Creating Curls with a Flat Iron

Why Not Create Some Carefree Curls with Your Flat Iron?
Ok, you’ve heard the myth. You’ve seen other people with beautiful, bouncy curls. They tell you they used a flat iron. Curls with a flat iron? Yes! I’ll show you how anyone can achieve that carefree curly look. It just takes a little practice, patience, and the right tools!

HAI SST Super Silver Tourmaline Hair DryerThe Perfect Blowout
The first step to any great style with a flat iron is a really good blowout. Creating a super smooth canvas of hair before you style will not only allow you to create those sleek straight looks, it’s also essential for creating curls. A great blowout also helps smooth the hair cuticle, providing a perfect base for creating long lasting, frizz-free curls. Need a great hairdryer for your healthy blowout? You cannot go wrong with one of these:

ghd Professional Round Ceramic BrushBeat the Frizz 
If you really want to say goodbye to frizz, use a professional ceramic brush when you blow dry. A super-smooth frizz free style starts with a quality ceramic brush. The ceramic technology smoothes down the hair’s cuticle while you style and makes it easier to straighten or curl your hair afterwards. If you need a great brush to help you with your blowout, try one from GHD. It features a solid polycarbonate handle and barrel and the first ever with a natural ionic powder coating. This allows the brush to retain the heat from your hair dryer, helping you to dry and style from both sides for quick results and long lasting hold. Especially if you are creating curls – long-lasting is what you’re looking for: GHD Professional Ceramic Round Anti-Static Brush.  

Section, Section, Section
To begin, you should section off your hair into manageable pieces. I find that 1 inch usually works best for everyone. The sections you create should be easy to work with, and small enough to fit into the flat iron you are using. If you are using a flat iron with a 1 inch plate width, section your hair into a 1/2 inch – 1 inch sections. This will ensure you don’t take a section to large to get the job done. As you are more comfortable creating curls, you’ll be able to determine which size sections are right for you. But the million dollar question is: Which flat iron should you use?

HAI elite Digistik Ceramic Tourmaline StraightenerA Flat Iron that Curls??
Hmmm, let’s face it, when you think of flat iron, you don’t normally think of curls. But it’s time to change your mind! Today’s flat irons are so versatile; they are perfect for creating a variety of styles, in addition to straightening. When choosing a flat iron, it’s best to determine your styling needs, and if curls are on your list of styling necessities, you need to find an iron with curved edges.
It is essential that your flat iron’s plates aren’t, well, flat. The curved edges will allow you to coax your hair into those curls you crave. You might be surprised at how many flat irons perform double duty and help create curly styles as well as straighten. Check out these faves:

If you’d like to see more, visit our Curling Flat Irons section.

Biolage Smoothing SerumHealthy Protection
Now that you have a flat iron with curved edges, you’re ready to create your first curl. Before you start styling, it’s a great idea to coat your hair with a thermal protectant to protect your hair from the high temperature of the iron, and to also add volume and shine. Protecting your hair from excessive heat is not only important, it will also add structure and support to the curls you create. We say it over and over again, a heat protectant is a must. Check out these thermal barriers that love to eliminate damage and frizz:
GHD Obedience Cream, BioSilk Smoothing Balm, Bain de Terre Shine Serum Anti-Frizz Recovery Complex, Bolage Smoothing Serum (left), Joico K-PAK Styling Creme Elixir Want more choices? Visit our thermal protectant section, or read our Top 5 Most Popular Heat Protectants, to find out more.

Ready, Set, Curl!
Beginning with the first section of hair about 1″ wide, and holding it at the ends, place the iron vertically over the piece. Gently closing the plates and lightly gripping the hair make sure to rotate the iron slowly as you glide the iron down toward the ends. If you want bigger curls, take larger sections of hair, and use the same rotating motion. This is why it’s so important to use an iron with a rounded barrel and plate design to create the perfect curl. If your iron doesn’t have rounded plates it will create unnatural dents in you hair. The rounded plates are what give you the smooth, flowing curls. Unnatural dents? No thanks!

