Tourmaline, Titanium, Ionic what does it mean?!

flat iron

Flat iron, hair dryer, and curling iron technology terms have gone through the roof!  “This dryer has ionpialia technology” or “Get the latest in timonia torque” is what it all sounds to me.  Gibberish!  So I did a quick investigation of these hair appliance terms to help expose the true meaning!  Guess what I found – this stuff really means something and can do wonders for your hair.

What is Tourmaline and why is it important in a styling product?
Tourmaline is a precious gemstone.  When heated, it naturally releases negative ions and far-infrared heat, both of which benefit hair by reducing static and frizz to increase shine. Far-infrared heat is gentle and eliminates potential heat damage to hair.  This is definitely good!

What is Titanium and why is it important in a styling product?
Titanium is a unique metal, as strong as steel but 40% lighter!  It’s the smoothest surface available in a styling tool, retains higher heat longer and distributes temperatures consistently across surfaces.  The end result is less styling time and healthier hair.  I have been using a titianium plate flat iron and think it is definitely better than its ceramic counterpart.  Quicker styling time, higher heat, and a very smooth surface.

What is Ionic and why is it important in a styling product?
Ions close the hair cuticle and reduce the static electricity that dulls hair and causes fly-away frizzies.  During dry winter months this is key!  Ions also break water molecules into tiny, micronized clusters for deeper moisture penetration into hair, and hold the moisture longer for silkier and shinier hair.

My Flat Iron Plates Don’t Match Up

Question:
My flat iron plates don’t match up, is that normal? I bought the FHI Pink Flat iron and the plates don’t touch, is it supposed to be this way? – Crystal

Answer:
It’s totally normal!
We have noticed that not all of the flat irons on the market have plates that match up exactly when you close them. Many irons have plates that are up to ½” away, and some flat irons have plates that do not touch each other at all. Rest assured this is a natural occurrence with the way many flat irons are manufactured in the factories and will not interfere with the performance of your flat iron in any way.

As long as the plates of your flat iron keep contact with either side of your hair section while styling, you will achieve your desired results. In general, I always recommend a section thick enough so there is no plate to plate contact at all. This helps ensure you are not causing any potential heat damage to your hair by taking a section that is too thin, and it avoids unnecessary iron friction that can cause wear on the plates over time.

Great question, thanks Crystal!

-CurlyBelle

Flat Irons: The Truth About Tourmaline

Tourmaline Schourmaline – Is it Really Better?
Want to learn more about the benefits of a Tourmaline Flat Iron? Discover the truth about Tourmaline, you might be surprised at the wonders of this semi-precious gemstone and it’s super-smoothing abilities.

FHI Platform Tourmaline Flat IronFlat Iron, Styling Iron, Hair Straightener

No matter what you call it, a professional Tourmaline flat iron has become one of the best-selling heat styling appliances on the beauty market today, and a must-have for salons, stylists, and hair divas everywhere. Originally manufactured for licensed hair professionals, and distributed only to exclusive beauty salons and boutiques, a flat iron was once considered a professional tool coveted by the everyday consumer. Over time this increased consumer interest has led to widespread mass-market distribution and a very competitive marketplace, with an emphasis on innovation and breakthrough technology. Shown: FHI Platform 1.25″ Tourmaline Nano Ceramic Flat Iron.

T3 Wide Wet-or-Dry Tourmaline Flat IronFlat Irons Get Hyped
Almost overnight top professional flat iron (and hot air brush, curling iron and hair dryer) brands such as T3, FHI, Bed Head, HaiElite and BaByliss cropped up promising to deliver silky smooth, celebrity hairstyles in seconds, because of one semi-precious gemstone, Tourmaline. Supposedly well known in the beauty industry for its ability to generate negative ions, and with so much buzz surrounding Tourmaline technology, as a Beauty Editor, and flat iron lover, I decided to get the real scoop on this gentle gemstone. Pictured: T3 Wide Wet-or-Dry Flat Iron.

A Flat Iron Lesson
Advanced technology has enabled today’s woman to create every imaginable look from sexy smooth to silky curls with a flat iron. The enormous popularity of flat irons now leaves professional hairdressers with an ever growing selection of irons from which to choose. The various choices however, seem to bring an increasingly more expensive selection of flat irons. But why are they so expensive, and more importantly, is it worth spending upwards of $100 on a flat iron?

