We have a long history with the flat iron. While we know how to create sleek styles now, we’ve certainly made our fair share of flat iron mistakes along the way. From accidentally frying our fragile ends to walking around with only partially straightened hair, we’ve done it all on our quest for straight hair. But, as in anything with hair, we’ve also learned a few key hair lessons along way. Read on to learn more about some of the common flat iron mistakes so that you can avoid doing them.
Flat Iron Mistakes That Are Bad For Your Hair (& Style)
1. Don’t straighten your already straightened hair.
This is one of the flat iron mistakes that has us cringing at our younger selves. If you have straight hair, or mostly straight hair, or even hair that is just a bit wavy, you don’t necessarily need to flat iron your hair. You can (and should!) use a flat iron to create curls or waves, but if your hair is on the straight side, you are less likely to damage your hair if you blow-dry it straight.
2. Don’t use hot tools that are too hot!
As for flat iron mistakes that follow the adage just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, using too high heat is at the top of the list. Nowadays flat irons can get all the way up to 450 degrees (yikes!). Since flat irons can get so hot, we recommend starting at a low temperature, and only increasing the temps if you need to. This way you can find the ideal temperature for straightening your hair without frying it in the process.
3. Don’t forget heat protection.
Especially when it comes to using a flat iron, you need to use heat protection! Try the TRESemmé Get Sleek Heat Protection Spray that’ll help protect moisture loss in your hair while also making your hair look smooth. Bonus: it can resist up to 450 degrees!
4. Don’t clamp down too hard.
Clamping down with the flat iron isn’t ideal for two reasons. First up, it’s totally going to give you those lines in your hair that show where you started to straighten. Those are the worst and so hard to get out! So, avoid it altogether by gently clamping the iron. Second reason is that it makes it harder to pass down your hair. You shouldn’t need to pull hard to get the flat iron down your hair.
5. Don’t straighten the same section over and over again.
If you’re going for perfectly straight hair, it may be tempting to flat iron the same section over and over again. That way it really sticks straight, right? Nope! Not only does that increase the damage you’re doing to your hair, but that damage is going to make it even harder to get straight hair in the future.
6. Don’t go too fast (or too slow!).
When you’re gliding the flat iron over a section of your hair it’s important to keep it moving! You don’t want to go too fast or you won’t actually straighten your hair. But, if you go really slowly you can end up creating hot spots and you can overheat your hair. Both things are no-no’s for getting really great hair.
7. Don’t straighten large sections.
Another one of the flat iron mistakes we know we’ve done is trying to straighten large sections. It seems like it should take less time to straighten your hair if you use large sections, we know. Flat ironing just doesn’t work that way, unfortunately. If you try to straighten too large of a section, the hair that touches the flat iron may get straighter, but the hair in the middle won’t!
8. Treat your damaged strands.
If your hair is on the damaged side, it may be a good idea to lay off the flat iron every once in awhile. Trying to flat iron damaged hair is not only really hard, but you’ll probably inflict more damage. Instead, give your hair a few days off and add moisture back in! You can even add moisture in minutes while you shower by using a nourishing hair mask. We like the Suave Professionals Coconut Milk Infusion Intense Moisture Mask.
Need more tips to avoid these flat iron mistakes? Take a look at our flat iron 101 article for even more information.