With the right tools, creating smooth and straight strands is not as hard as it looks. Not sure if you should reach for the blow dryer or the flat iron? It depends on the look you’re going for. But no matter which tool you reach for, make sure you don’t overdo it. Although hair is very strong, high heat, like that from a flat iron, will damage the cuticle. Repeated straightening can cause the cuticle to break down althogether. Heat-defense products partially reduce the damage, but your hair will still be affected if you iron and blow-dry it every day.
If you want smooth hair with some volume, reach for the blow-dryer.
A surefire way to get smooth strands is with an at-home or professional blowout, but even that can backfire (from time to time) and lead to frizzy, curly hair in a matter of minutes. The key to a long-lasting blowout is using just the right amount of tension. “A little tug goes a long way,” says Natasha Sunshine, owner of Byu-ti/Pureology Salon in Santa Monica, CA. “The other critical piece to getting a glossy finish is the right products, especially shampoo, conditioner and smoothing gloss.”
The Upside? It creates a natural, softer look; easy to achieve volume.
The Downside? Your hair may not stay straight, especially if it’s exposed to water or humidity.
If you want stick-straight strands, use the flat iron.
Straightening irons have become an essential in many women’s beauty arsenals because they smooth the hair and allow you to get it straight from the root down. “With a good flat iron, you can pull the hair straight with just the right amount of tension to get sleek, smooth strands,” says celebrity stylist Jennifer J. of Beverly Hills’ Juan Juan Salon. When flat irons were first introduced, the majority of them were crafted of metal plates, which can damage the hair. “The latest technologies include ceramic plates and some even use tourmaline to absorb moisture,” says Sunshine.
The Upside? It smoothes the hair so that it lies flat.
The Downside? It can be damaging since high levels of heat penetrate the hair.
Find a Doctor
Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you