Hair Straightening Tips

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How does a ceramic hair straightener work?

Ceramic Hair Straightener: Technology

A quality ceramic hair straightener will use ceramic/tourmaline ion technology that generates gentle far-infrared heat and extra negative ions to guarantee frizz-free hair without heat damage. In Laymen's terms, you will kiss bad hair days goodbye!

A good flat iron works for all hair types, from fragile and thin to wavy and thick. One hair straightener even comes with flat screen display technology that shows the exact setting and temperature—there's no guesswork. And, who wants to guess when you're heating up your hair?!

I have curly hair and I want to style it straight. What hair products should I use?

Using The Right Hair Products To Straighten Hair

Blow driers and flat irons are the most commonly known styling tools to straighten hair but did you know that the type of hair products you use can make a big difference too? If you plan on styling your wavy or curly hair in a sleek hairstyle it's worth the time to go shopping for the correct styling products that will make straightening your hair much less hassle.

Smoothing balms and straightening gels are a must when turning curly hair flat. These products help straighten hair by reducing frizz and controlling curls. Many have added shine enhancers, such as silicone, which give the hair shine and also help deflect the ravages of humidity on straightened hair.

A thermal styling spray is another great choice for those that straighten hair on a regular basis. This product helps with styling straight hair as well as acting as a protective barrier from damage caused by heat styling. If you have weak or fine hair you'll absolutely want this type of styling product before placing your hair in heat's way.

I want to wear my hair up for a special event. How can I make my hair look fabulous?

Straighten Hair For A Fabulous Updo

Those with curly hair may think to remove the curl when wearing their hair down but if you straighten hair that is going to be worn up it can give you a glamorous evening look,

For an elegant evening out straighten hair that has had a smoothing cream applied to it when damp. Use a blow drier and vent brush to work out most of the curl and complete the sleek look with a flat iron.

Now you're ready to create your smooth ‘do. Try a chignon, also known as a low lying bun, by gathering your long hair at the nape of your neck and placing it in a pony tail.

Now take your pony tail and begin to twist it until it is a tight spiral (like a phone cord) and carefully wrap the hair around the base of the pony tail, securing with hair pins as you go, until you have created a tight bun at the base of your neck. Spray on a little shine enhancing hair spray and you have an easy and elegant alternative to wearing your curly hair up. Also, if you straighten hair that is highlighted the highlights will be shown off more in a sleek style such as this one.

I have curly hair and I'm tired of styling it straight every morning. Is there a way to get rid of my curls for good?

How To Permanently Straighten Hair

Sometimes dealing with curly or wavy hair on a daily basis is just too much of a hassle. If you're ready to really say good-bye to your curly hair try one of the products on the market that will permanently straighten hair.

These products work much like a perm does in that they come in a two step application process. The first solution will straighten hair by breaking down the bonds of your hair and reforming them in a straighter pattern. The second step, called the neutralizer, hardens the newly formed bonds and gives you permanently straightened hair.

Be sure to choose the right formulation for your hair type. There is a solution designed for virgin (uncolored or unpermed hair) or hair that has been colored with a semi-permanent or low peroxide color, a formula for resistant or coarse hair and another for highlighted and high lift color hair. Always be sure to follow the directions very carefully when you straighten hair yourself and follow up with good conditioning hair products per the kit's instructions.

How long does a texturizer last? I

Growing out texturized hair

Texturized hair only needs to be touched up about every two to three months, depending on your hair type. This is very beneficial if you want to keep your hair texturized, but bothersome if you want to grow your hair out naturally. When growing your hair out, just be patient and wait, in a few months the textured part of you hair should be grown out enough to be cut off.

I have thick, curly hair and my flat iron snags. What can I do?

Ceramic Hair Straightener

Are you considering purchasing a ceramic flat iron? Remember to look for one with ultra-smooth ceramic/tourmaline plates that offer smooth straightening motion and won't pull, snag, or breaking your hair.

If you're using a flat iron every day, pick one that's ergonomically designed to reduce the risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. You want perfect contact between your hair and the flat iron plates and even heat distribution. In other words, you want silky smooth, frizz-free hair.

I have short hair and was wondering if there are flat iron hairstyles for shorter hair?

Give Short Styles Flair With Flat Irons

Flat irons aren't just for flowing long hair. This season's short hairstyles rely on flips and loads of texture to make short hair look its best.

For short hair (longer than three inches) use a mini flat iron to give your top layers lift at the roots and a wild, spike-y texture. Blow dry your hair with the aid of a styling spray, concentrating on getting loads of volume on the top. Use the flat iron, starting at the roots, to randomly lift sections of hair. Any hair long enough at the back or sides can be flipped upward at the ends.

Flat irons also work wonders on various bob hairstyles. Use the flat iron on a one length bob to give even curly hair a sleek finish such as Jessica Simpson's new hairstyle. For a trendier version use a flat iron on a layered bob to give texture to the various layers and a subtle flip on the sides and ends.

