Here we show you how to use a flat iron. Note: Flat irons should be used only on hair that’s been thoroughly dried. We suggest you buy a flatiron with a ceramic plate (not a metal one). According to everything we’ve read, ceramic flatirons are a must: They diffuse heat better and result in less damage.
Is your straightening iron an integral part of your life? It is difficult to stop once you use it and see that sleek cute flowing hair. The type of flat iron you use can be ceramic, thermal, metal, ionic etc, but any of them can hurt your hair with too much use or inappropriate use. These techniques were effective, but often led to hair damage. Fortunately, the advances have continued.
Prepare Your Hair:
- Styling products, grease and dirt that build up in your hair every day must be thoroughly cleaned away before you use a flat iron or your hair will stick, clump and easily damage.
- For manageable hair that responds well to styling and remains healthy afterward, you’ll need to shampoo and condition first.
- Use quality hydrating shampoos and conditioners that will prime your hair for the rigors of styling. This can be right before using a flat iron or the previous night.
- While hair is wet, use a thermal spray or heat treatment. Using it on wet hair is allows it to distribute evenly and soften hair as it dries. This treatment will protect your hair, and increase the life of the style you’re after.
- Then blow your hair dry even flat irons that are safe for damp hair will not produce the best results without completely dry hair. (Don’t be concerned at this point with straightening your hair; just dry it.)
- We highly recommend a ceramic heated ionic hair dryer for gentler heat that dries your hair faster and reduces frizz, static and hair shaft damage. We have a great selection including T3 Tourmaline dryers and Elohim hair dryers.
Choose the Proper Flat Iron:
Depending on your hair type and budget, you’ll want to select a particular flat iron to do the job.
- Experts recommend buying a flat iron with ceramic plates, which are the least damaging to hair.
- Is your hair fine, thick, wavy, curly, coarse, etc.? Once you identify your hair type, you can narrow the field of flat iron competitors.
For long thick and/or coarse hair:
You’ll want an iron that can reach high temperatures (above 200 degrees) and that has slightly wider plates (between 1.5 and 3 inches).
For normal hair:
A relatively thin iron (between 1 to 2 inches, depending on how long your hair is longer hair can be done faster with a wider iron) will do the trick.
For fine hair:
A thin iron (between 1 and 1.5 inches) will work, and you’ll want to be able to turn the temperature down so as not to damage hair.
- See Mahala’s guide to Flat Irons to comparison shop.
- And be sure to read user tested reviews of the top flat irons on Slate, too.
Using A Flat Iron:
Some of the tips you can use in keeping your hair from damage while using a flat iron.
- If you keep your flat iron always clean, that will keep your hair more healthy and increase the life of your iron as well.
- If you apply a good styling aid before you blow dry, that will get rid of frizz. Sealed Ends by BC Bonicure is one of the best products out there to seal the tips of your hair and keeping frizz away. Apply this once you have blow dried your hair and frizz will stay away.
- Learn how to use it properly. Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy to handle.
- First comb the section of your hair before you run the iron on it.
- Never use any hair products until you have straightened your hair completely.
- Apply the iron on smaller areas. This will give you better results by getting you lighter and flatter hair.
- Keep constant pressure and never stop at any part on the way, while running the flat iron from the bottom of your hair to the tip.
- It would give better results if you use a wide bristle brush to brush your hair in to your desired shape.
- If there is still any frizz remaining, you can smoothen it with the application of a little bit of a light weight serum.
- Once the iron cools down, use a piece of cloth to clean it so as to keep it ready to go for the next time.
Use a Flat Iron on Dry Hair:
Unless you have one of those fancy wet dry straighteners, you’ll need to blow dry your hair before you begin using your flat iron.
- Never try to straighten wet hair with a flat iron, because the damage will be impossible to repair.
- Depending on how curly your hair is, you can spend more or less time trying to blow dry your hair straight before starting with the flat iron.
- See Mahala’s guide to How to Straighten Hair to learn about blow drying curly hair straight before flat ironing.
- You may still want to use a heat protective spray or serum before flat ironing to protect your hair from the hot and potentially damaging temperatures.