Oops, That’s Not a Curl
If you don’t get the curl right on the first try, don’t worry! Just let the section you were working on cool down for a few minutes before you try it again, and move on to the next section while you are waiting. It takes a little while to get the hang of creating curls with a flat iron, but with a little practice you will achieve those perfect, bouncy, glamorous curls. Patience…Virtue….Get it?

Curl Number Two
For the next section of hair, repeat the same rotating motion as before but this time rotate the iron in the opposite direction to get a more natural look. Alternating the way you rotate the iron as you style around your head gives you the natural carefree appearance curls usually have. The back of the head is the hardest, but don’t worry if you have trouble here and cannot reach your roots, just try get as close to the roots as possible. Continue this process, moving throughout each section of your hair, remembering to alternate rotations, until you have completed curling all of your hair. Remember that each section should have a light coating of your heat protectant first to provide a good barrier from the heat and protect from unnecessary damage.

The Bouncier the Better!
To create curls with extra bounce, don’t start too close to your roots, this creates too much volume near the top of your head and the curls won’t be soft and bouncy. Instead, place your iron in at the root and glide the iron gently down the first one to two inches of hair before you start rotating the iron. Starting the rotation further down the section will create the nice bouncy look you want.

Davines Love Curl Enhancing SerumExtra Texture
Now that you’ve created a whole head of curls, make sure they have staying power. To finish your look, place a little curl cream on your fingertips and work through your hair to give each curl maximum hold, definition and shine. The separation of each curl will give your style added depth, dimension and movement. A lightweight curl cream is best, you don’t want to weigh those curls down after you’ve spent all your time creating them!
Might I suggest some of the curl-coaxers I like best: Davines Love Curl Enhancing Serum (pictured), Bumble and bumble Curl Crème Curl Conscious Wavy Woman, L’anza Polyester Art Elements, CHI Pliable Polish Weightless Styling Paste.

See, that’s all there is to it – perfect, bouncy curls with a flat iron! Give it a try, it’s easier than you think! If you still need some extra pointers, this video will get you curling in no time….

-CurlyBelle

4 Step Hair Care According to ghd

ghd

Step 1:  Cleanse & Nourish
When heat-styling, it’s essential to prepare your hair properly. From cleansing shampoos to nourishing conditioners to specific hair care treatments, you should create the perfect base for your styling creativity. The products you choose should replenish, rejuvenate and condition your hair for maximum long-term protection & health – and look for products with UV protection, so you’re safe from the sun, too.

ghd Thermal Protecting SprayStep 2: Protect
Thermal protection is necessary for all different hair types. This is also where you should try to find a product with UV protection as well as a thermal barrier ingredient which will deflect heat away from the hair’s surface, and create an invisible force field around the cuticle to prevent heat damage and moisture loss. That way, you can heat-style to your hair’s content – with your hairdryer, styling irons or any other heat source without damaging your hair. Check out our great line of GHD Thermal Protectants.

ghd Obedience CreamStep 3: Style
The third step should be a styling product that will help you achieve your styling goals. Look for products that create volume, texture and control, and especially those that are heat-activated, and created to work along with flat irons and styling irons. A heat-activated protection shield should form around the hair and re-activate whenever you brush or apply heat to the hair. That way you can style with confidence; with no limit to your creativity. GHD Obedience Cream is fabulous for smoothing that style fast and will work wonders with your GHD MK3 Flat Iron.

Step 4: Finish
Lastly, you should put the perfect finishing touch to heat-styled hair, whatever your hair type, style or desired result. You can add hold, go for a brilliant shine or take on a contemporary matte finish – there are great waxes and balms out there too. Just make sure you don’t go overboard. A little goes a long way with a finishing product. Especially if it adds a shine. You want shiny, not greasy.

ghd MK3 1GHD is a leader in heat-styling with professional ceramic styling irons plus GHD Thermodynamics, a collection of heat styling products. Visit our GHD section for more information and product details.
 
