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Believe it or not, flatirons can do as much damage to your hair as a baby scandal does to a celebrity's reputation. But you can't go around with frizzy, whacked-out-looking hair, now can you? You likely know that ceramic flatirons are the safest way to go, but even they can cause damage if not used correctly. If you use the right iron, however, along with products that protect your hair and safe techniques, you'll come out with flat, healthy hair in no time.
Protect Your Mane
Before you even think about straightening your tresses with the flatiron, you've got to do some damage control. Applying thermal protectant cream or spray to your locks before they get their straight on prevents the heat from hurting them. These products typically contain polymers that form a barrier on the surface of your hair, shielding it from the damaging heat. But you'll also need to use the right iron and technique to keep your hair the safest.
Choose the Right Iron
Flatirons come in a ton of varieties, but the most important thing you should keep in mind is to look for one that is ceramic. Sure, metal gets your hair straight like a champ, but it also damages the bejesus out of it. Those metal plates get super hot and are as likely to singe and break off your hair as to straighten it. The ceramic style is a bit more gentle and glides through your hair much more easily. The Salon Tech Silicone 450 Professional Hairstyling Iron and the T3 Mini Flat Iron are two models that can get your hair looking super sheen without frying it out.
You can experience your very own hair disaster if you're not careful about how you use your iron. The key when it comes to flatironing is to always keep that thing moving. Stopping while you're straightening creates too much heat for your hair, which will result in serious damage. You also have to take it easy on that temperature setting. This is not the time to crank it up -- turn it on the lowest temperature possible that will still provide you with the results you need. Look at the iron's directions for the suggested temperature; it is extremely helpful and can prevent a hair catastrophe.
Do you use your flatiron on a daily basis? If so, you need to stop, like, right now. Even the gentlest flatiron isn't made for everyday use. You should only use the iron two days a week, max. Yes, this means you might have to suffer a day or two without looking perfect, but that's what hats are for, right? Plus, it's better to have healthy hair than a mane that looks like it has been put through the ringer.