For the sake of your hair, listen up!
Plug them in, flick the switch and start styling – straighteners and curling irons have revolutionised our hair styling capabilities. But, according to Haircare Australia’s Creative Director and Cloud Nine ambassador Lauren McCowan, many of us are unwittingly using our beloved heat styling tools incorrectly. From poor technique to damaging behaviour, McCowan identifies the heat styling errors we need to stop making...
Your blow-drying technique is detrimental
Blow-drying is more than just a stepping stone to curling and straightening. “If you use too much heat when blow-drying, it strips out the moisture, which then makes it harder to straighten or curl because it has nothing left to give,” McCowan explains. Try Curious Grace Hair Dryer with a protective product such as Schwarzkopf Extra Care Heidi’s Heat Styles Mousse.
You’re skipping heat protection
A heat protection spray is the equivalent of a suit of armour. “You need something that keeps the moisture in and protects the hair,” McCowan advises. Before styling, apply a heat protectant like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Smooth Intense Heat Protect Cream.
You’re using the wrong shampoo and conditioner
It all starts with using the right hair care products. For heat styling regulars, try the hydrating TRESemme Botanique Restore & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, or a priming formula such as KMS California Freeshape Shampoo. Just remember the golden rule: “Never use a straightening or curling tool on wet hair,” cautions McCowan.
You’re using the wrong temperature
“People think the hotter the tool, the better the result,” McCowan says. Not only is a high temperature unnecessary, it could be causing damage. “When a straightener or curler is too hot for your hair type, you are stripping it of moisture,” McCowan says. Always use a tool with an adjustable heat setting. Try Cloud Nine Original Iron.
You’re not putting the moisture back
Regular heat styling takes its toll on hair. McCowan advises using a weekly moisture treatment. Try Matrix Biolage Advanced RepairInside Mask or Redken All Soft Heavy Cream with an end-repairing product like Make Sleek Cream to replenish heat-frazzled locks.
You’re sectioning incorrectly
For uniformly styled hair, working in sections is a must. “Start from the back and work your way forwards, finishing with the front and top sections,” McCowan says. Try Premium Pin Company 999 Gripper Hair, which are especially important when curling. “If your sections aren’t even, the heat won’t move through the hair evenly, which will result in uneven curls.”
McCowan shares the pro secrets for using heat styling tools effectively…
Tip #1 / There’s no need to squeeze your straightener – just let the hair glide through.
Tip #2 / When using a straightener to curl, only do a half-turn with the iron. Repeated twisting and pulling gives inconsistent curls.
Tip #3 / People often tilt their wand upwards, when actually, the tip should face down.
Tip #4 / For strong, lasting curls, pin each curl and let it cool completely before styling.
Heat tools temperature guideline
Thin or damaged hair: 75C-100oC
Medium hair: 125C-150oC
Medium-thick hair: 175oC
Extremely thick hair: 200oC
Heat styling by hair type
Fine hair – The message for ladies with fine hair is simple – be gentle! ‘You only need around 100C with a straightener or 125C with a curling wand to achieve a great result,’ McCowan advises.
Thick hair – Women with thick hair often have poor straightening technique. “They tend to rush over the same section too many times. You should only have to do each section once – slowly.”
Curly hair – If your hair is naturally curly, be careful with the temperature gauge. “Around 150oC is a good temperature for medium curly hair – and be sure to work in even sections,” McCowan says.
Got more hair woes that need attention? Read our guide to fixing your most common hair problems.
For more hair tips from New Idea, check out newidea.com.au
Image credits: Getty