Learn how to straighten hair with flat iron like a pro in this article! Also check out how to straighten short hair, curly hair and 4c hair at home without causing damage.
Looking for an easy hairstyle for a party or special occasion? Simple. Just straighten your hair.
Yes, using a flat iron is one of the best ways to get smooth, manageable and not to mention gorgeous locks in just a few minutes.
A lot of people shy away from using hair straightening tools as they think it will damage their hair. But if used in the right way these tools can actually enhance the look of your tresses without causing any harm.
And of the best hair straightening tools to use is the humble flat iron.
Related: Steam Straightener Vs Flat Iron
I like using flat irons more than hair straightening brushes as they offer more versatility and are better suited for short hair and thin hair as well.
It’s a simple enough tool to use, but if you’re a newbie to the hair straightening game or want to do everything just right, here’s a simple guide for you.
In this article, I have elaborated the different steps involved when you’re straightening your hair with a flat iron. Following this routine will ensure that you not only have silky, straight locks but also keep them frizz-free and damage-free.
How To Straighten Hair With Flat Iron
Select The Right Flat Iron
To straighten your hair you will need the right type of flat iron.
Yes there are different types of flat iron, they vary in sizes and in the material of the plates.
You have to be very careful to select the right type of flat for your hair type and texture as this is very important to help straighten your hair without damaging it.
If you have short hair then I’d suggest going for flat irons that have narrower, slimmer plates as these can glide through short hair easily.
Related: Popular Types Of Flat Irons
Also important is the material of the plates. If you have fine, thin, or damaged hair then I’d recommend going for plates made out of ceramic or ceramic-tourmaline mix.
Now ceramic is a really good thermal conductivity but it keeps temperatures even throughout and doesn’t get heated up too quickly.
But if you have curly, thick hair that would require more heat to change its shape then you should choose a titanium or gold plated flat iron as these metals absorb more heat, distribute more heat and can reach high temperatures in short spans of time.
Prep Your Hair Before Straightening
It is important to prep your locks for hair straightening and no I do not just mean using a hair protectant spray that will come later.
By prepping I mean ensuring that your head is clean and dirt and oil free before straightening.
You do not have to shampoo your hair every time before straightening it but I do suggest using at least a dry shampoo to clean your locks of excess oil.
If you do decide to shampoo your hair before straightening it I really really recommend driving it completely before you take up the flat iron.
Using a flat iron on wet hair can be a disaster as wet hair is very vulnerable and prone to damage.
I would also suggest not using a blow dryer and letting your hair dryer instead as the heat from the blow dryer and then again from the flat iron can damage your hair.
Don’t Forget The Heat Protectant
This is a very important part of the hair straightening process before you even switch on your hand flat iron.
A heat protectant is usually a hair spray or serum or even oil that protects your hair from the high temperatures of the flat iron.
This product coats your hair so that the heat from the flat iron doesn’t reach your strands and doesn’t hurt your hair.
A lot of heat protectant products also double as a leave-in conditioner and keep your hair frizz free.
There are also natural heat protectants such as jojoba oil which has a high smoking point and can withstand high temperatures of the flat iron.
Use The Right Temperature For Your Hair
So now that you have selected the right flat iron and coated your hair with heat protectant it’s now time to decide the type temperature at which to use the flat iron.
Experts suggest that people with fine, thin hair textures should stay within the temperature range of 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit and that people with coarse curly hair textures can go upto 400-450 degrees.
I always buy a flat iron with multiple temparture settings so I can change up the heat levels to what desire.
Section And Clip Hair To Make Straightening Easy
Do not just start using a flat iron your open hair. Brush it out first to remove any knots and tangles as this makes it easier for your plates to glide through.
Also divide your hair into narrow sections of 1-2 inches and pin them up with an alligator clip. Doing so will ensure you are using the flat iron on all areas of your hair and there are no strands left untouched.
Dividing the hair in sections also has the added benefit of keeping your locks out of the way as you straighten it. This is especially helpful if you have very long or thick hair.
Start straightening from the front of your hair and then do the side sections before going all the way to the back of your head.
Clamp, Pull And Repeat
To straighten hair effectively start at the top of hair just a half an inch or inch above your roots (don’t get too close to the scalp or you might end up burning yourself).
Clamp the plates of the flat iron on the top portion of your hair section and then glide the flat iron all the way to the bottom of the section. Ensure that the hair section is held taut between the two plates of the flat iron.
Whether or not you go over a section of hair twice or thrice depends on the state of your hair.
If you have curly, coarse or even 4c hair textures, extra heat might be required to straighten it completely.
But if you have fine or damaged hair, I suggest using the flat iron over one section just once.
Finish Off With Hair Spray Or Serum
A lot of people completely skip this step and then complain about their straightened hair getting frizzy or not staying smooth for long.
After you’re done straightening hair, use a finishing product that will keep hair frizz-free and also make sure the “straightness” so to speak, lasts for long.
My suggestion is to go for a light hold hairspray as this adds some moisture to hair and keeps it in place without making hair stiff.
You can go for a much more moisturizing leave-in conditioner or serum option but I suggest using it only if you have dry hair or are very prone to frizz.
Very rich creams and conditioners can weigh down straight hair, making them look lanky and dull. So use these in moderation.
FAQs about Hair Straightening Using A Flat Iron
What to apply before using hair straightener?
You should use a heat protectant serum or oil as this coats your strands and doesn’t let the heat from the flat iron damage your hair.
If you do not have a hair protectant serum at hand, you can use an oil with a high smoking point such as jojoba oil as this acts as a guard against high temperatures as well.
But I do not recommend using heavy creams, leave-in conditioners, or oils such as olive or coconut oil because they can damage hair further at high temperatures.
How to straighten hair without frizz?
The high temperatures from the flat iron can raise your hair cuticle causing hair to appear frizzy after straightening.
However, this can be avoided if you apply a smoothening serum or hair spray after using the flat iron as they help lay your tresses flat and smooth. Also, try getting a flat iron with negative ion technology if you want to straighten hair without frizz or poofiness.
These products add negative ions to your strands as they straighten, causing hair to lay flat by reducing the static on hair.
How can I straighten my hair with a flat iron without damaging it?
The most common reason for damage by flat iron is due to excessive heat on hair. This can be avoided by using a low temperature while straightening and not straightening hair too often.
Also the plates of some flat irons have “hot spots” where the temperatures get really high and these can damage certain sections of your hair.
So to avoid this you can choose a flat iron in materials such as pure ceramic or ceramic tourmaline as they keep a constant, low temperature and do not cause hot spots.
A flat iron is one of the most common and easiest hair styling tool to exist!
Unlike straightening brushes or electric hot combs these do not tug at your hair too much. And their build and size makes it super convenient for those with short hair.
I prefer ceramic flat irons as my hair is fine in texture and slightly damaged due to coloring. But if you have thick, curly hair, tourmaline options are great too.
Apart from the flat iron itself, the thing you need for a successful hair straightening session is a heat protectant spray (to prevent damage) and a hairspray or serum (to prevent frizz and flyaways).
And also remember that while a flat iron is not that damaging if used correctly and is a convenient way to style hair, anything in excess can be bad.
So limit it’s usage to only special occasions or at least 2-3 times a week to keep hair healthy.