Whether you have slightly wavy hair or naturally curly locks, you may be curious about different ways to straighten your hair. There are several ways to get those stick straight strands, but using a flat iron is easily the most popular and delivers the best results.
The following how-to guide will show you how to get those silky, straight locks you covet in several simple steps.
1. Choosing a Flat Iron
When straightening your hair with a flat iron, it’s important to choose one that will minimize heat damage to your hair. Rather than purchasing a flat iron with a metal plate, invest in a ceramic plate flat iron to help protect hair against some of the heat damage. They are typically more expensive than metal plate flat irons, but it’s worth it to protect your hair as much as possible.
2. Prepping your Hair
Before you take an iron to your hair, it’s important that you prep and protect your locks before styling. I recommend using a styling cream before straightening your hair. Apply a dollop of styling cream (Farouk’s CHI Straight Guard Smoothing Styling Cream is a good choice, especially for super curly hair) to damp hair, avoiding the roots.
For extra protection against heat damage, you’ll also want to invest in a thermal spray before straightening. Coat your entire length of hair (including roots) with a thermal protective spray such as Pureology Super Smooth Thermal Protecting Spray.
3. Blow Drying
After you’ve applied styling cream and a heat protecting spray, part your hair into several sections and blow each section dry. Use the lowest setting possible to minimize damage.
4. Using the Flat Iron
You’ve prepped and dried — now it’s time to get down to business. Depending on the flat iron you use, always be sure to read directions for which heat setting is appropriate for that particular appliance. I recommend using the lowest possible setting that meets your needs.
Don’t use more than a one- or two-inch section of hair and slowly pull the iron through the length of the strand, clamping the iron as close to your scalp as possible (be careful, though! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burned myself when I first started using a flat iron).
Repeat this process over your entire head, straightening no more than a one- or two-inch section at a time. Do not repeatedly run the flat iron over the same strand, or you will accumulate even more heat damage.
5. Finish Styling
Once you’re happy with the results, consider adding a finishing cream or gloss to make strands silky smooth and shiny. Voila! Straight hair in a matter of minutes.
While all heat sources can damage hair (flat irons, blow dryers, etc.) you can significantly minimize the damage by utilizing the tips mentioned previously. If you want beautiful straight hair, this guide should be relatively fool-proof — even for newbies!
Do you have any additional tips for straightening hair? I’d love to hear them! Leave your thoughts or comments below.