Flat Iron Mistakes Most Women Make

August 15, 2014 9:17 pm - Published by Kim Cohen

Flat-Iron-Mistakes-Most-Women-MakeMost of us damage our hair on a daily basis without even realizing that we’re wreaking havoc on our tresses. Much of what we do in the name of beautification in the short term can have long term effects that are anything but lovely. Are you inadvertently damaging your hair with your flat ironing routine?

Mistake 1 – Ironing Out Volume

We all love the smooth finish of freshly flat ironed hair, but unless you’re taking special measures to boost volume, you’re probably leaving your hair flat and limp in the process. If you’ve got big hair to begin with, this might not be an issue, but for the rest of us, it can leave us looking like drowned rats.

You can remedy this problem by priming your hair for flat ironing with a texturizing cream. Follow up with a shine serum and a volumizing spray to replace the body you’ve just flat ironed out. You’ll have the best of both worlds, with hair that is sleek and shiny, yet full and bouncy.

Mistake 2 – Heat Setting Mishaps

Not all hair types require the same intensity of heat to get results. The higher the heat, the more damaging it is for your hair, so you should always use the lowest setting that works for your hair’s thickness and texture.

The best remedy for overheating your hair is to invest in a professional quality flat iron with high quality heat controls. Talk to your stylist and ask them for recommendations for the best setting for your hair type. If you have naturally curly hair, chances are high that you’ll be able to get away with a lower setting than your straight haired best friend.


Mistake 3 – Straightening Wet Hair

Unfortunately, misinformation about flat ironing wet hair abounds, and even some well-meaning but undereducated stylists tell their clients that it is fine to straighten hair that is still damp. Even slightly damp hair will incur more damage than fully dry hair. When you hear your hair sizzling, that bubbling steam is flaking off your cuticle and cracking the hair shaft, which leads to breakage and rougher hair texture.

The solution to this problem is simply a matter of time. Don’t skimp on blow drying time, and if you’ve got to hurry out the door before your hair is fully dry, it is better to forego the flat iron entirely. The damage caused by straightening wet hair is irreversible, and the only real solution is to get regular cuts until all of the ruined hair has been chopped off.

Mistake 4 – Not Using Heat Protecting Product

Using a flat iron without using a heat protecting product is the equivalent of taking a baking sheet out of the oven without putting on oven mitts. The intense heat produced by your flat iron requires barrier protection. You might not feel the burn directly, but without it, you are damaging your hair in much the same manner that touching a hot stove will damage your skin.

The solution is simple. Buy heat protectant sprays or serums, and use them every single time you straighten your hair! These products will seal your hair’s cuticle and create a silky smooth finish. If you’re not sure which product to choose from the hundreds on the market, try Matrix Thermo Glide Express Blowout Crème. Another way to pamper your heat stressed hair is to use a weekly deep conditioning hair mask to keep it hydrated and able to withstand abuse.

Mistake 5 – Daily Use

Your hair needs recovery time in between flat ironing sessions. The bottom line is that the more often you straighten your hair, the more damaging the cumulative effects will be. Only you can decide how often you’re willing to bypass the flat iron, but minimizing use will go a long way towards keeping your hair healthy and strong.

One of the best solutions for this dilemma is to forego daily washing. Sleep with hair pulled into a loose bun, and simply touch up the next day, rather than repeating the whole flat ironing process over again. The same goes for nights on the town. Instead of shampooing and flat ironing your entire ‘do again, just mist it with a heat protectant spray and go over the top layer of hair. It’s also worth asking your salon if they offer professional smoothing treatments. This won’t make your hair totally straight, but it will cut down on the amount of flat ironing you have to do in order to achieve the look you want.

You don’t have to ditch flat ironing entirely in order to keep your hair healthy. It’s more a matter of intelligent use. Do what you can to protect your hair during the process, and give it a break as often as possible. Your hair will thank you.

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