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How to straighten hair correctly

straighten hair correctly

How do you straighten hair correctly without damaging it? Our guide outlines the 7 key things to do so you can straighten your hair without breakage.

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Is there anything wrong with straightening hair? Indeed! If the preparation, proper care and technique are not right, the hair can break quickly. That is why experts who work with celebrities and on runway shows know how best and easiest to straighten your hair without damage. Here are the best tips from the professionals.

How to straighten hair correctly

straighten hair correctly
Supermodel Cara Delevigne gets straight, backstage at Chanel

Well-groomed hair can be so easy! Straighten hair properly with these 7 tips:

The alpha and omega is heat protection

The plates of a straightening iron can get up to 230 degrees hot. An enormous heat, which allows the natural moisture of the hair to evaporate and thus damage the hair structure. Heat protection minimizes the damage caused by styling with heat by laying around the individual hair like a protective barrier. At the same time, many heat protection sprays also have a care effect, make brushing through unruly hair easier and prevent split ends and frizz.

By the way, a spray as protection should be used for all styling tools. Even a curling iron gets very hot and even a hair dryer has a higher temperature than is good for your hair.

The application: Pay attention to the instructions for use. Normally, the product is applied evenly to wet or towel-dried hair. Skip the scalp, it can quickly become greasy.

Dry hair well before straightening

The biggest mistake in straightening hair: you haven’t given your hair enough time to dry after washing. The slightly damp hair crackles when it comes into contact with the flat iron. Not a good sign! Because not completely dry hair is extremely sensitive. The still-softened cuticle can be severely damaged by the heat. So make sure you blow dry your hair completely to straighten hair correctly without damaging it.

Our tip: Do not straighten your hair until the next morning – then it has enough time to dry after washing.

Set the temperature on the straightener correctly

So that you straighten your hair as gently as possible, the straightening iron should be at the right temperature. Many hair straighteners reach up to over 230 degrees. This is too hot for the hair structure. Even if you feel that straightening hair is easier and faster, the hotter your straightener is, you should not exceed a temperature of 180 degrees. This applies especially to curls, because frizzy hair is naturally particularly dry and damaged hair. A good straightener can not only be switched on and off, but also has a temperature control.

Our recommendation: Get a straightening iron with an integrated heat protection sensor. It continuously measures the level of moisture in the hair and optimizes the temperature to protect against hair damage. Because straight hair is only beautiful if it also looks healthy and silky shiny.

The division makes smoothing easier

Experts recommend dividing the hair at the center parting into two sections and sticking one side up with a large clip. Divide the open strand into small sections one after the other – the width should correspond approximately to the length of a thumb. Put the rest up as well.

Common mistake: Be careful not to straighten strands that are too thin – they would get too much heat and break more easily. The individual sections should be between two and four centimeters thick. This is how you get the best results.

Straighten hair with flat irons: the right technique

Place a comb or brush on the bottom of the open strand. Place the flat iron over it and slowly pull it towards the tips. If pulling through is not enough, repeat if necessary until the strand is as smooth as you want it to be.

The professional trick: So that your hairstyle is smooth but not flat in the end, you should not pull the straightener straight down, but horizontally away from your head. This method gives your hair more volume.

Let the hair cool and fix it

For the perfect hairstyle, repeat the smoothing process strand by strand. Then let the finished sections hang down and not pinch them up again – this would only result in small kinks, since the hair is easier to “shape” when warm. Let the straightened hair cool for at least 15 minutes. Then you can make a braid or updo.

Finally, for the perfect sleek look, spray glossy or fixing spray over your head. So the straight hair stays really long for a long time.

Clean the flat iron

And now a little extra tip at the end: Clean your styling device regularly with a soft microfiber cloth and a little water. This is because remnants of care products collect on the hot plates and can impair the smoothing result. With dirty ceramic plates, it is no longer easy to drive through your hair – in addition, the residues can start to stink in the heat. Of course, your straightening iron should be cleaned if the device is not connected to the power and has already cooled down .

Conclusion: straightening doesn’t break hair

With the right straightening iron, our tips and the must-have products, everyone gets the trendy sleek look. Please note the rule of thumb: Without heat protection, there should be no straightening – regardless of whether you have short or long hair. Because only healthy hair ends up looking as beautiful as you imagine it to be.

Author: Genevieve Dumas is a food, fashion, health and beauty writer from New York, who has worked for a range of major magazines.