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August 10, 2017

Tips and Tricks to Straighten Hair and Avoid Damage

tips for straightening hair

Want smooth, gorgeous hair but can’t seem to avoid the frizz when you pull out the straightener? Hair straighteners, like any other heat tool, can cause major damage to your hair when used often. Here are some things you can do to get straight hair without all the damage that happens when applying heat to your hair.

ceramic hair straightener

Choose the Right Tool

There are so many different types of hair straighteners to choose from! While an expensive straightener can make sure the job gets done right every time, you don’t need to invest in the best of the best to get gorgeous hair with minimal damage. Here are some things you should look out for when purchasing a hair straightener.

Thick vs. Thin
Straighteners come in different sizes and each size has a different use. A thinner straightener is great for shorter, finer hair, while a wider straightener is great for those with thick, long hair.

Ceramic vs. Titanium
There are two main types of plates for hair straighteners: ceramic and titanium. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. Ceramic straighteners are more likely to have a constant, even heat, thus lessening the chance for damage. Ceramic straighteners are also cheaper. In contrast, titanium straighteners heat up quickly and can help you straighten your hair faster, too.

Heat Control vs No Heat Control
No matter which kind of straightener you get, titanium or ceramic, choose one that has multiple heat settings. Having a hair straightener that’s not hot enough won’t give you perfectly straightened hair. However, having a straightener that’s too hot will greatly damage your hair and cause frizz that’s hard to manage.

Protect Your Hair from the Heat

Heat can cause major damage to hair. When prepping your hair to be straightened, you need to make sure it’s completely dry. If you’ve just washed it, make sure to blow dry your hair alternating between hot and cold settings so you don’t start the straightening process with already heat-damaged hair.

hair product to protect from heat

Use a heat-protectant product, such as a cream, spray, or oil that helps protect your hair during the straightening process. Straightening your hair steams the moisture right out of each strand, causing your hair to become dry and brittle that eventually leads to breakage. Look for products with argan oil, olive oil, or coconut oil for the best moisturization.

Listen to Your Hair

When you’re straightening your hair, do you hear hissing, popping, or crackling? Chances are, your straightener is on too high of a heat setting. The hotter your straightener is, the higher chance that you’re badly damaging your hair.

While there’s no right or wrong heat setting, it is important to choose one that works best for your hair. If you aren’t getting perfectly straight hair from the first pass, then you might need to turn up the heat setting, but turn it down if you see steam or hear any noises that may indicate your hair is getting damaged.

woman with long straight hair

Do Small Pieces at a Time

This tip may seem like it will take even longer to do your hair, but this actually makes the process go faster! By doing small pieces at a time, the heat you are applying is more even and less likely to overheat and damage your hair. It also makes it less likely that you’ll need to go over each strand more than once, since more of your hair is coming directly in contact with the straightener than if you were straightening bigger sections.

One and Done

The best way to avoid hair damage is to only pass your straightener through each section of hair one time. If the first time didn’t produce the look you’re after, turn down the heat for the second pass to avoid burning your hair. Also, if you have to do a second pass, make sure that your hair cools off before reapplying your straightener.

After-Heat Care

No matter how careful you are with your hair, you will damage it every time you use a straightener. That damage doesn’t have to be permanent. The best thing you can do to fix heat damage is to moisturize. Use leave-in conditioners when you aren’t washing your hair, or make sure that your conditioner when you shower has plenty of natural oils to help restore your hair’s natural moisture.

What do you do when straightening your hair to avoid damage? Let us know! If you want to find out more about hair care and styling, check out our cosmetology or barber programs.

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