Some people are blessed with long, luscious locks.
The rest of us need a little help to tame our wild manes or coif our strands into a more flattering shape.
Luckily, with the advance of heating tools, styling your hair to perfection has never been more attainable. But here are a few tips you should keep in mind when using heated hair-styling tools.
Choose Your Tool Wisely
These days, beauty shops are brimming with hair-styling tools of all stripes.
And sure, you can tell the difference between your basic straightener and curling iron, but can you pinpoint exactly what kind of tool you need to achieve the desired hairstyles?
If the answer is “no”, then here are some basic pointers that should help you out when choosing the right tool for your hair goals.
First, we have hair straighteners. They may all look the same at a first glance; however, their design and the materials used for their production vary a lot.
For example, ceramic irons are the recommended option for people with fine, brittle hair, as this material helps achieve even heat distribution. On the other hand, titanium hair straighteners are more suitable for thicker and coarser hair, as they can provide consistent high heat that can eliminate even the most stubborn frizz.
Depending on the volume and length or your hair, you can either go for a wide-plated iron to save time on the straightening process or a smaller one if you have fine or short hair.
Curling irons are even more diverse.
The most important factor when choosing a curling iron should be the size of the barrel.
If you want tight, corkscrew ringlets, opt for a narrow wand that will give your locks that tight, fluffy curl.
Alternatively, if you’re on the market for soft, sensual waves, then a big-barreled curling thong might be more up your street.
Tapered wands are designed to create a curl that’s loose on the upper sections of the hair and narrower towards the tips.
And if you want to get those wild-looking mermaid waves, then hair crimper is the tool you’re looking for.
Finally, if you travel or move around a lot, you might want to invest in a cordless heating tool, as this will facilitate styling your hair when you’re on the go.
Prep Your Strands With Heat Protector
Blow drying, curling, straightening… all these styling methods have one thing in common: exposing your hair to high levels of heat.
And if styling your hair with hot tools is a part of an everyday routine, then your hair might end up looking dry and feeling brittle.
In order to mitigate damage caused by constant use of hot tools, it’s important to apply a heat protectant on your hair before styling it.
Heat protecting serums work best if you style your hair by blow drying it, while sprays are more suited for priming your hair before shaping it with hot tools.
Heat protectants are generally applied on damp hair, but some can be used on dry hair, as well.
Wait Until Your Hair is Completely Dry
Our hair tends to be most vulnerable when it’s dry.
Moreover, if you apply an extremely hot tool to wet hair, you can cause the water trapped inside your hair to boil and contribute to permanent blisters.
This is why you should always make sure to dry your hair thoroughly before proceeding to style it with hot tools.
You can do this by squeezing out excess water with your hands once you get out of the shower.
Instead of tugging at the hair with a towel, try patting it instead – doing so from the roots downwards.
To detangle your hair, use a wide-tooth comb, focusing first on the tips, then the rest of your hair.
It’s best to let it air dry, but if you’re pressed for time, you can blow dry it with heat set on low.
Use a Glove
If you think that protection from heat ends with your hair, then you probably never had the misfortune of burning your hand on a piping-hot curling iron.
To avoid making the mistake that might cause you to quit this entire hair-styling shebang, always make sure to wear a heat-resistant glove on the hand that you will use to single out the stands your curling or straightening.
This way, your glamorous coif won’t have to come at the price of first-degree burns.
Master Your Styling Technique
Now that you’re equipped with all the products and tools, how do you actually go about styling your hair?
Naturally, the answer depends on the look you’re trying to achieve.
To help you with that, here are a couple of tips on how to recreate some of the most popular styles using hot tools.
For soft, loose waves, section your into into mid-sized strands. Use a wide-barreled wand or thong to curl the sections away from your face.
If you want to create a more textured, bouncy look, then use a narrower wand and alternate between curling your strands inwards and outwards. This trick will give your hair more volume and make it look perkier.
In case you have a formal event coming up (or you just want to glam up your everyday look!), you can use your hot tool to achieve the gorgeous old Hollywood waves. Section your hair and curl it towards the face. After you shape each curl, pin it down to your scalp. When your entire hair is pinned into curls, let them cool completely, then take out the bobby pins one by one. Brush out your hair and shape it into your preferred style. Voila, your silver screen diva look is complete!