-StraightBelle

Fix My Overworked Hair!

My hair is overworked, what do you suggest to get it back in condition? I use my blow dryer and flat iron everyday and my hair is long, dry, and color-treated, you name it. Thanks!  -Mindy via email

ghd Thermal Protecting Spray Weak-Damaged HairAnswer: Hey, that sounds like my hair from time to time – LOL! First I would suggest giving your hair a rest from the flat iron and blow dryer. A small break from all of the heat styling will give your hair a chance to recover. Air drying from time to time would be great but I know that’s not always a great look for some of us! AND of course, I’m sure you know never to go near a heat appliance without a thermal protectant. I say this all day long because they work. A heat protectant like this one (left) from ghd will save your hair, it’s specially formulated for weak/damaged locks like yours. You should also check out this article: Flat Iron Styling – Healthy Heat Protection, it will help find the protection that’s right for you.

My next suggestion is find a good treatment product that will repair the damage, eliminate the dryness and help strengthen your hair from the inside out. Thankfully for us styling junkies there are plenty to choose from to keep our strands happy and healthy. Feel free to check out our Hair Treatment section to find everything you need to get your hair in better condition.

For your particular concerns, I’d suggest trying some of these products below to improve your hair health and texture:
Redken Extreme CAT Protein TreatmentThree times a week – try one of these: Leave on hair for a few minutes, then rinse out:
Redken Extreme CAT Protein Reconstructing Treatment (left)
Davines Nounou Nourishing Repairing Mask

Once a week: Leave-in treatment, do not rinse:
Joico K-PAK Deep Penetrating Reconstructor

Daily, until you see improvement – especially on your ends:
Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-in Treatment for Distressed Hair – I swear by this one!

And of course, my absolute hands down, must have, cannot live without, product of all products:

Kerastase Nutritive Oleo RelaxKerastase Nutritive Oleo Relax Leave in Serum – not so much a treatment product as much as a maintenence product for when your hair is under control – this will keep it that way. 

With restructuring products like these, your over-processed, over-styled, over-worked hair can be a thing of the past. Let me know how they work!

-CurlyBelle

Murad’s Prescription for Healthy Hair and Scalp

Did you know?
        Percentage of women suffering from excessive hair loss:  40%
        Percentage of men suffering from excessive hair loss:  65%
        People lose an average of 90-100 hairs a day

With statistics like that, it’s a good thing Dr. Murad came along! Murad hair care is a patented scalp treatment program developed by Dr. Howard Murad. This Professional Scalp Treatment replenishes, balances and protects the scalp, ensuring the proper environment for healthy hair to grow and develop. These exclusive hair treatment formulations are unique and highly effective for all hair types. The patented products are both natural and effective…a powerful combination.
 
As a practicing Dermatologist and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles, Dr. Murad has treated thousands of patients who suffer from thinning hair and problem scalps. Based on the knowledge that healthy hair must start with a healthy scalp, Dr. Murad’s proprietary blend of natural ingredients are designed to nourish and protect the hair and scalp. The treatment program was created to replenish and balance the scalp first. Once the scalp is cleansed, nourished and hydrated, it insures the proper environment exists for healthy hair to grow and develop. 
 
Follow Dr. Murad’s daily prescription for healthy hair and scalp:
 
 
Murad Color-Treated Shampoo STEP 1
Cleanse:
  Cleanse the scalp to remove dirt, dry dead skin and environmental pollutants along with  the build up of DHT.
 
As you massage into your hair, the therapeutic lather from Murad Color-Treated Shampoo creates a clean healthy scalp environment.
 
 
 
Murad Color-Treated ConditionerSTEP 2
Condition: Condition the scalp to strengthen the fragile hair follicle for healthier hair. This moisturizes and maintains balance while nourishing healthy hair growth.
 
Created from natural ingredients, Murad Fine Hair Conditioner moisturizes the hair and scalp and nourishes healthy hair growth.
 
