Top Tips for Flat Iron Lovers

Start with a better blowout
The proper blowout with your hair dryer before you use a straightener will improve your flat iron’s performance and shorten styling time because there will be less contact with the hot plates. Look for a ceramic, ionic hair dryer to help you smooth your strands before you straighten. Read The Perfect Blowout for tips.

Beyond Straight Temporary StraightenerSafety First
Use a heat protectant! I say it all day long. There are tons of great products on the market today that are heat activated and created specifically to work along with the excessive high iron temperatures to protect your hair while styling. You can avoid a lot of unnecessary damage with a heat protectant. Think of a heat protectant as your flat iron’s Best Friend. Left: Beyond Straight Temporary Straightener.

Go for Quality
Use a quality flat iron. Notice I didn’t say expensive? I said quality. Look for a flat iron with some form of technology dedicated to keeping your hair damage-free while you straighten and smooth.
There are so FHI Heat Professional Flat Ironmany advancements now, that it’s almost hard to find a bad flat iron! Which is great, right? Look for the terms Ceramic, Ionic, Tourmaline, Nano-Silver, Titanium – they are ALL good, in any combination. They all have different technologies and selling points, but all are dedicated to keeping your hair in good condition because they eliminate multiple passes down each hair strand. One-step straightening is what you want. Shown: FHI Heat Ceramic Flat Iron.

How LOW can you Go?
Use a Lower Temperature: Find the lowest possible temperature for your specific hair type, no need to crank your iron up to 400+ degrees if your hair will get smooth at 350 degrees. Yep, that makes sense. With temperature, less is really more in terms of healthy hair. It’s the main reason there are so many irons out there with fixed temperatures – they keep the iron from getting too hot. If you think hey, if 400 degrees is good, 475 degrees must be better – step away from the flat iron and think – even cookies bake at 375 degrees.

CHI 3/4Smaller is Better…
For you shorties, use the smallest plate width for your hair type/length: Less full contact with the plates is always better. Let’s face it, your flat iron is HOT and your hair strands are delicate. There really is no need to pick a 2″ width if you can get away with a 1″ (or smaller) instead. 
Plus, if your hair is shorter, a 2″ plate width is harder to style with and maneuver.
You never want to struggle with a flat iron, you really want the ultimate control with a hot appliance. Learn it. Live it. Shown: CHI 3/4″ Volume Flat Iron.

Wider is Better…
For you long haired ladies, be honest, if your hair is long and thick, just go for the 1-3/4″ or straight for HAI 2 2-1/4the 2″ flat iron. Don’t be concerned that it might be slightly more expensive. You’ll save time straightening with a wider iron and you’ll cause less damage. Too many times over the same section of hair wreaks havoc and causes breakage and let’s face it, if you have a lot of hair, that’s not a great look. Capice? Shown: HAI 2 2-1/4″ Flat Iron.

Of course, if you’re in the market for a new flat iron, our Best Flat Irons section features the most-wanted irons around, and aways, always, always use a heat protectant! You’ll thank me later.
-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

BioSilk Silk Therapy – I’m a Believer

BioSilk Silk TherapyBioSilk Silk Therapy has all the makings of a true cult favorite. Already well known in the beauty industry for its impressive silk-ifying performance, BioSilk Silk Therapy has come to be a famous favorite product of hairstyling divas everywhere. Why? Because it works so well. Good answer.

BioSilk Silk Therapy works amazingly well with the excessive temperature of flat irons and curling irons. I’d even suggest picking up a bottle if you just use a hair dryer, hey, even if you air dry naturally your hair can reap the benefits of this silky wonder liquid – it’s great on split ends! But if you really, really want to see it in action, try it with a heat appliance.

With a product like this, especially if you’re a newbie, I suggest that less is more. Really, a few tiny drops are all you need for silky smooth perfection. After you get used to it, you can use more, but it’s so concentrated you really don’t need much, I promise.

After applying a few drops, turn on your hair dryer…you’ll see. You can almost feel it working as the temperature gets hotter, activating the silk proteins that penetrate your hair. Your hair is silky and soft. Not droopy. None of that ‘too soft’ hair that just sits there flat and limp. BioSilk makes your hair is soft and lively. Yes, I said lively.

Are you in love with your flat iron? Then try a few more drops on dry hair and then crank up your hair straightener. You will swear you feel BioSilk, adding protection to your strands each time the flat iron plates glide down your strands of hair. And, the texture of Silk Therapy is ideally lightweight, never greasy, so it won’t weigh your hair down. No one likes the greasy look. But then you already knew that.

BioSilk Silk Therapy is created from concentrated pure silk and fortified with botanical extracts and Vitamins E and B to help smooth and reconstruct the hair while strengthening it from the inside out, and add a high gloss shine. Who knew silk proteins could do all that? It’s also a replenishing treatment that protects your hair the more you use it, leaving it in optimum condition over time. After using it for only a few days, you’ll notice a softer, smoother texture to your hair.

If that isn’t enough, it even works on your skin. Talk about SMOOOTH. They don’t call it therapy for nothing, this stuff works. I’m a BioSilk believer and you will be too!

– StraightBelle