Make the Most Out of Your Hair Straightener
When it comes to styling tools, “hair straightener” is definitely a misleading name, since this hot tool is capable of doing so much more.
For example, you can give your regular straight style a twist by bending the flat iron inwards towards the ends to achieve that soft, ‘90s-inspired look.
Alternatively, you can do the same thing, only outwards. Bam – you have your Farrah Fawcett-esque swept waves.
Flat irons can also be used to create more intricate looks. You can use them to mold all kinds of curls, from fluffy, corkscrew ones to the more glam, loose waves.
If you’re looking for a flat iron that can double up as a curling iron, look for products that have rounded edges. This will facilitate creating the curl and giving you a more defined look.
Finally, flat irons can also be used to give already straight hair a more voluminous look. To achieve this effect, place the straightener to the very root of your strand and hold it there for a couple of seconds. Repeat on remaining strands and your hair will look bouncier than ever.
Set it With Spray
Now that your ‘do is all glammed up and ready to go, it’s important to secure your curl, so your hair doesn’t go back to looking like a shapeless mop in a matter of hours.
This is where hairsprays step onto the scene.
At a first glance, it might seem like there’s virtually no difference between the hairstyle setting products.
However, not all hairsprays were created equal!
The biggest factor to consider when choosing the right one for you is the strength of the product.
If you want something that’ll help your hair stay put for hours on end, then go for an ultra-strong product that will provide the hold you need.
On the other hand, if you’d prefer your ‘do to remain airy and fresh, opt for a hairspray with lightweight formula that will secure your style without causing stiff or sticky feeling.
When applying hairspray on your locks, make sure to do so from a distance of at least 20-30 centimeters.
This will help disperse the product evenly on your hair. If your ‘do involves well-defined curls, then spray each one individually. This will help keep them separated and preserve their shape.
If you need hairspray to eliminate frizz and tame those annoying baby hairs that poke out of the roots, you can spritz a tiny amount of spray on a toothbrush and use it to smooth out the unruly bits.
Finally, you can also perk up your ‘do with a bit of dry shampoo or texturizing spray. They can work wonders for straightened hair that needs a boost of volume or for livening up second-day hairstyles.
Simply take your spray and spritz it into the roots of your hair. Use your fingers to massage the products into your scalp – your hair will instantly look fresh and full.
Nourish Your Hair Afterwards
Even with all the precautionary measures, styling your hair with hot tools can still be incredibly damaging for your hair.
Exposing your strands to high temperatures will definitely rob your hair of its natural moisture. With frequent use of blow driers and hot rollers, your hair can become fragile and dry.
That’s why it’s so important that you nurture your hair in between two styling sessions.
The base of every good hair regimen are two products: shampoo and conditioner.
To minimize damage caused by high temperatures, look for products that will replenish your hair with moisture and boost its recovery process. These are some of the most common ingredients to keep an eye out for:
Also, you might want to start deep conditioning your hair to give it some extra TLC. Simply apply a dollop of your favorite hair mask on your strands, paying extra attention to the tips. Wait for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse it off. Your hair will look glossy and feel extra nourished.
Finally, if you suffer from split ends, applying constant heat to your hair can only exacerbate this problem. To ensure your hair looks healthy top to bottom, make sure to give it a trim once every couple of months.
Give Your Hair a Day Off
As amazing as having sleek, pin-straight hair or lush, voluminous curls is, sometimes your hair needs a time-out from all the hot tools.
By allowing your hair to exists in its natural state, you’re allowing it to recuperate after all the heat it’s been exposed to.
If you tend to use hot tools on the regular, set aside at least one day a week when you will let your hair have a breather.
And if you can’t stand the idea of having untamed hair even for a day, there are still plenty of heatless hairstyles you can pull off that can be just as flattering.
We hope this list of tips will guide you on the way to styling the ‘do of your dreams. With the right kind of tools, a bit of know-how and a dash of hairspray, we are positive you will be rocking the most gorgeous coif in no time.