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October 26, 2022 8 min read 1 Comment
Do you know how to use a flat iron to straighten your hair without damage? Continue reading to get some of our most essential ways to straighten your hair without damaging it.
Hair styling is a key part of our daily routine -according to Statista, 40% of women worldwide use a hair straightener, and 31% of women use a hair curler to enhance their beauty and get ready for the day.
Unfortunately, there are many things we do (or don’t do) that could be causing serious damage to our hair in the long run. In this article, we will tell you some ways to straighten your hair without damaging it - so, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
Before we tell you some ways to straighten your hair without damaging it, it is important to understand the exact reason why hair may get damaged in the first place.
The main reason why hair straightening can cause damage is heat, especially when it’s done with hot tools that don’t allow for temperature control. Temperatures over 300°F change the shape of your hair’s keratin strands, converting them from ⍺-keratin to β-keratin, causing the hair to lose its elasticity and become more vulnerable.
Once the keratin strands of your hair are changed, they can’t be reversed back to ⍺-keratin, as they will maintain their new shape on a molecular level.
However, heat and lack of temperature control are not the only culprit. If your hair has been dyed, bleached, or damaged from sun exposure, you will have to establish a healthy hair routine to prevent even further damage.
In order to straighten your hair without damaging it, the first thing that you will need to do is to prepare it properly before you start ironing. This is important not only for reducing harm during the styling, but also to ensure that your hairstyle lasts longer.
First, ensure that your hair has gotten a good, thorough cleanse with a high-quality shampoo and conditioner. This will prepare the hair for the straightening process and increase the life of your hairstyle. Selectingproducts that help with smoothing, such as NuMe’s Vegan Tourmaline Smoothing System, will reduce hair breakage and will make straightening easier.
In fact, products infused with tourmaline powder emit negative ions that counteract the positive ions present in dry or damaged hair.
Once your hair has been washed and conditioned, the next step that you will need to take in order tostraighten your hair without damage and ensure maximum smoothness is to apply your leave-in treatments right away.
While this may vary depending on your hair type and texture, one thing that you should not forget about before styling your hair is yourthermal heat protectant. Keep in mind that the temperatures of your flat iron can go as high as 400° , and applying such heat without protection can be extremely damaging.
The thermal heat protectant will create a protective barrier between the iron and your hair, helping to strengthen it, protect it from damage, seal in moisture, and control frizz
Doing this as soon as you’ve washed your hair is a must. If you take a break and let it air dry first, you will not be able to take full advantage of the leave-in treatment.
In addition, air drying will cause the hair to dry out in its natural curly form, making it more difficult for you to get it smooth and straight later, which will add to the damage as you apply more heat for longer.
To sum it up, some of the most important leave-in treatments that you should consider before straightening your hair include:
While it can be tempting to skip a step or two in order to save time, especially if we are in a hurry, remember that this will keep your hair healthy in the long run without having to sacrifice your hair styling routine.
While styling products are essential for achieving the perfect look and preventing your hair from heat damage or breakage, it is also possible to go overboard with this step.
Using too many styling products can weigh down your hair or cause unnecessary product build up on your scalp. For this reason, focus only on the products that we mentioned above to ensure that your hair strands are well-hydrated and protected against heat.
Among the most essential tips on how to straighten your hair with a flat iron without damage is to avoid doing this process while the hair is still wet.
Keep in mind that your hair strands can absorb anywherefrom 30% to 50% of their weight in water. When you use a flat iron or another hair straightener on damp hair, the high heat causes the water molecules that are trapped inside your hair strands to boil.
Needless to say, boiling hair doesn’t sound very healthy - in fact, it can lead to immediate, long-term structural damage that is often irreversible. Especially if you are straightening your hair every day, the harm can quickly build up over time.
Make sure that your hair is 100% dry before flat ironing.
We already mentioned the damage that heat can do to your hair, and it applies to all styling tools that you may be using. When blow drying your hair, make sure that you are doing it on low heat - especially considering that you will be adding more heat later when straightening.
Going below the 300-395°threshold is ideal for most hair types, but if you have a thicker hair, you can blow dry in the range of 300°to 340°.If your hair is on the thinner end, it is recommended to keep the temperature below 290° to avoid heat damage.
To dry the hair faster and make it smoother, always make sure to angle the air flow of the blow dryer downwards - this will also help tostraighten your hair without damagein the next step of the process.
If you are not in a hurry, let your hair air dry completely before styling as opposed to blow drying. This will save it from unnecessary heat exposure and friction, reducing potential damage, which is especially important if you are straightening your hair frequently.
Allowing it to dry naturally reduces the frequency in which you are applying heat.
If you are still using a flat iron that only has one or two buttons - for turning it off and on, it might be time to throw it in the trash. And yes, we are being absolutely serious.
Investing in a flat iron with temperature control is an absolute must if you are looking tostraighten your hair without damage, because you may be applying more heat than it’s actually needed for your hair.
In fact, these are the recommended temperature settings that you will need to use depending on your hair type:
Selecting the right flat iron is extremely important to keep your hair healthy and protected from heat damage. For this reason, we designed theNuMe Megastar Flat Iron - a unique flat iron with proprietary technology for more gentle heat styling, which won the 2022 Glamor Award Winner for best hair straightener.
With its 1-inch pure tourmaline ceramic floating plates and integrated far infrared heat strip, it takes hair straightening to the next level.You can buy it here.
How tostraighten your hair without damage: use a flat iron with temperature control like NuMe Megastar Flat Iron
Another important tip you need to know if you are looking to straighten your hair without damage is to avoid ironing the same area twice or worse - multiple times. Quite often, we use our hair straightener more than once on a single section of hair.
Unfortunately, doing this can cause a lot of damage to the hair. Instead of going over the same area multiple times, it’s better to do one quick motion with your flat iron and then move on to the next area.
This tip is tightly related to the previous one - usually, we feel the need to go multiple times over the same hair section if we are working with very large sections.
By ironing very small, 1-inch sections, we not only make them more manageable and easier to control, but we can also straighten the hair more quickly and effectively.
Doing this will help you tostraighten your hair without damage.
When it comes to hair damage, your post-ironing process should be just as important as preparation and the styling itself.
Keep in mind that newly straightened hair is much more vulnerable and susceptible to bends from hair elastics, as opposed to your regular hairstyle or even a two or three-day-old straightened hair. For this reason avoid putting it up right after flat ironing.
In addition, make sure that your hair is moisturised at all times. Repeat heating can dry it out, so if you are looking for ways to straighten your hair without damaging it, having agood hair moisturiser is an absolute must.
And last but not least, don’t forget to get regular hair trims, especially if you are using your flat iron frequently. Continuous heat exposure can cause frizz and split ends, but cutting your curly hair regularly will keep it healthier. You can also treat your split ends with agood end sealer.
Yes, it is OK to straighten your hair once a week as long as you use the proper techniques and a good flat iron with temperature control features. Wash your hair thoroughly, apply hair primer and a thermal heat protectant, and never straighten damp hair to avoid damage.
According to hair stylists, it is not recommended to straighten hair every day as it can cause breakage, heat damage, and moisture loss. Ideally, you should be flat ironing freshly washed, conditioned hair and heat protected hair no more than 2 or 3 times a week.
Straightening your hair while wet can lead to irreversible damage such as burning, breakage, or coarsening. Wet hair can absorb up to 50% water, so using a flat iron on it will cause the water molecules that are trapped inside your hair strands to boil.
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