If flat ironing your hair isn’t producing the straight hair results you desire, maybe it’s time to switch up your technique, and upgrade your hair products and tools. Although technique plays an important role in achieving straight, gorgeous tresses, choosing the right hair products and tools can help prevent heat damage and keep your hair healthy. So, before you plug in the flat iron, check out these tips that will leave your hair looking fly — not fried.
Before you begin straightening your hair, make sure your hair has been washed and conditioned. Washing your hair before straightening it removes any product buildup that may hinder the straightening process. Conditioning your hair gives your hair the moisture it needs to prevent breakage and brittleness. Some people favor straightening hair that isn’t freshly washed — which is OK — but your hair should at least be clean and well-conditioned.
Conditioner alone isn’t enough to protect your hair from heat damage, so a great serum and heat protectant are essential. I recommend an anti-frizz serum because it smooths the cuticle, resists humidity, and prevents frizz. When applying a serum, make sure to distribute it liberally throughout wet hair. Keep in mind that a little bit of product goes a long way. You always want to leave your hair well-moisturized, not greasy. After applying the serum, detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb or nylon bristle brush. Finally, apply a heat protectant or straightening gel to your hair. Both of these products are formulated to withstand high heat and protect your hair from heat damage; don’t skip them.
Tools and Technique
While your hair is still wet, divide it into several small sections. To prevent burning your hair while straightening it, dry it thoroughly with a blow dryer first. It’s best to use a multiple-setting blow dryer that is at least 1800 watts. Working in sections: aim the concentrated nozzle attachment about one-inch away from your hair. Once your hair is dry, you’re ready to straighten it. For best results, use a flat iron with ceramic plates. Start at the top of your hair near your scalp, and work your way down. Avoid clamping down too hard with the flat iron. The idea is to apply pressure at the top, then loosen your grip slightly as you glide down the hair. Also, remember to adjust the temperature of your flat iron as needed. Depending on the thickness and texture of your hair, you may require less or more heat. Don’t just start off with the highest heat setting. When it comes to adding heat to your hair, less is always best.