When it comes to our beauty regime and mostly focusing on our hair, there are a few things more alluring than long and sleek straightened hair. That one look that beguiled audiences like Chloé and Ralph Lauren, it’s the type of style that somehow manages to look chic with everything from a red carpet dress to a lazy day, Netflix outfit. But according to our friends high up in the hair world, there seems to be a handful of concerns to do with home hair straightening. With a hair straightener at a temperature to bake a batch of cookies, you’re clamping, frizzing and damaging your precious locks on a day to day basis. Below are a few top hair straightening tips from the pros on how to refrain from doing more damage.
Sizzling is the enemy
As soon as you hear the sizzle of your hair clamped into the straightener or the steam emerging from your locks, stop and evaluate the situation. Harry Josh, hair stylist of Miranda Kerr wise words are “hair should be bone dry when you go to straighten it, if you’re certain that the hair is dry, product build-up could be a possible culprit”. Potempa insists that you need to be selective about what products you use before your flatiron. “You should avoid applying anything to dry hair, which is what makes straightening different than curling. Because the iron clamps down on the hair, there’s nowhere for the product to go. You’re essentially boiling the product into the follicle, which isn’t a great idea, especially when it contains alcohol.”
Use a heat protectant
Of course, we never want the hair to sizzle and fry, obviously. But how are we supposed to to get red carpet do’s without a little help of something? Living Proof’s Straight Spray coats the hair with a molecule we patented known as OFPMA. “You can use it on damp hair, which is great, and it protects up to 450 degrees and resists humidity, so it dramatically reduces the frizz factor.” On the plus side, the spray is made without oils and silicones, which could effectively weigh down our hair. Argon oil could still be used if you were to have thicker hair.
Turn down the temperature
“The 450-degree setting was designed specifically for in-salon, professional keratin treatments. It wasn’t meant for consumers. But now, everyone can use it, which makes the at-home process faster.” This of course comes at some expense for your hair’s health. T3 stylist Jeanna Pizzollo has advised “Coarse hair does need a higher heat, but fine, especially damaged and colour treated hair should stay in the safe zone of 300-350 degrees”.
Section your hair
“You shouldn’t be randomly grabbing fistfuls of hair,” says Potempa. “The iron won’t be able to get to pieces that are too thick, and you don’t want to unnecessarily reapply heat.” She has suggested that creating sections so you can easily track your process will be much easier. Split the hair in the middle at the back and then bring it forward. This should give you two sections to work with, but consider creating four sections if your hair is reasonably thicker. “Sectioning will save you time,” Pizzollo adds. “The reason everyone complains about straightening taking so long is that they’re working off random bits of hair”.
Make repetition your friend
Going over a strand of hair more than once is not going kill it, but you need to know and find out if it is necessary. “Tension is essential,” Josh notes. “Create your tension, then pull the iron downward starting from the root.” Naturally, curly styles will find it necessary to pull and straighten, and then repeat a few more times, but whilst pulling the hair taut whilst you straighten will help immensely.