Bed Head Tourmaline Nano Ceramic Flat IronSilky Smooth, Somewhat Expensive

Tourmaline flat irons are definitely set at higher price points. The flat iron choices on the market have prices that range from the inexpensive gold-tone aluminum plate models, that sell for under $20 to the more expensive Tourmaline models that will set you back at least a $100, and usually more. Anyone considering purchasing a flat iron probably assumes this vast price differential results in a significant difference in both quality and performance of these flat irons. But should they? Shown: Bed Head Tourmaline Nano Ceramic 2″ Flat Iron.

HAI elite Tong 2Tourmaline Tech Talk

Tourmaline, a mineral prized as a beautiful, semi-precious gemstone, has become the focus of studies at universities and research centers worldwide. The reason for the interest is that Tourmaline is a natural source of negative ions and the only mineral to show permanent electricity. It is also known to have many beneficial properties such as relieving stress, and improving the body’s immune system functions. Great you may be wondering, but what does this have to do with the cost of my flat iron, and how is any of this helping me straighten my hair? Shown: HAI Elite Tong 2″ Styling Tool.

Tourmaline Flat Irons
When millions of tiny particles of Tourmaline are added to the plate surface of a flat iron the benefits to the hair are astounding. Tourmaline generates negative ions that enhance the texture of the hair and also produces far-infrared heat that effectively dries the hair from the inside out. This makes the excessive heat generated by the iron far less damaging to the hair. OK, a positive result is that my hair is exposed to less damage with Tourmaline. I can relate.

Aluminum Plates Can Be Damaging
Many flat irons have aluminum plates, but they are technologically less advanced, produce less effective results, and are therefore less expensive – unless they also contain Ceramic Technology – this is non-damaging also. Tourmaline plates are preferred by professionals because the surface is much smoother and eliminates tugging and pulling on hair strands, resulting in a highly polished look in less time. Obviously if a professional stylist won’t use a flat iron with aluminum plates on my hair because they consider it damaging, then neither will I. Point well taken.

FHI Technique Pink Tourmaline Flat IronTourmaline Is Quicker
Another drawback of flat irons with aluminum plates is that a hairdresser must often go over one section several times to smooth the hair strands, increasing the styling time for each client. Irons with Tourmaline plates allow you to get a smooth look much faster, allowing you to move on to your next appointment and generate more revenue in less time. Better results in less time? A professional stylists dream, and mine, all within reach thanks to Tourmaline. Shown: FHI Tourmaline Pink Flat Iron.

The Pros Know
Professional hairdressers know the foundation of every hairstyle (after a great haircut) is the tool a client uses at home to prolong the salon look. A Tourmaline flat iron is great for everyone who wants to maintain his or her salon style at home. Most clients trust their stylist, and will try to reproduce a salon look at home if they have the right tools. Of course any good stylist knows that a happy client will return, and more importantly, will be gladly recommended to others.

Less heat exposure, less styling time, better results, and the pick of the professionals? The choice is clear, a flat iron with Tourmaline plates might cost a little extra, but the minutes saved in styling time, the reduction of heat exposure, and smooth results more than make up for it.

For more product information, visit our Tourmaline Flat Iron section to get the scoop on these smoothing gemstone jewels.

-CurlyBelle

Everything You Need to Know About Maxiglide…and More!

Maxiglide Flat IronIf you are an avid “Maxiglider” or are looking to become a new found fan of the Maxiglide Hair Straightener check out these Q&A’s from Maxius Beauty. At StyleBell we love to share what we find with you so  you can make the most informed decisions…. 

How can I tell if the Maxiglide is on? When your Maxiglide is on the blue light at the base of the unit will begin flashing until it has heated up completely and the light will stay blue. Turn your Maxiglide on by using the temperature dial at the bottom of the unit near the base of the power cord. 

How do I clean my Maxiglide? You can remove the plates by pushing in the two buttons on either side of the unit and sliding the plates off. Never immerse your Maxiglide into water — you must remove the plates to clean them. Use a soft cloth or toothbrush and dish soap to gently remove the build up on the plates. completely dry them before they are put back on your Maxiglide. 

Can I use Maxiglide on wet hair?  Virtually any flat iron can be used on wet hair, including Maxiglide because water evaporates at 100 degrees, and practically all irons get hotter than that. But we really don’t recommend it at all. If you are looking for a flat iron that works on damp hair – check out our wet-to-dry flat iron section, that would be a better choice for you.  

