How to Use Straightening Irons? A Complete Guide for Beginners
Straightening irons is an ingenious invention and a must for achieving sleek and shiny hair. In emergencies, women can appreciate their handy and user-friendly existence. Although using a flat iron is a no-brainer, it can be challenging initially. At least for me, it was. But with time, I mastered the art called ”hair straightening”, and the essence of that art lies in one sentence ‘‘Do it with a proper technique’‘ this way, not only do we get that cheek look but also achieve to minimize the damage caused by heat. Let’s be honest as much as we like our hair to be straight, we like them to be healthy even more. No one wants to end up with burned and damaged hair on their quest for sleek, shiny, straight hair.
Here is a complete guide for ”How to use straightening irons?”
What is a hair straightener? and
Which one is suitable for your hair type?
There are various hair straighteners in the market, so choosing one designed especially for your hair type is very important. The main difference in hair straighteners is the material of their plates.
So, depending on this difference, there are three types of straightening irons.
Titanium straightening irons:
These straighteners have titanium-based plates which heat up quickly and save time. They work by heating the outer layer of hair instead of heating them from the inside out. Although these straightening irons are suitable for all hair types, their aggressive mode is best for thick and curly hair.
Professionals prefer them due to their quick heating mechanism and their ability to provide a smooth flow of heat without any fluctuation.
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Ceramic straightening iron:
Ceramic straightening iron is best for thin, fragile, chemically treated, and damaged hair. These straightening irons heat hair strands from the inside out, cause minimum damage and come with different heat settings.
These qualities make them the most common and preferred straightening irons. Their only downside is that they heat up slowly, so you must wait a few minutes before starting to style your hair.
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Tourmaline straightening irons:
Tourmaline is a negative charge-producing crystalline silicate used in hair straighteners by infusing it with other materials (ceramic, titanium). So, these types of straighteners have hybrid material in their plates.
These are also called anti-static or ionic hair straighteners. Hair has a positive charge from the atmosphere in the form of humidity, and tourmaline-infused plates cancel out that by producing a negative charge.
This method also helps to lock humidity in the hair. That’s why these straighteners are best for frizzy hair.
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Now, after selecting a hair straightener, let’s see,
How should they be used?
We can divide this process into three steps:
The first step is to prep hair before the use of a straightening iron:
Hair prepping is essential to achieve that sleek, shiny, and flawless look. Hair has dirt, grease, and previously used hair products. Getting rid of them is crucial.
- Wash your hair with a hydrating and nourishing shampoo and conditioner (any shampoo or conditioner suitable for your hair and gives them life is one). The best way is to apply the shampoo at least two times. First, remove the grease and dirt from the hair, then after washing it, shampoo your hair for the second time to give them nourishment and hydration with a little of that bounce.
Note: Be gentle with the hand movements to avoid frizz.
- The next step is to remove the excess water from the hair. Do that by patting and pressing them with a towel gently. Do not rub the towel as it can cause damage by friction as well as frizz and tangles. Patience is the key girls.
- Now, use a heat-protecting serum, spray, or cream. The aim of using these protecting sprays is to make a layer on the hair’s outer surface and protect it from direct heat damage. The best way is to apply them on damp hair. This way, it can spread evenly.
Here are some suggestions:
- Comb through the hair having wide teeth. Combing will remove tangles as well as helps to spread the heat protectant to the remaining strands of hair.
- After applying heat protectant, dry your hair. You can either air dry or blow dry. It’s all about choice. But hair stylists recommend that blow drying is the best option if you have curly hair and plan to straighten them. This is because hair strands become somewhat straight by blow drying, and then using straightening iron would be less tedious and time-consuming.
- Note: Always blow dry hair by keeping the blow dryer faced downward away from the scalp and moving it from the base of the hair to the hair ends. This way, heat does not cause hair damage and avoids frizz.
Now, the hair is prepped for straightening. So, set your straightening iron temperature according to the manual for your hair type and length. Mostly thick hair is best straightened on a higher temperature setting, while thin or damaged hair is on a low-temperature setting.
