Can You Imagine A Life Before at the end I said how I used to be obsessed with straightening my hair, literally to the point where I straightened my hair to an inch of it's life. My hairdresser (and friend) used to tell me that I needed to lay off the heat but I would have rather have had frizzled hair than big fluffy hair so I continued to abuse my hair, twice daily and going over each section of my hair multiple times. Eventually my hair stopped growing and I'd find these tiny bits of hair snapping off all over the place.... not good!
I will point out that I've been straightening my hair for around 14 years. I had grown up with hair down to my bum and it was so curly and thick. When people were going out paying for a perm, I'd just be hitting my hair up with mousse and half a tin of hairspray, cos back then I didn't want my hair to move, I wanted my curls hard! I'm cringing now... I finally wanted sleek straight hair and nothing and no one was going to get in my way!
Every common mistake people make when straightening their hair is something I myself have done, so speak from experience. I'm now in a situation where I work for an amazing brand that have taught my soooo much about heat, styling and how hair reacts to heat. I spend a lot of my day ensuring people know the best way to achieve a straighter finish, whilst causing less damage to their hair.
If I knew then what I know now I'd have hair like Rapunzel!
- Not blow drying your hair prior to straightening it.
This is the worse thing we can do to our hair as blow drying is the START of the styling process. Hair has three layers and the top layer is the cuticle, which acts as a protector the the other two layers. If you don't blow dry your hair, your cuticles will not close fully, which will allow for moisture to enter the inner layers of your hair.... which will result in frizzy hair, something we don't want! It will also make our hair feel a bit rougher and not as smooth. If you blow dry your hair you will get a much smoother straighter finish where you will then not need to straighten your hair as much, causing less work and less damage. Heat from a hair dryer is far less damaging than heat from a hair straightener. People always wonder why they can't get their hair to look or feel the same as it does after a trip to the salon, well aside from the good products they use it's because they blow dry your hair before running straighteners over the top. Since blow drying my hair properly I literally spend 10 minutes blow drying my hair and 5 minutes to straighten it so a total of 15 minutes, whereas before it would take me an hour minimum.
- Not using a heat protector before putting heat on your hair.
- Not sectioning your hair before styling.
- Not brushing or combing each section of hair before styling.
- Wacking the temperature dial up to maximum because the hotter the plates the straighter your hair will go.
We then eventually need to turn the temperature right up to the top as the lower or middle settings aren't doing what they used to do. Too much heat causes too much damage! We shouldn't be using anything over 200 degrees on our hair, any more will cause damage and anything over 217 degrees will cause irreplaceable damage to your hair. Achieving straight hair isn't all about how hot the appliance is, it's about how your hair reacts to heat, it's about where the heat is placed throughout the hair and how the heat transfers over to your hair.
I could never understand why when using my old straighteners, which I used at 230 degrees, wouldn't get my hair straight, why did I need to go over my hair multiple times when now when using 185 degrees my hair is straight in one go and remains straighter for longer. Now I understand that there is a whole science to how hair reacts to heat and we want an even heat through the plate and throughout the whole styling of hair.
- The faster you go through each section of hair the quicker it is to straighten.
A few little additional tips:
- Make sure after blow drying your hair you blast your hair with the cool shot. Heat creates the style, cooling it down helps set it, by blasting the cool shot over your hair it will help keep your hair straighter and smoother.
- Never spray too much heat protector in your hair, especially when it's dry. You don't want to put heat on top of wet hair cos it's going to burn it! Spray a light missing from arms length then fully comb/brush through your hair so that the heat protector spreads evenly.
- Never leave your hot hair straighteners on a surface that could burn or melt. This will not only burn whatever your resting them on but as a result whatever you've burnt will melt on to your plates which will kind of scrape through your hair.
- Clean your plates regularly. We pick up general dirt throughout the day and also if we use styling products both will gradually build up on your plates. We want to keep our plates clean and nice and smooth so that they are gentle and smooth on our hair.
Since joining ghd (it's never spelt GHD it's always lower case... just a side note) I've learnt soooo much! I'm not trying to push the brand on to anyone, just trying to pass on things I've learnt from some amazing people who have worked in the hair industry for yeeears and it all makes sense to me now! I wish I knew then what I know now. My hair is gradually getting in a good condition, it all takes time and I'm sure if I cut out heat completely for 6 months my hair would be where it needs to be, but I wont do that! What I will do and have been doing is to learn a better, quicker and less damaging way to style my hair.
I guarantee that if you blow dry your hair first, use a heat protector, section your hair, use a comb as you straighten your hair and go through each section slightly slower you will achieve a straighter finish much quicker, one that will last longer and as a result cause far less damage. Even if you have super thick, crazy curly hair OR even afro Caribbean hair you can still get a straight finish if you follow my steps, the pictures above I straightened and went through each section of their hair just once on 185 degrees heat! It took me longer to brush the bloody hair than what it did to straighten it! I challenge everyone to give this a try next time you straighten your hair.
**I'd also like to point out I am not a hairdresser and the pictures of the products have been given to me through my job. This is not advertising as I'm not trying to say you should be using ghd, I've also provided no links. I needed pictures of the stuff you should use as these are the only ones I have that's why the pictures are included.
Until next time!
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