Setting the record straight

By on April 16, 2008

Americans spend approximately $7 billion per year on hair styling equipment, salon visits and general hair maintenance.

For years, curls ruled the world of hair. Women paid to have curls put in their hair and perms were widely popular. Yet, nowadays, it seems that everyone desires shiny, straight hair.

Women with curly hair often turn to straighteners, flat irons, chemical relaxers and other methods to temporarily get rid of the frizzy, and sometimes unmanageable curls.

Today there are many brands of hair straighteners which are marketed towards teen and pre-teen girls. Each brand comes equipped with its own special features including width, temperature adjustment and material.

Some have fixed temperatures while others are adjustable. Some have narrow plates while others are wider and some are ceramic while others are painted aluminum. But with so many different kinds of straighteners, how do you determine which one is best for your hair?

The truth is, choosing a straightener is not as daunting a task as it may seem. Which straightener you choose to purchase depends on the amount of money you want to spend as well as what hair type you have.

Generally, hair straighteners are made with metal or ceramic heating plates. Metal plates tend to be very tough on hair because they heat unevenly. Furthermore, they will most likely destroy your hair over a period of time.

Ceramic hair straighteners are becoming more and more popular with female consumers. They tend to be lightweight in addition to heating and cooling quickly.

If you frequently straighten your hair, opt for ceramic plates. They heat evenly and slide over your hair smoothly without causing damage.

Another important feature to consider when purchasing a hair straightener is the width of the heating plate. Wide ceramic plates are usually used on coarse hair as well as long hair because they provide a more even and consistent straightening of the hair. Currently, many popular hair straighteners and flat irons come with several attachments for different sized plates.

But if you are looking for hair straightening tips, look no further. Whether you use your flat iron every day or you’re a newbie, these tips will set you straight!

Tip 1: Adjust the heat according to the texture of your hair. Fine hair should be styled at temperatures from 170 to 225 degrees. Medium textured hair can be styled at temperatures from 200 to 325 degrees. Coarse hair can be styled at temperatures from 300 to 325 degrees.

Tip 2: Take the right size sections. The length of the section should be no longer than the length of the irons plates to be sure that all hair is coming in contact with the ceramic.

The width of your section should be the same as the width of the iron or smaller. Taking too large of a section can affect the hair in the center by not getting heated properly. This is especially true for coarse, thick and hard to curl hair.

Tip 3: Work from the bottom up. Section hair into four separate sections for control. Start in one section from the bottom and work up to the part line.

This way you are able to iron all of the hair section by section laying the straightened hair on top of the previously straightened hair and not disturb the shape you have created.

Tip 4: Work in smooth fluid motions. Starting parallel to the part get as close to the scalp as you can and glide through to the ends. This avoids any crimps or creases in the hair.

Tip 5: Always comb through the section removing any tangles before gliding the iron through the hair.

Tip 6: Use a shine product on the sections to lock in the shape and add a natural looking sheen to the hair.


About Hillary Federico