So 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.’