Whether you use a flat iron every day or once a year, the truth is that at every pass you're at risk of completely frying your hair to the point of no comeback.
Just imagine spending months and months on you healthy hair journey and looking forward to seeing the results, just to end up with damaged hair and having to start all over again.
Or, straightening your hair every week for a year, just to come across a photo of you in the beginning with thick hair and realising how uneven and thin it has become. That clearly doesn't sound like fun!
So to help you we've decided to compile a list of 7 tips to ensure you're minimising damage to your hair every time you decide to straighten it. Thank us later!
#1 Prepare Your Hair
Make sure you start with clean hair. Otherwise, any leftover product may react with the heat, causing your hair to fry. After you wash it, do a moisturising deep conditioning treatment to help strengthen the hair prior to the heat and close the hair cuticles to ensure a smooth and sleek finish.
#2 Heat Protection
Just washing and deep conditioning isn't enough. You need a product that is especially designed to sustain high heat and create a barrier between the flat iron and your hair. So spritz that bad boy while your hair is damp for better coating.
#3 Find the Right Flat Iron
You'll see terms like "ceramic", "tourmaline", "titanium" in the flat iron box. Don't disregard them as they describe what the flat iron plates are made of and how it'll impact your overall look. Ceramic plates heat more evenly and are very unlikely to burn your hair. Beware of ceramic 'coated' plates since these can chip off and actually snag your hair. Titanium plates heat up faster than ceramic ones and because it's smoother, it glides along the hair better, however if you leave them on too long they can cause more damage. Finally, tourmaline plates are better at closing the hair cuticle and giving you a smoother, shinier and longer lasting finish.
#4 Get that Temperature Right
Your hair type will determine the heat setting you use. So if you have one of those flat irons with just a "On" and "Off" button, you might want to through that thing in the trash! Rule of thumb is women with fine or color-treated hair should stick between 300 to 325 degrees, whereas those with coarser hair will need higher heat at 370.
#5 Dry Your Hair Before
Want to know what it looks like to flat iron your hair wet or damp? Google it first, don't try it on yourself. Let's just say that the moment that damp hair touches the iron plate, you'll hear that sizzle sound of your hair frying. So please for the love of your hair, dry it with a blowdryer completely before using the flat iron, otherwise you just bought yourself a one-way ticket to heat damage land.
#6 One-inch all the way
You might be running out of time or aren't patient enough to sit through the whole process, so we wouldn't be surprised that after 5 minutes, what looked like small sections of hair you were straightening became large blocks of semi-straight semi-frizzy hair. However, if you want a smooth look, stick to one-inch sections.
#7 Clean Up
Make sure you clean your flat iron either before or after using it to remove any dust or grease. Unless you want that on your hair, of course. Easiest way is to wipe the plates with a damp towel, but make sure it's unplugged first (sounds obvious but we had to say it). Alternatively, you can rub some alcohol to remove the residue (unplugged, again sorry!).
Now off to flat iron that beautiful hair!
*Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.*