What Are Hair Straighteners?
Hair straighteners are an easy-to-use tool that temporarily creates straight, frizz-free hair. Before they were developed, men and women would create straight hair by ironing their locks on a board with the family iron but thankfully more user-friendly hair straightening options have been developed since those days.
Hair straighteners are available not just in the classic tong style that grips hair and irons it flat, but also as a hair straightening brush. These are easier to use and are better at preventing heat damage. Whichever you choose, a hair straightener is a great way to ensure your frizzy unmanageable hair remains smooth and sophisticated all day.
Tong-Style Hair Straighteners
Tong hair straighteners are the original styles that have been used for years. They resemble large tweezers and grip a section of hair to iron flat on either side as you pull the tongs through your lengths. The best hair straighteners ionise and condition your hair as they straighten and they won’t burn your tresses either.
Hair Straightening Brush
A hairbrush straightener is a relatively new invention. We generally all brush our hair each day, except girls and guys with very curly hair, so combining that chore with a straightening solution is a natural step. A hair straightening brush saves time because you can brush and straighten your hair in one motion. The best hair straightening brush will have a temperature control and allow you to style as you straighten.
Tongs or hair straightening brushes aren't permanent methods of hair straightening because they will last until you wash your hair. Those with very curly hair may need to top up during the day too, but since the hair straightening brush is easy to carry along, it's a simple task so long as you have a plug nearby.
Permanent Hair Straightening
If you're looking for permanent hair straightening techniques you’ll need to visit a salon and take a consultation on the right method for you. Permanent hair straightening removes curls using chemical treatments. It's effective but it’s also expensive and damaging.
Here are the steps to permanent hair straightening:
- A sodium based product is used to break the keratin structure of your hair
- An oxidant is used to set your hair fibre
There are different kinds of permanent hair straightening options to choose from:
- Keratin treatment
- Japanese straightening also is known as thermal reconditioning
- Chemically straightened hair
- Hair re-binding
There are risks with all of these methods because chemicals can wreak havoc on your hair making it dry, brittle and at risk of thinning. For example, chemical relaxers often over-stretch the hair and cause breakage when you brush it. On top of this, scalp skin is often sensitive and can react badly to chemicals too. If your hair is already damaged due to styling, here are some natural solutions to repair it.
Permanent hair straightening should always be done by a trained professional to ensure you're in safe hands. It might be tempting to find a cheaper hairdresser but this could lead to irreversible hair damage.
How Do Hair Straighteners Work?
Hair straighteners and hair straightening brushes work by changing the hair structure. The shape of your hair follicle (the hole your hair grows from) determines whether you have straight, curly or wavy hair. If your follicles are circular you'll have straight hair and if they're oval you'll have wavy or curly hair. This is because hair is made of keratin which is held together by hydrogen bonds and straighteners can change its shape. Hydrogen bonds are like the glue that can be changed by water and heat. Once heat or water is removed from your hair the hydrogen bonds ‘re-glue’ into the newly styled shape.
A hair straightener or hair straightening brush heats up the hydrogen bonds in your hair and relaxes them, then when your hair cools down the bonds reform in the straightened shape.
What Is A Hair Straightening Brush?
A hair straightening brush has a heated plate beneath the bristles so it’s a combination of traditional hair straighteners and a hairbrush. They're a great time-saving tool for people who need to detangle and then quickly straighten their hair in one.
7 Reasons Why Everyone Should Own A Hair Straightening Brush
1. Safety - Whilst heating up your hair on a regular basis to break those hydrogen bonds isn’t recommended, many people do it. If you want to straighten your hair every day or even more than once a day, the hair straightening brush is less likely to cause damage.
2. Cheaper - Permanent hair straightening is expensive and it’ll only straighten what is visible. Your natural hair curls will eventually re-grow, and you’ll need to get these straightened too. This cycle is expensive and damaging to your hair and scalp.
3. Easy styling - The majority of us can use a hairbrush, but traditional hair straighteners need practice and technique to create a groomed look. A hair straightening brush allows you to jump in and achieve glossy, groomed hair right away.
4. Time effective - Getting ready for the office each morning is time-consuming and brushing or styling your hair takes up precious sleep and breakfast time. A hair straightening brush detangles, straightens and increases shine quickly without the need to separate sections of hair.
5. Smarten up a bad hair day - Even if you have curly hair and like it that way, we all have bad hair days. Sometimes curls lie flat, are out of place or go fluffy. If you don’t have time to wash and dry your hair, running a hair straightening brush through your locks will smarten them up.
6. Weatherproof - British weather is renowned for ruining the best of hairstyles whether you're curly or straight, but a hair straightening brush fights against frizz by sealing the hair cuticle.
7. Portable - You can take a hair straightening brush to work because they're portable, fit in a bag and can be used anywhere there’s a plug. You can smarten up before a meeting or get ready for a night out from work in minutes because the newer versions can heat up in less than 10 seconds.
How To Use A Hair Straightening Brush
Hair straighteners and hair straightening brushes should only be used on dry hair to avoid burning and causing damage to the hair shaft. Here are the steps to using a hair straightening brush:
- Wash your hair with a good quality shampoo and conditioner.
- Apply a heat protector. You won’t need too much because hair is brushed with heat rather than squeezed from both sides. This means that a straightening hair brush is gentler on your tresses, making them perfect for people with fine, delicate locks.
- You won’t need a hair straightening cream unless you have very curly stubborn hair.
- Dry your hair thoroughly otherwise you may burn your scalp and damage your hair.
- Plugin and choose an appropriate heat setting. Fine, brittle hair needs the lowest setting whereas thick curly hair needs more heat.
- Straighten! If you’re looking for volume, pull the straighteners up and away from your head.
- It’s even easier to use a hair straightening brush if you don’t need to wash your hair. Simply begin styling and you’ll be finished within minutes.
Traditional Hair Straighteners Vs Hair Straightening Brush
If you‘re looking for the best hair straightener consider your lifestyle before making a purchase. If you have plenty of time and are able to intensively condition your hair on a regular basis then traditional hair straightening tongs will do a great job. However, if you're rushed as perhaps you have young children, a busy job or you’re always on the go, then a hair straightening brush may suit you better.
A hair straightening hair brush is also the better choice for men and women with fine hair that is dry, damaged or processed. For example, if you use hair dyes or a lot of heat then you need a gentler form of hair straightening which a hair straightening brush can provide.
Whichever you choose, take care of your locks by washing them with a gentle shampoo, use a good quality conditioner and heat protection products first to keep your crowning glory in top shape.
The Final Word
Many women and men fancy straight hair but aren't comfortable opting for permanent hair straightening methods, owing to the damage they cause to the hair and the cost involved. Hair straightening brush provides the comfort of getting a sleek look without much effort, while flat irons need some skill. It's important to care for your hair and provide the right nutrients to prevent dryness caused due to excessive usage of a hair straightening brush. Opting for the right products will ensure your tresses always look top notch.