Many people aren’t aware of just how versatile hair straighteners are, and how much of a great investment they are. This often leaves many shocked at the price, which can be off-putting if you don’t know just how much you’re getting for your money.
We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks on buying, using, and maintaining your hair straighteners to bring to light just how handy they can be.
Read this before you get buying…
Buying your first pair of straighteners, or looking to upgrade? Don’t go anywhere until you read this guide.
First of all, determine what sort of hair type you have. The general rule is that the thicker or longer your hair is, the thicker a straightener you should buy. For those of you with pixie cuts, or those of you who just wish to straighten bangs/fringes, aim for a straightener with a width of half an inch. For those of you with very long hair, say down to your chest, opt for a straightener that is two inches thick.
The plates of your hair straightener, that is the two strips at the end that you run through your hair, can be made out of various materials. The three kinds of straightener you’re most likely to come across are ceramic, titanium, or tourmaline. All of them come with their own advantages and disadvantages;
- Ceramic- they’re less likely to burn your hair thanks to an even distribution of heat, but the ceramic coating can often chip off and cause your hair to snag. Avoid this by opting for plates made entirely out of ceramic.
- Titanium- they heat up much faster and transfer heat much faster. Convenient, but leaving them on your hair for too long can cause large amounts of damage.
- Tourmaline- tourmaline is a crystalline mineral that’s crushed up and used to coat the plates of a flat iron. This nifty material makes hair shinier, straighter, and less frizzy than other options.
Don’t let the name fool you…
You can use hair straighteners for so much more than just straightening. Don’t read on if you have an attachment to your curling iron…
You can create perfect curls with your hair straighteners. We recommend using a thinner straightener; a flat, paddle-style one definitely won’t work. After using a heat protectant and parting your hair, take sections of hair and, starting fairly close to the scalp, clamp the iron closed and turn it back on itself a half turn, then it down the hair shaft to the end. The slower you move the iron, the tighter the curl. Really into your ringlets? Turn the straightener a full turn instead of a half turn.
Feeling a bit wavy? You can also use your straightener to create effortless, beach-y waves. Again, start near your roots, clamp the iron closed, and then turn it back on itself in a half turn. This time, instead of running your straighteners all the way down, move them down slightly, and then twist in the opposite direction. Repeat all the way down the hair shaft, and you’re good to go!
Give crimping a go. Start by braiding sections of your hair into three strand braids. Clamp your hair straighteners onto the braids and glide downwards. Untie your braids, and you should be left with hair that wouldn’t look out of place in the 80’s or 90’s.
Hair Straightener maintenance
It’s all well and good being able to use your straighteners well, but they won’t last you very long if you fail to take care of them correctly.
Cleaning is key. If you use your hair straighteners regularly (which we hope you do!), you’ll soon start to see a weird sort of greyish deposit build up on the plates. This odd-looking gunk is a build-up of hair product, be it heat protectant spray or styling gel.
You should aim to remove this build up as soon as you see it. Leaving it too long makes it much harder to remove, and it’ll dramatically affect the performance of your straighteners.
When your straighteners are cool (we can’t stress this enough), grab a cloth and some rubbing alcohol and get scrubbing- the build-up will be gone in minutes, and it can be used all over the hair straightener.
Taking your straighteners on the go? You should always aim to let your straighteners cool down entirely before you place them in a bag or elsewhere.
However, if you need to rush out of the door in five minutes and your straighteners are still a tad warm, use an oven mitt or a pot holder as a makeshift storage case. Wrap them up, and off you pop.
For storing your straighteners at home, opt for a ready-made hot iron holster, or purchase a heat-proof mat. You’ll probably find that many of the heat-proof mats you purchase can also be used to wrap your straighteners with whilst on the go. Remember; never leave your straighteners on a surface unattended, even after you’ve stopped using them.
Some final things to remember;
- Never leave hot hair straighteners unattended. This poses a massive fire risk, as well as the risk of someone picking them up and burning themselves.
- Triple check that your straighteners are turned off, and do so in plenty of time before leaving the house.
- Off on an overnight stay? Style your hair first before you do your makeup or get dressed. This gives the straighteners much more time to cool down before being stored.
- Always use heat protectant spray!
- ALWAYS use heat protectant spray.