Why you shouldn’t use Maxiglide on wet hair: According to Maxius Beauty, when the hair is wet, it has more elasticity, like a rubber band. When you use a hot iron not designed for use on wet hair, you are stretching the hair and drying it. It is a little like ironing a wet wool sweater…it gets stretched and big. As you are stretching the hair it actually gets thinner and weaker – just like a rubber band. Most importantly, if you start with wet hair, what would you do about the hair close to your scalp? Umm… let it stay wet? No. Face it, Maxiglide has over 25 years of styling experience and over 6 years of development, if they say it works best on dry hair, it does. 

Can you use the Maxiglide on wet hair or does it need to be completely dry? Hair should be dry, dry, dry. Read why you shouldn’t use a Maxiglide on wet hair above, I think they really nailed the answer. 

Beyond Straight Temporary StraightenerWill the Maxiglide work on all hair types? Although no product has ever worked 100% on all users, it is extremely rare that a customer will say the Maxiglide did not work for them. If you follow the instructional DVD and styling tips we are extremely confident that Maxiglide will work for you. Please note; we do not recommend use on very damaged or fragile hair, and we always recommend using a thermal protectant before using any heat styling appliance. Try Beyond Straight (pictured left), it helps straighten and protect your hair from the heat – double bonus points!

Can I use Maxiglide on ethnic hair?  You can definitely use the Maxiglide on ethnic hair. We recommend using it on dry hair along with a thermal protectant to lightly coat your hair before you start styling. The thermal protectant along with the ceramic iron will close the cuticle therefore helping hair stay soft and straight and not frizz in humid temperatures.

My hair is very thick and frizzy, will Maxiglide work for me?  To use the Maxiglide if your hair is especially frizzy, dry, brittle or stubborn, first, without applying a lot of pressure, barely close the iron and quickly go over the frizzy, brittle part of the hair which is usually the last 3-7 inches before the ends, with 1 or 2 bursts of steam. (This will soften the hair, much like you would iron out a tough wrinkle in a shirt). Then go over the entire section from the roots to the ends WITHOUT THE STEAM. Please note I really do not recommend the use of any heat styling appliance on very damaged, fragile hair, and I would always use a flat iron with a thermal heat protectant, for added protection.  

Is Maxiglide safe to use everyday? I normally recommend using a Maxiglide once or twice a week. But then again that’s what everyone recommends for all flat irons. We know we all use them all the time! If you really want to use it more often than once a week, just make sure you deep condition your hair before you use it. You must also use a thermal protection product to keep your hair safe from the excessive heat and to keep your hair healthy and in optimal condition. If you’re going to use any heat styling appliance that frequently, just protect your hair and you should be A-OK. 

What temperature does the Maxiglide reach? At the highest heat setting it reaches 430 degrees. We don’t suggest the hottest setting for everyone; please see Maxiglide Styling Tips to find the setting that is right for you. 

What is the difference between Maxiglide and other hair straightening flat irons? Basically all the ceramic irons are the same, there is a heating element and there is a ceramic plate — but that is where the similarity stops. There is very little in common between multi-patented Maxiglide and other ceramic irons. Maxiglide is the only product in the world that detangles, smoothes, hydrates, and straightens the hair in one step and one tool, guaranteed by Maxius Beauty. 

Is the water compartment only for water? YES it is only for water, agua, H2O….Maxius Beauty recommends using distilled or bottled water and avoid using tap water. This will lengthen the lifetime of your Maxiglide. Who knew? 

I seem to see some hair breakage, how do I keep this from happening?  If you use it correctly, Maxiglide does not break the hair any more than brushing or combing does. However, when using Maxiglide, you have to remember not to use any pressure by squeezing the plates together. When using flat plates, including the Maxiglide bonus flat plate, you can use light to medium pressure. But you should never put pressure on the handle when you use the plate with the pins. There is no need to squeeze. The detangling pins glide through and straighten the hair without pressure. Also, you need to be sure that what you are experiencing is real “breakage” of hair. As you know we naturally lose between 50 to 100 hairs a day. When using the ordinary irons, you must first brush the hair over and over to smooth the hair, before using the iron – otherwise you just flatten the frizz! In the process, a lot of weakened hairs that are ready to fall out get trapped on the brush. Yea, we’ve seen that. Every day I see that – whew – it’s nice to know it’s a normal process. 

