Not everyone likes their naturally curly hair. It can get messy and tangled and is hard to upkeep. Sure some women pay big bucks to get their hair curled where it looks natural but for those that live with it everyday, sometimes you just want a different look. You can use special products such as shampoos and chemicals to manage your locks but they can get costly and you really need that done in a beauty parlor. The best, and most inexpensive way, to change up your curly hair is with a straightener. But exactly what is a hair straightener? How do you use a hair straightener? Are they good for your hair?
What Is A Hair Straightener
A hair straightener is also known as a flat iron (not the same thing as the kind used in golf). A flat iron is an electric beauty tool that has a flat bar and clamp and is heated. There are several different brands of flat irons and you can find them in just about any supermarket, shopping center, or any place where beauty supplies are sold. The most recommended type of flat iron is the kind with a ceramic head because it is better as dispensing heat evenly and will cause the less damage to your hair.
Hair Straightening Tips
- The first thing you should do before using a straightener is to make sure your hair is clean. Wash your hair using both a shampoo and conditioner. Don’t bother with the two-in-one stuff because the conditioners generally aren’t strong enough for straightening curly hair. There are several professional-grade brands on the market that are designed for straightening hair. You can try Pantene, Vidal Sassoon, or Paul Mitchell.
- About once a week you should apply a really deep conditioner. This is just to maintain your hair’s healthy state and to keep it strong after repeated straightening. Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner is a good one but there are many others. Check the shelves and do a little comparison shopping. When you use the deep conditioner, apply it and let it sit for around 10 minutes or so before rinsing. This just gives it longer to work.
- After washing and rinsing your hair, you need to dry it thoroughly. First, towel-dry your hair very gently. Don’t really rub at it. Vigorously rubbing your hair will cause friction that creates frizz. You just want to pat at it with a towel to get most of the drops of water out of it so that it is not dripping everywhere. Next you are going to want to apply a smoothing spray or straightening balm. Apply it from the scalp all the way to the ends of your hair. Then blow dry your hair. Don’t worry about messing it up or having it curl up on you. You are going to use the iron on it anyway. One thing about using a blow dryer is you may want to use a heat-protective spray on your hair as well. Using both a blow dryer and a flat iron makes for a lot of heat and you don’t want your hair getting crispy over the long run. While you are blow drying your hair, don’t use a brush to comb out your hair. Only use your fingers. If you have the time and you don’t want your hair to curl, you can always just let it air dry on its own.
- Once your hair is completely dry, it’s time to use the flat iron. There are several brands available and some are more affordable than others. Pay attention to the watts when purchasing one because they can vary. Before you use a flat iron, read the directions and see what setting you should be using for your type of hair. The trick to using a straightener is to do only small sections of hair at a time. You will want to get the rest of your hair out of the way so I would recommend something like a claw clip. Separate your hair out into sections. Then take the first section and clamp it into the flat iron, getting as close to your scalp as possible. Remember that the iron is hot so if it is your first time using one, be patient and don’t burn yourself. Once the section of hair is in the iron, slowly pull the iron down the section of hair. It should take anywhere from 4 to 10 seconds depending on the length of your hair. Continue with this method on each section of hair until you have gone around your entire head. When you are finished, make sure you turn the flat iron off.
- After you have straightened your hair, you may have some frizz sticking up. To take care of this, there is some de-frizz spray you can get to control it or you can just take some hairspray, apply it to a brush, and lightly go over your hair.