by HSI Professional | Apr 20 2017
Historically, the curling iron was invented first because the style in the 19th Century was for long, luscious curls, but it did not take long until the styles changed and the flat iron became in high demand. For those who do not know, here is some history: in 1872, a French hairstylist named Marcel Grateau used a set of hot tongs to create the first Marcel Wave (curl of hair) on a client’s head. Marcel then went on to invent the hair straightener, a heated metal comb with metal teeth, in his salon in 1872 as well.
However, it is believed by some that Hiram Maxim was first accredited with patenting the curling iron in 1866. The first patented hair straightener was documented in 1906 by a man named Simon Monroe. But it was not until 1959 that the first electric curling iron was invented by Rene Lelievre and Roger Lemoine.
What are hair irons?
Throughout the ages, and over time, the hair straighteners have evolved, becoming more and more sophisticated and modern. In general, a professional ceramic flat iron is a heated tool with two metal or ceramic plates that can be clamped down over hair to straighten it when the hair is pulled taut. The ceramic coating on the metal plates aids in adding a visible gloss or sheen to the hair while the ordinary metal.
However, these hair tools have become so advanced and technological that they now have digital displays on their handles to tell their users how hot the metal plates are. They also have what is called the automatic shut off feature. This means that the straightener will never get too hot to catch anything on fire.
Designed to shut off when it reaches a certain temperature, these upgraded hair straighteners have a built-in safety system to keep you and your environment safe. Even if they are left on and unattended, they will eventually turn themselves off without causing any problems.
The important care of hair irons
As a general rule, it is always a great idea to take good care of your things, but when it comes to your flat iron, there could more at stake than just the tool if it is not properly taken care of. Never forget to clean your straightener. Just like anything else, your professional hair straightener collects dust, burnt residue, etc.
When it gets soiled or dirty, it needs to clean. If it is not properly washed and well maintained, this junk could be baked onto your hair! The debris will also prevent that nice, sheen look everyone likes their hair to have too. Cleaning your straightener is super easy.
- Make sure that the straightener is turned off and is unplugged from an outlet.
- Dampen a soft cloth, rag, or paper towel with warm water. If there is hairspray or other product dried onto the iron, nail-polish remover, ammonia, spray-on oven cleaner and rubbing alcohol can each break down hardened styling product on your straightener.
- With the wet cloth, wipe down the metal or ceramic plates, removing any dust or old hair.
- Use a damp Q-tip to get in the hard-to-reach places where dust may be hiding.
Straighteners are continuing to advance
One of the newest forms of hair straightening comes via the straightening brush. Using the straightening brush is similar to other metal or ceramic straighteners except for the fact that you do not have to clamp a one-inch piece of hair between two plates. Instead, gather a moderate amount of hair and drag the brush slowly down the hair, straightening it as you go. And just like the traditional ceramic hair straighteners, these heated straightening brushes have a handy automatic shut off feature. They also have to be kept clean. T
hese straightening brushes are a little harder to clean though, unlike the metal or ceramic straighteners. While nail-polish remover, ammonia, spray-on oven cleaner and rubbing alcohol can all be used to remove the old product, the “bristles” make it more challenging to get clean. Taking advantage of these following tricks will keep your heated brush cleaner: by brushing your hair with an actual brush or comb before using the heated brush will not only prevent all the knots and tangles from getting fried into your beautiful tresses, causing split ends, but it will also keep it cleaner since there will not be as much hair burning onto the brush since it was already combed out.
Never straightening your hair while it is still wet from a shower will not only prevent your hair from boiling from the heat and moisture, but it will keep more debris from flying onto your heated brush. Be sure that your hair is completely dry before straightening it.