Earlier this year I was in need of a hairstyle change. As much as I love my curls, I decided to commit to straight hair – I had a long fringe cut in, and the fight began to tame the frizz in favour of straight, thick and flowing hair.
I learned very early on that the dream of this kind of straight hair is never as easy as it looks – well, at least it hasn’t been for me! Through trial and error, learning from the stylists in my local salon and reading about the best way to achieve a frizz-free look, I think I finally arrived at the right combination of tools and styling products for ‘the perfect straight’.
My straightening tools:
- Hairdryer (at least 2,000 watts, so professional strength)
- Heat protection (I use Sassoon Heat Shape and Diamond Polish)
- Ceramic hair brush (to give me some volume, also ceramic brushes retain the heat, which gives you a faster blow dry)
- Straightening iron
One of the most essential tools for straightening is a good flatiron with ceramic plates. You need the plates to be ceramic as those with steel plates can pull and tear your hair. For this I recommend ghd, whose styling tools are a staple part of my hair routine. My straightener is the ghd V lagoon professional styler, a limited edition tool from the birds of paradise collection. If you purchase the coral styler from this range, ghd will donate 10 GBP to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, and this money will be used to aid research into the prevention, detection and treatment of the disease, a very worthwhile cause.
S0, the steps to straightness:
- Wash and condition your hair. The conditioning part is very important, because you want your hair to be in the very best condition before you start styling with heat, to prevent damage.
- I towel dry my hair first, I never begin with wet hair. Hair should be damp, not dripping with water.
- Use a small amount of ‘heat shape’ in preparation for blow-drying.
- Using a ceramic brush, blow dry your hair, pulling it taut in the process to help with the smoothing. This is by far the most time consuming part for me, as I have so much thick hair in layers, but the more time you can spend getting this bit right, the better your final look will be.
- When I have finished blow-drying my hair, I add a small amount of ‘diamond polish’ before I begin straightening. To start straightening, section your hair into segments (perhaps stick half your hair in a bun on the top of your head, and separate the bottom part into sections about one or two inches wide.) Using a comb, pull out a section of hair as taut as possible, while smoothing a flatiron along that section with the other. Start at the roots of the hair near your head (mind your scalp, no-one likes to get burnt!) and move to the end in one fluid motion, then repeat a couple of times to make sure that section of hair is straight.
- Repeat the last step for all other sections, and begin working on the top of your head (I usually add a teeny bit more ‘diamond polish’ at this stage to help calm flyways) After one section is done and you are happy with it, repeat the process on the other sections.
A few words of caution, my straight and sleek loving friends. Never, ever, ever use flatirons on wet hair. This will cause so match damage, it’s akin to boiling your hair. Do take your time, more so with the blow dry part than the straightening part. Your effort will pay off! Finally, resist the temptation to run the straighteners over and over the same sections too many times. You want to do all you can to minimize heat damage and have your hair in the very best condition.
So there you have it! Tips for ‘the perfect straight’. Good luck!