The flat iron is an essential hair styling tool. From straight, to wavy, to even natural looks, this tool can handle it all. While we all think we know how to straighten hair, we could all do with a refresher. And while this tool can be a lifesaver, by using it incorrectly you are causing more trouble in the long run. To avoid inadvertently damaging your hair, check out our three simple tips for using flat irons like a pro.
Protect Your Hair
Always start by prepping hair with a heat protectant like Eleven Miracle Hair Treatment. This will make sure hair stays healthy and easy to style.
Use Even Sections
The key for polished flat iron styles is even sectioning. When styling hair, keep sections the same size for a consistent and balanced hairstyle. Generally six even sections, illustrated in the image below, is sufficient. If you have very thick hair you may need to create more, smaller sections to keep things manageable.
Get Your Temperature Right
Finally, make sure you know what flat iron temperatures suit your hair and style. If your flat iron doesn’t have temperature settings, it’s probably time for an upgrade.
- 80°C Smooth frizz and flyaways
- 105°C Styling damaged hair
- 130°C Styling fine hair
- 160°C Styling loose waves or natural styles
- 185°C Standard styling and straightening
- 210°C Coarse, unruly hair
With a noticeable move away from the dead-straight look of previous years, curls are definitely making a comeback. And if you have some natural waves or curl to your hair can look amazing with a little help from a hairdryer attachment called a diffuser.
Now, if your hair is truly straight, a diffuser won’t magically make it curl, but so many of us unknowingly really do have the potential for gorgeous, curly hair.
The magic is all in the diffuser and proper technique. Here’s our how to guide:
- After washing and conditioning, comb any knots out with a wide toothed comb.
- Gently press excess water out of your hair with a towel.Make sure to towel-dry it well, but never wait until parts of your hair have already dried to begin blow drying. These dry pieces will just become fly-aways and will result in your finished product looking frizzy.
- Scrunch in a styling product specially designed to enhance curls like Kérastase Curl Fever.
- Always start your diffusing process at the ends and work upwards as the hair dries. This allows the curls to spring up without the weight of the water pulling them down. To avoid creating fly-aways, make sure to always keep the nozzle of the dryer horizontal, not vertical.
- If your hair is long or medium-length, it’s best to start upside-down, then switch from side to side as you get closer to the roots. Make sure NEVER to comb through with your fingers while you’re drying! Only use your hands to lift the ends of the hair and take the weight off the curls as they are drying. Some gentle scrunching is OK.
- As you get to the roots, use your hands to make a “claw” then make small circles on your scalp with your fingertips. This encourages the curl and volume all the way to the roots. If you have a diffuser with “fingers” like the Cloud Nine Airshot Diffuser, you can actually press these points directly against the scalp and make circles as you hang your hair to one side and then the other.
- Once your hair is dry, grab your wide-tooth comb and loosely work it through your hair. This will gently separate and soften the curls to create a modern finish. Just remember to do this AFTER the hair is completely dry or you’ll create the dreaded frizz effect.
A diffuser works like a sprinkler on the end of a garden hose; it breaks down and separates the air enough that the heat can pass through your curls and dry them without breaking them up. This is the secret to the perfect soft, springy curl. But, it’s important to know that not all diffusers are created equal.
To test if your diffuser will create the soft, springy curls you want, hold it about 15cm from your hair and turn the dryer on. If the diffuser blows your hair like a jet engine, it’s just going to create frizz. But, if it sends a gentle breeze though your hair, you have a winner!
Summer-proof your hair with this easy post-swim style.
image via kevinmurphy.com
1. After going to the beach, rinse the hair of salt water leaving just a little residue in the hair.
2. For naturally straight hair apply a texturiser. We love Kevin Murphy’s Hair.Resort. For naturally curly hair apply a curl definer. We love Kérastase Curl Fever.
3. Wrap your hair into a very loose bun, tucking the sides behind the ears.
4. Leave for approximately 20 minutes, then undo the bun and lightly shake for piece-y beach waves.
This easy braid is perfect for those days when you’re short on time and looks more complicated than it really is.
What you’ll need:
- A soft bristle brush
- Two hair elastics
- A styling product – we love Kérastase VIP – to create grip and hold.
- Apply your styling product and brush hair up into a high, smooth pony.
- Secure your pony with a hair elastic.
- Separate a small section of hair from the bottom of your pony tail.
- Wrap the small section of hair around the ponytail elastic until you’ve run out of section.
- Tuck the tips of the section under your ponytail elastic to secure them; this is the step that might take some practice. You want to secure just the tips beneath the elastic without making the hair tie visible again – try using a pencil or hair stick if it’s not working with your fingers.
- Divide your remaining ponytail into two equal sections.
- Twist the two sections around each other once.
- Begin twisting one section clockwise and the other section anti-clockwise (in two different directions).
- As you twist the sections in opposite directions, twist them around each other to create the rope.
- Keep twisting until you run out of hair.
- Secure your rope braid with an elastic.