How Do Hair Straighteners Work?


Understanding How Hair Straighteners Work

  • Hair straighteners are often referred to as "straightening irons" because they work on your hair in a similar way that an iron works on your clothing. Hair straighteners flatten and smooth the hair in the same way that an iron would remove the creases and kinks in the fabric of your favorite shirt by using heat and pressure. Like curling irons, hair straighteners use heat to shape the hair into the desired style; they can be plugged into the wall to heat for about 1 minute prior to use. Most hair straighteners have multiple settings available to select the best heat for your hair type.

Making Straighteners Work on Your Hair

  • Once the straightening iron has reached the desired heat level, you can straighten your hair by sections, until your entire head is done or until you have completed the process enough to achieve your optimal look. If you are straightening all of your hair, it may be helpful to begin from the base of your head and work your way up, clipping half of the hair out of the way to start off, so you can reach all the parts underneath. This way, you won't be going over the parts you have completed. Remember to section off the hair in reasonable sized chunks, so the entire section can fit into the straightener. Carefully clamp a section of hair into the straightener, holding it shut and applying gentle pressure with your hand. Always move the hair straightener from the base of the root, close to your scalp, to the end of the hair. Straightening the hair requires patience because hair straighteners will not work if you attempt to move the straightener too quickly on your hair.

Risk Factors of Hair Straighteners

  • Each hair type will vary somewhat in the amount of time that heat needs to be applied to the hair. It is important to remember that heat can be damaging to the hair if used frequently and in excess for styling purposes. This is why it is important to determine the amount of heat necessary to make your hair straight; using the lowest level possible reduces the risk of damage to the hair. Be sure to check for warnings on the labels of any styling products that you apply prior to using a hair straightener. Certain products, especially professional salon products and finishers, will indicate not to use heat on the hair after the product has been applied. Take the warnings seriously. Remember to shut off and unplug the hair straightener from the wall after you are done with it; always allow it to cool completely before storing it, because it can melt or burn other items if put away when it is still hot.

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