Flat Iron Maintenance

These simple tips will help prolong the life of your professional flat iron and keep those bad hair days at bay! 

Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Flat IronHundreds of best-selling, top-rated flat irons, hair straighteners, and styling irons are sold every day, and if you own a flat iron, you know you would be lost without it. If you have that much trust in your hair straightener, shouldn’t you take care of it? A well-loved flat iron equals a happy hairstyle in my book. (Pictured: BaByliss Nano-Titanium Flat Iron)

A Few Minutes a Day
Taking a few extra minutes to care for your flat iron (or curling iron) after each use will not only help prolong its life, it will also ensure it is clean and ready for use the next time you need it. Some extra care goes a long way with a flat iron, and it’s easier than you think. Plus, if you’ve ever had a flat iron die on you, you know all about the bad hair days you must suffer until the new one arrives, so proper care is the way to go.

Caution, it’s HOT
Remember to always use extreme caution when handling your hot flat iron, and keep in mind that the plates of the iron will remain very hot for a short period after you turn it off. You should always wait for the flat iron (or any hair appliance) to completely cool down before cleaning or storing it, and you should always unplug it immediately after use.

 HAI Heatproof Bag/Mat ComboSafety First

 While your flat iron is cooling down, I suggest placing in on a heatproof mat to protect it and your counter tops. Many of the flat iron manufacturers sell heatproof mats along with their irons, and it’s a good idea to get one. I’ve seen them in silicone and in a variety of other heat resistant materials, any of which are fine for resting your hot appliance on while using or during the cooling down period. (Pictured: StyleBell Heatproof Bag/Mat Combo)

Gentle Care, Better Hair
The flat iron plates should be cleaned with a soft cloth and a professional iron cleaner specifically formulated for use flat irons and other heat styling appliances. You should never use any harsh or abrasive cleaners that will damage or scratch the surface of the plates, or reduce the iron’s ability to glide through the hair easily. Make sure to never spray iron cleaner on a hot iron, this could potentially damage the plates of the iron. Always make sure you use iron cleaner on a cool iron to protect your iron from possible damage. I recommend cleaning your flat iron after every use to keep your plates in tip-top shape, and maintain its peak performance. Remember “gummy residue”. Enough said.

Loose Handles?
With regular use, sometimes the handles of the iron may become loose. If this occurs, you can step away like I do, or try to fix it by removing the hinge cover and tightening the nut. Always make sure the iron is unplugged and completely cool before attempting to tighten a loose nut. Remember to replace the hinge cover securely when you are done. If you are unsure, mechanically challenged, or don’t like the idea of taking your favorite appliance apart, please seek professional help! A stylist, a professional salon worker, repair man, or electrical appliance guru should be called in immediately.

Proper Storage Please!
When storing your flat iron, you should never, ever, never wrap the power cord around it. Did I say NEVER? I really cannot stress this point enough. Wrapping the electrical cord around the flat iron causes damage and stress to the connection points and will lead to damage of both the iron and the cord. I wish I could tell you how many people complain that their flat iron broke after 3 months due to cord damage. When storing your flat iron, bundle the cord loosely and lay the cord next to the iron. This will prolong the life of your flat iron, guaranteed.

It’s Worth Repeating
A flat iron will take several minutes to cool down completely after use. To avoid burning your counter top or vanity, you really should invest in a heat resistant mat or heatproof bag specifically designed to cover the flat iron’s plates. A heatproof mat protects your counter surfaces while the iron is cooling down, and also keeps your flat iron plates clean and protected from damage during storage and travel. A mat is a great resting place, but for travel and storage, if you can get a heatproof bag, it would be a better investment in the long run.

Hot Tools Professional Iron CleanerPrevent Damage
 Keep in mind that any styling products used on your hair will cause build up on your flat iron plates over time. This leads to excess stickiness on the plate surface, and results in poor styling results. The gummy residue on the plates can also cause damaging stress to your hair by pulling and snagging the strands, causing split ends and breakage. Flat irons are meant to glide through your hair smoothly, so it’s very important to make sure your iron is clean before each and every use. Gummy residue? Split ends? Damage? You should be running to pick up some professional iron cleaner before you even finish this article. (Pictured: Hot Tools Professional Iron Cleaner)

Taking care of your flat iron not only prolongs its life, it also ensures better performance and smoother slip through your hair as you style. Plus, exercising caution with any heat appliance is always recommended, safety first!

 

And of course, if you’re in the market for a new flat iron, our Best Flat Irons section features the most-wanted irons around!

Eva Longoria Hair, Which Diva Style?

