Flat irons are very versatile styling tools that make straightening hair incredibly easy. By using sound technique and the proper pre-straightening products you can keep your hair straight all day and protect it from the extreme heat of the iron. Follow the steps below to learn how to flat iron your hair from start to finish without causing damage to your hair.
Prepare Your Hair For Straightening
1.Shampoo & Condition
Dirt, oil and product residue must be thoroughly cleansed away before the use of a flat iron. This can be done right before straightening or the night before. For best results, use a high quality, hydrating or smoothing shampoo and conditioner.
2.Towel Dry & Comb
Towel dry your hair by patting or gently squeezing as opposed to harsh ruffling to reduce frizz. Then detangle using a wide tooth comb or pik, combing from the ends to the roots.
3.Apply A Heat Protectant
You can use a spray, serum or cream formula and should apply it to damp hair and then follow with a wide-toothed comb for even distribution. This critical step helps reduce the chance of causing damage, which leads to breakage. These products form a protective barrier, locking in essential moisture and extends the life of your style. Think about it, you would never would grab a hot pan out of the oven without an oven mitt…your hair is no different.
Blow dry your hair completely, you want your hair dry as possible when straightening. I recommend this step, even if you are using a wet-to-dry flat iron, because straightening dry hair produces the best, longest lasting results and prevents your hair from being shocked by the heat.
Select the Right Flat Iron for Your Hair Type:
Please refer to our buying guide… How To Choose a Flat Iron.
Determine the Proper Heat Setting
This is a very important step if you want to prevent causing damage to your hair. I recommend starting at a lower level and increase the heat if you are not getting enough straightening results. Use the guide below to determine a general temperature for your hair type and texture.
|280F to 300F||For fine, damaged & chemically treated hair|
|300F – 380F||For normal or straight to wavy hair|
|350F – 400F||For very curly & coarse, resistant hair|
|400F +||Only exceed if you are not getting results|
How To Straighten Your Hair
1.Pre-Heat Your Iron
Turn on your flat iron and make sure it is set to your desired heat level.
2.Separate & Section Hair
The thickness of your hair will determine the number of sections needed. The key is to make sections one to two inches thick, but no wider than the plates of your flat iron. Don’t try to iron too much hair at once. This is a common mistake, that will result in uneven heating which leads to uneven styling. You want to straighten each section individually so pin or clip all of the sections you are not working on, on the top of your head or behind your shoulders. To straighten a section bring it in front of your shoulder and brush if needed.
3.Straighten a Section of Hair
Place to straightener around a section of hair about an inch from your scalp. Clamp the hair between the plates, but not to hard as this can create a ridge in the top of the hair section where you start straightening. Immediately began running the flat iron down the length of your section of hair with one fluid, smooth motion all the way to the ends. If necessary, run the straightener over the section several times until it is completely straight. A little steam is noting to be worried about when you contact the hair but if you start to smell burning hair, turn down the heat setting)
4.Repeat On New Section
Unclip a new section of hair and move the straightened section out of the way. It’s easiest to move around your head from one side to the other rather than selecting random chunks. Apply hairspray to each section immediately after you straighten it to help prolong the style and to help your hair resist frizz. But make sure not to get any on un-straightened sections. Repeat process to all remaining sections.