ResQ Deep Conditioning TreatmentWhen using Maxiglide, since you don’t start by brushing the hair over and over, some of the hairs that are ready to fall out will show up on the Maxiglide. You can distinguish the hair that has fallen from the roots, versus the broken hair, by checking the ends of the hair, looking for the little bulb at the end where it was set in the scalp. These hairs are part of the natural shedding process. You can always try a leave in, or rinse out deep conditioning treatment to help reduce breakage. Check out: Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Treatment, Bain De Terre Recovery Complex Smoothing Cream, Davines Rest Deep Restructuring Serum, ResQ Deep Conditioning Treatment (pictured).

I am experiencing a lot of static with my hair, can Maxiglide fix that?  Yes, we suggest using a thermal straightening lotion, a leave in conditioner, a frizz-fighting serum…we have ons of products to help you in this department. If you want to eliminate static, just check out these sections: Thermal Protection and Styling Products to find a static eliminator that works best for you.

I see a lot of hair from the detangling pins. Is this normal, or should I freak out?  Yes it’s normal. Everyone loses between 50 – 100 hairs a day, and about the same amount will grow back…thankfully! Hair normally is lost during washing, combing and brushing, etc. Since curly/wavy hair (unlike straight hair) does not get combed out everyday or on a regular basis, when you do comb or brush your hair, it seems like you are losing a lot of hair, but in fact, it is the total of one day or any number of days that the hair has not been brushed. When using Maxiglide with the pins, you are also brushing and detangling the hair too. Therefore the hair that is scheduled to fall out will be on your Maxiglide…not the bathroom floor.  

The End Silicone Shine EnhancerDoes the Maxiglide help hair stay frizz-free in humid temperatures?  Yes, all ceramic irons including Maxiglide close the cuticle therefore helping hair not to frizz in humid temperature. But if you use a smoothing balm or serum along with it as you style, your hair will stay frizz free much longer then with just the iron alone. Check out these fab frizz-fighters: GHD Smoothing Balm, Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream, Joico K-PAK Smoothing Balm, Pureology ShineMax Shining Smoother, The End Shine Enhancer.

Is Maxiglide 100% ceramic or is it ceramic coated, and really, what’s the difference? Maxiglide, as with many other ceramic irons, is ceramic coated on high grade aluminum, which, according to Maxius Beauty, is the best combination possible, even better than all ceramic. Why? After almost six and half years of research and development to create the Maxiglide, the engineers and researchers concluded that ceramic/aluminum technology is the best combination. One reason is that they found it to be nearly impossible to polish the edges of the all ceramic plates because it is a very hard and dense material…Maxius Beauty wanted the smoothest and softest surface to contact the hair on the top and the edges of the plates. After traveling the world and attending many industry events, no one at Maxius Beauty found one “all ceramic flat iron” that had a nice, smooth and polished edge. That’s why the Maxiglide (and most of the irons on the market, professional or not) use a ceramic/aluminum combination. It’s better for the hair because of the soft, smooth surface. With the ceramic layer on top of the highly polished aluminum, Maxiglide achieves the smoothest surface especially on the edges. So, when you turn the iron to create a flip, your hair will glide on the plate, rather than possibly breaking.  Ceramic is a soft surface to touch the hair, with aluminum/ceramic you get the great heat conductivity of the aluminum underneath the soft, smoothness of the ceramic, the best of both worlds, and your hair only comes in contact with the ceramic.

I noticed some of the coating coming off of the ceramic pins on my Maxiglide; can this be harmful to the hair?  Not at all. This does not affect your hair or the performance of your Maxiglide; it’s just normal wear and tear over time. It also could be styling product build-up you see coming off, and not the ceramic coating…. Have you ever cleaned your Maxiglide? See above for tips on that.   

I am traveling internationally; will Maxiglide switch voltages from 120V to 220V automatically?  The Miniglide is dual voltage but the Maxiglide is not, but we hear that a 220V Maxiglide might be available in the near future…stay tuned.

Miniglide Flat IronHow come the Miniglide doesn’t have the steam? What’s the deal?  Good question! We asked our friends at Maxius Beauty and the answer is a smart one. The Miniglide does not contain the Steam Burst System found on the Maxiglide because the Miniglide is meant for shorter hair that is much closer to the scalp. A big hot burst of steam near your scalp? No thanks! Good thinking Miniglide.

Want more info? Visit Maxiglide section to learn all about the Maxiglide Hair Straightener and Miniglide Hair Straightener for touch ups on the go, and to view more product details. 

-StraightBelle

Which Plate Width is Best for Your Hair?

