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The truth is this:
Putting your hair under heat will bring about gradual damage, over a period of time.
And that’s a natural phenomenon. There is nothing you can do about it.
However, knowing what to look for when selecting a flat iron will help you minimize the impairment.
That’s what this article aims to do… To help you learn the important factors to consider so you can choose a suitable flat iron for your hair type.
How to Choose a Flat Iron Without Damaging Your Hair
Consider the Types of Plates on Flat Irons
The prominent area that touches your hair on the flat iron is the plates. And therefore, the main consideration.
There are a lot of inexpensive units on the market now, but many of them might not be suitable for you.
The reason is the material used on them — they may not last long. The paint may chip off, for example, worsening the damage to your hair.
This is why you should spend a reasonable amount of time research if at all you’ll go for a cheap model.
However, your best choice is a high-end one. Although it may be expensive now, however, it’ll very valuable in the long run.
There are lots of advantages to paying a little more for a flat iron, especially one that comes with ceramic or tourmaline.
They are easier on the hair, which is especially useful if you have thin hair. They are durable and will last longer than cheap models.
Moreover, heat distribution is a little more balanced, compared to a lower-end model, which may have uneven heat thus providing inconsistent results.
Sometimes when you’re working with a budget though, you may be a constraint. Imagine you have to choose between a flat iron that costs $30 and another that costs $300 or more.
Which would you want to go for? Obvious, the first one.
However, to get that soft, shiny look that you crave, you may have to spend more on a flat iron.
This is the most important factor to consider when choosing. After that, consider the following, even though they may not be directly related to minimizing hair damage:
Automatic OFF Feature or Not?
You’ll find many hair straighteners come with automatic off features.
These can be a great lifesaver if you’re someone that forgets turning off electronics quite often.
This feature also borders on safety. It’s highly recommended that you don’t leave electronic appliances on when you aren’t using them. And that’s for your own safety.
Also, this feature can help prolong the life of the unit. Compared to old models, the probability of early failure is low.
Temperature and Heat Adjustment
Another great feature to have on your flat iron is to be able to adjust the temp setting. Not all models have this though.
If you want to enjoy this feature, you may have to pay a premium for one of the advanced models out there.
The advantage of this is that you can choose a suitable temperature for your hair type or styling needs.
This can also help in curbing damages to the hair. Remember each the heat is controlled by the temperature. By choosing an appropriate heat for your hair type, you cut down on possible desecration of your hair.
Different hair types require different temperatures and heat. Being able to control both is a huge benefit.
Know Your Hair Type
It’s surprising how so many people believe that you have to choose a flat iron that gets the hottest to get the best results.
It’s true that to retain your style for thick, curly hair, you need higher heat settings.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to use or start from the hottest setting.
Instead, start from the lowest and work your way up till you get the setting that produces the best results.
You don’t have to go above 400o F to get professional results.
This becomes more pronounced if you have fine or damaged hair. You shouldn’t even go above 300o F. Else, you might just be compounding your hair condition.
If your hair is coarse, thick or curly, you can work with a flat iron with a fixed temperature setting.
However, if you have chemically-treated, damage, or fine hair, go with one that has a variable heat setting. This way, you can select the right heat for your hair.
Whichever flat iron you decide to settle on, always remember to dry your hair completely before using it.
If you use it on wet hair, you’re calling for significant damage to your hair.
Many manufacturers may state that their product can be used on wet hair. But it’s a fact that using a high-temperature product on your wet hair can intensify the damage.
Also, if you can only afford a cheap flat iron, go for one that is designed to minimize hair loss or damage.
Such models should be used sparingly. Reason being that they may not have the mechanisms to minimize the damages like the more advanced one do.
Finally, don’t heat your hair if you don’t have to. Your hair needs some rest, and a lot of it too. You get better results when you heat style your hair after a long break.