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Straightening your hair with a flat iron can help make it look super-smooth—it’s no wonder it’s the go-to heat tool of so many women. In fact, straight hair has been a beloved beauty look for centuries! Of course, overdoing it with any heat tool can lead to damage, so you’re going to want to exercise caution when it comes to using your flat iron. Your technique—and the styling products you use—are important as well. Want to take your hair straightening game to the next level? Below, we’re setting the record straight on how to use a flat iron the right way. So, the next time you go to use yours, remember to follow these tips!
One of the golden rules of hair care is to protect your locks from heat. And that means limiting exposure to all hot tools like blow-dryers and curling wands. But what about when you really want that oh-so-sleek look that only a flat iron can provide? Well, just remember to use a heat protectant spray or lotion beforehand to help provide hair with some protection against high temps. The L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray offers protection for up to 450 degrees and can be used on damp or dry hair prior to heat styling.
While it might be tempting to speed up the straightening process by starting on hair that’s still slightly wet, this is definitely a hair care no-no. Your hair is at its most fragile when its wet, so wait until it’s completely dry before you get to straightening. Another option: Once your hair is about halfway dry, blow-dry it the rest of the way, then flat iron.
For the best results, separate your hair into different layers while you style. Use a clip to hold the upper layer out of your way, and straighten the hair that’s left down first. Slowly release sections of hair from the clip and use the iron on one section at a time until all strands are straight.
Slow and steady! When using a straightener, don’t focus on speed. Rather, pay attention to going over each section of hair as few times as possible. Pull the tool through your hair slowly, allowing the heat to work out any twists and curls with a single pass. Repeatedly straightening the same section over and over again can cause damage.
Contrary to the name, flat irons aren’t only good for flattening. You can use the same tool for giving hair soft waves or bouncy curls. To add shape and body to your look, start by placing a piece of hair in between the iron’s plates. Bear down on the section and start turning the straightener away from your face, making your hair flow over the iron. Pull the iron through your hair, continuing to hold down to create a curvaceous curl. Repeat!
Complete all your straightening efforts with a finishing product. Once you’re done, spray your tresses with a serum to help keep your mane smooth. Try the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Strand-Smoother Serum.
Ironing your hair with product in it can cause build up on the plates, making the tool less effective over time. Your straightening solution: Use a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol to help gently sweep away dirt and grime from unheated plates. A quick cleanup and your iron should work good as new!
Allow your heat tools to cool down before placing them in their designated spot. This ensures the iron won’t melt or singe anything by accident. Once it’s no longer warm, wrap the cord around the body and store safely until the next time you’re ready to use it.