How to Properly Flat Iron your Hair
There are many ways to straighten your hair, but being sure that you are doing it correctly is the most important part. Unfortunately, there are not always people around to show us new things so we must learn on our own. Hopefully, these tips will help you and will prevent you from experimenting and learning how to straighten the hard way. Here is a quick summary of how to correctly straighten:
Brush your hair out and be sure that it’s completely dry before attempting to straighten it. Apply some thermal heat protector to your hair before turning on the hot iron. Adjust the flat iron to an appropriate temperature and allow it to warm up. Once it has reached the correct heat, select a one-inch section of hair, on at a time, and gently clamp the flat iron onto the selected piece of hair, starting at the roots.
Slowly pull the straightener down the hair, keeping the strands taut, while pulling towards the ends of the hair. The hair should only be pressed for about 5-8 seconds for a nice, smooth, straight look. (Do not take much longer than 10 seconds unless you want to be one of those novices who can be seen scorching off their hair – don’t fry your hair to a brittle crisp!)
More information for those with a flat iron, asking “why?”
All modern professional flat irons are designed with various settings depending on the type, texture, and thickness of the hair. The thinner the hair, the lower the heat. The thicker the hair, the higher the heat. Most hair straightening irons have a range of about 150-450 degrees. Read all of the instructions carefully before using a hair straightener and figure out which texture and type of hair you have before you even begin. In a rush, it seems so brilliant to try to straighten as large a clump of hair as possible. But really, this is a very bad idea. Not only does this not actually straighten the hair effectively, but it requires repeated strokes over the same hair – this also dries it out and makes it brittle. Ideally, hair should undergo only one stroke.
Always keep the straightener moving slowly in the downward direction so the hair does not burn, and only make one pass. A common mistake is that many women do not protect their hair with thermal protector. It is so important to use a heat protecting serum to prevent the drying out and or burning of their hair. In a nutshell, the serum puts a layer of protection between the hair and the heat source, which, in this case is the HSI professional flat iron, to reduce the damage and chance of melting.
While it may save time to straighten hair directly after a shower when it’s still dripping with water, don’t! This method of drying and straightening simultaneously, is agrave mistake. This leads to fragile, brittle hair that is dry and breaking. Split ends are inevitable – and they lead to frayed and frizzy hair. Dry the hair completely before attempting to straighten it.
More flat iron “don’t’s”
Don’t forget to prep your hair, or pre-treat it, before straightening your hair. Washing, conditioning, drying, and brushing or combing the hair are all part of the essential pre-treating step. Another thing most women never think about is the fact that hot irons for hair can burn or melt fabrics too. Get the hot tool too close to your shirt or favorite blouse and that pretty thing will be sporting a nice brown scorch mark. It is easy to forget that a straightener is a red hot iron, but it is, and great care needs to be given when handling such a thing. Never spray your hair with lots of hairspray before straightening it. If you do it unknowingly, it will probably become very clear when your plan goes up in a cloud of smoke – quite literally. Heat and hairspray do not mix well and the combination will very likely cause the hair to begin to smoke. Always leave the hair spraying for afterwards. If hair is bleached or colored, high heats can have a negative effect on it. Dyed hair tends to be weaker than darker, natural colors, therefore it is unable to withstand most high temperatures.
Heat also causes the color to leach out of the strands faster than it normally would, so this should be kept in mind when planning to straighten artificially colored hair. Never forget to clean the straightener. Just like anything else, straighteners collect dust, burnt residue, etc. If not properly cleaned and well maintained, this junk could be baked onto the hair. It will also prevent a nice, sheen look as well. Wipe the plates with a damp cloth.