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How to Use a Straightening Iron

Straight, silky smooth hair is all the rage and girls are going crazy over ceramic hair straightening irons. Before you iron away your mane, make sure you follow these tips to ensure you donít dry or damage your hair.

Heat, whether by the sun, hair dryers, curlers and ceramic hair irons, all cause your hair cuticles to open. This opening often leads to dry, weak hair, resulting in hair that is damaged and lifeless.

Ceramic hair irons have gained a lot of popularity due to their ability to make hair soft, silky and straight. But, incorrect use of these tools can lead to more damage than good.

Kingsleyís The Hair Bible (Arum Press Ltd) says damage can be minimized if you follow these guidelines for using hot irons:

  • Your straightening iron should have a thermostatic control.
  • Heat sufficiently before use — the heat required to temporarily realign the shape of the hair is considerable.
  • For irons to work effectively, the hair should be fairly dry so the hairís natural moisture content is used to create the style. But if care isnít taken, you can make your hair brittle.
  • Steam-producing irons are less likely to dry out the hair as these provide moisture.
  • Teflon-coated irons are best.
  • Hot irons develop a residue from the impurities in water and from scorched hair cells, co all irons will eventually need to be replaced, otherwise theyíll stick to the hair.
  • Donít leave the iron on the hair for too long and donít pull the hair excessively to straighten it.
  • Try not to go close to the scalp as burns are painful and can become infected.
  • Avoid the excessive use of straightening or hot irons.
  • Always use styling aids to protect the hair.

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