Choosing the correct flat iron plate width for your hair length makes all the difference in your hairstyling time. With such a large variety of flat irons and hair straighteners on the market today, you might be wondering which plate width is best for you? The answer depends on your hair length more than your hairstyling needs. Most flat irons come with a standard 1-inch plate width, and you might be tempted, but if you match your hair length appropriately, you’ll make the smarter decision.

CHI Original 1One Inch for Everyone?
Sure, the 1-inch plate width will accommodate most hair styling needs, but it is really recommended for ‘medium’ length hair only. If your hair length is past your ears yet above your shoulders, (hint, it isn’t considered ‘short’) the 1-inch plate width is probably your best bet. If your hair touches your shoulders or is longer, you should take your time to find a flat iron with a larger plate width. Not only will it cut down on your styling time, it will eliminate the need for multiple passes with the iron, thus reducing damage. If your hair is above your ears, find a plate width less than 1-inch, yes they do exist. But if your hair is medium length, the 1-inch is perfect for you. Some 1-inch irons you should check out are:
CHI Original 1 Inch Flat Iron (pictured), GHD MK4 Hair Straightening and Styling Iron, FHI Technique 1-inch Flat Iron.


HAI 2 Ceramic 2-1/4Long Locks, Larger Plates
For hair that sits on and below the shoulders, or is very thick, A) I’m jealous, and B) you should definitely choose a flat iron that’s either 1-1/4-inches or more. I’ve seen them go as wide as 2-1/4 inches and these larger plates are great for creating smooth styles in seconds. Why go over a small section of hair with a 1-inch iron when you can plow through a chunk with a 2-inch bad boy? The styling time you save by using an iron with larger plates will free up a few extra minutes in your day and will reduce the damage you normally cause by going over the same section of hair multiple times. Some of my wide-width wonders are: HAI2 Ceramic 2-1/4 Inch Flat Iron (pictured), GHD Ceramic Salon 2 Inch Hair Straightener, CHI Turbo Ceramic 2 Inch Flat Iron, HAI Convertable 1-1/4 Inch Flat Iron.


CHI Turbo .7Short Styles, Slim Widths
Slimmer plate widths are perfect for shorter hairstyles. If your hair is above your ears or if you have bangs, a slim 3/4 inch plate width (or thinner) is perfect for you. When styling hair so close to your skin and scalp you should make sure you have the control a thinner plate width provides. If you hair is only a few inches away from your head, you wouldn’t want to go any larger than necessary. Too much hair-to-heat contact will only fry those delicate strands. Plus, if you’re a guy with unruly curls, give it a try…(umh, hello SANJAYA), you might be pleasantly surprised! Check out these fab finds: HAI Twig 3/8 Inch Flat Iron, WEE CHI 1/2 Inch Flat Iron, CHI Turbo .7 inch Flat Iron (pictured), Miniglide.

Though the size of the plates you choose really depend on your personal preference, by taking the time to do a little research, you might find there is a better flat iron more suited for you and your hair length.

If you’d like to learn more, our Best Flat Irons section will set (and get) you straight.

-Straight Belle

Top 5 Hair Styling Essentials

Every hairstyle maven knows that maintaining a great look takes a bit of inspiration, a little personality and some really great products and tools! Keep those bad hair days at bay with these top five essential hairstyling must-haves…who needs a professional stylist?


CHI Rocket Hair DryerA Quality, High Voltage Hair Dryer

You think this one would be no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people are still using sub-par quality hairdryers. With technological advancements and so many great dryers on the market today at every price point, what are you waiting for? Depending on your hair length and thickness, you have such a wide variety to choose from, you’re sure to find one perfect for your hair. My favorite buzzwords: Ceramic/Ionic, Tourmaline, Professional, Negative Ions.

Some of the best-sellers on the market: BaByliss Pro Ceramix Extreme Hair Dryer, CHI Rocket Professional Hair Dryer (pictured), BaByliss Pro Porcelain Thermal Ionic Hair Dryer, Elchim Galaxy, Super Solano X Hair Dryer. See more hot picks in our Hair Dryer section.

HAI elite Tong Styling ToolA Versatile Ceramic Flat Iron
Also known as a styling iron, this wonder tool is one appliance you should never go without. Available in plate widths from the 3/4” mini though the large 2” width, there is a flat iron for every length of hair. Depending on your hair style and hairstyling needs, some models also come with curved edge plates that will create curls and waves as well as straight styles. There are also wet-to-dry irons that are great for those of you who don’t have the time to blow dry before straightening. Keep in mind that every flat iron needs a safe place for it to rest while in use, or cooling down. So don’t forget a heatproof mat…safety first!

