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What Are Hair Straighteners?
Hair straighteners are available 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.
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 a more user-friendly option has been developed since those days.
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 hair. The best hair straighteners ionise and condition your hair as they straighten and they won’t burn your tresses either.
A hair straightening brush
A hair brush straightener is a relatively new invention. We all brush our hair each day, except very curly girls and guys, so combining that chore with a straightening solution was a natural step.
A hair brush straightener saves time because you can brush and straighten your hair in one motion. The best hair straightening brush will have temperature control and allow you to style as you straighten.
Tongs or a hair straightening brush are not permanent methods of hair straightening because they will last until you wash your hair. Folk with very curly hair may need to top up during the day too, but that is simple with a hair straightening brush so long as you have a plug nearby.
Permanent Hair Straightening
If you are looking for permanent hair straightening techniques you’ll need to visit a salon and have a consultation on the right method for you. Permanent hair straightening removes curls using chemical treatments. It is 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 fibres
There are different kinds of permanent hair straightening 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.
Permanent hair straightening should always be done by a trained professional to ensure you are 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 will have straight hair and if they are oval you will have wavy or curly hair, but because hair is made of keratin which is held together by hydrogen bonds 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’ in 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 are a great time saving tool for people who need to detangle and then quickly straighten their hair.
- There are many reasons why everyone should own a hair straightening brush:
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 more than once a day, the hair straightening brush is less likely to cause damage.
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.
Easy styling: The majority of us can use a hair brush but traditional hair straighteners need the practice to create a groomed look. A hair straightening brush allows you to jump in and achieve glossy, groomed hair right away.
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.
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, 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.
Weatherproof: British weather is renowned for ruining the best of hairstyles whether you are curly or straight but a hair straightening brush fights against frizz by sealing the hair cuticle.
Portable: You can take a hair straightening brush to work because they are 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 heat up in less than ten 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 straightening hair 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 brush straightener if you don’t need to wash your hair. Simply begin styling and you’ll be finished within minutes.
Let’s Get things Straight
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 are rushed 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 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.