Monday, 27 June 2022

The ultimate guide to buying hair straighteners

The latest generation of hair straighteners or stylers has nothing to do with those gadgets that, not so long ago, fried our hair when using them. Now they have new materials and technologies so practically anyone can use one. But before you decide, you should know a few important things so that you can find the most suitable one for your hair.


How much variety! Titanium, ceramic, ions… does my hair need space technology?


Hair straighteners provide heat through their plates. These are the ones that will be in direct contact with it, so special attention must be paid to the material with which they are made, since it is essential that they slide well through our hair, without hooking it. In this sense, the king material is ceramic. Virtually all brands base their stylers on ceramics in their medium and high ranges, since they are capable of offering a stable temperature, are long-lasting, and make the hair slide well between them, reducing friction and, to a large extent, the static electricity. To help our hair eliminate this last problem, almost entirely, there are certain models, such as some from Philips or Braun, that incorporate ionizers. The negative ions that are generated counteract the positive ions in our hair, making it appear less frizzy, smoother, and shinier.


In combination with ceramics, tourmaline can be used, a mineral with a great capacity to generate negative ions and thus have silkier hair. Another of its properties is that it emits infrared heat that is softer and less damaging to the hair. Some of the brands that work with this mineral are Ga. Ma Italy and Artero.


There are even irons that combine ceramic plates with marble plates like the Philips SalonStraight Duo model. This allows the hair not to contain the heat for so long and to suffer less.


In addition to ceramic, there are brands like Corioliss, which use other materials in their plates, including titanium. Titanium is a chemical element capable of offering greater durability to the plates than ceramics, due to its high resistance to shocks and corrosion. It also acquires a high temperature in less time and transfers more heat to the hair than ceramic ones, so a single pass is usually enough. It supports ionizing treatments better than ceramic ones and generates its heat through infrared, which is less damaging to the hair than using any other metal heat source, leaving hair shiny. In addition, GCK titanium plates allow curls and waves to be obtained more easily.


Different components can also be added to the plates, such as keratin, conditioners, color protection technologies, and even nanotechnology of silver particles that perform an antibacterial action.


Dry or wet


Most hair straighteners are created to work on dry hair. In fact, it is not convenient to use them while the hair is still wet since it can be damaged. But there are brands like Remington with their Wet2Straight models, which have developed irons that can be used dry or wet with a special program. Thanks to some holes in one of its plates, the humidity evaporates and leaves the hair straight. The system works very well and saves you from subjecting your hair to two types of heat treatment. On the other hand, it takes longer to iron it and the roots still retain a little moisture. In addition, with wet hair, it is more difficult to use iron to make more elaborate hairstyles than straightening, which may require a second pass.


Does temperature matter?


Of course! The temperature that you have to apply to the hair depends a lot on how it is. The plates can go from 80º to 235º approximately, although there are also some like those of GHD with a fixed temperature of between 180º and 190º. This is the temperature that normal hair, neither very fine nor thick, needs. If your hair is very fine and very brittle, you should apply as little heat as possible. If you buy a customizable temperature, you can try different levels until you find the right one for your hair type.


Can I do anything other than straighten my hair with it?


Of course. Hair straighteners are not only used to perform the perfect straightening. With them, you can create different types of hairstyles quickly and easily, such as making waves and curls. You just need to spend a little time at first to learn how to handle yourself and then it will be a piece of cake. To make it as versatile as possible, choose a model that is not too wide or too thin unless you have a specific need.


If, on the other hand, what you are looking for is to straighten it, in a short time you will be able to do it, play with the ends to give a little more movement to the hairstyle, a straight straightening, with volume... And without having to continuously go to the hairdresser or spend hours with the dryer.


I don't know what size plate is best for me...


All brands work with different formats in their hair straighteners, so you can find everything from small travel straighteners to straighteners with very wide plates. The decision depends on what you are going to do with it and what your hair is like. The smallest, shortest and narrowest, are perfect for traveling (look at the voltage), carrying in your bag, and touching up your hairstyle. Of course, these plates should always be a complement to the one you have more than a single purchase.


Then we would have the normal length irons with thin plates, which are ideal for hairstyles with very marked curls, for short hair, and to share with our boy. On the opposite side, we have those with wide plates, which protrude from the body. They are designed to straighten and shape thick and/or long hair, although in most cases, the intermediate ones fulfill this task well.


The most common plates are the intermediate ones, their plates measure between 2 and 3cm on average, and they are, without a doubt, the most versatile. With them it is easier to create hairstyles, they are rounder and more uniform and even if you change your look you can continue using them (unless you go crazy with the scissors, of course).


Is it worth investing a little more in an iron?


No doubt for two reasons. The first is that if they are good, they are long-lasting beauty products and they are not going to become obsolete in a short time. They already offer a good enough level of quality that new improvements won't look down on your iron for a while. The other reason is that the vast majority of us who use a hair straightener can no longer live without it. What at first could be an acquisition for occasional use ends up becoming, thanks to its good results, something for regular use. So it should be the most respectful of your hair.


More things to consider


There are other less important details than the quality of the plates, but they should not be overlooked. One of them is the automatic shutdown of the iron. When we use an iron it is not usually to stay at home, and it can be easy to forget to turn it off. Look for an iron that turns off automatically after a period of time without use, to prevent it from breaking down or causing other problems.


For more comfortable handling, it is convenient that the cable is long and that it is rotatable at 360º. There are hair styling poses that require a skillful wrist that is unconstrained by the wire. It is also convenient that they have blocking of the opening of the plates so that they are not damaged by other objects and/or a cover to store and transport them. It will help it last longer.


Finally, it only remains to remember that the irons are still external aggressions to our hair and that we must keep it hydrated as much as possible to minimize damage. So it is highly recommended to use chemoprotective products, especially sprays that are applied just before straightening.



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