Sleek, smooth, glossy straight long locks… what kind of girl/woman would not like to have that for a couple of days, or preferably for the rest of their lives? You can easily become addicted to your flat iron, or constantly trying out new products promising exactly what you would like to have: straight hair. But let us take a look at the what methods are actually available for us, what products are really working and what are the ones you should never waist your money on!
I personally fall into the category of girls who has been chasing the dream of smooth and silky straight hair for years. When I started getting interested in this subject a good 8 years ago, the assortment of flat irons was very limited. In fact, I would have probably used a traditional iron to straighten my hair if a smart company would have put a label on it that it will deliver excellent results. Heat protection and ceramic plates were things we have never heard about. Today, you have the chance to make your choice between hundreds of best flat irons, from different brands and different price ranges.
The benefit of flat iron is that it breaks down the hydrogen bonds in the cortex of the hair, which causes the hair to bend and to become curly. If the bonds are broken, the hair stays straight temporarily. If the hair is exposed to moisture the bond scan to rebuild, causing the hair to take the curly shape again.
The original idea of the hair straightener is from Isaac K. Shero, who has patented his product of two heated flat irons pressed together. As the product was developed, the coating was changed to ceramic material instead of the metal which is very damaging for your hairs: it can simply burn it. But even if you read that your flat iron is “ceramic coated”, this does not mean that the product is the one you are looking for. The best and highest quality hair straighteners are built up by several layers of ceramic ensuring the best solution for frizzy hair and providing smooth result. The simple ceramic coated irons can break faster, and the coating can start chipping after a number of uses. You might have also met the tourmaline plated flat irons, which does not mean a lot to many of the people. To clear this up, tourmaline is a crystal boron silicate mineral that emits negative ions that counteracts with positive ions in dry and damaged hair. This material helps sealing moisture into the hair and helps against frizz. They first crush the tourmaline and then the powder is baked into the plates of the flat iron. Tourmaline is not only added to straighteners, but to brushes and curling irons as well. Currently ceramic and tourmaline plates are the best quality products you can find out there, ceramic plates heat up very fast and provides evenly distributed heat on the surface of the plates. You can sometimes hear other fancy features of straighteners, like nano ionic or ionic, but don’t get confused, they mean exactly the same thing.
Visit this website for more reviews on flat irons for black hair, they describe them quite good.
The latest version of flat irons plates are made by titanium. Titanium is a lightweight metal with higher ionic charge and making your hair faster straight. However, due to the higher heat tolerance, it can heat up to 300 degrees, which is damaging to any kind of hair type.
Luckily you can now purchase products that have a temperature knob on them, this way you can regulate how high is the heat you apply directly on your hair. Different hair types ask for different temperature to have the best result and keeping your hair healthy. The condition of your hair is very important: if your hair is already damaged you might think that the use of flat iron will cover up the flaws, but it is in fact just causing more trouble. Good to know, that the hair starts melting at 230 degrees, therefore never-ever go above that temperature, because you will pay the price: your hair will break off and split ends are guaranteed immediately.
The price of the flat irons varies, but I would never advise buying a cheap edition. It is better to invest more money and keep your hair healthy than damaging it. Fixing the damage with special treatments will probably cost you much more.
Most beauty brands involved in hair care have a line of products designed to leave curly and wavy hair straight. Well, I am sorry to inform you, but none of these will ever give you what you are actually looking for. There is no cream (unless chemical) that will change the structure of the hair.
There is a number of smoothing treatment performed by hairstylists you can try to get your hair somewhat softer and straighter. One of them is the so called Brazil keratin treatment, that is advised for people with unruly and frizzy hair. It is a chemical treatment, so people with sensitive scalp should be aware of the possible effects and in any case always make an allergy test in advance. The products used during the treatment contain formaldehyde. How is it done? I have had this treatment once, and I think that the greatest downside was that it took super long. With my mid-long hair I sat in the salon 3-4 hours straight. The hairdresser applied at least 7 different masks, shampoos and conditioners on my hair. Some of them had to be applied on dry hair, some of them on damp hair, so it was a constant back and forth between the sink and the hair dryer. The order and the processing time of the different stuffs is very important. In the very end, the stylist will literally seal the “keratin” into your hair by blow drying it with the mask on, and after that, straighten your hair with an unusually hot flat iron. The stylist will run the straightener around 10 times over every lock of your hair, so be prepared. You must not wash your hair for 3 days and a week long you have to make sure it stays straight. This treatment helped me reduce the frizz and the dryness of my hair, but unfortunately did not make t straight. My hair was curly again after I washed it once, so I am still using my flat iron when I feel like having a smooth mane.
08 May 2014