When it comes to hair styling tools, we’re always looking for the ones that work the best and cause the least damage to the hair.
What you’ll learn:
- Hair straightening, what we like about it
- The 3 most popular hair straightening tools
- About the flat iron
- About the hot air brush
- About the straightening brush
- Which hair tool is the best option to straighten the hair?
- How to avoid damage from hair straightening tools?
Hair straightening advantages
In the past 30 years, hair brands have come up with a wide selection of at-home hair styling tools; the most popular being the flat iron. Since the early 80’s, the beauty industry “pushed” the idea that having perfectly straight hair was trendy, modern, put together, clean, etc. And so, tools such as the flat iron became insanely popular.
Nowadays, these ideas and trends are starting to shift the opposite way. Women with curly and kinky hair are embracing their natural curls, leaving behind the days of chemical relaxers and waking up hours in advance to straighten their hair.
Even though we love the au naturelle hairstyles and this self acceptance movement, it’s important to point out that it’s OK to have fun with your personal style, as long as it's done out of self-love and not from auto-rejection.
Currently, there are three major tools that can be used for hair straightening at home: flat iron, hot air brush, and electric straightening brush. Here’s a detailed analysis of each of them, so that you can come to your own conclusions:
A flat irons presses the hair between two surfaces that are heated enough to relax the hydrogen bonds that give the strands their natural curve. Most flat irons are made of metal or ceramic, the difference in performance between these two materials lies in the way the heat gets distributed, for this matter, ceramic plates are better suited to cause the least damage.
Hot Air Brush
A styling brush and a blow dryer all in one. The hot air blow dries the strands while the bristles give the desired shape and volume, so you can style your hair as you dry it. Using a hot air brush requires minimal effort and can easily achieve a salon-level blow out if you know how to use a round brush. Experts claim that blow outs come out 2x faster with a hot air brush than following the traditional method using a brush and a blowdryer. We recommend setting the temperature to the lowest to minimize heat damage.
The straightening brush is the newest addition to the list of products for at-home straightening and it’s a real game changer. It uses special bristles that evenly distribute the heat while at the same time separating the hair strands, making the straightening process a more efficient one. The downside of this product is that you get closer to the scalp and there’s a high chance of getting burned. The good part is that in one pass you detangle and straighten which ultimately means less damage. Most, if not all, straightening brushes come with heat settings, try it at the lowest possible temperature and adjust if needed.
Which hair tool is the best option to straighten the hair?
Unfortunately, heating tools will always cause a certain level of damage to the hair. Styling hair requires a combination of heat and tension, which means internal and external damage for the strands all at the same time. The real damage happens from repeatedly passing the flat iron, combing the strands, and adding tension from the brush. Heat weakens the cortex creating gaps and holes that eventually end up breaking because of the added tension.
How to avoid damage from hair straightening tools?
Use the lowest heat setting possible. The thinner the hair type, the less heat is needed to break the natural shape of the hair strands. The greater the efficiency, reducing the number of times you pass the flat iron, hot air brush, or straightening brush; the lesser the damage. Close contact to heat is the worst, avoid high pressure when using a flat iron. Make sure to follow a hair routine that replenishes the hair strands with what they lose due to natural factors and added stressors like heat styling. A complete routine should include treatments that add water, oil and protein to the hair. Your personal hair routine should mostly depend on your hair type and level of damage. You can easily generate your routine by completing this online test, and then follow it by purchasing the necessary hair treatments here.