My favorite buzzwords: Ceramic, Ionic, Tourmaline, Professional, Negative Ions, Far-Infrared Heat, Nano, Titanium, Silver. 

Best-selling Flat Irons: GHD MK3 Professional 1” Straightener, HAI elite Tong 2″ Tourmaline Flat Iron (pictured), CHI Original Ceramic 1” Flat Iron, FHI Pink Ceramic 1” Flat Iron, CHI Nano Digital 1-1/4” Flat Iron. See more in our Best Flat Irons section.

CHI 44 Iron GuardA Healthy Heat Protectant
You know you would turn your flat iron up to 600° if you could, but have you ever thought about what you are doing to your hair? Relax, now you can protect your hair as you straighten. Most of today’s heat protectants are loaded with good-for-you heat activated ingredients that don’t just protect your hair from the excessive high temperatures of hair dryers and flat irons, they actually increase the health of your hair as you style. The hotter, the better! Go for it.

My Faves: FHI Heat Hot Sauce, Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide Smoother, CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray (pictured), Bain de Terre Shine Serum Anti-Frizz Recovery Complex

See more in our Thermal Protection section.
A Round Barrel Ceramic Ionic Hairbrush
A necessity for every hairstyle, and best friend to your good quality, high voltage hair dryer above is a round barrel brush. You’ll get bonus points here if you have round barrel brush that is ceramic and ionic. The more negative ions you can create while styling the better. With an ionic brush, negative ions are created from the heat of the blow dryer heating the brush. If you are using an ionic hair dryer also, you’ve hit the ionic jackpot. What’s so great about negative ions? They enable the moisture to be sealed into the hair cuticle, and an increased amount of ionic energy allows the brush to slip easily through your hair without pulling or snagging, promising smooth results. Plus a round brush is so versatile, making it easy to straighten or curl. Convinced? I am!

HAI Large Round Ceramic Boar Bristle Brush

My must-have: HAI Large Round Ceramic Boar Bristle Brush (pictured).

Depending on your styling habits, you can choose a brush with a smaller or larger barrel to suit your hair length and texture, but stick with a round barrel to help you straighten and curl.

See more Hair Brushes.

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Styling SprayA Superb Styling….X
Please insert your favorite styler for the X. Whether you choose a styling cream, lotion, mousse, serum, gel or spray, you need something to help you whip your style into shape. From creating carefree curls, to gravity defying spikes, to straight smoothing, a good styling product will help take your hairdo to the next level. Hey, those spikes don’t stay up without a little help!
Available in a variety of scents and strengths, I just love to mix and match them together to create my own winning combos! Some top picks are:

Joico Kpak Smoothing BalmStraightening: Alterna Caviar Styling Spray Anti-Aging with Age-Control Complex (pictured above), BioSilk Smoothing Balm Silk Therapy Farouk, Biolage Smoothing Gel Smooththerapie, Joico K-PAK Smoothing Balm (pictured left).

Want more? Check out this Straight Hair Care section.

Curling: Bain de Terre Smoothing Crème Recovery Complex Anti-Frizz, Fudge Oomf Booster, Joico K-PAK Styling Creme Elixir, Pureology PowerDressing, CHI Volume Booster Liquid Bodifying Glaze. See more curl caressing concoctions in Curly Hair Care.

With these five essentials your hair will look like a million bucks and who doesn’t want that?

-CurlyBelle

Save Your Strands with Healthy Heat Protection

When you straighten your hair with your flat iron, do you ever think about the damage you may be causing? Yep, you should. There are a variety of healthy heat protectants on the beauty market to help take care of your hair and protect it from heat damage while you straighten (or use any heat styling appliance).

Paul Brown Hawaii Flat IronThink about it, if you are using a flat iron that goes up to 450+ degrees don’t you think you might want to protect your locks? Hair gets damaged on its own, it’s best not to add to it by literally frying it every day with a flat iron. There are a few great protectants that buffer the excessive heat from flat irons (and curling irons, blow dryers, pressing combs, and hot rollers!) while enhancing the effectiveness of each appliance. Pictured: Paul Brown Hawaii Flat Iron.

