We all love those days where we can keep things natural and not heat-style our hair but let’s face it, we end up relying on our trusty straighteners more often than we don’t. For many of us, straightening your hair is the first thing on the agenda. It’s much quicker to run those heated bad-boys through your hair than it is to ‘faf’ around trying to recreate the latest killer updo.
If you are a firm fan of the sleek, straight look, there are a few things you should probably be aware of.
10 Things You Don’t Know About Straightening Your Hair
1 – You should use a flat brush
How many of you are using a round brush to style your hair while you use your hair straighteners at the same time? You’re making a big mistake.
This is counterproductive when you want poker-straight hair. The round brush allows movement of air and this will allow for movement of hair. When straightening and styling, try to stick to a flat brush, preferably a paddle brush, for optimum effect.
2 – You should stop turning the heat down
This one’s a little controversial because we all know more heat equals more damage when it comes to your hair. The thing is, low heat can do just as much damage and in some cases, more so.
When you turn the temperature down, you need to go over the same section of hair repeatedly in order to achieve that super-straight and sleek look you want so much. When you do this, you are putting the hair under repeated stress, continually exposing it to temperatures it really doesn’t want to be exposed to.
In the end, you’ll do double the damage. It’s a much better idea to find a happy medium somewhere in the middle.
3 – You should use the cool setting in your dryer
Sometimes, just sometimes, your hair can look just as fabulously straight when you use a decent flat paddle brush and your hair dryer in all the right ways.
Start off with the hot setting to dry and style your hair by all means, but once you’re done, grab the flat paddle brush and straighten your hair using the brush and the cool setting on your hair dryer. Believe it or not, that’s what the setting is for – setting the look.
4 – You should use a good shampoo and conditioner first
If you’re making sure you’re being sensible with your hair straighteners but you’re not using the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair, all your hard will have been in vain.
If you have curly hair, use a shampoo and conditioner specially formulated for curly hair. If you have dry hair, use products that have specially designed with dry hair in mind. The same goes for damaged hair, colored hair, frizzy hair… You get the drift.
You might think that these specialized formulas are just a way to get you to spend more money on stuff that probably doesn’t do a different job from the ‘regular’ stuff but you are wrong. From personal experience, I get the best results with my hair (dry and definitely over-coloured) when I use a shampoo and conditioner for dry, damaged and over-treated hair.
When you straighten good-condition hair, you’ll be causing less damage than using the straighteners on damaged, dry or over-treated hair. You need a decent blank canvas to start working with… You know?
5 – You should use a leave-in conditioner
… And if you can’t, you should put conditioner all over your hair and leave it overnight at least once every couple of weeks.
Argan oil leave-in conditioner (which I just so happened to pick up at the 99p store ladies!) is the best leave-in conditioner I’ve ever come across. I use the matching rinse-out conditioner and smother my hair with it overnight at least once every three weeks or so. I’d highly recommend it! Just make sure you wash it out properly.
6 – You should use a heat protector spray
Again, the one I’ve had best results with was in a red bottle from the 99p shop! It was a brand name although I can’t remember the brand now… That’s always helpful, right?
Seriously though, a heat protector spray is the best thing you can use on your hair when you regularly use hair straighteners. It coats the hair with much-needed oils to form a protective barrier against the steaming hot temperatures you expose it to.
Although I’ve had the best results with a spray, you can also use cream-like formulas although they do tend to be more greasy.
7 – You should look for volume
Flat, straight hair doesn’t mean zero volume. In fact, many women need volume with their straight hair to avoid looking to round-faced, chubby-cheeked, washed-out, etc.
Hair straighteners tend to zap the volume from your hair but here’s a helpful hint, don’t straighten all your hair! Only use the tool from half the hair down. Fluff up the roots with your fingers, or do a gentle back-combining, and you’ll have about the right look.
You should practicing straightening your hair by pulling the top layers of your hair straight up rather than pulling them down to the side of your head. When you pull down, your hair will pull down. If you pull up, it’ll have more volume. Makes sense, right?
8 – You should use your serum afterwards
What happens when you apply oil to heat? It fries stuff! That’s what’s happening when you put serum on your hair BEFORE you use your hair straighteners.
Why would you do that to your hair?!
You should only ever use serum when you’re sure you’re done with the heated styling tools. Fried hair = brittle hair = hair breaking in your hair straighteners leaving you with stumps of hair. Trust me, I’ve lived it and learned it.
9 – You shouldn’t be sucked in by Keratin treatments
You’ve probably seen it advertised somewhere – get rid of frizz and straighten your hair with Keratin treatments.
Sorry ladies, but it doesn’t do what it says on the tin. Keratin doesn’t actually work for straightening your hair.
The frizz, yes, Keratin treatments will help with that but with the straightening side of things, it’ll have no effect at all. If you have curly hair and you want to eliminate frizz, this kind of treatment is a good idea but if you have curly hair hoping for poker-straight hair, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
10 – You should embrace the wave
Every now and again, it’s okay to embrace your natural wave and say to hell with the hair straighteners.
If you have long hair, simply braid it in one long braid that goes down the back and leave overnight. Don’t bother drying or straightening it. When you wake up the next morning, you’ll have gentle waves that you can add too with some beauty sea-salt spray and crunching with your hands.
Your hair really does deserve a break away from the hair straighteners every once in a while. Stop straightening your hair!