How to Perfectly Straighten Your Hair with a Flat Iron

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There’s no better feeling than walking out of the hair salon with sleek, shiny, straight hair. The only downside? It can get expensive! Depending on where you go, it’s possible to spend upwards of $200 a month getting your hair straightened. Save that cash by investing in a good flat iron, heat protectant products and learning how to perfectly straighten your hair at home. Read on for a step-by-step guide to a gorgeous DIY blowout.

STEP 1: WASH YOUR HAIR

The first step of straightening your hair is to shampoo and condition your hair. To get the best blowout possible, look for products that specifically get rid of frizz, help with straightening and enhance shine and smoothness. Try L’Oreal’s Ultimate Straight Shampoo and Conditioner. I’m a big supporter of drugstore shampoos and conditioners (they generally work just as well as luxury items), while I think pricier styling products tend to be worth the splurge. Give L’Oreal or other drugstore buys a try before going for more expensive options.

STEP 2: TOWEL DRY

Most people with long hair wrap their hair in a towel post-shower, but did you know this is a crucial step in avoiding excess frizz during styling? Gently pat your hair dry with a towel, and squeeze as much water out of it as you can. Be sure not to rub your hair aggressively with the towel – this is pretty much asking for frizz. If you have thick hair, section off your hair during this process.

STEP 3: HEAT PROTECTANT

While your hair is damp, apply a heat protectant or serum throughout it. Start off with a dime-sized amount, and add more depending on how thick and long your hair is. Doing this on damp hair helps to spread the product evenly. Gently comb your hair to make sure the product is everywhere, and to get rid of any tangles. Look for products with oils, like Moroccan or argan, that have smoothing properties. I love using Moroccan Oil Heat Styling Protection – it makes your hair silky smooth. The greatest drugstore find I’ve used is TRESemme Heat Tamer Protective Spray. At only $4, it’s really a great bang for your buck.

STEP 4: BLOW DRY

Believe it or not, when I was a teen who just started cluelessly straightening my hair, I used to skip this all-too-important step. Yes, I would really start flat-ironing semi-damp hair, and then complain about the frizzy disaster my hair would become. You must blow dry your hair before reaching for the flat iron. It will prevent breakage, damage and lead to an all-around better style. Some tips to getting the most out of blow-drying… First, point the dryer downward from your roots – this minimizes frizz and leads to straighter hair. Also, try to use the lowest heat setting possible. Even though this will take longer, it will prevent unwanted puffiness and frizz.

STEP 5: TIME TO IRON!

First things first, plug in your flat iron and turn it on. (I have tried so many different irons, and nothing compares to CHI. You can usually find it for under $100, a pretty great price for such a high quality iron.) There are different degrees you can set your iron to. I have super thick and frizzy hair, so I set it to the highest degree, but use your judgment. If you have thin hair, set it to the lower end of the spectrum to avoid damage. While it’s heating up, take a few clips and separate your hair into 1-to-2 inch sections.

Take the first piece, and place the iron as close to the root of your hair as possible. Press and squeeze the iron down so your hair is touching the hot plates. Gently and consistently run the iron down your hair – don’t let it rest on one part for too long, as this can cause burning or weird crimps in your hair. Repeat the process over the same section until it’s as straight as you want it to be. Move on to the next section, until you’ve ironed every piece of hair. I like to work from the middle outward, so I finish off by ironing my angles. Do whatever works for you! For a little extra volume, start off by pulling the iron upwards near the roots, then pulling it down towards the ends.

Some things to be aware of: If you see a little steam rising from the iron, don’t be worried. It’s a result of the hot iron interacting with any moisture (or some product) that’s still in your hair. Just take some time to blow dry that section again. Hair should be completely dry when you flat iron it. If you start smelling burning hair, though, immediately lower the temperature of the iron.

STEP 6: SET YOUR HAIR

Once you’ve finished ironing your hair, take your blow dryer and turn it onto the coldest setting. Blow dry your hair with cool air to set it. Follow that up with some hair spray, setting spray or post-straightening serum to help it stay straight as long as possible. I love using Garnier’s Sleek & Shine products – the 5-in-1 Serum Spray is great to use after you iron your hair.

Do you flat iron your hair? Will you follow these steps the next time you want super straight hair? Let us know in the comments below, and on PAMPADOUR.COM!

Photo via HelloHairstyling