Let’s be honest: Perfect blowouts typically only happen in the salon, and if you want super straight hair at home, a flat iron is the way to go. Once you’ve found the best flat iron for you and you’ve got the styling down pat, there are a few other things to keep in mind while straightening your hair. For the best style possible, make sure you’re avoiding the eight mistakes below.
Not Using Heat Protectant Spray: This goes for any heat styling tool, but if you’re not putting a heat protectant spray on your hair before using your flat iron, it’s like asking for damage. On clean, damp hair, spray in a heat protectant to keep your hair from the harm that hot tools can cause.
How you adjust the temperature: The natural thought may be, “If heat damages my hair, I’ll keep my flat iron on the lowest heat setting possible!” Counterintuitive as it may seem, a medium to higher temperature — lower if your hair is fine, higher if your hair is thick — is better, because on a low heat setting, you’ll be going over your hair multiple times to smooth it out. A higher temperature means a better chance that a single pass can do the trick.
Ironing straight down: Getting as close to your root as possible, flat iron each section of hair, but pull the hair up instead of going straight down. This will give you a boost of volume at the crown, so you’ll have straight hair with body instead of your hair falling flat.
Not using a brush: With each section you straighten, brush out the hair first to get any kinks out of the way before you hit it with heat. Doing this will make the straightening go much more smoothly, and can reduce the need to go back over certain areas multiple times.
Not letting your hair cool down: While heat styles hair, cool air works to set it. Allow your hair to cool once you’ve flat ironed it so that it holds the straight style, instead of immediately putting it into a ponytail or a hair clip.
Size matters: Longer or thicker hair requires a larger flat iron (two inches) while shorter or finer hair can go with smaller flat irons (one inch). Be sure to use the proper size flat iron when straightening your hair.
Ironing while your hair is damp: Under no circumstances whatsoever should you flat iron your hair while it’s damp. If you’re in a rush, hit hair with a blow dryer before using the flat iron. When you can, allow your hair to air dry so that you aren’t putting double the amount of heat on strands.
Neglecting to clean the iron: Between using heat protectant spray and any other styling products that may be in your hair, build up can — and will — happen on your flat iron, which can cause it to snag your hair. For a smooth, clean style, make sure you’re cleaning your flat iron regularly.
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