What You Should Be Doing Before You Flat Iron Your Hair

Hacks we swear by for the best flat ironing experience. 

We all love super sleek hair from time to time, and it seems like the ‘90s pin straight hair look will always be a classic in our hearts. When you flat iron your hair though, you need to keep a few things in mind. Like temperature, first and foremost: Most flat irons nowadays can get up to 400 degrees or more (!), which is, literally, playing with fire. And since we care about both the health of your hair and your style, we urge you to follow our quick six tips before you flat iron your hair to make sure you aren’t going to fry your ends.

Read on to learn what you need to do before you flat iron your hair:

6 Ways to Flat Iron Your Hair Safely and Effectively

tips for when you flat iron your hair
Get the straightest hair ever, without the hazards.

1. Start fresh.

We’re sure you’ve heard of the tip that says to curl only day-old hair, as its been said that the oils in your hair help hold a curl. We find the opposite to be the case when you flat iron your hair, as sleek hair tends to look greasier faster. We like to start off with freshly washed hair using TRESemmé Smooth & Silky Shampoo and TRESemmé Smooth & Silky Conditioner for clarified, frizz-free strands. Having clean hair helps when you flat iron your hair because it keeps you from getting that flat, stringy look.

2. Hydrate thirsty hair.

If your hair runs dry, make sure you use a leave-in conditioner after you wash. It will help keep your ends from getting that flat-ironed, straw-like look. We suggest Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave-In Conditioner. Not only is it going to hydrate your hair, but the keratin smooths down the outer layer of your hair for a sleek look. Bonus: It’s a heat protector too. Dream product right here!

3. Flat-iron when hair is dry, please.

For best results (a.k.a literally not burning your hair), make sure your hair is totally dry before busting out your flat iron by first blow-drying hair or allowing it to air-dry hair. It’s a great option for gals with curly hair to start off your style by blow-drying your hair mostly straight. That way you’ll have to spend less time with the heat directly on your hair. You could also just wash your hair at night and flat-iron the next morning.

4. Protect, protect, protect

Whenever you do get to flat ironing your hair, use heat protection! We’re serious, a good heat protector like TRESemmé Get Sleek Heat Protection Spray can save your hair. This heat protector makes sure that the heat isn’t as damaging to your hair. Just spray it evenly through strands and let dry. Letting the heat protectant dry is important to making sure it actually works.

5. Heat her up!

Let’s talk about flat iron heat for a minute. Did you know the optimal heat for most hair types is around 350 degrees? Sure, if you have very coarse or stubborn hair, you can go hotter than that, but if you have damaged hair or very fine hair, try a lower temperature. We suggest you start at the lowest temperature your flat iron allows, then bump up the heat as you see fit. It’s the best way to keep from going in way too hot.

6. Section off and go.

To make your life a million times easier (and to prevent ironing the same section twice), section off your hair. You don’t need to get wild and do a whole bunch of sections, but three or four sections will make things so much easier and help you see your progress as you go.

Need more information before you flat iron your hair? Check out these top flat iron mistakes