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The second step is doing the deed:
The best and most effective way is to divide the hair into three sections:
- Crown area
- Middle area
- Side area (area at the nape of your neck)
The best technique is to start from the side area, then the middle area, and do the crown area at the end. This way, it would be easy to handle the hair. On the other hand, if you do the crown area first or straighten random strands, there would be a hot mess of straightened and un-straightened hair. So precision is a must.
- After dividing the hair into sections, clip the middle and crown areas on top of the head and leave the lowermost section unclipped.
- Start by further dividing the unclipped hair into small portions of 1 or 1.5 inches. The thinner, the better.
The purpose of making these smaller portions of hair is to straighten the chunk of hair evenly; it is just like cloth. Thick or layered clothes are challenging to iron compared to single-layered clothes. In the same way, if the sections are too thick, the straightening iron will only straighten the upper and lower layer, while the hair of the middle layer will be unaffected. It would take 10 to 15 repetitions for heat to get to that hair, which is time-consuming and will eventually damage the hair in the upper and lower layer.
- Put that 1- or 1.5-inch hair portion between the plates and start dragging it downwards towards the end of the hair in a slow, smooth, and evenly fashion.
- Repeat this moment 2 or 3 more times on the same portion and then move on to the next section.
Be careful not to press the plates too harshly, as it can cause hair damage as well as form ridges on the hair.
Here is a pro tip :
As a beginner, I preferred to get my hair done by a hairdresser on special occasions. Because somehow, whenever she straightens them, I always end up with a bounce in my hair while if I did them myself, they looked lifeless; it was a mystery I was eager to solve, and then I found out that it’s all about how you section your hair. So, always try to make diagonal sections. They give a bounce to your hair, while horizontal or vertical sections tend to provide them with a flat look.
After the hair is straightened, let them cool down, or you can also blow dry them in a cool setting.
Third step, Post straightening care
The last step is to use a setting spray on the hair for a long-lasting look.
Why should we use straightening iron?
Well! For me, it is about changing my look. Let’s be honest; having the same hairstyle every day becomes monotonous. For a person having beach waves or curly hair, a straightener can do wonders in changing their look. We change our dress daily and wear shoes that go with the dress, so why not change our hairstyle now and then?
The use of flat iron is a common practice to get different kinds of looks, but the best quality of straightening irons is that they give hair a bouncy, shiny, and clean look. A person can only obtain these qualities by carefully implementing all the steps. There are hair straighteners designed exclusively for every hair type.
For example, titanium-based flat irons are for curly and thick hair, ceramic straightening irons are for thin or damaged hair, and a static iron can help lock the moisture in strands which is good for frizzy and dry hair. Furthermore, applying heat protectant and setting spray are the key steps to protect hair as well as the style.
Should I straighten my hair at night or morning?
Straightening hair at night can save time as you only need to freshen up/clean up the look and not the whole process.
Can I take a bath after straightening my hair?
Yes! You can take a bath after straightening your hair, but the moment they come in contact with water, it will return to its original form.
Can I straighten my hair daily?
Straightening hair causes heat damage and using a hair straightener daily can result in the form of dry, frizzy, and damaged hair.
Can I use oil before straightening my hair?
Yes! You can use oil before hair straightening, but a heat protectant in spray, serum, or cream is preferred.
Can I comb my hair after straightening them?
You can comb your hair after straightening it so they get untangled and have a sleeker and more refined look.
Is a hair straightening iron safe to use?
Hair straightening irons are safer than other methods and choosing a suitable straightening iron and using it correctly can further minimize the usual heat damage.
What kind of hair straightener is best for loose curls?
A straightener with a circular body is best for curls and its apparent use of hair straightening.
How to use a straightener without damaging hair?
To avoid hair damage, always use a heat-protectant serum and choose a hair straightener for your hair type.
What are floating plates comprising hair straighteners?
These plates are flexible and are attached to the springs, or we can say these plates are not fixed. It may seem dangerous, but these kinds of straightening irons are safe.
Can a man use a hair straightener?
Yes, men can also use hair straighteners, but they need to buy a hair straightener that is smaller in size, so they can easily use it on short hair.