8 Mistakes To Avoid When Straightening Your Hair
Gone are the days where you have to sit in a salon chair for hours to get every strand of curly hair straight and smooth. Also gone are the days of smelling burnt hair as you attempt to straighten your hair at home.
Flat irons are much safer and easier to use now, so you can get those smooth locks from the comfort of your own home.
Unfortunately, overuse of extreme heat on your hair can cause damage, leaving many women wondering if the one evening of sleek hair is worth it.
Luckily, there are several tips you can follow to make sure your hair avoids damage when straightening. It is possible to get the look you want without destroying your hair.
Here are 9 common mistakes you absolutely need to avoid:
1. Not Using The Right Tools
You want to make sure you buy hair tools that offer a selection of heat settings. This will mean you have to pay a little extra because cheaper options typically only come with one setting.
It will be worth the extra change because your hair will not dry out as quickly and you will save on paying hundreds at the salon to fix the damage done.
2. Not Knowing Your Type Of Hair
Make sure you really understand your hair type before styling it. Thinner hair does not need high temperatures to get it to cooperate. This does not mean however, that thick hair automatically requires the highest temperature setting.
While you will need a higher temperature for thicker hair, you never want to choose the max setting, because this is almost always too hot for any hair texture.
3. Not Limiting Heat
Heat in general is bad for your hair, so you want to protect your hair as much as you can. Most irons will come with silicone protective coating so be sure to keep an eye on this
Over time and extended use, the silicone can begin to erode away which is a good sign that you need a new iron.
Never use an iron with the exposed metal surface on your hair as this will cause burning. Additionally, never use an iron on any strand for longer than three or four seconds to minimize heat exposure.
4. Not Working In Sections
You want to approach straightening with a plan. One of the biggest hair straightening mistakes is grabbing random chunks of hair to iron. Chances are it will take longer which means extra heat exposure.
If you section your hair out first, then each smaller section will be easier to straighten. You only have to go over the strands once versus several runs.
Thicker sections leave more chance of hair in the middle not getting straight which means you need to iron it for longer.
5. Not Using Protective Products
It may be an additional cost and additional time, but adding protective products before and after you straighten your hair will be worth it in the long run.
Many people neglect to use conditioners when washing and oils or creams afterward. This leaves the hair at higher risk of heat damage.
Coconut oil is great when applied after washing or after straightening. It keeps moisture locked into the hair so it will not dry out as quickly with styling.
6. Pull Out, Not Down
You want your hair straight, not lifeless. A common hair straightening mistake is to pull the hair down as you iron, and this leaves your hair flat.
Instead you want to pull the hair out and away from your scalp to straighten and leave it full of volume.
7. Not Cleaning Your Flat Iron
Many people forget to clean their flat iron in between uses which allows chemicals and products to build up on the surface. This increases your risk of burning your hair as those products continue to get heated.
Cleaning your straightener ensures those products don’t get pulled back through your hair.
8. Not Letting Your Hair Cool
It is not uncommon for women to straighten their hair and then pull it into the desired style. This can be very damaging to the hair if you do not let it cool first.
The heat will have made your hair brittle and if you immediately pull it into a style you risk breaking strands.
Allow time for your hair to cool down before styling it and be sure to add some protective oil before tying it up, to give it a little extra strength.