You may be wondering, “Can I straighten my hair with leave-in conditioner?” Well, the answer is a little bit complicated. 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 how a leave-in conditioner plays into flat ironing your hair and how to keep your hair in the best possible shape.
5 Ways to Flat Iron Your Hair Safely and Effectively
1. Hydrate thirsty hair.
In answer to your question, “Can I straighten my hair with a leave-in conditioner?” the answer is: technically, no. But, if your hair runs dry, it can be extremely helpful to use a leave-in conditioner after you wash and before you flat iron. It will help keep your ends from getting that dry, burnt, straw-like look. We suggest Emerge My Mane BFF Leave-In Conditioner. Not only is it going to hydrate your hair, but the Pequi oil and shea butter smooth down the outer layer of your hair for a sleek look.
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 Dove Style+Care Smooth and Shine 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.
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.
Thinking about trying out these hair straightening hacks? Make sure to snap a picture and tag us @AllThingsHairUS!