Tips for straightening your hair like a pro
What am I?
I am a popular hair gadget used by both genders and age groups- teenage and adults. I was patented in 1909 by Isaac K. Shero and compose of two flat irons that are heated and pressed together.
The clues would have made you guess that we are talking about the very popular hair straightener.
The straighteners gained popularity around the early 2000s and have since been used both professionally and at homes to give hair of all kinds- normal, thick or coarse; a sleek, shiny, and an upright look. One of the most well-accepted hair devices across the world, this gizmo is available in titanium, ceramic, and tourmaline plating, which helps to give a smooth and frizz-free look. It also has features like temperature adjustment and digital temperature display that indicates the exact heat level and even leads to less breakage and splitting.
As the present and the future of hair straighteners are bright and steady, below are a few tips to straighten your mane like a pro for a healthy and smooth appearance-
- Invest in a right-sized straightener
Though any straightening device will flatten your mane, the ideal size depends on your hair type and length. An iron with thin plates measuring up to 1″ is best suited for short and fine hair. 1.4″ is for shoulder-length and medium-thick hair whereas medium plates measuring up to 1.5″ is apt for thick, coarse and curly hair longer than the shoulder. For long and thick hair, buy a wide-plated iron measuring up to 2″-2.5″.
- Prep before using a straightener
The first step of hair straightening to give the locks that beautiful fall is washing your hair with a good shampoo and then using a conditioner to replenish the moisture. Once done, towel dry the wet tresses and then follow it with the blow-dryer. Use a paddle brush instead of a comb and detangle unruly strands. Remember the comb is for wet and brush for dry, so use accordingly.
- Set the right temperature
Never start until your flat iron is totally hot; thus, leave the iron to heat for three to five minutes after plugging it in. The simple logic of preheating is to let the tongs do the job it’s meant to do rather than you having to struggle to straighten your mane. Now choose a temperature setting which will vary with your hair type. For thin hair, choose the lowest heat setting; while for normal thickness use medium heat, i.e. about 300–350ºF / 150–177ºC and thick hair, go for high temperature, i.e. 400–450ºF / 200–232ºC. If using the iron for the first time or new to it, then start with lower heat and steadily increase it. Also, avoid repetitive movement as they can make your hair go static.
Straighten your hair
The next step is to protect your hair from getting damaged by applying a heat protection spray. Do not compromise this step. After spraying, section your hair by dividing it into two to four-parts equally. Start with the lowest layer and hold a lock of 1–2 inch that will fit the flat iron easily and follow a consistent technique of moving it from the root to the end.
Also, don’t panic if you see the steam coming from your hair; it is just the heat protector evaporating. Moreover, these days the straighteners come equipped with control buttons to increase or decrease the temperature so reduce the heat instantly.
- Clean to maintain
Once done, let the flat iron cool down. After which, brush it with a washcloth before you keep it in a dust-free place. If not cleaned the dirt particles off the straightener will stick to your hair and instead of giving it a smooth texture, will damage it.