How to straighten your hair like a Pro.
Any woman with curly, wavy, or even "straight" hair should know that to get super straight hair, you have to resort to heat. It's a little unfair, but true.
If you already have fairly straight hair, you'll probably only need the help of a blow dryer to get a sleek look, but if your hair has texture and is thick, you'll need a powerful flat iron to get straight strands.
But fear not, with proper hair care preparation, straightening tips and responsible use, you don't have to fry your hair to look fabulous.
I'm here to share with you the hair care tips you need to straighten your hair like a pro. So you can keep your hair healthy and smooth.
Tip 1: Choose the right size straightening iron
Hair straighteners are like clothes, they don't come in one size. The length and thickness of your hair should determine the size of your iron. The right size iron will be easier to handle, straighten your hair more effectively and reduce the risk of overheating and damaging your hair.
For short, thick or thin hair: Use a straightening iron with narrow plates that are between 1.5 cm and 2.5 cm thick. This will allow you to iron smaller sections.
For long, thick or fine hair: Use an iron with wider plates, from 3.5 cm to 6 cm, to cover a larger area in less time.
Also, pay attention to the weight of your iron. If it's very heavy, your arm will hurt in no time. Straightening hair should not be the same as working out.
Tip 2: Choose the right heat setting
The texture and type of your hair should determine your heat setting. Most professionals use a variable heat iron, but a good iron can work for some hair types because it is set to a "higher, workable temperature" and if your "hair density is average, you should be fine.
If you have the option to purchase a variable heat iron, do so. The more your iron adapts to your specific needs, the less likely you are to damage your hair. The ideal temperatures to use are as follows:
For fine or damaged hair: 250-300 degrees
For medium hair: 300-350 degrees
For thick or coarse hair: 350-400 degrees
Tip 3: Use the right material
Look for ceramic, tourmaline or titanium flat irons. They heat more evenly and will do less damage to your hair. They are "gentlest on hair" because they release negative ions that tighten the hair cuticle.
This results in shinier, healthier and less frizzy hair. On the other hand, beware of "ceramic or Teflon-coated irons, as they heat a little more unevenly and tend to have a more drying effect".
Tip 4: Prepare your hair properly
Once you've found the best iron for your hair, the next crucial step to straightening your strands like a pro is to prepare your hair for the heat it's about to experience. Here's how to do it:
Prepare for fine hair: Wash your hair with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner.
When you get out of the shower, use a volumizing mousse with built-in heat protection. Blow-dry hair to create volume by lifting at the roots.
Smooth hair from mid-shaft to ends by stretching hair and using a natural bristle brush.
Tip 5: Prepare thick/short hair
Start by washing your hair with a smoothing shampoo and conditioner. When you get out of the shower, apply a smoothing serum with heat protection technology, like Protective Silk Smoothing Cream.
Dry your hair thoroughly with a natural bristle brush and apply tension while drying to make your hair as straight as possible.
Tip #6: Get a super straight look
Follow these 4 steps to get a super straight and polished look:
Step 1: Start by cutting your dried hair into manageable sections. The thicker your hair, the more sections you need to create. Start at the bottom half of your head, near the nape of your neck, and take a 1 cm to 3 cm section of hair.
Step 2: Starting with 1 cm from the root (this will help your hair retain some volume), quickly smooth the iron along the hair shaft "making sure to move at a steady pace.
Continue until you have straightened the lower and middle sections of your head.
Step 3: For the final sections near the crown of your head, lift the hair off your scalp and bring the iron as close to your roots as possible, pressing firmly while pulling the iron outward from your head for a nice flat, smooth finish.
Step 4: Spray on a shine spray.
Tip 7: Get a straight, voluminous look.
To get a fuller look, you'll need to hold the iron a little differently. It's best to iron from the middle of the shaft to the ends, always moving the iron straight to the sides, lifting it from the scalp.
"As a general rule, I personally don't slide the iron down when I'm working, as it tends to create creases in the hair if you go against the growth pattern."
For added effect, turn your wrist slightly away from your face once you reach the end of a straightened section for some bounce. Spray on a glossy spray or soft hold hairspray.
Tip 8: Things to avoid
- Don't iron your hair when it's wet, as you'll fry your strands.
- Don't use broken or chipped hot tools, as they can be dangerous.
- Don't use a hair straightener every day, as "any tool or process involving high heat dries out hair and makes it brittle over time, especially with prolonged and frequent use.
Tip 9: Clean your iron
After each use, you "should always clean your hot tools with iron cleaner or warm water and a cloth when the iron is cool" to remove any build-up on the plates.
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