Flat-ironing mistakes you’re making

Monday, 29 October 2012

Flat-ironing mistakes you're makingSo what if your hair is a little damp when you take your styling iron to it. And who cares what size plates you use – the bigger the better the more hair you can straighten in less time. Well, it does matter. And we do care.

BeautySA spoke to Craig Hopkins, ghd’s training co-ordinator on the common mistakes we (yes, I’m guilty of a few of these myself) make when taking a flat iron to our hair.

1. Using too hot plates

Raise your hand if you thought that the hotter the styling plates are the quicker you’ll get done. Now raise your hand if you’ve scorched your hair with a sizzling 230 degrees. ‘From research conducted, hair should generally not be heated over 190 degrees,’ says Craig. ‘Obviously hair texture and thickness may add to varying heat factors, but anything over 200 degrees may cause irreparable damage.’

2. Holding on for too long

It’s never really been said how long you should hold your hair between a styling iron’s plates. But Craig recommends no longer than a few seconds. ‘The longer you hold the styler on the hair, the more moisture it will draw from the hair.’ And no one wants brittle, straw-like hair.

3. Using too thick sections of hair

The size of the plates don’t really matter when it comes to your hair length, but what does matter is how big the sections of your hair are that you straighten at one time. You don’t want to use too much hair at a time because the heat won’t be evenly distributed and you’ll be tempted to hold the plates around your hair for longer than a few seconds.

4. Styling damp or wet hair

‘You should never style over damp or wet hair,’ Craig says. ‘You run the risk of boiling the water in/on the hair, which can cause severed damage to the cuticle area.’ So, put away those ‘wet-and-dry’ flat irons, they’re no good.

5. Using inferior products

You have to make sure you’re using not only a good quality styler, but also professional heat styling products. ‘As long as you are using professional heat protection products, you can safely heat style your hair every day.’

The external plates on styling irons are merely a heat conductor, but they have to be of such a quality that they don’t damage your hair. ‘ghd uses aluminium for various reasons; it is lightweight, heats up quickly and retains the heat very well. Our external plates have a ceramic powder coating to ensure a sleek and smooth finish.’

Image: Shutterstock.com

Written by

Megan Kakora has helped launch the websites of, and been the online editor for, some of South Africa’s biggest glossy magazines. She believes in less-is-more, except when it comes to her collection of nail polish colours.
Megan on Google+

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  1. AndreaM

    Oh my word, I’m guilty of all. Now i know why my hair cannot take heat, I’m doing it wrong. But I am prepared for my next straightening session :)

    4 years ago •

  1. Carlene

    A must read for those of us using hair straighteners!

    4 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    Love these tips – I use my straightener all the time so these are good to know

    5 years ago •

  1. Daya

    Awesome tips, always good to have clarity on theses issues

    5 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    Great tips! Am guilty of a few of these

    5 years ago •

  1. Azraa

    Great tips, definitely guilty of some of these :O

    5 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    Great info – Was thinking of geting one of those wet-dry irons!

    5 years ago •

  1. G

    This is very helpful. I’ve definitely made the mistake of using an iron on damp hair!

    5 years ago •

  1. Hajira

    I have never ironed my hair but thanks to these tips I know what to avoid when I do start.

    5 years ago •

  1. Cat

    Great tips although I must say I am very good when it comes to styling my hair with any form of heat, I always protect it and never flat iron on even remotely damp hair

    5 years ago •

  1. beautilicious

    wow good advice!! i am clearly guilty for holding onto my hair for long especially when i use thick parts… i guess it is very important i never knew how important it was to use a heating styler carefully

    5 years ago •

  1. Hima

    Great tips…Never used a flat iron for hair..but these will help when I do use it

    5 years ago •

  1. Kirst

    Great tips. I am guilty of often using my GHD over my damp hair when in a rush.

    5 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    This is such usefull information!! I thought the more heat, the better your hair cuticles look!!

    5 years ago •

  1. Cass1231

    Really good tips so as not to damage hair more,Thank you!

    5 years ago •

  1. CharlieW

    Thank goodness I don’t have to stress about these – I just leave my curls air dry :)

    5 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    This is great to know. I was thinking about investing in to wet and dry iron. Seems like not a good idea at all.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Now I should stop ironing my hair when its wet…. Bad habit…

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Well needed tips… Now for Healthier and Shiny Straightened hair with these tips!

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    GHD Rocks… I’ve been through about 5 since the inception … Awesome product!!

    5 years ago •

  1. Livvy

    great tips although, i absolutely dont agree with using heat on your hair daily, its a recipe for disaster.

    5 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    Yes we are all guilty lol, thanks for the great tips :-)

    5 years ago •

  1. mahomed

    I’m just as guilty doing exactly what he article says one shouldn’t. lol!

    5 years ago •

  1. Maddy

    Great tips, even i am guilty of couple of the mistakes.

    5 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    Good to know, thanks for the article.

    5 years ago •

  1. BeautyBloggess

    I got a new ghd for my birthday last weekend. I love it! :)

    5 years ago •

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