Eva Longoria Hair Styles

Eva Longoria is stunning in any diva hairstyle, but we always have an opinion!  Which diva Eva style do you love?  The one on the left from the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards or the one on the right from the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards.? Comment we would love to hear from you. 

 

Looking to create Eva’s look? Check out our video on how to fake the Eva Longoria Bob!

Style It: Hot Pink Hair Extensions

Avril LavigneDid you ever wonder how so many people get those chunky ‘highlights’ in vibrantly colored hues of pink, blue or purple? Do they dye their hair? Hmmm… some do for sure, but I’ll bet that most are using hair extensions. If you haven’t seen any gum ball inspired extensions in your local beauty supply store, don’t worry, just buy the lightest blonde you can find and dye them yourself. Yep, this video helps us channel our inner Macgyver to create the hottest trend around for a tiny bit of cash with a few quick tips. Sometimes all it takes is a glue gun and some inspiration! Thanks Monroemisfitmakeup for showing us the way, you’re an absolute rockstar!

PETA’s 5th Annual Proggy Award Winner: Max Green Alchemy

Max Green Alchemy ShampooAnd the winner is…. Max Green Alchemy’s shampoo. Formulated with an amazing blend of vitamins, essential oils and botanical extracts – mmmm, lavender, tee tree, and geranium – this gentle yet effective shampoo is perfect for treating that dry, dehydrated, itchy scalp. If you have dandruff flakes, or an oily or sensitive scalp, this shampoo will transform your scalp into a healthy environment in no time. Think about it, if your scalp is already dry or irritated, it’s probably not the best time to use an aggressive, chemically loaded cleanser. Nope, we think not.

PETA loving perks: 100% vegan, no synthetic chemicals, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate free, paraben-free, cruelty free.

PETA says: Why feed your hair junk food when there are Max Green 100 percent vegetable-based shampoos? All Max Green products sport the PETA cruelty-free rabbit logo and are available at Whole Foods Markets, independent health-food stores, salons, and spas as well as from naturopaths and online.

Yep, we like that.

Want to see the entire list? Click here.

Quick Tips for Frizz Free Curls

Curl divas can tame those coils in a frizz-free flash with these top tips from Christo for Jane TV. This video highlights when to use mousse vs. gel (I’m a mousse fan myself) and when not to touch those tendrils! Did you know that curls like to be left alone to do their own corkscrewing when wet? Yep, stay away.

Hairstyle Gallery: Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria has phenomenally healthy hair that has got to be the envy of everyone on Wisteria Lane. Usually worn long and loose with a flirty flip or two at the ends, her hair style screams “I’m no desperate housewife” as loud as possible. Her media- attention-grabbing Hollywood hair styles run the gamut from long, luscious hair extensions to shorter, bouncy bobs and everything in between – we’ve even got a video on how to create her famous red carpet bob! This hair style gallery showcases the many lovely looks of this beautiful brunette.

An Expert Tutorial on Tree Braids

Marquetta Breslin, from BraidsbyBreslin gives an awesome step-by-step tutorial on creating long, lustrous tree braids. We love how she breaks down each step so you can recreate this look at home. Enlist a friend (or two) to help with the braiding, those teeny, tiny strands take a looooong time to braid, but the results are worth it!

What you’ll need:

  • 18 inch hair extensions (wet and wavy hair is used in the video).
  • Duck bill clips – they really come in handy and can be used to comb, separate and secure the hair strands as you style.
  • Barbering strips to prevent fly aways while drying
  • Moisturizing oil or mousse to keep those strands smooth and silky
  • A Blow dryer
  • Lightweight gel to tuck in any strays

All set? Check out this video tutorial for the how-to:

Top Five Flat Iron Styling Tips

FHI 1 inch Flat IronFlat irons are best known for creating straight styles, but you can also add body and volume, create curls and make waves as well. It just takes a little product, practice and patience. If your flat iron has a rounded style barrel (and most of them do!) you’re ready to create these must-have styles with ease. These top requested flat iron styling articles and videos to get you styling like a pro!

Straight Styles: Flat Iron Straightening Success, a step-by-step tutorial for the straightest strands around.

Adding Volume: Pump up the Volume on your Bob, transform your bob from flat to fab with these top tips.

Curly Styles: Creating Curls with a Flat Iron, yep, bouncy coils in no time.

Waves: Make Some Serious Waves with a Flat Iron, tips for making those waves you crave.

Styling Tips: Flat Iron Styling with GHD, showcases tips and tricks with a ghd flat iron and some strand supporting styling products.

Got your favorite flat iron? Get going!

-CurlyBelle