When it comes to straightening your strands, using a flat iron seems to be the go-to move. But, what happens when your locks become dry, dull and fried from the constant clamping and overexposure to heat? Below, we've highlighted the dos and don'ts when it comes to using a flat iron to ensure healthy, straight hair—everything from heat protection sprays to the ideal flat iron temperature. Scroll down to learn everything you need to know about using a flat iron.
Never Straighten Wet Hair
Possibly the most important thing not to do. Before using a flat iron, always make sure the hair is completely dry whether by a blow dryer or a simple air dry. Putting a flat iron to wet hair could be extremely dangerous—no one wants sizzling, burnt strands.
Always Prep the Hair with a Heat Protection Formula
To avoid damaging the hair, always apply a heat protecting formula (anything from a spray, serum or creme) prior to styling. We love TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray ($5; drugstore.com), which is a lightweight mist that protects and styles all at the same time. To ensure straight strands, try applying Chi Straight Guard Smoothing Styling Cream ($15; ulta.com) before you begin styling.
Section the Hair Before Beginning
Sectioning the hair with clips like Sarah Potempa Darby Clips ($16; ulta.com) can allow for a way easier and efficient styling process. To guarantee you don't miss a spot while straightening, begin my separating the top and bottom of the hair, and then divide those sections into smaller ones to ensure every strand is accounted for.
Mind the Temperature of the Flat Iron
Before you begin using your flat iron, make sure it’s heated up and ready-to-go. For the best results, the ideal temperature is always 365 degrees. That said, try the ghd Platinum Professional Styler ($249; sephora.com), which is a new innovative tool that is set at 365 degrees and grants long-lasting shine.
Start Straightening the Hair at the Roots
When you have your sections divided, it's time to use the flat iron. To create a flawless look, start by straightening the hair at the roots and slowly work your way down to the ends. To avoid breakage, avert going over the same sections more than once or twice—over-clamping is a big no-no.
Try a Different Style with the Flat Iron
Believe it or not, a flat iron can go far beyond your basic hair-straightening needs. With your trusty flat iron, try recreating effortless beach waves or bouncy curls, or even style your troublesome bangs with this multitasking hot tool.
Always Finish Off the Look with an Anti-Frizz Formula
Complete the style with an anti-frizz cream to bypass any pesky flyaways and allocate a long-lasting look. We love John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Touch-Up Crème ($6; drugstore.com), which is a blend that leaves behind a shiny ‘do all while keeping all the strands in place.