What’s so great about Ionic Technology?

Question:
What’s so great about negative ions? – EVERYONE asks this one!

CHI Original Ceramic 1Answer:
Great question! For this answer we looked at one of the most ionic irons out there: The CHI Original flat iron. According to CHI – they are like the godfather of flat irons, so they know what they’re talking about – negative ions are very important in the hair straightening, or better yet, the hair smoothing process.

Everyone’s hair carries a positive electrical charge that is caused by dryness. Over time, this positive charge increases, and as your hair becomes drier, more hair cuticles open, creating ‘ragged’ unhealthy looking (and feeling) hair that is difficult to style, and let’s be honest, looks like it has seen better days. Enter the flat iron, or even the hair dryer that creates negative ions.

When the flat iron or hair dryer is heated, negative ions are created. The negative ions created by the appliance cancel out the positive hair charges, and while you glide down your hair with the iron, or blow dry, you smooth down those ragged open hair cuticles. That’s why I said hair smoothing instead of hair straightening. If you use your flat iron to create curls it will still smooth down the hair cuticles allowing them to lay flat and frizz free, but still enable it to curl. Nice! Remember, flat irons aren’t just for straightening anymore.

Smoothing down the hair cuticles will seal in your hair’s own natural oils and moisture. This is very important to the health and look of your hair. An increase in natural oil creates healthier, more vibrant looking hair that is also more manageable and full of shine (instead of dry and dull locks). This will also explain why your highlights look brighter when you use your flat iron too.

So in the flat iron world, nothing is more positive than tons of negative (ionic) activity!

-CurlyBelle

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

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

Which BaByliss Hairsetter?

Question: 
Which BaByliss roller set should I get? I like the 30 roller sets, but one is vertical and one isn’t, are they very different? – Teri via phone

Answer:

We get this question a lot. If you’re looking to create curls, you definitely cannot go wrong with a Babyliss hair setter, it’s permanently parked on my list of all time favorites. (FYI, If you’re looking for a steam setter – join team Caurso – I’m on that team too!) But back to BaByliss.

Babyliss Pro 30 Ionic HairsetterYou’re comparing two very similar items, and from a technology standpoint, both hot roller sets are loaded with similar benefits; ease of use and exceptional performance for long-lasting, carefree curls of every size. They both feature quick heating times, and gentle, far-infrared heat to provide the maximum heat transfer from roller to hair. Super important when creating curls. Cold rollers just don’t cut it…or I should say curl it.
  
Babyliss Pro 30 HairsetterBoth Babyliss sets also have an assortment of the same 30 rollers in the following sizes: 6 Small 3/4 inch, 8 Medium 1 inch, 8 Large 1-1/4 inch, and 8 Jumbo 1-1/2 inch. These rollers have Ceramic technology for faster styling and eliminate hot spots which can cause damage to your hair. Plus the ceramic technology smoothes the hair as it curls, and wipes out the frizz so your curls will last forever – or at least until you wash them away.

That being said, the main differences between these two units are the design, the ionic activity and the heating times.
The Babyliss Pro Ionic hair setter has a space-saving folding arm that allows for vertical positioning and a vertically split cover for easy roller access. This feature was probably originally created for the stylist’s workstation to provide easy access to the rollers without using a lot of room. We know those salon workstations are puny. The folding arm is also extremely convenient for the home user who has limited counter (and storage) space.

This set also features dual ionic ports which means it creates negative ions to curl your hair faster and smoother than ever before. So if you are looking to curl with ionic technology, this set is for you. This set also heats up more quickly, 5 minutes, compared to 20 minutes of the non-ionic set. Both should be used on dry hair only.

Aside from these few differences, I know you’ll be happy with either set! To read more about each product visit our BaByliss section for the entire selection of hairsetters, curling irons, hair dryers…

-CurlyBelle

Flat Irons and Wet Hair

Question:
Can I use a CHI Volume flat iron on wet hair?  – Kiki via email

Answer:
NO! A very passionate no, but let me explain…

CHI Volume 3/4Technically you can use any flat iron on wet hair, but that doesn’t mean you should. Your already delicate hair is much more vulnerable when it is wet. This means it’s subject to more breakage and damage then when it’s dry. Doesn’t sound like the greatest time to start running a red hot appliance down your hair strands does it?

No, of course not.

