11 Flat Iron Hair-damaging Mistakes
July 12, 2018Among all the beauty tools that a woman possesses, her flat iron is perhaps one of the most precious ones: it smoothens out and tames the tresses in a short time, it is easy to use, and it is practical. Because of predominant beauty standards, having straight, silky hair is a must for many women, even curly-haired ones who want to change their texture, so it's safe to say that almost every girl owns a flat iron or at least would like to. But as popular and easy to use flat irons are, we have the slight suspicion that you might be making a few mistakes with it. You might be thinking that there is no way to use a flat iron in the wrong way, but in fact, there are, and the worst thing about it is that those blunders will take their toll on your hair. Before you need emergency care with hair loss products or a super short haircut to recover your tresses, examine your flat iron habits and look out for which of these flat iron hair-damaging mistakes you are making.
- Flat-ironing on Damp Hair
This is by far the worst of all flat iron hair-damaging mistakes. For the love of whatever is dearest to you -and the love of your hair- do not do it! When you hear a sizzle or see smoke as you slide your flat iron down your hair, it's time to stop on your tracks! As you may suspect, that sound and that smoke mean that your hair is singeing. If you continue with this behavior, you will get extreme damage and breakage over time since your cuticle will be destroyed and your hair debilitated.
Instead, wait for your hair to air-dry completely before you use the flat iron. Blow-drying your hair completely means abusing two heat tools at once, but if you're in a hurry, it helps the drying process. Wavy-haired girls can try intently blow-drying their hair straight so that they get through the flat ironing faster.
- Making Too Thick Sections
Yes, flat-ironing can be tiring if you have too much hair, and inconvenient when you're in a hurry. However, it's important that you don't try to straighten too thick sections, simply because they will need more than one pass, and this will turn out to be more damaging on your hair. For sleeker results and an overall faster process with less risk of damage, section and work hair in slim portions at a time.
- Doing Many Passes on Each Hair Section As you may suppose from the previous point, the less passes on each hair section, the better. If you need to go over more than twice, you are considerably increasing the risk of damage. "I have coarse hair!", you may be pleading. In such case, you can still stick to a couple passes and get good results, which leads us to the flat iron mistake on the next point:
- Not Setting Your Flat Iron at the Correct Temperature To start with, a good flat iron should have a temperature control, and you should change it according to the characteristics of your hair and the style you want to achieve. Girls with thin, weak hair do better keeping the temperature to the minimum, around F 200, while girls with very thick, coarse hair can turn the temperature up to F 400 avoid multiple passes. In other words, it is better to use higher temperature on some hair types than to keep the temperature too low and have to do many passes to achieve a sleek result. The mean temperature for most hair types is F 300. Find the best setting for your hair type and styling needs, while keeping in mind the previous advice about turning heat down if you see smoke or feel sizzling.
- Using the Wrong Flat-iron Size You must tailor the size of your flat iron to your hair type and length, otherwise, you'll probably be wasting time and getting less-than-ideal styling results. Half-inch plates are ideal for really short and fine hair —think of pixie cuts—, one to one-and-half-inch plates are great for most types of medium length hair, and bigger plates up to two-and-a-quarter inch plates are the best choice for long, coarse hair. Depending on the way you usually choose to style your hair it might be a good idea to own two different sizes for more versatility: long hair can be styled straight with a wider flat iron and it can be styled wavy or curly with a smaller one. A small iron will also come in handy when reaching close to the hair roots, and you'll have less risk for burns while getting better results.
- Skimping on Quality When Buying a Flat Iron You need to have the best flat iron possible, especially if you plan to use it regularly. Remember that it's your hair you're dealing with, so be gentle and caring with it. The best flat irons have ceramic, tourmaline or titanium plates since they all allow an even distribution of heat. Ceramic is gentle on hair, tourmaline avoids frizz, and titanium offers great heat conductivity and is lightweight, so it won't tire your wrists while styling.
- Forgetting About Heat Protectant This is another common and very serious mistake. Heat protectants do exactly that: safeguard your tresses from extreme heat. They have moisturizing, softening, de-frizzing, and sometimes even UV protectant ingredients that will improve your hair's appearance and help style it apart from shielding your cuticle from heat damage. Sometimes they are so good that you'll want to use them even if you're not using a heat tool! But beware! Look at the next mistake:
- Abusing Styling Products or Heat Protectants Too much product will cause your hair to become limp and oily very soon after you straighten it. You might notice that your hair sizzles and smokes more than usual when you use too much product. This means that it's leaving too much moisture on your hair. Same goes with residues from any rinse-out conditioner: clear those products thoroughly in the shower before your flat-iron styling. Last but not least, too much product will also cause buildup on your flat-iron plates. Keep it moderate.
- Abusing with Flat-iron Styling on Already Damaged Hair This isn't really a flat iron hair-damaging mistake, it's a hair care mistake. Remember that your hair's health comes before appearance. In fact, your hair won't really look good unless it is healthy, so tackle any underlying problem —split ends, frizz, dandruff, extreme dryness— promptly instead of trying to cover it with a flat-iron pass. Lay off your flat iron while you are recovering your hair, and once you see improvement, space out the use of heat tools in general. In other words, use them for occasional styling, not as an everyday styling must. Chemically treated hair and colored hair should go by the same rules since extreme heat can open the cuticle, which makes color fade faster and deepens any preexistent damage.
- Never Cleaning Your Flat Iron The hair's oils, product residue, and grime will build up on your flat iron plates over time and eventually keep it from slipping smoothly through hair. So, for hygienic and performance reasons, you should clean the plates regularly, at least once every three months. Don't worry about damaging the plates when you clean them, just make sure the flat iron is unplugged and cool and use a cotton ball dampened in alcohol to remove residue, never abrasive cleaners or rough cloths or sponges. If the residue is too sticky, clean the plates while they're still warm, so that the gunk comes off more easily.
- Ignoring the Voltage Information on Your Flat Iron Dual voltage irons are ideal for girls who travel a lot. That will allow them to use the device to adapt to different voltage outlets without the risk of malfunction.
Now you have much more valuable information to right your flat-iron wrongs. Your hair will be healthier and your style more on fleek! However, don't forget to prioritize hair care over heat tool usage. The Cosmetic Republic USA has the perfect daily solutions and professional products to recover damaged hair into healthy, beautiful tresses. Licensed professionals can learn more about our products by calling TOLL FREE 1-888-513-8815 or filling out our contact form, and by subscribing to our newsletter to get hair news right to their inbox.
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