If you want to rock the locks of Jennifer Aniston or Paris Hilton, try using a straightening iron. Also called flat irons, these hairstyling tools create the super-straight, frizz-free shiny styles seen everywhere from the red carpet to the catwalk. You do not need a designer hairstylist to get the designer look, however. You can take this styling tool in your own hands and re-create the look. Before embarking on this new look, consider some of the pros and cons of straightening irons.
Almost all hair-straightening irons are ceramic, because this material heats evenly, causing less damage to hair follicles. Some straightening irons also emit negative ions, which help the body release healthy nutrients along the hair shaft. Cheaper straightening irons are metal coated in ceramic, which produce an inferior look.
The pros of using a straightening iron include reduction of frizz, quick heating time and the flexibility of changing your hairstyle at your whim. There are straightening irons that work in various types of hair ranging from wavy to curly, thin to thick. Some models are lightweight with an ergonomic design.
The advantage to straightening irons is that creating different looks is fun and easy. Try the sleek flip by applying mousse and blow-drying your hair. Straighten the hair from the roots and add a flip at the end. Try an elegant upsweep by applying mousse and letting your hair dry. Straighten your hair from roots to ends. Twist the back section of your hair and clip it in place. Take the sections closest to your face, twist them and pin them to the back twist. Take a comb and gently pull a few hairs out of the twist.
The primary con of using a straightening iron is that, with repeated use, hair can get dry, brittle and damaged. It can lose shine and look dull and unhealthy. Frequent use may create split ends. The best models are gentler to hair, but they are also expensive, costing up to $500. People with extremely thick and curly hair may experience more damage to their hair because it takes longer to straighten it. However, some of the damage and negative effects of using a straightening iron can be mitigated by using heat-protection spray and leave-in conditioners.
There are additional disadvantages to using a straightening iron to style wavy or curly hair. First of all, the look is temporary. If you get caught in a brief rain shower or go for a walk on a humid day, you lose your look. Of course, once you wash your hair you must begin the style anew. If your hair is extremely thick, you may wish to use an iron with bigger plates. However, bigger plates make for a much heavier and more difficult to use iron.