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Tips for Easy Hair Straightening

Published on 13th August 2008

Straightening irons are really popular but are you using them properly? I’ll show you how to get the best out of your straighteners.

Heat straightening your hair is really easy but there are a few techniques you can try which will vastly improve the look you can achieve with them.

The Basics
You’ll need a set of straightening irons (variable heat with ceramic plates are best), a comb, hairdressing clip and a heat protection product.

When straightening your hair, always make sure it is completely dry. Not only is straightening wet hair less effective, it’s also more damaging to your hair. If your hair is in really poor condition it’s not a good idea to apply heat directly to it. Try a strand test with your straighteners on their lowest setting and check for dryness or breakage.

While your straighteners heat up apply some heat protection cream/spray to your hair to prevent damage from the straighteners. Allow a few minutes for this to dry on your hair. Comb through your hair to remove any tangles.

To get the best from your straighteners don’t try to stuff too much hair through them at once. If you do, you’ll end up with straight hair on either side but a big frizzy strand in between. Section your hair into at least 3 horizontal partings and start working from the nape of your neck upwards. If you have thick or very curly hair you’ll probably need to part your hair into smaller sections.

Take a section of hair about as wide as the heat plates on your straighteners and comb through. Close the straighteners behind the comb and slide them along the length of the hair. Do this in a smooth movement or you’ll end up with horizontal lines where the straighteners have clamped too hard.
Repeat this for each section, making sure that you avoid straightening the same piece of hair twice.

If you like your hair to be turned in simply turn the straighteners by 45 degress when you reach the end of the hair. This will bend the ends inwards. Only turn the straighteners as you slide them towards the ends of your hair, otherwise you’ll encourage fly-aways to stick out along the length of your hair.
You can apply the same technique for flicked out styles and this works really well with short layered cuts.

For super straight hair use a straightening spray on the hair first to help hold the style. Straighten down the length of the hair vertically and move the straighteners at a steady pace. It’s important that you use a comb so that the ends are really defined. This looks great with point-cut or razored styles.

You can also use your straighteners for adding volume. To do this pull the hair out and away from your head as your straighten. Lift the top part in sections and pull the straighteners directly upwards, away from your head, being careful not to tug on your hair. Allow the ends to curve slightly for more movement.

Straighteners can also be used for spiky hair styles. First apply a volumising spray to the roots and dry the hair outwards from your head. Set with hair spray and use straighteners to define the ends.

Curling With Straightening Irons
It’s also possible to use straightening irons to produce loose curls in long hair. The technique takes a bit of practice but is a quick way to curl your hair once you get the hang of it. You’ll need a narrow straightener with a curved barrel.

Start with a 2-3cm wide strip of hair. Position your straighteners near the roots of your strand and close the plates. Now wrap the strand around the straighteners. Next rotate your straighteners by 180 degrees, towards your head. The remaining part of your hair should be hanging downwards. Lightly grip the strand near the ends and slowly slide the straighteners down the length of your hair, through to the tips.

You should now have a curved strand. Wrap the curl around your finger for a few seconds while the hair cools. When you’re finished set the hair using a strong hold hairspray.

Got more straightening tips? Let me know in the comment section below!

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  • Never leave your straighteners unattendend while plugged in or cooling down.
  • Always use the lowest heat you can to prevent damage.
  • If your hair is fragile always do a strand test on a low heat before using straighteners.
  • Keep flamable products like hairspray away from heat sources!
  • Keep straighteners away from scalp, ears, fingers etc.
  • After straightening your hair will be hot! Be careful.