When using a Flat iron it is always a good idea to protect your hair prior to styling with a thermal styling spray. Simply spray the thermal styling spray on clean, damp hair and style or spray a small amount on sections of dry hair right before using your flat iron.

I keep hearing about Sedu flat irons. How are they different from other models?

Sedu Flat Irons: The King Of Hair Straighteners

If you have any interest in flat irons you've no doubt heard of the Sedu flat iron. Thought of by many as the leader in the flat iron industry, the Sedu flat irons boast many hair friendly features that will make straightening your hair quick and easy.

The Sedu claims to make straightened hair three times smoother than regular flat irons and the ceramic/tourmaline plates generate six times more negative ions for softer, shinier hair than other flat irons on the market. The Sedu flat iron is equipped with new infra red technology that seals in the hair's moisture while it is being straightened, avoiding the dryness and damage which can result from prolonged use of heated styling tools.

The Sedu flat iron is also very user friendly with its light weight body and 25 second heat up time. It also boasts hotter styling temperatures than other flat irons with a heat range from 240 degrees Fahrenheit to 410 degrees Fahrenheit.

If time is of the essence when straightening your hair try these styling tips. Whenever possible, wash your hair the night before, and let it dry naturally. This will help to cut down on frizz without a lot of work. In the morning turn on your Sedu flat iron just before you plan on using it. Spray sections of your hair with a thermal styling spray and straighten as desired.

Are people ever satisfied with their hair?

Hair Straighteners: Big Business

Hair is big business. Americans will spend about $7.5 billion on hair care products and services this year. Strangely, most of that money will be spent trying to reverse the natural condition of one's hair. If you have straight hair, you want to go curly. If you hair's curly, kinky, or wavy you're desperately trying to straighten it out. We are never satisfied!

Luckily, for the curly to straight crowd, there are many hair straighteners to choose from (both chemical and mechanical). A chemical restructuring agent is a semi-permanent hair straightening solution. If you just want a temporary fix rather than permanent chemicals, however, maybe try straightening out a few select strands of hair with one of the many handheld straightening appliances on the market.

Are there any special techniques for caring for my flat iron?

Proper Care Of Flat Irons

Taking care of your styling tools is important to their performance and longevity. Flat irons need regular maintenance or you may find your expensive flat iron isn't giving you the great hairstyle it could be.

Always be sure to keep the plates clean for optimum performance. Styling products in the hair can cause build up on the plates which could lead to excess stickiness. This gummy coating on the plates could cause damaging stress on your hair by pulling at the strands and causing breakage. Flat irons are meant to glide through the hair so be sure yours is squeaky clean when being used.

Wrapping electrical cords can cause damage to them and lead to a dead flat iron. When storing flat irons avoid wrapping the cord tightly around the flat iron and instead bundle it loosely and lay the cord with the tool.

Most flat irons' plates are made from ceramic which is fragile. When using your flat iron be sure it is resting on a flat, heat resistant surface to avoid dropping it while in use. You flat iron should also be stored in a safe drawer between uses to avoid damage.

A flat iron will take several minutes to cool down after use. To avoid burning surrounding object when the flat iron is stored purchase a heat resistant pouch specifically designed to cover the flat iron's plates. This pouch will also keep your flat iron plates clean and protect them from damage during travel and storage.

How do chemical hair straighteners work? What's in them?

Chemical Hair Straighteners: Contents

Brace yourself. A chemical hair straightener breaks down the structural bonds of the hair. There are several different formulations of chemical relaxers, but the most common are the sodium hydroxide (lye) and guanidine hydroxide (no-lye) mixtures. The lye concentrations are stronger and penetrate the hair shaft faster.

Careful, lye mixtures are powerful and, if applied wrong, can severely damage your hair and scalp. The no-lye products are considered less harsh, but they can be more irritating to eyes and skin. They're also very drying to the scalp. You win some, you lose some, huh?

Flat irons are great, but I want my curly hair to be straight for a long time. What can I do?

Semi-Permanent Hair Straighteners

If you're really sick of your curly or, heaven forbid, frizzy hair, a semi-permanent hair straightener could be your salvation.

Hair straighteners are used in salons, but are also available for sale to the public. Usually, they involve application of a chemical restructuring agent to your hair—typically, it's a heavy cream known as a chemical relaxer, which can keep your hair straight for six to eight weeks. Then, you will need to do it all over again. However, isn't two months of frizz-free hair worth it?

I want to style my hair straight. Where's the best place to buy a flat iron?

Where To Buy Hair Straighteners

Smooth silky hair is coveted by many women and hair straighteners, also known as flat irons, are quickly becoming the tool of choice. If you're unsure where to buy one of these handy hair gadgets have a look at these shopping options.

Local drug stores or department stores often carry hair straighteners in beauty section of the store. Usually found right beside the blow driers and curling irons, these relatively inexpensive models will do the trick for those who are on a budget or just plan on using their flat iron occasionally.