It’s best to choose a protectant that suits your comfort level. Spray, serum, lotion, gel? Hmmm… which is best? All of them promise to protect your hair, and technically of them will just by adding that layer of coating between your hair and the super hot temperature of your flat iron. When choosing a heat protectant, look for ones that are lightweight, heat-activated, and packed with healthy ingredients. Here are just a few of my top thermal protecting picks:

Redken Smooth Down Heat GlideRedken Smooth Down Heat Glide
Is it ok to start this review with WOW? This protective smoother from Redken is a leave-in serum that provides heat-safe control and tames even the frizziest frizz. If you have uncooperative, unruly, unmanageable hair, you must, must, must try Redken’s Smooth Down Heat Glide. Packed with healthy ingredients like nourishing macadamia oil, and smoothing candelilla wax, your hair will behave like it never gave you a minute’s trouble. Using ‘interbond’ conditioning technology, Smooth Down promises mega smoothing, intense shine and a long-lasting frizz free results. This product delivers. Big time.

FHI Heat Hot SauceFHI Heat Hot Sauce

Of course if you want super-smooth hair you should protect it from the potential drying and damage from flat irons, but why not repair it at the same time? FHI Heat Hot Sauce is different than silicone protectants…it’s moisture-based. This means that when it is heated by your flat iron it actually penetrates into the core of the hair to reconstruct and deeply condition the hair from the inside out. With regular use dry, damaged hair will be restored. Must be those heat-activated jojoba crystals!

Plus: You know I love great packaging and this little hot sauce inspired bottle is awesome.

ghd Thermal Protecting SprayGHD Thermal Protecting Spray
This lightweight, humidity resistant mist is formulated with exclusive UVA protection that provide thermal protection to your hair from heat styling damage, while moisturizing from roots to ends, and protecting it from the sun’s harmful rays. It promises to instantly provide a brilliant shine, repair split ends, and eliminate frizz. The end result is a luminous, glossy finish without buildup. Saving my hair from damage AND leaving my hair soft, shiny, and smooth at the same time? You really can’t beat this one. Plus, I like to spray products on wet hair. The less you touch wet hair with your hands the better. Your hair is very vulnerable when it’s wet, so a couple of spritzes will ensure a nice even coating.

Bonus points: It comes in three varieties to target your specific styling needs – normal to fine hair, dry/coarse hair, and weak/damaged hair. Can’t decide? If you are using a flat iron to create a straight style, pick normal to fine.

CHI Silk InfusionCHI Silk Infusion
Another Silk based product, CHI Silk Infusion doesn’t disappoint! Created by the makers of the best-selling flat irons, those guys really know what they are doing over there at CHI headquarters. Developed to work specifically with the CHI flat irons, this restructuring complex is a rich leave-in treatment enriched with pure silk, wheat, and soy proteins that penetrate and strengthen your hair while you straighten. CHI Silk Infusion works wonders, smells great and makes your hair look like you just came back from the salon. If you ever wonder how the pro’s do it, now you know. Plus, the added manageability and softness will leave you in healthy hair heaven!

L'anza Strait-Line Thermal DefenseL’anza Strait-Line Thermal Defense Heat Styler

This is one of our most popular heat stylers, and one you’ve probably never heard of before. L’anza’s lightweight spray-in treatment smoothes strands with a “Thermal Defense” barrier that protects hair from the excessive heat of flat irons, curling irons, hair dryers, hot rollers …everything. Its silky smooth formula provides gentle slip-through the hair for effortless glides down the hair section while styling. It truly lives up to its name; straight styles are super-easy with L’anza Strait-line. Though you may not be too familiar with this brand, people rave about how great it is – it’s a best-seller!

Bonus points: This thermal protectant also defends hair from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can cause additional dryness and damage to delicate hair strands.

So go ahead and fire up your flat iron, just make sure to protect your hair first. We’ve got an entire section dedicated to healthy heat protection, so you’ll be sure to find one that’s best for you!

-CurlyBelle

Which CHI 1″ Flat Iron is right for YOU?

CHII know, I know, your best friend has a CHI flat iron and you want one too. Or maybe your hairstylist told you to buy a CHI so you can get those silky straight strands at home. I hear it all the time, “I want to buy the CHI 1″ Flat Iron.” I gladly answer, “Sure, which one?”

CHI truly is an innovative brand well known in the beauty industry for producing some of the most sought after flat irons on the planet, and it seems as if absolutely everyone has been told to buy one. But, there are so many CHI’s out there; CHI Original, CHI Turbo, CHI Pink, CHI Nano… which CHI is right for you?

