Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask about purchasing a hair straightener
So you are purchasing a hair straighter? Don’t know what to look for, no problem. Here’s the 411 on what’s out there. Just like other products there are a number of brands, styles and types on the market so you have to do your research.
A key thing to remember when purchasing a hair straightener is what type of straight iron is best for your hair. You don’t want to spend money on a product that is going to damage your hair. So it’s important to look at what type of plates the prospective straightener has.
Stay away from a straightener that has glass or metal plates on it. Yes, it may cost less, however as the old adage goes, you get what you are pay for. These types of straighteners heat up hair unevenly. When you run them over your hair they can cause breakage and damage.
Ceramic plated straighteners are the best for your hair. They slide over your hair without snagging or breaking the hair shaft which leaves your hair stronger and healthier. Check out: Beyond The Beauty, Ceramic Flat Iron ($200). This iron heats up in seconds. It also features sliding ceramic plates and infrared technology that locks in moister, revitalizes dull lifeless hair and prevents damages while producing perfect styles.
Another type of plate you should keep an eye out for is tourmaline. Tourmaline is a crystal mineral that emits negative ions which seal moisture into your hair. If you like styling your hair other ways-curls, flips wave you should definitely pick this one up. Check out: Beyond The Beauty, Brilliant Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron ($250). Both the Ceramic Flat Iron and the Brilliant Tourmaline Flat Iron come in super cute colors that are perfect for everyone’s style.
Titanium hair straighteners are another top choice among consumers. They heat super evenly and have very minimal heat fluctuation. They are super lightweight-so goodbye sore styling arm!
There are also a number of wet to dry hair straighteners on the market. They are high quality devices. The jury is still out on if they can safely (meaning without major damage) straighten hair. Typically, you are supposed to never straighten wet hair. If you see steam coming from your hair that’s a major party foul! These irons do however straighten dry hair very effectively.
Plates used on hair straighteners come in a variety of sizes. A popular size is the one-inch plate width. This size works fine if you have medium length (shoulder length) hair. However, if you have longer hair, you want to look for a flat iron with larger size plates. By having larger size plates, this will decrease your styling time and reduce how much damage is done to your hair.
In addition to picking a flat iron with good, appropriately sized plates there are other factors to consider. You should also look for a flat iron that has a temperature setting on it that’s appropriate for your hair type. The heat range on flattest irons is 150-400 degrees. Expert Tip-You should never have to go all the way up to 400 degrees. Try to keep your straighter’s heat around 350 degrees. We all don’t have the same type of hair so you need to pick a model that is best for your hair texture and daily styling regimen.
If your hair falls into the thin, delicate, damaged or fine category, pick up a flat iron with a variable temperature setting. This gives you, the user the control on how hot your iron gets. This is very important so you can keep your hair from getting too hot which damages these types of hair. Now on the flip side if your hair is thick and hard to straighten you should check out a fixed temperature straightener so you can ensure you get the smooth, sleek look you are hoping for.
Another thing to consider when purchasing a straightener is the cord length. Short cords hinder great styling and are super annoying. A long cord gives you extra styling mobility to get around your whole head comfortably for perfectly quaffed locks.
Once you’ve picked the perfect straightener for you be sure to head to the hair care products section. You need to pick up some products to protect your hair from styling with a straight iron. First start with a damage controlling shampoo and conditioner. Redken’s All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner ($15.50 & $16.00). This knock out combo will help damaged hair become more soft and re-gain its strength from styling.
Once your hair is dried you want to apply a thermal protectant on it. Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray ($4.99) and Matrix Total Results Sleek Iron Smoother, ($15). These light sprays help protect your hair from damage from the straight iron while helping your new style hold.