair Straightener?
There are dozens of hair straightening products out there that it can be a bit difficult figuring out which ones are good and which ones are not. For me, a good hair straightener should have these qualities.
- Quality Plate Material. This is an important aspect when choosing a flat iron because these will be the ones that will heat up your hair strands. Choosing the wrong one for the type of hair that you have can cause damage to your strands.
- Trusted Brand. If you want to get the best flat iron, stick with a trusted brand. There are several names already like CHI and BaByliss.
- Auto Shut-off. This is an important safety feature as it turns the styling tool off when not used for a few months which prevents accidents from happening.
- Adjustable Temperature. It would be better if you are using a flat iron that is equipped with an adjustable temperature setting. This will help you adjust the heat from the plates.
- Safety Features. Aside from having an auto shut-off feature, it would also be a good idea for the styling tool to have an indicator light to give you a sign of whether the plates are hot or not to avoid burning your fingers.
- Warranty. A straightening tool must have a warranty in place so you can return the products when they are not working.
Consider Different Sizes of Hair Straighteners
Here’s what you need to consider:
A typical hair straightener will have 1-inch plates which are suitable for both short and long hair. Although this may not be the perfect choice for all hair types, you can consider it as your go-to straightener.
Those with short hair can go for hair straightening tools that have less than an inch sized plates. This type of tool can get closer to the roots of the hair for even results.
Large-sized iron plates are recommended for those with long hair because the size of the plates will be able to handle a significant amount of hair between them.
Your Straightening Tool Kit: What You Need Before Straightening
- A Good Straightener — Make sure that you choose a good straightener that is appropriate for the type of hair that you have.
- A Hair Dryer — You may need to use a hair dryer if you have wet or damp strands and the flat iron you are using is not designed for straightening damp or wet locks.
- Tooth Comb — If you have fine hair, using a tooth comb may help you with sectioning your hair before straightening it.
- Large Clips — Clipping your hair can help you section your hair better.
- Heat Protection Spray — Applying protection spray on strands can add a layer of protection against the heat from the plates.
- A Brush or Hair Straightener Brush — This can help style your strands when you straighten your hair.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Straighten Hair
Prepare the Hair
- Wash and condition hair using sulfate-free hair products not only to prepare your hair but also to protect it from damage.
- Towel dry hair. Remove any excess water from your mane as water and heat can harm your strands.
- Add moisture. Moisturizing solutions can prevent dryness on your strands.
- Use heat protectant spray. If you have colored hair, applying a protecting spray can minimize damage.
- Don’t apply styling products on the roots of your hair as this will only make your mane appear greasy.
Straighten Your Hair
- Select the appropriate temperature setting. The temperature setting should match the type of hair that you have. If you have fine hair a low setting will work just fine while the high temperature is good for those with thick or dry hair.
- Separate your mane into sections. This makes it easier for you to straighten your wavy or curly hair better.
- Clamp the plates from the roots of the strands. Run the flat iron from top to the end of the sectioned hair.
- Repeat the third step. Do this until all the sections are done.
- Create volume from the roots. You can apply some volumizing mousse on the crown of your head then brush from the top to the ends of the hair.
Maintaining Your Straightener
- Clean plates regularly. This will help avoid any buildup that can damage the plates.
- Let it cool. Do not store flat irons while they are still hot to prevent a fire from breaking out.
- Store it flat. When storing your styling tool, always make it flat.
- Change shampoo and conditioner. If you notice any buildup on the plates, it might be because of the shampoo and conditioner you are using. You might want to change your brand.
- Fix any cracks. Any damage to the handle or styling tool must be fixed as soon as possible to avoid accidents.
Making your mane sleek and stylish doesn’t always have to mean spending money in the salon. All that you need to do is to search for flat styling iron and follow the tips and tricks here to get that desired look. And while you are at it, you can also add learning how to curl hair with a flat iron as this is also possible with this styling product. How cool is that?
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