Many beauty enthusiasts dream of having sleek, perfectly straightened hair. Fortunately, you don’t need to go to a salon or spend an excessive amount of money to get the smooth, straight hair of your dreams. There are a few tips that you’ll want to keep in mind as you aim to make your hair flawlessly straight; they will help you avoid hair damage, uneven straightening, and wasted hours spent trying to achieve the perfect look.
From knowing what you need to do before styling your hair to straightening it in a way that is both effective and safe, it can seem like there are several factors to remember if you’re relatively new to the process. It can even be challenging to choose the right flat iron. Fortunately, we have compiled all the most essential tips and common questions to help you get the most out of straightening your hair.
Ready to learn how to flat iron your hair like a pro? Read on, because now we’ll share some tips on hair straightening.
Straighten Your Hair Perfectly
Have you ever wondered how to straighten your hair perfectly? Ever wished you could style your hair to look like you just walked out of your favourite salon? Are you unfamiliar with how to use a straightener at all? You’re in luck; with a little practice and the right tools, you’ll be able to master how to get super straight hair with a flat iron. Not only will these tips allow you to look great, but by observing them, you’ll be able to keep your hair safe and healthy while styling.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to get the best professional hair straightener for your hair type. Although it may be tempting to go for a cheaper flat iron, it’s essential to remember that not all hair straighteners are created equal. By investing in a better-quality tool, you invest in what it can do for your appearance as well as the well-being of your hair.
One fundamental point to always keep in mind is that you should never have to compromise the health of your hair to get the results you want. If you feel that your hair is becoming dried out or damaged due to regular straightening, be sure to consult a trusted hair-care professional to see what the cause might be.
Straighten Hair Quickly
Knowing how to press hair with a flat iron means knowing how to do it quickly and correctly if you’re in a rush. For those of us with limited time to get ready in the morning, it can be a struggle to make your hair look fantastic and get out the door on time. It’s normal to feel that it’s you against the clock in the morning. One of the most common questions people ask is, “How can you straighten your hair quickly?” With the right preparation, you can style your hair quickly and efficiently, and make it to work on time.
One widespread misconception is that you must trade safety for speed when trying to straighten your hair in record time. While there are some shortcuts that you can take, you don’t necessarily have to compromise the well-being of your hair to get out of the house as quickly as possible when you’re in a hurry. Time is precious, but there are a few things you can do to win a few extra minutes during your morning routine while still avoiding heat damage from your straightener.
For instance, cleaner hair can be straightened much faster and easier than unwashed hair, so be sure to shampoo, condition, and brush regularly. When your hair is soft and smooth, the flat iron can do its job speedily so you can move onto other tasks. While this does involve a bit of preparation the night before, it will inevitably save you precious minutes the following morning.
If you have very thin hair, you may even consider putting it into a low ponytail and straightening through the length of it in one swoop. After that, you can undo the ponytail and finish off the sides and any other part that was missed. This saves you the trouble of dividing your hair into different sections, which is typical for people whose hair is moderately or very thick.
If you do have thicker hair, you may want to consider a straightener that heats up quickly and has wider plates, which can straighten more hair at a given time. You’ll also want to divide your hair into separate sections to ensure that you straighten all of it evenly without applying heat to certain parts more than once.
Also, always be sure to hold your hair taut while straightening to speed up the process, and that you straighten all your hair evenly, regardless of what your preferred strategy is for dividing it into sections. This seems like an extra step, but it allows you to work through your hair more efficiently since you’ll avoid going through any given strand of hair multiple times.
Permanently Straighten Hair at Home
If you don’t have time each day to straighten your hair using a flat iron, you may be wondering, “Can you permanently straighten your hair at home?” Absolutely! There are keratin hair treatments that you can apply using a special keratin hair straightener to offer a more long-term solution for your smooth hair.
The way this works is that the keratin solution will be absorbed into your hair and sealed using the flat-iron. The appearance of increased shine, fullness, and sleekness can last from a couple of weeks up to a few months, depending on your hair and the product you use. Keratin hair straightening can be a huge game-changer once you find a product that works well for you.
A quick tip: be sure to do your homework when it comes to opting for treatments like this, as they don’t require approval from any authority. It’s essential to be aware of what kind of products you’re using on your own. Many products on the market contain formaldehyde as the active ingredient for smooth hair, but there are also plenty of formaldehyde-free options available. We’ve covered some homemade hair straightener recipes before, while not permanent they do the job if you’re budget conscious or the shops are closed!
