Only perfect blowouts happen at a salon. Whatever magic a stylist uses, for some reason, it can stay sleek for days without a frizzy hair in sight. Sigh. The best. If you want pin-straight hair (or beachy waves) at home, a flat iron is your only option. And even if you do have one, perhaps you didn’t know that there’s an ideal temperature at which to set it.
See, if you flat iron your hair at a temp that’s too low, it can destroy any shine that was there, leaving it drab and lacklustre. But if you crank up the heat to your flat iron’s full capacity, your ends are in real trouble – potentially the irreversible kind. Hair burns at the same temperature as paper: 451°F. And really, anything over 420°F is a bad idea. At that point, the keratin protein in your hair starts to melt and no amount of deep-conditioning will help.
Thankfully, there’s a temp that’s just right: 365°F.
According to researchers, this is the ideal amount of heat that allows the most styling benefits in the fewest passes. Not only does your hair retain moisture and seals the cuticle, but because of that, you’re left with shiny, smooth locks that humidity can’t penetrate. That’s right, humidity-proof.
Your best bet is to buy a flat iron with an adjustable temperature setting and keep it at 365°F. Here’s what else you need to know so your hair is as close to salon-perfect:
- Use a heat-protectant: Spray or smooth on product on clean, damp hair and it will shield your hair from all that heat.
- Pull up as you straighten: Pulling down will only have your hair falling flat. For a little more volume, grab a section, get as close to the root as possible and pull the hair up as you go. That’ll give you some oomph at the crown and you’ll still have straight hair, just with a little more body.
- Brush it out: Clearing out any knots beforehand will make the straightening process much easier.
- Let your hair cool: The heat styles the hair, but cool air sets it in. So, before you pull your locks into a ponytail or clip, allow your hair to cool after it has been straightened.
- Clean it up: All kinds of product has been left on your flat iron, so to prevent that residue from snagging your hair, clean it regularly.