Ok, so for some/many this will be a very basic beauty tutorial. But then, for every person out there who knows how to straighten hair, there’s going to be another who might like to get a few tips. As always, I’m not a hairdresser or an expert – but I’ve had a pair of straighteners in my life constantly since 2002, so have racked up a few years of practice. As it’s a pretty simple hair-styling task to master I will keep my little tips on how to straighten hair short and snappy. So you can go from natural shape to silky smooth as quickly as possible.
Step 1: Wash and condition hair – I guess you don’t really need to do this as you can straighten on hair that’s not freshly washed – but it’s nice to start with clean, fresh hair. My current products of choice for this at the new Garnier Shampoo and Conditioner – launching in the UK and review of these coming soon. But overall, use a shampoo/conditioner duo that suits your hair type.
Step 2: Apply styling products – If you’re straightening your hair you will be using a very hot tool direct on the hair so heat protection cream is essential. I also add some volumising product so if you have flat/fine hair like me I would suggest the same or else straight hair can often end up as limp hair without it. For heat protection I’ve been using Toni&Guy Prep Heat Protection Mist* and for volumising I’ve been using a pair of products from Organix – their ‘Thick and Full Biotin & Collagen Amplifying Lotion’* and ‘Thick and Full Biotin & Collagen Root Boost Spray’* – both impressed immediately as they really add some healthy ‘oomph’ to hair without drying out or leaving it crispy.
Step 3: Rough dry hair – Roughly dry hair until it’s around 80-90% dry, don’t think about how to looks at this stage, it doesn’t matter. Just needs to be closer to dry.
Step 4: Grab your tools – the latest straightener I’ve been using the the new Cloud Nine ‘Touch‘*, which is a little bit magical! Instead of an on/off switch, you tap the plates together to turn on. It then indicates when it’s at the temp setting you want and you’re good to go. These also have an automatic off timer, so no more ‘oh God, did I leave my straighteners switched on’. I would still recommend picking up a heat protection mat for them though, just to be safe with whatever surface you’re using them on.
Step 5: Take roughly 2-inch sections at a time – and run the straightener smoothly along in the direction of root to tip. To avoid that ‘noughties poker-straight’ look I hold the straighteners at a slight angle to allow the hair to be straightened with a soft curve at the end. I tend to do the back of my head first and work in sections forward – as the back is the hardest bit I like to get this done first.
Step 6: Allow hair to cool – and add a spritz of healthy hold type hair spray to keep in place but not frozen solid. If possible, let your hair cool down and ‘set’ before you brave the cold/windy elements outside as that’s the easiest way a hair style can be ruined. If your hair is a bit thicker you might want to pop some serum/smoothing product on to add extra shine and smoothness – but if you’re fine-haired like me then you might want to skip it.
And there you have it – smooth and silky hair, without looking *too* poker straight!