Is Straightening Your Hair Every Day Bad?
If you don’t know how to safely style your hair with a flat iron, straightening your hair every day can be harmful. However, the way that you prepare your hair and go through the process will make all the difference. On one hand, the heat from your straightener does have the potential to damage your hair if you’re not careful in the process. On the other hand, knowing how to perfectly flat iron your hair and treat it against heat damage can keep you looking great without causing any problems for your hair.
The first thing to keep in mind is that so many straighteners on the market today have heat settings that get way hotter than what many people need to make their hair look great. If you have relatively thin to moderately-thin hair, the temperature you use is especially important, as your minimum heat setting should be lower than that of somebody with thicker hair.
Next, ensure that your hair is mostly dry before you begin straightening. The temperature at which permanent damage can occur to your hair’s fibres will be lower when your hair is wet, and you don’t want to risk breaking down your hair when it can be avoided. Wet hair is also not ideal for styling conditions, so you’ll be doing yourself a favour in that department as well.
By being aware of the risks of exposing your hair to a flat iron that is too hot, you’ll avoid a lot of unnecessary damage and keep your locks soft and healthy. Test out different heat settings to find the lowest one that effectively works for you and remember always to straighten your hair only when it’s dry.
Keep Hair Straight after Straightening
Once you’ve straightened your hair the way you like it, the next task is to ensure that your time and effort don’t go to waste. How should you sleep with straightened hair? What steps do you need to take to ensure that it still looks great when you wake up? Let’s look at a couple of conventional methods for maintaining straight hair overnight.
Option 1: Using a headscarf — Luckily, you can achieve the results you want in a few simple steps. First off, you’ll need a head-wrapping scarf for your hair. We recommend one made of a material that minimises friction, such as satin or silk. This will lessen next-day frizz and ensure that you don’t have to tend to your hair much. These scarves are available in a wide range of styles but be sure that it fits all the way around your head no matter which one you choose.
Once you have a scarf, you can apply high keratin, low alcohol hair serum to protect your hair overnight and retain its straightness. These serums are designed to combat frizziness and humidity, so be sure to choose one that is well-suited for your hair type.
After applying the serum, brush your hair into 2–4 sections depending on its thickness. Using simple hairpins, you can secure the ends of your hair by wrapping the sections around your head and pinning them. Remember not to pin too tight, as this can cause knots to form.
Once your hair is pinned, you can finish the job by wrapping your scarf around your hair to keep everything where it belongs. This will keep your hair neatly wrapped up so that it can remain straight while you sleep.
Option 2: Foregoing the headscarf — If the method of wrapping your hair in a scarf feels a bit too restrictive for you, there are alternative measures that you can take to ensure that your hair stays straight even after a full night’s sleep. The material that your pillowcase is made of will determine the amount of friction between your hair and the pillow, so opt for material like satin or silk which minimises rubbing and pulling. On top of that, you should still pin your hair as described above, even if you decide not to use a scarf, as this will go a long way towards reducing frizzing. As always, be sure to completely dry and brush out your hair before pinning.
There are a few other small tweaks that you can make to your routine that will make a big difference in keeping your hair straight overnight. Keep the temperature in your room cool while avoiding humidity, especially during the warmer months. Supplementary products such as dry shampoo or volumising serum can also add a bit of smoothness to your hair by reducing oil and dryness.
Tools to Straighten Your Hair
Now that we’ve discussed some common questions on hair straightening, let’s go into the details of how to straighten hair. First, there are some tools you’ll need; keep in mind that different people prefer different straightening methods, so you may not need everything listed below. Consider which methods and tools would work best for you and your hair, and don’t be afraid to experiment to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
A high-quality straightener — a good-quality straightener with ceramic plates is recommended because it will allow you to heat your hair evenly for a smooth straightening job. It’s also crucial that the size of the plates correspond to your hair; narrower plates work best for shorter hair, and wider plates service longer hair better. Also, be sure to select a straightener with various heat settings, as you’ll want to find the lowest possible heat setting which can achieve the results you need. This ideal temperature setting will allow you to straighten your hair effectively while preventing unnecessary heat damage.
