Top 4 mistakes you’re making when you straighten your hair

And the easiest ways to fix them

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / May 25 2017

When it comes to hairstyling, straightened hair is one of the easiest ways to make you look put together and chic, without expending too much effort. As a result, it’s the look that we (and we’re sure many of you) opt for on an almost daily basis.

Whilst it’s a cinch to create sleek and straight tresses, there are apparently some serious issues with the technique many of us use, which is causing unnecessary damage to our hair. Thankfully, Teen Vogue spoke to three top hairstylists to find out exactly where we’re going wrong. Here are the top four things we learnt:

#1 / Make sure you’re blow-drying down

Tim Rogers, the creative director for Living Proof points out that it’s your hairdryer that is causing the most damage to your hair. To reduce this damage celebrity hairstylist, Sarah Potempa suggests rough drying your hair until it’s 80 per cent dry, but to make sure you “keep the nozzle facing downwards the entire time, otherwise the hair will frizz.” From there you can either blow-dry the rest of your hair smooth or let it air dry naturally.

"Keep the nozzle facing downwards the entire time, otherwise the hair will frizz."
Sarah Potempa
Celebrity hairstylist

#2 / Avoid sizzling hair

Celebrity hairstylist, Harry Josh says “if you see steam or you hear the sizzle, stop and evaluate the situation as hair should be bone dry when you straighten.” The main culprits are water or a build up of product. As the straightening iron “clamps down on the hair, there’s nowhere for the product to go. You’re essentially boiling the product into the follicle, which isn’t a great idea, especially when it contains alcohol,” he says. Make sure you apply styling products to wet hair and dry your mane completely before reaching for your hair tool.

TOP TIP: Make sure your hair is bone dry before you apply heat to it.

#3 / Check the ingredients

Finishing products can be a huge help in ensuring your hair stays straight throughout the day. However, it’s important to steer clear of products that contain silicones and oils to avoid frizz or curling (we love Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray). Potempa suggests, “a light hold hairspray is a good idea” but notes that “it’s best to wait for the hair to cool down first. Think about spraying a hot pan – it’ll sizzle and steam. Your hair will do the same thing!” We'd recommend trying ether the L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Normal Strength hairspray or the Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray.

#4 / It’s good to invest

You might be doing everything right but if your iron is old or was a budget buy, it could be causing additional damage. Potempa suggests opting for a ceramic plated iron as it’s softer on the hair, which is ideal for fine to normal hair types. She also recommends investing in a quality straightener as “a lot of cheap flat irons take up to 90 seconds to recover the temperature you set, so you’re actually losing heat as you go along. That also means heat won’t be evenly distributed between the two plates” resulting in an uneven finish. The ghd V Classic Gold Styler is a great option for those wanting to invest in a high quality straightener.


L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Normal Strength

Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray

ghd V Classic Gold Styler

Image credit: Getty

Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.