Hair Straightener Basics 101: How to Achieve Luxuriously Sleek Strands In No Time Flat 

By Julie LaCrout

The beauty and fashion worlds are fast-paced and forever changing; specific trends and styles that are “in” this season, may very well not be the next.
If you’re beauty conscious, you know the true value of a quality hair straightener and its ability to provide versatility when it comes to specific looks.
Daytime to evening. Weekday to weekend. Fall to summer. One minute, you’re sporting bouncy curls to a Wednesday meeting at work, and the next, you’re rocking ultra sleek strands for a dinner date with the girls.
So, what’s the secret? Aside from having a high quality hair straightener on hand at home, there are several tips and tricks you can employ to achieve your desired style.

Tip #1: Choose your straightener wisely. 

With that in mind, be sure to do your research. The best straighteners available today have solid ceramic plates (are not just ceramic-plated) and offer negative ion technology.
Why does this mean for your hair? Simple. The ceramic plates heat up quickly and are gentle on your hair. The ceramic material helps to evenly disperse heat to avoid damaging strands and drying hair. Negative ion technology minimizes static electricity, and seals in moisture to the cuticle level of your hair; thus, granting you the sleek and shiny finish you thought you could only get at a salon.

Tip #2: Understand your hair’s unique personality. 

Maybe this sounds a bit funny, but before you can transform your locks, you have to know what you’re working with.
Is your hair thick or thin? Is it relatively straight or do you have tight curls? How well does your hair hold a specific style?
All of these questions are important when it comes to effectively using your straightener and knowing how much heat to apply.
Most straighteners utilize some sort of heat control setting. Before you disregard this and select the hottest setting available, know that incorrect temperature settings can cause more damage to your hair. In general, temperature settings should follow the suggestions below:
For fine or damaged hair: 250-300 degrees
For medium/average hair: 300-350 degrees
For thick or coarse hair: 350-400 degrees

Tip #3: Prepare your hair properly. 

The most crucial step, a step that can either make or break your finished style, is preparing your hair for the heat. No one wants to straighten (or curl) their hair only to find dry, split ends that feel like straw. Prevent excessive drying and breaking by using the correct products for your hair type.
Preparation for fine hair: Wash hair with a lightweight volumizing shampoo and conditioner. Once out of the shower use a volumizing mousse with built-in heat protection. Blow dry hair to create volume by lifting at the roots. Smooth hair from the mid-shaft to your ends using tension. When using your straighter, be sure to begin about an inch away from your roots to maintain volume.
Preparation for thick hair: Start by washing with a smoothing shampoo and conditioner. Once out of the shower, apply a smoothing serum with heat protection technology. Blow dry hair thoroughly with a natural bristle brush and apply tension as you dry hair in order to make it as straight as possible. When using your straightener, start an inch from your roots and steadily move straightener from the top of your head to the tips of your hair.
For a flawless finish suitable for any type of hair, try applying a shine spray to complete your look.
If you’re looking for a high quality straightener that has both solid ceramic plates and uses negative ion technology, we highly recommend the SRI Straight Pro, a product of the Skin Research Institute.
Elodie Miller

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