When you straighten your hair do you start at the bottom and work your way up? In case you’re wondering, I don’t mean that you should straighten your hair starting at the bottom of your sections of strands and go toward your scalp, although that does sound intriguing. What I am referring to is that it works best if you section your hair in layers. Start with the bottom layers or most underneath hairs first and then work up to the layers that lay the highest or most outward on your head. The reason for this is that too many times we try to straighten too much hair in one pass. This requires multiple passes and seems to take forever. By taking smaller sections of hair you really will only need to probably straighten with one or two passes and it actually does go faster.

Do you think that the larger the flat iron plate, the faster the straightening process will go? This always amazes me because we do not hold a flat iron vertically to straighten our hair. And if you are holding your straightening iron vertically (upright) the plate width is based on that angle of the plate and not from end to end. When we straighten our hair we are placing the strands between the two plates of the iron that is being held horizontally and this would be the size that I would be looking at when shopping to purchase a new iron. There are many sizes of flat irons out there and some of the longer plates are available from BaByliss. If you are focused on the plate width when buying and then using a straightening iron, the wider widths such as 1 1/4″ to 2 1/2″ plates are only necessary if you have longer hair. Otherwise, a 3/4″ to 1″ plate width is just fine for short to medium length hair, and even some longer lengths.

How many of you use the highest heat possible on your flat iron? Unless you have extremely curly hair, or African American hair, the highest heat is not the wisest idea. Since there are flat irons that go as high as 460 degrees, one must always factor in what temperature is the safest to use on your hair so that there is no danger of damaging or burning your hair. Most individuals can get by with the highest heat being 400 degrees or less. Unless the straightener is a turbo straightener and it shoots straight to a certain temperature that is posted on the box or in the instructions, most hair straighteners will have a digital readout or temperature dial. There are some, however, that do not indicate a temperature on the dial but just a number. Thus, to test the heat level of your iron, take a piece of tissue paper and mist it with some water. Place it between the heated plates of your iron. A proper setting will quickly evaporate the moisture without making the tissue wrinkly. If the paper starts to show signs of discoloration or scorching, then lower the heat setting before you start to iron your hair

Lastly, as with any hair styling tool, always be sure to use a heat protectant on the hair before applying the heat to your hair. You’ll be glad you did.

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