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

What’s a Nano Titanium Flat Iron?

Question:
What’s Nano Titanium? Should my flat iron have this? I want an iron that won’t damage my hair and my friend told me to get a ceramic one. Is this better?
– Chris via phone

Answer:
With so much tech-talk about flat irons, you could really go crazy! Here at StyleBell we try to make sure that we find out what technology each appliance has and, more importantly, what this technology does to your hair so we can share it with you. Nano Titanium is a state-of-the-art material used in some of the flat irons and hair dryers we carry from BaByliss, so here’s the scoop:

Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Flat IronFlat irons, hair dryers and other heat appliances conduct large amounts of heat to help smooth your hair strands and according to BaByliss, Nano Titanium is an exceptional conductor of this heat, even better than ceramic. This innovative material maintains stability in ultra-high temperatures and emits negative ions known to smooth the positive ions in your hair. This is the same smoothing process as a ceramic or tourmaline flat (or curling) iron, but it uses a different material that happens to retain the much longer.

Whether you are using a flat iron or hair dryer, utilizing these negative ions in this beneficial way creates a faster way of straightening and drying the hair. It also helps keep the hair in good condition by locking in the hair’s own natural moisture. Read “no damage”. Anytime you can keep the natural moisture in you hair, it’s a good thing. It keeps your hair shiny and in better condition.

Nano Titanium is also an exceptionally smooth surface for flat irons and curling irons so they will glide down your hair without pulling, tugging or breaking your delicate hair (I love that). The BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium Straightener yields the maximum amount of far-infrared heat that  penetrates the hair from the inside out to straighten gently, without causing damage (I love that too).

Not only is Nano Titanium is a great new material for flat irons, curling irons, hair dryers, you’ll be impressed with the results you see after one use. The latest technological advances always catch my eye and I expect to be seeing a lot more products with this innovative material in the future. It really is one of the superior materials in hair appliances I’ve seen.

To see more Nano Titanium products visit our BaByliss section.
-CurlyBelle

CHI Wet-to-Dry Flat Iron Tips

Getting started with a CHI Auto-Digital Wet-to-Dry Flat Iron: 

CHI Wet-to-Dry Flat IronPlug the CHI Auto Digital Ceramic Flat Iron into the correct power supply.
          Turn the power switch “ON”.
          Turn the power switch to “OFF” position after the usage.

Select the Temperature:
The CHI Auto Digital Ceramic Flat Iron offers complete versatility for temperature setting. The controls allow you to set the temperature and the time. The digital monitor allows you to see the precise temperature for your requirements. You may also set a timer for automatic shut off when you are done with styling.

CHI 44 Iron GuardBefore you Straighten:
Shampoo and Condition the hair with your favorite CHI shampoo and conditioners.
Always make sure that your hair is 90-95% dry and combed through.
Apply your favorite CHI styling products to the hair. We suggest: 
CHI 44 Iron Guard and CHI Silk Infusion.

Using your CHI Auto-Digital Ceramic Flat Iron
Section the hair and start with a section approx. ½ inch (1 cm) in thickness. 
Start from underneath and work your way up.

Thinner sections = more intense, thorough heat
Thicker sections = less heat directed to the section

Continue styling ½ inch sections until entire head is finished.

-StraightBelle

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

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

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

Flat Iron Straightening Success

If you are looking for hair straightening tips, who better to get them from then HAI? HAI Elite makes and sells hundreds of flat irons, so if they are giving out some secret, straightening, styling tips for their tools, we’ll gladly take them. Whether you use your flat iron every day, or you’re a newbie, these tips will set you straight!

Tip 1: Adjust the heat according to the texture of the hair. Fine hair should be styled at temperatures from 170 to 225 degrees. Medium textured hair can be styled at temperatures from 200 to 325 degrees. Coarse hair can be styled at temperatures from 300 to 325 degrees.

Tip 2: Take the right size sections. The length of the section should be no longer than the length of the irons plates to be sure that all hair is coming in contact with the ceramic.The width of your section should be the same as the of the width of the iron, or smaller, taking too large of a section can affect the hair in the center by not getting heated properly. This is especially true for coarse, thick and hard to curl hair. 

Tip 3: Work from the bottom up. Section hair into four separate sections for control. Start in one section from the bottom and work up to part line. This way you are able to iron all of the hair section by section laying the straightened hair on top of the previously straightened hair and not disturb the shape you have created. 

Tip 4: Work in smooth fluid motions. Starting parallel to the part get as close to the scalp as you can and glide through to the ends. This avoids any crimps or creases in the hair.                                            

Tip 5: Always comb through the section removing any tangles before gliding the iron through the hair.

                                                                         


Tip 6: Use a shine product on the sections to lock in the shape and add a natural looking sheen to the hair, we recommend natural looking sheen to the hair.

-StraightBelle