Monday, October 22, 2012

How To Properly Straighten Your Hair

It’s another Monday readers and with it comes another Manic Makeup Monday question from a Makeup Examiner reader. So Happy Monday my lovelies and let’s get to this Monday’s question!

Today’s Makeup Monday question comes from Makeup Examiner reader Beth K. of Fairmont, Iowa, USA. Beth asks: “I have curly hair that I like to straighten and always end up with frizz when I do. Is there a quick and easy way to straighten my hair without getting the frizzies?”

In short, the answer is no. There is not a quick way to straightening your hair. Sans a chemically straightening, even those with straight hair have to work for the frizz-free, sleek style that we all desire to attain when setting out to straighten our hair. One of the Makeup Examiner’s housemates has straight hair. Usually she’s able to attain the desired style with proper product and a blow dryer, but even she needs to whip out the flat iron to achieve a frizz-free style at times. Of course, with the correct hair care prep, product and straightening tips; anyone can get that gorgeous, sleek style.

Choose the correct flat iron - The difference between a flat iron that you purchase at the drug store and a legit professional iron is the difference between prestige and mass makeup. The Makeup Examiner considers the purchase of a flat iron to be an investment. What I own is a ghd Gold Classic Styler ($190 USD), which at the time that the Makeup Examiner purchased was $100 more than the price listed. But again, this is an investment.

In conjunction with a good flat iron, you need to purchase the correct size. The length and thickness of your hair should determine the size of your iron. Understandably, not everyone can afford to drop $200 on a flat iron and that’s okay, just make sure to look for an iron that has multiple heat settings. Your hair texture and type should determine your heat setting.
  • For fine or damaged hair: 250-300 degrees
  • For medium/average hair: 300-350 degrees
  • For thick or coarse hair: 350-400 degrees
Now that you understand a little about flat irons, let’s move on to proper hair preparation.
First and foremost, NEVER take a flat iron to wet hair! If you’re looking to fry your hair, wet or damp hair plus a 400-degree flat iron equals hair fry! To begin the process, choose the proper product to use with your blow dryer based upon your hair type and always use a diffuser on your blow dryer (this tip is for all hair types).

For fine hair choose a volumizing mousse with heat protection and also blow dry your hair to create volume by lifting it at the roots. Smooth your hair from the mid-shaft to your ends using tension and a natural bristle brush. For thick, curly or coarse hair opt for a cream or serum with heat protection. Blow dry hair with a natural bristle brush and apply tension as you dry hair in order to make it as straight as possible.

Now for the trick to straight, sleek hair: Begin by clipping your into manageable sections and start with the back of your head. Near the nape of your neck, grab a half-an-inch to two-inch section of hair. Starting half-an-inch down from your roots, move the iron at a steady pace, down the hair shaft. When you reach the crown of your head you’re going to change up a little and lift hair off your scalp and get the iron as close to your roots as possible, pressing firmly while drawing the iron straight outward from your head to achieve a flat, smooth finish. Once you’ve achieved the desired straight look, you’ll want to sparingly apply a shine spray and then an anti-humectant holding spray for an all-day style.

Bone straight hair is amazingly gorgeous, but honestly not a look for everyone. Some women should opt for a “voluminous” straight look. To achieve a fuller look you’ll want use the flat iron differently. When you reach the mid-shaft of your hair versus the crown, this is where you’ll begin the technique of lifting your hair off your scalp, straight out to the sides. Again, once you’ve achieved the desired straight look, you’ll want to sparingly apply a shine spray and then an anti-humectant holding spray for an all-day style.

Mistakes you need to avoid. Never drag the iron down your hair. If you find that this is happening check to see if you have a knot in your hair, if your iron is at a hot enough setting or if your iron is dirty. If you have a knot in your hair, gently comb through that specific spot, if you iron isn’t hot enough then be patient and wait, lastly you need to clean your flat iron after each use. 

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