When flat ironing your hair, always keep the three “T’s” in mind: Temperature, texture and technique. If you do, you’ll find that those three simple tips will give you perfectly flat ironed hair every time!
Temperature and Texture
One key to perfecting your flat ironing is to make sure your flat iron is set to the correct heat. And that’s where your hair texture comes in. Ideally, your flat iron has adjustable heat settings. If not, you may want to invest in one that does so that you don’t risk damaging your hair with a flat iron that has a too high heat setting.
A general rule of thumb for setting your flat iron’s heat is that the finer your hair, the lower the heat should be and the thicker your hair, the higher the heat should be. For fine or damaged hair, a setting of 250-300 degrees F is recommended. For medium or average hair, use a setting of 300-350 degrees F. And for thick or coarse hair, use a setting of 350-400 degrees F.
Prepping Your Hair Properly
Part of good technique is making sure to prep your hair correctly. For thin hair, first wash it with a lightweight volumizing shampoo and conditioner. Once out of the shower, use a volumizing mousse with heat protection built in. Dry your hair thoroughly to create volume by lifting it at the roots.
To prep thick hair, wash it with a smoothing shampoo and conditioner. Once out of the shower, apply a smoothing lotion with heat protection. Blow dry your hair thoroughly, applying tension as you dry hair in order to make your hair as straight as possible from the get go.
Flat Ironing Technique
Clip your hair into manageable sections to keep the parts you are not ironing out of the way. Then use a rattail comb to separate out a ½ inch to ¾ inch section of your hair. Starting about a half inch down from your roots quickly and lightly glide the iron over your hair. Never, ever pull or force the iron over your hair. It’s better to go over the same section a few times if the first pass doesn’t flatten it enough. Continue using this technique for the bottom and mid-sections of your head.
When you get to the sections near the crown of your head, lift your hair off your head and get the iron as close to the roots as possible. For this area, you’ll want to apply a bit more pressure to the iron—press firmly, but again, don’t force or pull the iron. Guide the iron and the section of hair straight out from your head, not up or down.
If you want to have a slight “flip” at the ends of your hair, simply twist your wrist slightly away from your face once you’ve reached the end of section of hair.
When you are happy with your look, mist your new hairdo with a shine spray or a flexible holding hairspray. Be careful not to use heavy or sticky sprays or to overdo the hairspray. Misting with a good quality hairspray should do the trick.