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Equipment Series - Flat Irons

Guest Author - Lynne Chapman

The flat iron, or straightening iron, has long been used to straighten wavy hair. Few people, however, know that it is also very useful on short and even straight hair.

Ranging in width from one to four inches flat irons have a variety of uses. Some irons even have teeth to help grip the hair. You may be surprised to find that one of the following uses applies to your needs.

Use it to straighten long wavy or frizzy hair.
  1. Shampoo and condition your hair with a smoothing or moisturizing product.
  2. Apply a hair gel containing a heat protector and designed to control thick or curly hair.
  3. Blow-dry your hair as smooth as possible using a large round brush or a paddle brush.
  4. When your hair is completely dry, section off a strand of hair.
    • If your hair is mildly wavy, select a large strand.
    • If your hair is very curly or frizzy, select a smaller strand.

    Clamp the iron at the base of the strand and slowly slide the iron toward the ends. Use a smooth, continuous motion. If you move it too fast, it will not have a straightening effect while sliding it too slowly can overheat the hair causing dryness.

Use the flat iron to shine long or short hair.
  1. Use a shampoo and conditioner designed for your hair type.
  2. Apply hair gel or mousse that contains a heat protector and is designed for your hair texture.
  3. Choose a flat iron sized according to the length of your hair. Wider irons are effective for long hair while a narrow iron is perfect for short hair, even if only an inch or two long.
    Use the flat iron in the same way as above.
    The flat surface of the iron and the heat applied will work with the styling product to create a very sleek and shiny appearance.

Use the flat iron to ‘flip’ hair.
A flat iron is the perfect tool to use to create today’s trendy flip that sticks almost straight out and does not curl over on itself the way the flips of the ‘60s did.
  1. Again, shampoo and condition with a product designed for your hair type.
  2. Apply a strong hair gel or mousse to the area that you want to flip.
  3. When your hair is thoroughly dry, clamp the iron on to the hair and direct it upward in the form of a flip as you slowly pull the iron toward the ends of the hair.
    On very straight hair, heat the hair shaft with the iron and then go over it again immediately, turning the iron up at almost a right angle to form the flip.
    This method is perfect for very short hair.

Use the flat iron to correct a roller set.

If you set your hair with rollers, whether hot rollers or the wet-set variety, you may have experienced the problem of too much curl.
At this time the flat iron is a valuable tool to smooth out the unwanted bounce. In this instance, apply the iron lightly to the affected area. It will usually take only a small amount of heat and pressure to get rid of extra curl.

So don’t stereotype the flat iron. As you can see it has many uses for all textures of hair and many styles. With practice you will get the look you want.




Revlon RV059C Perfect Heat Professional...

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This professional-quality hair straightener. The plates are full size (3-1/2 by 2 inches), and each has a separate heating system. The plates heat up in just 60 seconds.

VS Sassoon VS189C Gold Series 1-Inch...

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VS Sassoon VS189C Gold Series 1-Inch Professional Hair Straightener

Conair SS6NCS Straight Styles Steam...

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Conair SS6NCS Straight Styles Steam Straightener
For extra straightening power, there's a removable toothed attachment that pulls hair taut during the steaming process.
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Content copyright © 2013 by Lynne Chapman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lynne Chapman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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