Not only will using a flat iron on wet hair potentially cause damage to your hair strands (as will all flat irons, not just the CHI Volume flat iron) it will also inhibit your styling results, and lead to poor performance of the iron. No one wants that.

CHI Wet-to-Dry Flat IronI would never use a flat iron on wet hair unless it’s a wet-to-dry model, and even then I’d want my hair 90%-95% dry. The healthier you can keep your hair the better, this means only using your flat iron when your hair is 100% dry. Thanks for asking, now please put that notion out of your head.

-StraightBelle

My fine hair needs body…

Question:
My fine hair needs body. What should I do? I have pin straight hair that is baby fine. How do I give it volume?
– Dianna via email

Answer:
You’re not alone! It can be difficult to give volume to baby fine, pin straight hair, but lucky for you there are a lot of products on the market dedicated to adding body to your shall we say, voluminously challenged style? (Hint, hint, you should also check out our article on Adjust-a-Curl, it’s right up your alley!)

Start in the shower with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner combo like these from Biolage, but go easy on the conditioner.

Biolage Bodifying ConditionerBiolage Bodifying Shampoo Volumatherapie and Biolage Bodifying Conditioner Volumatherapie (pictured left).

If your hair is limp all over, try a thickening boost spray, mousse or gel to add a little texture to your strands.

Look for products with any or all of these buzzwords: Volumize, texture, lift, body, thicken, you get the idea. Your bathroom counter should be loaded with lotions and potions dedicated to adding volume. Stay away from anything that makes your hair “too soft”, in your case that might translate into “very flat”

Fudge Oomf Thickening BoostHere are three products you should take a look at: Fudge Oomf Thickening Boost (pictured left), Murad Volumizing Airfoam, or Pureology Texture Twist.

I would also suggest a root lifting product, sometimes fine hair is especially flat at the roots. Thankfully that’s easy to fix with a little dab or spray of a volumizing root lifting procut. These products are especially made to give your hair fullness, body and height right where you need it – at the top. Check out these two, they are very good at eliminating ‘flat-head’ looks: Pureology Root Lift

Pureology Root Lift (left) or L’anza Volume Root Effects – I have a hard time deciding which is better – both are very good for adding volume to the root area.

Lastly, you can always try the upside down blow dry – one of my favorites – this tends to help the hair dry with a little more body. Try adding a little hair spray while you’re upside down, it will help create the texture and volume you are looking for and it will ensure longer lasting body.

Pin straight hair can be a challenge in the volume department, but with products like these you’ll get more volume than you might expect. Thanks for asking!

-StraightBelle

A Hair Dryer that Won’t Break the Bank!

Question:
I need a decent hair dryer but don’t want to spend $100! I want it to work as well as the expensive ones and have the same technology. Do you have a good one? -Margaret via email

Answer:
Sure and we have more than one. We carry a lot of great hair dryers at every price point. More expensive doesn’t always mean better technology, so make sure you read about a few hair dryers at various price points to find the one that’s best for you. Remember, when shopping for a hair dryer, you can find a lot of great technology that won’t break the bank. Here are some of my top hair dryer picks for your budget:

Elchim Galaxy Hair DryerElchim Galaxy 1800 Watt Hair Dryer – Under $75
Known as “The Ferrari of hair dryers” for being quiet and powerful, eliminating static and frizz, reducing damage and having a comfortable, lightweight design. This is one of the unsung heros in hair dryers. If you’ve tried one, you know what I mean.

Babyliss Pro Ceramix XtremeBaByliss Pro Ceramix Xtreme 2000 Watt Hair Dryer – Under $40
Why? Xtremely good for the price! Ceramic ionic technology coupled with gentle, far-infrared heat provides Xceptional salon-quality results for a fraction of the price. Xtended narrow barrel delivers Xtreme Air Pressure. This is one powerful dryer.

Conair Pro Silver Bird Hair DryerConair Pro Silver Bird 2000 Watt Hair Dryer – Under $35
Conair hair dryers are synonymous with quality and durability, and the Pro Silver Bird really lives up to that promise. Powerful, yet lightweight, this dryer has multi Ceramic components inside to emit millions of negative ions that smooth and dry hair without damage. It also has an incredible two year limited warranty from the manufacturer.

There are a lot more great hair dryers at your price point, you might want to swing by our Hair Dryers between $25 and $75 section for more product info and details.

-CurlyBelle