Before and After Frizzy Hair – The Top 10 Mistakes You’re Probably Making When You Straighten Your Hair
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When it comes to beauty, there are few things more covetable than long, sleek, shiny, straight hair. You know the look—the one that beguiled audiences at shows like Ralph Lauren and Chloé this past season? It’s the kind of style that somehow manages to look chic with everything from a great dress to a lazy Sunday outfit. (That’s how it differs from the more formal—and now, more passé—princess curls.)
But, according to some of our friends in the hair world, there are concerns about at-home straightening. After all, you’re clamping your precious, pretty hair with an iron that’s at the temperature required to bake a whole pizza! To help you upgrade your game, we asked them exactly what we’re doing wrong… and how to fix it. Read on to see how you score.
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1. You’re not starting in the shower. Let’s get one thing clear: no shampoo or conditioner will give you straight hair. But hair care items labeled “smoothing” may be able to help prepare the strands for the process by providing major moisture. “Take a paddle brush to comb the conditioner through,” suggests stylist Sarah Potempa (who’s tamed Lea Michele’s mane!), “then rinse your hair gently. Once you’re out of the shower, don’t towel dry like crazy! That will enhance the natural curl. Instead, pat downwards gently.” As an alternative to traditional terrycloth, which promotes frizz, try the super-soft DevaTowel to promote sleek strands.
2. The blowdryer is in the wrong direction. “The blowdryer is what’s really the most damaging to the hair,” says Tim Rogers, the creative director for Living Proof. “So that makes all the difference when you’re trying to get a sleek finish.” If you do use a dryer out of the shower, Potempa suggests rough drying (which is a technical term for shaking the dryer back and forth over the head) until it’s 80% finished. “But it’s important to keep the nozzle facing downwards the entire time, otherwise the hair will frizz,” she notes. The next 20% is up to you: You can apply your product then let it air dry, or, “Blow it out smooth for the best result,” Rogers says. “It gives the hair more direction and shape.” Potempa insists on using her boar bristle and nylon mix brush: “Nylon would cause static on its own, which is why plastic brushes are difficult to use,” she explains. “The boar bristle helps to smooth and polish.” (P.S.: You know those fancy Mason Pearson brushes? This is basically the same thing, for almost $100 less.)
3. Sizzle is the enemy. “If you see steam or you hear the sizzle, stop and evaluate the situation,” says Harry Josh, stylist to top models like Miranda Kerr and Gisele Bundchen. “Hair should be bone dry when you straighten.” If you’re certain that the hair is dry, it could be that product build-up is the culprit. “You need to be selective about what products you use before you flatiron,” insists Potempa. “You should avoid applying anything to dry hair, which is what makes straightening different than curling. Because the iron clamps down on the hair, there’s nowhere for the product to go. You’re essentially boiling the product into the follicle, which isn’t a great idea, especially when it contains alcohol.”
4. You’re not using a thermal protectant. OK, so you don’t want the hair to sizzle. But how are you supposed to get runway-ready strands without the help of a little something? “Living Proof’s Straight Spray coats the hair with a molecule we patented known as OFPMA,” Rogers says. “You can use it on damp hair, which is great, and it protects up to 450 degrees and resists humidity, so it dramatically reduces the frizz factor.” Plus, it’s made without oils and silicones, which could ultimately weigh the hair down. If you have thicker or coarser hair, you could still use an argan oil.
5. You cranked up the temperature. “The 450-degree setting was designed specifically for in-salon, professional keratin treatments,” Rogers says. “It wasn’t meant for consumers. But now, everyone can use it, which makes the at-home process faster.” Obviously, this comes at the expense of your hair’s health. “Coarse hair does need a higher heat,” says T3 stylist Jeanna Pizzollo. “But fine hair and especially damaged or color-treated hair should stay in the safe zone of 300 to 350 degrees.”
6. You’re not sectioning. “You shouldn’t be randomly grabbing fistfuls of hair,” says Potempa. “The iron won’t be able to get to pieces that are too thick, and you don’t want to unnecessarily reapply heat.” Instead, she suggests creating sections so you can easily track your progress: Split the hair in the middle at the back and then bring it forward. This will give you two sections to work with, but if your hair is thick, you may consider clipping it into four. “Sectioning will save you time,” Pizzollo adds. “The reason everyone complains about straightening taking so long is that they’re working off random bits of hair!”
7. You’re repeating yourself. Passing over hair with the iron more than once won’t kill the hair, but you need to find out if it’s necessary. “Tension is essential,” Josh notes. “Create your tension, then pull the iron downward starting from the root.” Obviously, curly styles will find it necessary to pull, straighten, and repeat a few times, but pulling the hair taut while you straighten will help immensely.
8. Your finish is damaging. If you have the kind of hair that may frizz or curl up, finishing products are your friends, not your enemies. But we’ve already learned to avoid silicones and oils, found in most shine agents, so what’s left? “A light hold hairspray is a good idea,” Potempa says. “But it’s best to wait for the hair to cool down first. Think about spraying a hot pan—it’ll sizzle and steam. Your hair will do the same thing!” She suggests spraying a boar-nylon brush with product, then combing it through for even application. “It’s the best way to make sure your hair gets hold that isn’t sticky or stiff,” she notes. Try Leonor Greyl Spray Structure Naturelle. Thicker or coarse hair types could benefit from a Living Proof Satin, which comes without silicones, reduces frizz, and adds shine.
9. Your iron is a dinosaur. That’s right. You could be following all of the above steps andstill be doing everything wrong. The truth is, when it comes to straightening, the proof is in the product. Here, our pros give you some compelling reasons to break the piggy bank for a good flatiron:
“The automatic shut-off feature in T3 Single Pass irons is crucial. It’s a great safety feature for the girl-on-the-go,” Pizzollo says.
“Look for the recovery time,” Potempa says. “A lot of cheap flatirons take up to 90 seconds to recover the temperature you set, so you’re actually losing heat as you go along. That also means heat won’t be evenly distributed between the two plates.” Her model, along with Josh’s andT3’s, all have advanced technology that guarantees even, constant heat flow.
“Material is important,” Potempa adds. “Ceramic is softer on the hair, but that makes it ideal only for fine-to-normal hair types. If you have curly hair, look for gold or titanium.” Josh’s iron actually blends ceramic and titanium, while T3’s is infused with tourmaline for added polish.
“Never go above an inch-and-a-half,” Josh insists. “You won’t be able to reach the root properly.” Thicker irons can be good for styling, but not straightening.
10. You’re only straightening long hair. “If I have someone in my chair like Coco Rocha, who has very thick hair, but wants that surfer boy hairstyle, I’m going to use a flatiron,” Rogers says. “It’s less damaging than blowdrying wet hair with a brush, actually, and it will even give an added polish.”
Source : teenvogue.com