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Gals who love to go from curly to straight, know the right flat iron can make a difference between smooth, straight hair and a half-baked mess. There are a million flat irons out on the market so it can be difficult to tell which one is right for you. Yes, you want sleek, straight locks but also desire a styling tool that has a long life and doesn't totally damage your hair. If you're trying to decide between an aluminum and a ceramic flat iron get the dish on each before you make your decision.
Aluminum vs Ceramic
The original flat irons had metal plates made of aluminum or steel. This version of the flat iron is still sold today and though cheap, isn't as popular because it doesn't straighten as well and can damage hair. The most common flat iron has aluminum plates that are covered in ceramic. The benefit of having aluminum plates is that they're less likely to crack or be damaged. The downside is, that the ceramic outer layer can chip or peel over time leaving you with uneven heating and possible hair damage. A pure ceramic iron, if you can afford it, is your best bet. These irons are known for heating quickly, locking in moisture and doing the least amount of damage. Beware though, these irons can break if you clap the plates together.
Your Best Bet
As with any technology, you get what you pay for. Cheaper flat irons aren't going to work as well as their pricier counterparts. Invest in a high quality flat iron. Not only will it last longer but it will be cause less damage. For better quality straightening look for ceramic straighteners that have tourmaline infused into the plates. If you have super hard to straighten hair, try a nano titanium ceramic flat iron. This iron's great heat conduction can cut down on styling time for fussy locks.
How to Straighten Hair
You hair needs to be totally dry and tangle free before you attempt to flat iron. Once dry, divide your locks up into sections. Begin with a 1/2-inch section near the nape of your neck and pull the iron down the hair from root to tip in one smooth motion. Don't leave the iron on the hair for too long -- you run the risk of burning it. Run a comb through each newly straightened section. Spritz your newly straightened hair with a shine spray.
Protect Your Hair
Excessive heat styling can cause dry and damaged locks. If you're a flat iron junkie, take a day or two off and give your hair a break. This may mean wearing a hat or wrapping your hair up with a fab scarf but you locks will thank you. Cut down on the amount of damage a flat iron can do by pretreating hair with a protective styling product. If your locks are already looking worse for wear, give them a deep conditioning treatment. This will zap dry hair with much-needed moisture.