 
 
Murad Scalp SerumStep 3
Treat: Treat the scalp to a pampering massage for follicle stimulation. This formula improves circulation and nourishes healthy hair growth, and it’s a treatment you can do at home.
 
Treat your fine, thinning hair by stimulating the hair follicles while using Murad Fine Hair Serum
 
 

Murad Volumizing AirfoamStep 4
Style: Style the hair with styling aids containing antioxidants and vitamins that will nourish the hair and not build up on the scalp or damage the hair follicle.
 
Thicken and strengthen your hair while creating body, volume, and shine with Murad Volumizing Airfoam.

About Murad Professional Scalp Treatments
The Murad Professional Scalp Treatment System contains patented formulations, which means you can only get these powerful benefits from Murad. Dr. Howard Murad has formulated a proprietary blend of ingredients to nourish and protect the hair and scalp. The most scientifically effective, yet natural, ingredients are used to deliver the best possible results.
       

How hair growth happens
Hair grows in phases: As the follicle grows, new hair replaces the old one that has fallen out or will be pushed out by new hair. If the scalp is not well cleaned, hydrated and nourished, the new growth will be blocked and the follicle will become forever dormant. It is very important to maintain a healthy scalp in order to avoid excessive hair loss. 
 
Follow Dr. Murad’s prescription for the most scientifically effective, yet natural, ingredients that deliver the best possible results.

For more information and product details, visit our Murad Hair Care section.

-StraightBelle

FHI, a Fabulously Hip Iron

FHI
Meet FHI, creator of a hair straightener with a mission – to smooth and style your hair with a killer combination of ahead-of-its time ceramic technology and an automatic heat sense recovery system that absolutely rocks.

FHI Heat Technique 1.25Did you know?
Most flat irons lose styling power as the temperature decreases with each glide of the plates against your hair. Think about it, the temperature of your hair will cool down the hot iron every time you go over a section. The speed in which the iron can get back to the desired temperature is called recovery time. FHI has got that beat.
 

Automatic Recovery All FHI flat irons are specially equipped with an Automatic Heat Sense Recovery System that quickly reheats the plates to your desired temperature, giving you an even distribution of heat for silky, shiny hair with every glide. That’s pretty smart. 

Meet the FHI Heat Technique Series
All FHI Technique series irons feature Tourmaline-infused ceramic plates and use the most technologically advanced PTC ceramic heaters. FHI has been able to deliver the industry’s top PTC heaters by partnering with the world’s largest and most advanced heater manufacturer. FHI is also the pioneer in ceramic tourmaline technology, so you know they understand how important it is for us to get our smooth styles. Shown above: FHI Heat Technique 1.25″ Flat Iron.

 It Works on Damaged Hair! Yes I said damaged…The FHI Ceramic Tourmaline irons excel when used on dry, coarse, and damaged hair. Really? Yes! Usually you hear about how you shouldn’t use a flat iron if your hair is damaged – at the very least use a heat protectant – FHI is perfect for you. The negative ions emitted from the FHI flat irons help neutralize positive ions found on damaged hair, allowing the hair to lay flatter and smoother. How lucky for us they came along.  

FHI Heat Technique 1.75Props for FHI

The FHI 1” Technique was the first original Ceramic flat iron to be designed and manufactured. They get major props for being so hip and on the cutting edge at the time. You hear about ceramic-this and ceramic-that. But really, what’s the deal with ceramic? Shown: FHI Heat Technique 1.75″ Flat Iron.

What’s so great about Ceramic? A Lot!
When heated, Ceramic produces negative ions which seal the cuticle and repel humidity, leaving hair shiny. Some ‘other’ flat irons utilize aluminum plates with ceramic coating, and there isn’t always enough ceramic to produce the necessary ions to smooth the hair’s cuticle. FHI believes the more ceramic, the more infrared heat, the more infrared heat, the more even the distribution of heat and temperature control. Even heat equals smoother, shiny hair.

How nice! FHI should stand for Fabulously Hip Iron!