Hair clips — no matter what kind of hair you have, you’ll most likely want to separate it into sections while you use your straightener. Hair clips can keep everything in place while you work from one part of your hair to the next. Longer clips that can be undone with a single hand are the most convenient during hair straightening, as they are easy to use but can also keep more hair in place and prevent loose strands from going astray.
Wide-toothed comb — this will help you smooth out your hair thoroughly before straightening. Not only does this help spread the product through your hair so that it is evenly cared for, but smoother hair is much easier to separate into sections and will straighten a lot quicker. Even if you’ve just shampooed, conditioned, and dried your hair, give it a once-through with a wide-toothed comb to make sure all your bases are covered.
Heat-protectant spray – every time you straighten your hair, you expose it to potential heat damage. Fortunately, there are plenty of great sprays on the market which can simultaneously protect your hair from heat and provide extra nutrients to keep your hair sleek, healthy, and nourished.
Setting spray – whether you use a second spray to keep your hair in place or a heat-protectant spray which doubles as a setting spray, you’ll want to take measures to ensure that the time and effort spent on your hair can last as long as possible. Setting spray will allow your straightening or styling to last several hours longer than usual so that you can get the most out of your work.
Prepare Hair for Straightening
Preparation is everything when it comes to how to use a hair straightener. The way you get ready will not only allow you to get the most out of your time spent but also helps to ensure that you aren’t putting your hair at risk of heat damage from your straightener.
The first step is to ensure that your hair is maximally clean and nourished to allow for optimal hair-straightening conditions. This will let the effects of using a straightener last as long as possible and also ensure that your hair is stronger and less susceptible to heat damage. Using shampoo, moisturising conditioner, and drying your hair on a low-heat setting before straightening can make a world of difference.
From there, always be sure to apply heat protector spray to your dry hair before straightening. The nutrients contained in a good-quality spray is what allows your hair to stay strong despite everyday straightening, so never forget to do this significant step. It’s crucial for maintaining the long-term health of your hair.
Finally, go through your hair with a wide-tooth comb to take out any tangles or knots before straightening. These combs are specifically recommended since many brushes can cause frizz, which is not ideal before using a hair straightener. If you have thicker hair, you’ll then want to neatly pin it into a few separate sections to make the task of straightening more manageable. From there, you’ll be ready to start straightening your hair.
Rough Dry Your Hair
Rough drying is an important step which, if done correctly, will help your hair look fantastic and sleek once you’ve finished straightening it. The trick is to give your hair a light all-over dry by shaking the hair dryer back and forth around your head to achieve evenness. Once your hair is about 80% dry all around, you have the option to let it finish air-drying or finish blow drying it on a very low heat setting.
Keep in mind that although poor straightening techniques can lead to heat-damaged hair, damage can first start when you use misuse your blow dryer. Although using a high-temperature setting will dry your hair faster, it will also quickly dry it out and make it more vulnerable to straightener damage. This is especially true if the straightener is also used at a higher temperature.
Simply put, rough drying is the perfect technique to use out of the shower to prepare your hair for straightening because it minimises the possibility for permanent heat damage to your hair.
Only Straighten Dry Hair
This cannot be overstated, as it’s one of the most essential aspects of straightening your hair: only straighten your once it’s completely dry. The most common and most dangerous mistake is the misinformed assumption that because your straightener is hot, it can double as a hair dryer to save you time.
Consider this: there is a temperature at which heat will begin to damage your hair, but at a moderate or low heat setting, your hair will never get this hot if you straighten it properly. However, this temperature limit will be lower if your hair is wet, so hair can get damaged much quicker and easier than if it was dry.
If you still experience some damage even though you only straighten your hair when it is totally dry, it may be the result of product being built up in your hair. Whether it’s dry shampoo or a holding spray,
these products can cause damage when heated up by your straightener. That’s why it’s recommended to straighten your hair when it is newly-cleaned and free of any product or knots.
Use a Heat Protectant
A good heat protectant is the first line of defence against heat damage for your hair. These products are designed to nourish and protect your hair when exposed to high temperatures, and they even resist frizz-causing humidity. From both a styling and a health standpoint, you can’t afford to forego this vital measure when straightening your hair.
Use the Lowest Amount of Heat to Prevent Damage
The level of heat you use is one of the most important factors, mainly if you use your straightener on an almost daily basis. Everyone’s hair is different, so you’ll need to experiment with which temperature is ideal for you in terms of how long it takes to straighten your hair, how effective the results are, and how much it dries out your hair. In a perfect world, you’ll be able to determine the lowest temperature setting that works for you, and consistently use that setting when straightening your hair.
