Recently, we spoke with a group of professional stylists about their best tips for curling your hair.
Naturally, they were full of indispensable ideas for crafting curls full of bounce, body, and luster.
But during our conversation, one of the stylists we spoke with made a great observation:
“You know, summer’s right around the corner,” she said.
Without another word, we knew just what she was getting at.
And we’re sure, if you’re someone who spends day in and day out, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, fighting heat-and-humidity frizz...you know what she was talking about, too.
So, to help you tame the summer frizzies...or get more elegant versatility out of your look…
...we revisited our favorite professional stylists, and asked them:
“What are your top tips for straightening hair like a salon pro?”
Here’s what they had to share...their ideas for sleeker, sexier, easier straight styles than you ever thought possible!
WHAT’S YOUR STYLE GOAL?
Naturally, working the kinks and waves out of your hair is your primary goal when you’re straightening.
But, according to our stylists, you should always ask yourself just how straight you want it.
For example, UK-based stylist Niccola Bowen says for pin-straight locks, straightening in small sections works best.
For the straightest results, try working your flat iron from the bottom layers of your hair to the top.
“Working in layers will not only help to straighten your locks, it’ll boost your volume as well”
On the other hand, if you’re only looking to smooth out, rather than a severe straightening, dividing your hair into bigger sections for your flat iron will give you more desirable results.
When smoothing, Bowen also recommends skimming the flat iron’s plates slowly over your sections of hair.
That way, the heat will fully penetrate your strands without excessive contact with the plates...for a smoother, less rigid effect.1
HOW HOT DO YOU NEED IT?
When preparing to straighten your hair, knowing the level of heat your locks require is a necessity.
Too little heat, and you may end up falling short of your desired straightness.
Too much heat...and you get burnt hair!
That’s why Amita Moticka, a celebrity hairstylist with the San Francisco-area diPietro Todd salons, recommends choosing a flat iron with a built-in adjustable heat setting.
That way, you always have just the amount of heat you need, right at your fingertips!
Moticka’s recommended flat iron heat settings, based on your hair’s consistency, are:
- 250 to 300˚ for thin or dry, damaged hair
- 300 to 350˚ if you have fairly average hair
- ...and up to 400˚ for hair that’s thick, coarse, and harder to curl2
One point all our stylists emphasized is this:
If your work with the flat iron doesn’t result in the straightening effect you desire…
...the key may be adjusting the routine you use to prep your hair before you start to straighten.
Celebrity stylist Sarah Potempa, whose clients include Glee star Lea Michele, advises hydrating your locks with a moisturizing or smoothing shampoo before applying your straightening tools.
Potempa also advocates the professional practice of “rough drying,” using your blow dryer in a back-and-forth shaking motion over your hair.
“Keep the nozzle facing downwards the entire time” when rough drying, she says. “Otherwise the hair will frizz.”
This will ensure your hair is properly moisturized, but dry enough to work with heat-straightening tools.
“Rough drying is a fast and effective pro technique for getting your hair flat iron-ready”
Harry Josh, stylist for Teen Vogue models Karlie Kloss and Taylor Hill, says your hair should be “bone dry” before any tools are applied.
“If you see steam or hear a sizzle,” Josh warns, “stop and evaluate the situation.”3
WORKING THE FLAT IRON
Okay...your hair’s been prepped...you’ve got the right heat setting.
Now it’s time to get to work with that flat iron.
And, of course, our stylists had some tips for getting the best results, whether you’re after a gentle smoothing or a hard, sleek straightening.
Long Beach, CA stylist Shannon Murray says the secret to striking straight looks is a consistent touch with the flat iron.
“Always straighten from roots to ends,” says Murray. “Don’t straighten just the ends or from mid-shaft down. You’ll end up with different textures all over your head.”
Alison Rea, an LA-based stylist, recommends giving your flat iron additional support with a straightening comb or brush.
You simply pull the comb through a section of your hair, following immediately behind with the flat iron.
That way, you won’t be stuck ironing the same piece of hair multiple times, which can increase the risk of singeing or burning your hair.4
And don’t forget: The beauty of a quality flat iron is that it’s NOT just for straightening.
A flat iron designed with curved edges and plates can also be used to create shiny, voluminous curls or flowing beachy waves!
One thing is for sure:
If you’re looking to get your hair straight...it’s smart to start by getting the facts straight.
So we hope these hot pro styling tips will have you straightening with ease, comfort, and powerhouse flair!
- Pacheco, Vanesa. “How To Straighten Thick Hair.” Bustle, Bustle, 25 Apr. 2018, www.bustle.com/articles/71583-how-to-straighten-thick-hair-6-tips-from-a-professional-hair-stylist.
- “Straighten Your Hair Like A Pro.” Beauty Riot, 13 May 2015, www.beautyriot.com/hairstyles/7781-straighten-hair-like-pro/3.
- Picardi, Phillip. “How To Straighten Hair: 11 Flat Iron Tips for Perfectly Straight Hair.” Teen Vogue, TeenVogue.com, 9 Apr. 2018, www.teenvogue.com/story/top-ten-flat-iron-mistakes.
- Laurino, Kaleigh. “How to Get Perfectly Straight Hair at Home: 6 Pro Tips.” Dermstore Blog, 21 Aug. 2017, www.dermstore.com/blog/how-to-get-perfectly-straight-hair/.