-StraightBelle

CHI Pink vs. CHI Original

Question:
CHI Original or CHI Pink, which is better?
Hi, I am shopping for a new flat iron and I was hoping you can tell me the difference between the chi original and the chi pink flat irons? – Barbara via email

CHI Pink Flat IronAnswer:
They’re essentially the same!
Technology-wise, they are the same flat iron. CHI has been coming out with a new limited edition pink flat iron every year for the past few years to generate support for national breast cancer awareness. Farouk Systems (the makers of CHI) donates a portion of their pink flat iron sales (from October through December) to the cause every year – and we applaud them. Rest assured you are getting the same ceramic, ionic technology, fixed temperature setting and flash infrared heating with the CHI Pink 1″ flat iron as the CHI Original 1″ flat iron, but the CHI Pink flat iron is way cuter of course, and the cause is worth it!

You might also want to check out this article for the scoop on all of the CHI 1″ flat irons: Which CHI 1″ Flat Iron is Right for YOU?

Thanks for the question!

-StraightBelle

Hair Care Kudos!

Looking for a styling product with some panache? A conditioner with a cult following? Look no further! These five hair care products steal the spotlight when it comes to creating award winning styles.

The Terax line’s star product is so revolutionary in making hair ultra soft that InStyle magazine awarded Terax Crema its prestigious “Hall of Fame Award”. Formulated to provide additional moisture and strength to dry or damaged hair, while giving extra shine, volume and color protection, this honor was awarded after it was named “Best Overall Conditioner” five times in a row. See more from Terax.

Meet InStyle Magazine’s Best Beauty Buy winner – Best Straightening/Anti-Frizz Product – Kerastase Nutritive Serum Oleo-Relax. Kerastase Nutritive Oleo-Relax Leave-In Smoothing Sérum smoothes dry, rebellious hair and makes it softer and smoother with long-lasting frizz protection. A few pumps on towel-dried hair will take those unmanageable, unruly locks from dry to shiny right before your eyes. Exclusive Nutri-huile complex contains beneficial Shorea Seed Butter and Palm oils to soften the hair fibers and provide deep nutrition to hydrate parched hair. See more from Kerastase.

Biolage Smoothing GelBiolage Smoothing Gel Smooththerapie 
Control your dry, frizzy hair with Biolage Smoothing Gel. The exclusive Smooththerapie formulation gives fine-to-medium hair types smoothness and long-lasting control without weighing the hair down. Unique micro-emulsion technology with Silicones, Grape Seed and Avocado Micro-Oils controls flyaways and frizz, leaving hair naturally soft, healthy and smooth. Additional humectants provide light moisture to prevent dryness, and keep hair silky, not sticky. Winner of the exclusive Beauty Launchpad Reader’s Choice Award for Favorite DeFrizzer. That gets an A+ in our book. See more from Biolage.

BioSilk Silk Therapy Tri-PackBioSilk Tri-Pack Silk Therapy
This BioSilk Tri-Pack is an Allure Magazine Award winner and you know Allure sets the bar high! BioSilk hair care products combine the luxury and power of silk and always leave hair with improved strength and a silky smooth, frizz-free shine. This set was designed to include the three best-sellers in one value priced set. You’ll receive BioSilk Silk Therapy, BioSilk Therapy Shampoo and BioSilk Therapy Conditioner all for one low price. These lightweight products work together to strengthen and repair dry hair with pure silk protein molecules. See more from BioSilk.

Bumble and bumble Sumotech is an InStyle Magazine Best Beauty Buy of 2007. This paste/wax hybrid synthesizes the malleability of natural waxes with the structural integrity of microfibre-reinforced resin polymers. Translation: It’s fantastic, elastic stuff that lets you mould and remould hair with serious but supple hold. Sumotech pomade provides structure, texture and separation to any hairstyle while adding flexible support with a matte finish. See more from Bumble and bumble.

With award winning products like these, you’ll be sure to get a great style and some great compliments. Who doesn’t want that?

-CurlyBelle