Flat Iron Do’s & Don’ts

Let’s all face facts, we have ALL had times when we weren’t sure if we were using our flat iron correctly. And we have all seen the YouTube videos of beauty bloggers burn their hair off. The one that comes to my mind, is the little girl (in Junior High School little) doing a tutorial and she accidentally burnt her hair off. She went viral and landed a spot on the Ellen show! I don’t want to do that LOL!!

Although I would love to be on the set of a TV show being taped again. Yes…I said again! I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Dr. Phil show in 2005 when they taped their Christmas Giveaway Shows! I will tell you girls about that later – but – in short – it was AWESOME!!! And they gave out so much stuff – and I was on the second row – I could touch them if I stretched! That’s a whole other blog post to tell you guys about “the” trip to Hollywood!

It has been a while since I used a flat iron, but I recently cut my hair shorter, so I’m back using one. You may have noticed in my pictures that my hair is shorter, I cut 4 inches off in December and another 2 inches a few weeks ago. I was having a “bad hair” day and chopped it off, now I’m living with regret! So when you’re having a bad hair day – throw it in a pony and move past the urge to cut!

First and foremost, let’s talk about product because that’s a big don’t!

There are certain products you want to make sure you keep out of the hair when you’re ironing and that’s anything that’s going to get too sticky. We’ve definitely seen people use hairsprays before ironing and especially something that’s got a lot of tack to it, it’s just going to make the iron stick.

And to be honest, if there’s too much dampness in the hair, you’re going to kind of cook the hair. So be careful with product selection.

The one that I highly recommend is the Redken Iron Shape 11. The reason is it’s specifically designed as a thermal protectant, specifically designed to go on dry hair and specifically designed to have heat tools put over it. So it’s not going to get sticky. It’s not going to get gummy and after you spray it through and comb it, you know that there’s not going to be wetness still inside of it that you’re going to cook the hair strand.


The next one is the actual section itself because what happens is a lot of times we just kind of go and grab up sections and roll with it. There’s kind of two don’ts here.

One would be the actual section size. When we take a large section like a big, chunky, horizontal piece, the challenge is this section is too large for the heat to evenly get through the hair. So when we place the iron into the hair, what ends up happening is we’re mainly just heating the outside edges of the section and then the inside isn’t getting hot enough to be affected. So what we do to compensate is we go over this section 10-15 times to get it right. Anyone been there???

What’s happening after you go over it that many times is you are kind of superheating the outside edges and the interior is not getting the heat to straighten it ompletely.

Smaller sections are actually going to be faster for you because you’re not going to have to go over the section multiple times to get the end result you’re looking for. Plus you’re less likely to fry the ends of your hair!! No frying!!!

Go Diagonal Versus Horizontal

My hair has more volume when I shift to more of a diagonal section. Grabbing up sections and ironing the hair in a horizontal motion tends to flatten your hair more. Pulling the iron in a diagonal motion will straighten your hair, but give you some volume.

Sealing the Deal

The final one is that you have to understand that the iron seals whatever goes into it into the hair. What does that mean? So if I have a strand that’s kind of fluffy and fuzzy, imagine that there’s a lot of crinkles in a section, if I take the iron and I just kind of grab a hold of it and go down the section, what I’ve now done is I’ve sealed all those crinkles into the hair because the iron actually doesn’t do the straightening. It just seals whatever you put into the iron.

To avoid that is the fine teeth of your comb! Put the fine teeth of the comb into the section and then you place the iron in right behind the fine teeth. Our combs are heat resistant so you don’t have to worry about putting the iron flat against the comb and by leading with that fine teeth, what it allows us to do is to feed smooth straight hair right into the mouths of the iron.

That is going to give you the best result. So again make sure you are choosing the right product, nothing that’s overly tacky or wet, make sure that you’re using the right section size, nothing too thick and of course that’s going to depend on hair density.

Switching from your horizontal sections into more diagonal sections to leave some life still in the hair and then finally make sure you lead with the fine teeth of your comb so that you’re not feeding the crinkles into the iron and sealing them in.

Hairspray & Hairdryers

Another don’t that I see people do a lot is putting hairspray on it or anything wet on it right before you run the iron down through it. I know it’s tempting because it does make it really go down straight and maybe if you need that look for a special occasion, do it, but it really does fry the hair. It’s like sizzling your hair and it’s so bad for it so really avoid doing that on a regular basis.

Another don’t is don’t blow dry and flat iron your hair. I know a lot of girls have really crazy curls and they’re really trying to tame them for a certain look.

In that case, if you have to blow-dry and flatiron then you can do that but if it’s just kind of a habit, make sure that you know that you need to do that.

Another tip that I have learned is to be sure that you know you need the amount of heat you’re using. So a lot of times with everything beauty, I feel like we get in habits and we just do it because that’s how we do it.

So if you’re using a ton of heat but your hair curls or flattens really easy, you’re just basically frying your hair for no reason. So be sure to test every once in a while to make sure that you don’t need the amount of heat you need. The way I test would just be lower it and then see if you still get that same flat silky look that you’re going for. Happy Straightening!!!

A guideline for heat.

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