The Similarities:
In addition to all being fabulous flat irons, they do share a few common features such as:

  • 1″ curved plates for straight and curly styles
  • Ceramic, Ionic and Far Infrared Technology to smooth down the hair’s cuticle and create sleek, shiny hair without damage
  • Flash heating for quick heat-up times
  • Quick recovery time – this eliminates damaging hot spots that can damage your hair

So at least you know whichever CHI you choose, you’re getting an absolute powerhouse dedicated to smoothing your hair with every snag-free glide, but read on to find out what each CHI is famous for…

CHI Original Ceramic Flat IronCHI Original 1″ Flat Iron
Product Snapshot: This professional salon model is a best-seller for good reason…it’s awesome. Part of CHI’s original collection of flat irons, this versatile styling tool has an ergonomic design and curved edge plates to create any style from straight to curly and everything in between. With a flash heating element and fixed temperature setting, the power to create the style of your dreams is your hands, and with ceramic, ionic, infrared technology, frizz is nowhere to be found.

The main difference: Fixed temperature – it provides the exact amount of heat every time, and everyone loves this iron.

CHI Pink Dazzle Flat IronCHI Pink 1″ Dazzle Ceramic Flat Iron
You get the professional CHI Original Ceramic 1″ Flat Iron in, you guessed it – PINK! With its ergonomic design and curved edge plates you’ll be straightening and curling constantly. Plus, Farouk Systems will donate a portion of all sales (from October -December) of this limited edition pink flat iron to support national breast cancer awareness. It’s a great cause and a great tool.

Why I love it: It’s a limited edition iron – the same as the CHI Original – but a portion of all sales go to support National Breast Cancer Awareness. What’s not to love?

CHI Turbo Flat IronCHI Turbo 1″ Ceramic Flat Iron
Turn on the turbo and get a great style fast with the CHI Turbo 1″ Flat Iron. Ceramic, ionic technology seals in the hair’s natural moisture and shine by smoothing the hair cuticle, creating a healthy static-free shine. Variable temperature settings from 175 to 356 degrees F allow you to control the amount of gentle, far infrared heat as you style. Negative ion activity straightens your hair making it sleek and smooth, and the curved edge plates allow you to make curls and waves as well.

What’s so special? Variable Temperature Settings – you control the amount of heat your hair needs – perfect for if you cannot use your iron on the hottest setting. Plus, I think the Turbo grips you hair much better than the Original model. This matters if your hair is somewhat difficult to straighten.

Bonus points: Felt heat protection on the outside of the iron.

CHI Nano Ceramic Flat IronCHI Nano Ceramic 1″ Flat Iron
Product Snapshot: If you’re looking for the latest in technology, you’re looking for the CHI Nano 1″ Ceramic Flat Iron. This ceramic ionic professional appliance features include flash heating in under 10 seconds, curved edge plates for curling and straightening, and a temperature setting from 302-356 degrees F. Innovative Nano Silver Technology in the iron eliminates bacteria, creating a germ-free environment every time you use it. Talk about innovation! CHI rocks.

Why it’s a best-seller: Nano Silver Technology eliminates bacteria on the iron. That’s cool. Very cool.

 

CHI Nano Digital Ceramic Flat IronCHI Nano Digital 1″ Ceramic Flat Iron
Product Snapshot: With the latest in Nano Silver Technology and Digital Control Options, this CHI Nano Digital 1″ Flat Iron is sure to become your new best friend. Packed with innovative technology including Nano Silver Technology that eliminates bacteria on the appliance, creating a germ-free environment every time you use it, this ceramic ionic professional appliance features flash heating, far infrared heat and curved plates for creating straight styles, flips and curls.

The perks: Nano Silver Technology eliminates bacteria on the iron, which as you know is very cool; it also has digital control options. If you want a hi-tech tool, this is it!

The breakthrough technology used in the development of CHI appliances has given them a competitive edge by allowing them to create truly unique products and styling tools that are so well known in the industry they are asked for time and time again. From the latest in far infrared, ceramic and ionic technology to pioneering the newest Nano Silver technology, CHI tools not only out perform other appliances, but some of their tools actually sterilize themselves.

If you’re ready to style your hair like a professional, you’re ready for CHI – go directly to our CHI Flat Irons section, it’s chock full of CHI – in our favorite 1″ size.

-StraightBelle