Some salons may carry hair straighteners for their clients to purchase and these models will likely be of a higher quality, which is important for stubborn hair or everyday use. If you don't see flat irons for sale at your local salon you can check out a local beauty supply store or ask your stylist if she can order a hair straightener for you.

The Internet is a shopaholic's paradise and there is no shortage of Web sites selling hair straighteners. Do be sure to choose a reputable company to purchase your flat iron from and check out their return policy before purchasing. The great thing about buying online is that you will have many different models to choose from and can purchase a hair straightener that best suits your needs.

How should I straighten my hair?

Straightening Hair

Before attempting to straighten your hair, get it about 80% dry by blow drying with a diffuser, blotting with a towel, or waiting until hair dries naturally. Then use a blow dryer or hair straightener to complete the style. You will need to practice to learn how to use a flat iron properly, but you will eventually get the hang of it.

*It will require a lot of heat if you have extremely curly hair. Always remember to use a shot of cool air to set the locks you have just straightened.

I'm tired of curls. How do I change my look?

Flat Iron

Mother Nature blessed you with a tangle of curls. Some days you're happy, other days you'd just rather go with the sleek, Hollywood look. We always want what we don't have, huh?

You can straighten curly locks with a flat iron hair straightener. Hair straighteners come in a variety of plate widths (1-1.75 inches). Look for one you can use on either damp or dry hair (this is better for your hair and takes less time).

*Don't be stuck with the same hairstyle day after day! Change your look from round to sleek with a simple flat iron.

I'm afraid of chemical hair straighteners. What can I use as a temporary fix for my wavy hair?

Temporary Hair Straighteners: Blow Dryers and Flat Irons

There's no denying it—chemical hair straighteners can be harsh and drying. Some people won't put up with the damage they can do. If you fall into this category, you still have options.

The hair care industry offers various types of hair straightening appliances (the simplest of which is the blow dryer). A blow dryer, however, is a temporary fix and people with really curly or wavy hair usually have to use a blow dryer in conjunction with another hair straightening device.

*For the super curly crowd, a flat iron, which comes in a variety of materials and styles, is the appliance of choice.

I blow dry my hair straight but it still looks frizzy. What can I do?

Get It Straight With Flat Irons

If blow drying your hair isn't producing the smooth and straight hair of your dreams it's time to get out the big guns. A flat iron will take even the curliest hair and make it silky and straight in no time flat.

For best results apply a smoothing balm to damp hair and blow dry your hair straight with a vent or round brush. Blow your hair in small sections at a time starting with the layers underneath and working your way up to the top of the head.

Once your hair is dry use the flat iron to finish straightening your hair, starting with the underneath layers as you did to blow dry. Take sections slightly narrower than the plates of the flat iron and, starting a half inch from the roots; slowly run the flat iron down the length of your hair. When you are done your hair will be straight, smooth and shiny.

I chemically straightened my hair but it's still a little curly. What can I do?

Hair Straightener: Pressing Comb

Nothing's ever perfect. Even after applying a chemical relaxer to your curly hair, you might still need to use a straightening device to achieve the hairstyle you desire. Enter the hot comb!

The hot comb is one of the oldest hair straightening devices around. The comb can be heated either electrically or by placing it into a heated oven or a stove top fire (again, this is an old technique). Then, the comb is placed in the hair to press or straighten out the curls. For this reason, it is also commonly referred to as a pressing comb. You may know it by the seemingly contradictory term "curling iron." Anyway, it's a comb without teeth.

How do I choose a hair straightener?

The Gentle Flat Iron

The best hair straighteners are light weight, heat up quickly, maintain the temperature setting, and cut straightening time to half.

Be sure to pick a hair straightener with an easy grip and an ergonomic design. If you're using it every day, you'll need it! Also note that felt at the tip helps to hold the hair better and makes the flat iron easier to manipulate—you want smooth, straight, tamed hair, but there's no need to beat it into submission

Is there a hair straightening technique that lasts really, really, really long?

Flat Iron and Thermal Reconditioning

A flat iron just doesn't do it for you, huh, curly head? Not chemical relaxers either? Maybe thermal reconditioning will satisfy your craving for a sleek head of hair.

A semi-permanent hair straightening method, thermal reconditioning, involves applying a cornstarch-based chemical to your hair then straightening it with a heated flat iron. You might have heard it called "Japanese thermal straightening" or "the Yukos System," (after the Japan-based company that popularized the technique).

*Warning: thermal reconditioning can be an ordeal, taking three to six hours to complete. What's the reward for your patience? It can last up to six months. Yippee!

How often should I texurize my hair? It is of average (black hair) texture,short cut and rather thin?

Getting your texturizing touched up

How often you texturize you hair depends on a few things. How you wear it, its texture, and length. Most people need their hair touched up every two or three months. Ask your hair stylist to help you decide what is best for your hair, as they can easily tell from experience.

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Kristle Jones
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