Many high-quality straighteners have high-temperature settings intended for special use such as keratin treatments rather than everyday straightening. However, several people use these high temperatures on a regular basis, focusing only on how it speeds up the process and forgetting about the consequences. Although a higher temperature setting will get the job done quicker, it will also dry out your hair and make it brittle and unhealthy in the long run. Opt for lower heat when straightening your hair and focus more on its long-term health when straightening it.
Straighten One Section at a Time
By neatly dividing your hair into sections and straightening them one at a time, you can avoid taking on too much hair at once and over-drying or under-drying certain parts. Evenness and consistency are the secret to perfectly styled hair and dividing it into sections before straightening it is what will allow you to achieve that.
Although this is an extra step in the process, it ends up saving you time. Rather than grabbing chunks of hair at random and hoping that you managed to straighten everything, sectioning will give you a systematic way to work through the job without going over the same areas multiple times.
Keep Hair Taut
Keeping your hair taut will allow you to straighten it in a short amount of time. Naturally, less exposure to a straightener means a reduced chance of heat damage, and that should always be the goal when straightening. This seemingly simple step will make the straightening process more efficient and save you valuable time.
Choose the Right Flat Iron
Choosing the best flat iron vastly depends on the length and thickness of your hair. When you are searching for the best hair straighteners available on the market, be aware of what factors will make a
difference for your hair. Ceramic plates are ideal because they heat up evenly and allow you to dry your hair consistently during use. Also, the size of the plates should correspond to the length of your hair; narrower plates work well for shorter hair, and wider plates are better-suited for longer hair.
Prevent Hair Damage from Straightening
Many beauty enthusiasts suffer from hair straightener damage. However, there are plenty of steps that you can take to minimise and prevent flat iron hair damage during your everyday styling. With just a few preventative measures, quick tips, and the right equipment, you’ll be looking great without putting your hair at risk.
Straighten after using shampoo and conditioner — clean hair is easier to straighten, which means you can get the job done faster. The goal should always be to minimise the amount of time that your hair is exposed to heat from your straightener, and this is one of the easiest ways to do it.
Comb through before you begin — knots and tangles can quickly make straightening a bit more complicated, as it is difficult for your straightener to pass through hair that isn’t smoothed or combed. By giving your hair a comb-through from top to bottom, you can create the ideal conditions for a safe and fast straightening job.
Only straighten dry hair — wet hair will sizzle and suffer from severe heat damage at a much lower temperature than dry hair. Rough dry your hair using a blow dryer at a moderate temperature before straightening, and only pick up the flat iron when you’re sure that your hair has dried completely.
Use a low-temperature setting — the lower your flat iron’s temperature is set, the less likely it will be that your hair is exposed to potential heat damage. Just because your straightener has a maximum temperature setting doesn’t mean you need to put it that high to get the results you want. Experiment a bit to find the minimum heat setting that allows you to straighten your hair the way you like without turning the dial up to the highest temperature. Your healthy hair will thank you in the long run.
Use sectioning — depending on how thick your hair is, sectioning can be used to help you organise your hair before straightening. This is a great way to ensure that you don’t miss any strands of hair or pass through the same strand multiple times with a hot flat iron. In the end, it is a time saver and a preventative measure against heat damage.
Pull your hair taut — the increased tension of taut hair will allow you to straighten it more quickly, which effectively results in less exposure to the straightener and the high temperature of its plates.
Buy a Quality Hair Straightener for Best Results
There are several good-quality straighteners on the market today, ranging from quite cheap to expensive. Your hair straightener is much more than a simple tool—it’s an investment in the long-term health of your hair. Opting for a high-quality hair straightener can mean the difference between healthy hair or dry, damaged hair.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to choose the highest rated hair straightener exclusively from the list of the most expensive straighteners; just aim for one with ceramic plates and a variety of heat
settings so that you have the flexibility to tend to your hair in a way that gives you the results you want in a way that is safe and sustainable for long-term use.
By keeping all these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to getting the most out of your hair straightener. If you are looking to learn how to use a wave iron, feel free to browse our many tutorials! Whether you are looking to learn how to flat iron your hair silky straight or you’re on the hunt for the best flat iron in 2019, we hope we were able to help!