Straightening the right way will keep you from ruining your hair.
Addicted to your flat iron? You’re not alone. If you straighten your hair every day, make sure you avoid these styling blunders:
Mistake #1: You don’t pre-treat your hair.
Maintaining healthy, hydrated hair starts way before you turn on your flat iron. Always pre-treat wet hair with a thermal protectant spray as a shield against the heat. If not you could be setting yourself up for some major damage later.
Mistake #2: You select the highest possible heat setting.
Just because it goes up to 450 degrees does not mean you should use that setting. For smooth and healthy hair, stay in the 300-degree range whenever possible.
On the flip side, using the lowest heat setting isn’t so great either. You risk having to straighten sections over and over, and waste a lot of time.
Mistake #3: You flat iron damp hair.
See steam or hear a sizzle? Stop right away. Your hair should be completely dry before you start. Or it won’t get that straight, and you risk overall damage.
Mistake #4: You don’t section your hair.
If you flat iron too-thick pieces, you won’t penetrate all of the hairs. Start with four or more sections and only focus on one at a time. Even if you’re in a pinch, patience is key.
Mistake #5: You never clean it.
After repeated use, you can only imagine how much product buildup, oil, and dust your flat iron will collect. When it’s off and completely cool, gently scrub along the plates with warm water or rubbing alcohol. Use a cotton swab to get into small places.
Mistake #6: You ignore its double-duty potential.
Your flat iron is just that — an iron. Use it to smooth out wrinkly seams, uneven collars, and even unruly ribbons and other craft supplies. But just like a regular iron, don’t clamp down too long or too hard or you risk burning your fabrics.
By Amanda Hawkins