Curly Hair and Rainy Days - How To Straighten Hair with A Flat Iron

Last updated on : October 10 2018

Hair before and after straightening

Yes, it’s that season again, either humid summers or wet winters. Your perfect perm will curl, and that’s why you need a flat iron. 

A flat iron or hair iron, hair tong, or straightener is a household appliance used by curly haired individuals seeking that perfect flat look.

Flat Irons - What Are They And How Do They Work

All flat irons work on the same principle to straighten hair; they use electricity to generate heat that is applied to the hair directly. Heat breaks down the positive hydrogen bonds in the hair's cortex that creates curly hair. The result is straight hair.

Breaking the relationship breaks the curl, and only when a new source of hydrogen comes in contact with your hair, will it curl again. Water contains hydrogen, and water is what makes up humidity, steam, and is in the rain, and ultimately causes your hair to bend back.

Most flat irons use a ceramic plate to transfer the heat to the hair. The more expensive models come with multiple layers of pure ceramic materials, while the cheaper ones will come with a single layer and sometimes a metallic surface.

Flat irons usually deliver temperature ranges between 150 degrees to 450 degrees; the average high setting is around 300 to 350 degrees. 

To be sure, always check your hair type before heating it in iron, also, remember that the high temperatures advertised do not mean the device is suitable, it just means that you can burn your hair if you overheat it. Check out tip number six below.

Other types of irons include curling irons, for making hair curly, and crimping irons that create crimps in your hair.  

How To Get Perfect Straight Hair With A Flat Iron

Professional hairdressing equipment and flatirons

Now let’s look at how to get the best straight hair for the perfect straight hair day.

1. Preparation is Key

Before starting any flat iron process, you have to prep your hair. 

Prepping means, shampooing your hair with straight hair shampoo, not your regular shampoo and conditioner. 

Straight hair shampoo doesn't make your hair straight, it only prep’s it for the flat iron.

2. Use Hair Heat Protectant

Hair is organic, its part of your body, even if you don’t feel it. Hair will burn at higher temperatures, and you need to protect it from the flat iron heat. 

You do this by either spraying on a heat protectant or massaging it into your scalp when using a heat protectant lotion. 

There are many types to choose. We suggest the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT spray because it protects both damp and dry hair up to a temperature of 450 degrees.

3. Dry Hair Only

Never use a hot flat iron on wet or damp hair. 

Wet or damp hair is at its most fragile state. It is not an item of clothing you iron when damp to get a perfect result. Hair must be dry. 

Blow dry it after you finish your shampoo, and make sure it is completely dry before starting the flat iron straightening process. 

Also, make sure you apply that heat protectant after you dry it, as mentioned in tip number 2 above. 

4. Divide and Conquer

It is best to layer your hair, starting by straightening the lower section first. 

You do this by separating the upper hair layer with a clip and ironing the lower layer first. 

Release hair from the clip as you progress upwards.

5. Iron Size Counts

Choose a flat iron size that matches the length of your hair.  The standard 1-inch wide flat iron surface is perfect for medium length hair. 

You will need either a thinner one for short hair or a wider one for longer hair.

6. Never Overheat

Heating your hair with a flat iron is a patient process. You cannot speed it up by spiking up the heat. 

If you overheat your iron, you will damage your hair. Remember, its organic, which means it burns at a low temperature. 

You can experiment from lower to medium temperatures to find the best result, but never try to speed up the process with added heat.

Make sure the temperature is set correctly for your hair. 

Iron normal hair between 300-380 and thick, coarse or extra curly hair at 350-400 degrees. 

However, some delicate hair cannot tolerate over 270 degrees, so check your level and never go above it.

7. Slowly but Surely

By taking your time, and making each pass perfect, you assure an ideal straight hair result. Do not do multiple passes. 

As you pull the iron through your hair, you allow the heat to remove the twists and curls in a single swipe. A second pull through might still be ok, but no more than that. 

Over swiping will damage your hair. The golden rule is: one pass is good, two is perfect, three is dead.

8. Create Volume

Straight hair does not mean flat hair. 

You can reach a fuller straight hair look by taking the top layer of hair and pulling it through the iron vertically, or at 90- degrees from your scalp. 

Do this by pulling the section of hair on your head up towards the ceiling. That’s all, simple, and this creates a volume full straight hair look.

9. Waves Work Too

Make waves with your flat iron too. 

When you want a little extra styling with your straight hair look, consider adding shape and body. 

Do this by turning the iron away from your face, allow your hair to flow over the straightener and pull t while creating a wave.

10. Finishing Serum

When you have completed the process and your hair is now either flat and straight, or voluminous and straight add a hair serum to protect it from moisture and to tame any frizzles or flyaway dry hair. 

There are many hair serum products on the market. We prefer Kerastase Nutritive Oleo-Relax Serum. Apply the serum to create a perfect and protected silky sheen look.

11. Maintenance is a Must

Your flat iron is a device like any other so be sure to maintain it properly. 

If you neglect your iron, it will ignore you in return. 

Maintaining it means as a minimum cleaning it after every use. Just wipe it down with an alcohol wipe, and clean out the nooks and crannies of any grime. 

When you put it away, wrap the cable, don’t scrunch it up.

12. Cold Storage

Always allow your iron to cool down before cleaning it and storing it.

Never store a hot iron because it can melt nearby plastics and soft materials.

Our Four Best Irons

It’s time to look at some of the better flat irons on the market. 

We picked out a suitable range of reliable products that deliver in both heat maintenance as well as reliability and longevity. 

It's not a complete list by far. But it focusses on brands, such as GHD, BaByliss, LumaBella, and Kipozi, which are four of the best affordable names on the market today.

GHD Gold Professional 2 Inch - Straightener Flat Iron

If you have long hair and need an extra-wide flat iron, this 2-inch professional model provides you with excellent results. 

The model comes with a spring hinge that gives you total control over the process, and believe me; long hair leads to a long and trying process. So any help you can get, take. 

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron

If its quality and durability in a slim and sleek package, then the 1½-inch titanium-plated BaBylissPRO is the way to go. 

It's an exceptionally well designed and middle range iron in an ultra-thin model that fits perfectly in even the smallest of hands but delivers a perfectly controlled performance.

LumaBella Keratin Dual Touch Hair Straightener

The LumaBella is a ceramic plate iron infused with a Keratin formula that helps protect your hair. 

To be honest, I don’t know how long the keratin remains active in this device, but it sounds so scientific, and when I tried it out, it did provide excellent results.

KIPOZI Pro Nano Titanium Flat Iron Hair Straightener with Digital LCD Display

If it’s a tight budget you have but don’t want to impact on quality, then the Kipozi is a very budget friendly model and comes with an LCD digital display that helps you set the temperature range. 

It takes only 30 seconds to heat up, and you get a 1.75-inch-wide iron for longer hair. The price is what makes this even more of a winner.


collage of women with straight hair

Straight hair is beautiful, and well-ironed hair shines and flows like an advert in slow motion. 

Just remember to follow the tips above to enjoy perfect straight hair days every time. 

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