What’s the Best Way to Straighten Hair? Flat Iron or Curling Iron…And More

What’s the Best Way to Straighten Hair? Flat Iron or Curling Iron…And More

Mar 5th 2022

Hair Straightening Options

Remember when board-straight hair was all the rage? The common trend that was pin-straight hair has come and gone, but there is still a definite allure to wearing a stick straight, sleek and smooth hair style here and there. Sure, wavy, beachy and ring curled hair have overtaken the trendy scene when it comes to hairstyles in the past few years, but straight hair still has a place in the world.

And not everyone is going to look great with straight hair. I for one, used to look better with straight hair, but now that my facial structure has grown and evolved with age, that’s changed. I think I look a lot better with quite a bit of body. Which is difficult for someone like me who has a lot of hair, but also has hair that is a very fine texture. It works so that you don’t look like you have a whole lot of volume when you have fine hair, even if you tend to have a high volume of said fine hair.

Chemical Hair Straightening Options

There are a variety of chemical procedures you can have that will “permanently” straighten the hair or “semi-permanently” straighten the hair. These are of course not the desired route as the majority of these treatments use potentially toxic chemicals to achieve this kind of result.

These treatments generally permanently alter the hydrogen bond structure (read more about why you should wash your hair more often). This means that the treatments chemically break down the natural bonds that create waves (and frizz) in the hair. Related: Protect Hair from Humidity

Some of them have come a long way in their safety profile, however just like coloring your hair, they will have some sort of detrimental effect on your hair and scalp over time. Of course, they can also penetrate the skin vis a vis the scalp, and enter your blood stream. Straightening treatments can also emit toxic fumes into the air.

Breathing these toxic fumes in is very concerning. Reports of headaches, bloody noses and other adverse effects have been recorded by the stylists that perform these types of treatments, and masks have been recommended in the past. So take from that what you will.

Among these straightening options are the cold smoothing treatment, and the Japanese hair straightening treatment, otherwise known as thermal reconditioning. They are only as permanent as the hair they treat on the head. Of course, as your hair grows out, the new growth is not treated, so it would need to be re-treated as the hair grows longer just like hair coloring works.

Think of it exactly like hair color or a perm, it’s only “permanent” for the hairs it is treating. Of course, our hair is constantly growing, constantly turning over, so it’s only as permanent as that moment in time when you have the exact length of hair you had when it was initially treated.

Flat Irons and Large Barreled Curling Irons

Flat irons work fantastically well for some people going for the straightest, most sleek look possible. Unfortunately for me, they have an undesired side effect of drying my hair out too much. Any straightening effect is really undone by how straw-like my hair looks when using a flat iron. I have a much better outcome if I use a normal 1 ½ inch barrel curling iron with tourmaline technology.

Flat irons are great in theory, but the problem I think for my hair personally is just that I have a large volume of very finely textured hair. Because of this, it really isn’t flattering to have hair that is just flattened out, without any type of curling effect at the ends. A normal curling iron used as a flat iron just gives me a much healthier look.

One word of caution if you’re using either tool, whether it be a round curling iron or a flat iron to get the job done. Make sure you mist the hair with either a moisturizing glossing spray or some time of moisturizing hair oil. It can really help seal in moisture and make the hair look healthier and shinier again after such a high heat treatment.

Hair Dryers – Quality Matters

If you’re going for a lustrous straight-with-body blowout look, then a high quality hair dryer is an absolute must. A higher heat, higher output hair dryer will not only give you a faster drying experience. It will also help propel your hair into a higher gloss, more refined look. Your hair will look MUCH healthier if you use a high quality hair dryer. Look for high wattage.

The higher the wattage, the faster the velocity of the air that is forced out, and the quicker your hair will dry. This means less damage due to a lower dry time. Plus it adds extra precious time to your schedule to be doing more important things than blowing out your hair.