If you're going to straighten your naturally curly hair, make sure to do it right! Heat damage and loss of curl pattern are big, bad downsides to wearing your hair straight, so avoid these common mistakes next time you flat iron.
8 Common Flatiron Mistakes
1. Cranking Up the Heat - All the Way
"You don't need 450 degrees," says hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins; "410 works for every hair type."
2. Forgetting Protection
"Not enough people use thermal protectors," says hairstylist Matt Fugate. Look for a no-hold formula, likeSuave Professionals Heat Protection Spray, Tresemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray, or Motions Straight Finish.
3. Running Over (and Over) Your Curls
Get hair as straight as possible before ironing by stretching out each section with a brush. Then slide the iron slowly and steadily in a single pass. "Don't stop and go, or you'll get horizontal lines," says hairstylist Garren. This is also known as the chase method.
4. Going Board-Straight
Instead of ironing hair straight, parallel to your face, move your arm in a C shape as you proceed down the hair, and bend the ends under.
5. Ironing Damp Hair
If you hear a sizzling sound or see steam, well...it ain't good.
6. Thinking Bigger is Better
Hulking irons "make it hard to get to the hairline, where hair tends to be curliest," says hairstylist Sebastian Scolarici. Instead, choose a straightener with ceramic or tourmaline plates that are an inch wide.
7. Straightening All At Once
Don't try to straighten all of your hair at once, always work in sections. Dividing your hair into sections and clipping them away from your face will help you ensure you don't miss any stops, as well as preventing the next mistake...
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is losing patience. When you lose your cool, you are more likely to cut corners, which can lead to heat damage. If you find yourself in this situation, just put the flat iron down and walk away. Put your hair up until you feel motivated to finish the job!