It’s crazy that we always want what we can’t have! You could be the envy of a multitude of women because of your gorgeous, luscious, curly locks, and still want shiny, straight hair.
Though, this desire can be fulfilled now, with technology on our side and the semi-permanent hair-do satisfaction it can finally give us.
Cue the flat irons!
As a fellow frizzy-haired lady, I have always been drawn to the hair straighteners that promised sleekness, smoothness and outright salon-worthy hair. But there’s always been the worry of the damage I’m causing to my own. It’s entered your mind once or twice in your lifetime, right?
Don’t fear though – hair technology has made it possible to nowadays have your straight hair and revel in its health too! I’m sharing some exciting tips with you below on why straighteners cause damage in the first place, how to take care of damaged hair and which straighteners you should go for.
Why a hair straightener could be damaging to your hair
The obvious reason is first and foremost the heat. Flat irons are designed to have the ability to reach a higher temperature than the last model, which isn’t great news for your hair. Your hair can only withstand a certain amount of heat and once this is surpassed, your hair quickly loses moisture.
Now you can only imagine the loss of moisture your hair experiences if you’re straightening your hair every day. What’s more, if you try to use a flat iron on your wet hair, it will essentially boil your hair and you’ll see the steam rise from the iron. This is not a pretty sight.
Two things to keep in mind: apply a heat protectant before every flat iron use and choose a flat iron that has a selection of heat settings. You need to have options depending on your hair type.
Some last resort for people with hair loss or even if you only want to make it thicker by adding volyme is using a hair growth helmet. Altough it is a last resort for many, it has proven to yield great results.
Our professional tips on flat irons for damaged hair
As I mentioned, one of the best things to look for in a flat iron is the option of multiple heat settings. This CHI straightener is a great one to start off with. It has three different options for heat, meaning that you have more control over the intensity. The combination of its ceramic and titanium plates is also worth mentioning, as each component has its own advantages.
When deciding between ceramic or titanium plates you can find straighteners that have plates made from either material or they can be a combination. Both ceramic and titanium plates have their pros and cons.
The benefits with choosing a ceramic-plated flat iron is that the plates are smoother, which results in less hair pulling, and it distributes the heat evenly across your hair. This ceramic fast pass flat iron would be a good choice for already damaged hair due to its various temperature options and the even heat distribution allows you to also straighten your hair at a lower temperature, while achieving the same results!
This BabylissPRO Titanium flat iron is perfect if you want to go the titanium route. Titanium is known to be more powerful than ceramic, so it is better suited to thicker hair, however this does not mean it’s a complete no for finer hair. The BabylissPRO straightener has 50 heat settings to choose from. That means no matter how thick or thin your hair is you will be able to set it to a temperature safely suited to you!
With any flat iron you choose, make sure to always straighten on dry hair only – not even damp hair – and use a heat protectant. There are many to choose from; between creams, sprays and gels, using a heat protectant is one of the best tips for protecting damaged hair.
Another tip is to try and go over sections of hair as few times as possible, distributing as little heat as possible. To achieve this, I would suggest the queen of all straighteners, the GHD Platinum styler. This one is basically a revolutionary creation in hair tools. It automatically determines the amount of heat each separate section of hair needs, meaning you’ll never have to worry about sizzling your hair again! When you’re rushing in the morning, you want every bit of help you can get.
How to take care of damaged hair with a flat iron
It can be tough when you want healthy hair but at the same time you don’t necessarily want to embrace your frizzy curls. Luckily there are ways. Firstly, I’d suggest taking small sections to straighten. The less hair you pass your flat iron over, the quicker it will straighten and you won’t have to linger with a heated tool on your tresses.
Some flat irons nowadays combine incredible mist technology that works as you use the straightener. One to take note of is the iGutech Professional Flat Iron. This handy tool includes seven holes for mist to spray from as you slide the iron down your hair. What this does is help to lock in moisture that would otherwise be lost, keeping your hair glossy and gorgeous. Hair protection AND style? What more could a girl want!?
Using deep conditioners to nourish your hair every week is encouraged too as it can be the breath of fresh air your hair needs after a week of straightening. Every precaution is a good one to take when you want to maintain your healthy hair. Rather be overly cautious than risking harm to your hair.
Hair straightener – Our best tip for damaged African American hair
African American hair is generally coarser, thicker and curlier than other hair, making it slightly more of a challenge to straighten. However, it still experiences the same damage as other hair – that doesn’t change.
It’s suggested to use a relaxing serum on your hair before straightening it, simply because of the increased resistance that may be experienced with African American hair. A relaxing serum will just make it that much easier and more susceptible to straightening.
For African American hair, this Neuro Smooth flat iron is particularly rave-worthy. It contains a SmartSense chip inside that allows it to register if the iron is too hot on a section of hair, resulting in it automatically cooling to a lower heat. Talk about smart! Its highest heat setting is 450 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is pretty hot, it’s great for tight corkscrew curls, as it can get right to the thicker follicle of the hair.
How much is a hair straightener?
As with most things in life, hair straightener prices can vary depending on the make, the benefits, the functions and the overall look. Though when buying something like a hair straightener that will most probably last you a few years, if not more, it’s always wise to be prepared to spend more money on a quality tool.
Your hair is precious, and it needs to be looked after. Just as you wouldn’t compromise on your dental care, you shouldn’t compromise on your hair care. I always suggest spending that little bit extra, since it’s most likely to save you money in the long term. The extra amount you pay for better technology will ensure that your hair is better protected, and your tool doesn’t need replacing every two months.
Especially if you are using a straightener several times in a week, it makes sense to invest. Plus, you’ll feel amazing every time you use it! Don't forget to replace your hair straightener as often as every 3 years - as The Sun points out in this article. So if you haven't, we would advice to do it now!
Which hair straightener is best for fine hair?
Fine hair can be trickier to style because it can be weaker and more easily prone to breakage and damage. Nonetheless, it’s wiser to use flat irons that provide multiple heat settings, particularly ones that have a lower than usual starting point.
A good way to go is with this HSI Professional hair straightener. This tool has the function of micro sensors, which are used to maintain the selected temperature, regulate it and disperse the heat evenly. What’s really fantastic about this feature is that you don’t have to go over your hair countless times, effectively limiting the damage to fine hair.
The second hair straightener I would suggest for finer hair is this Titanium flat iron. The temperature range starts from 265 degrees Fahrenheit and goes up to 450 degrees. The lowest or one of the lower heat settings would be optimal for people with fine hair. A standout element of this flat iron is the mention of floating plates. This is designed to be able to change angles easily, allowing it to glide through your hair smoothly without pulling.
For fine hair, finding a straightener that’s going to be the gentlest on your hair is what you want to aim for. The combination of low heat, gentle gliding, and even some spray functions to lock in moisture, are going to be the best options for you.
So, you can see that there is nearly a whole science behind this hair straightening business! The choices of flat irons are truly endless, and you can be picky about finding one that’s absolutely perfect for you and your lifestyle.
With that, it’s important to take your lifestyle into consideration, seeing as if your mornings are especially rushed, you may want to go for a hair straightener that heats up in the quickest time.
Whatever your choice or preference, enjoy the styling process and take care of your hair! It may grow back, but it’s not indestructible.
For additional information on all things hair and hair products, read our latest hair products-guide!