Types of Hair Straighteners

Types of Hair Straighteners

People with straight hair usually prefer curly hair and the opposite is also true; people with natural curls often wish their hair was smooth and straight. Now, they can make their wishes come true using an assortment of products and tools designed to straighten hair. With quality hair straighteners, anyone can achieve professional results in the comfort of his or her own home without harmful chemical agents.

Some hair straighteners even claim to make hair silkier and shinier. There are various brands and types of hair straighteners to choose from, available with many different features. One example is hair straighteners with a steam function. Much like with a steam iron used for pressing clothing, you can add water to get a puff of steam from time to time as you work on your hair.

The steam option may not be the best choice for people with extremely curly hair or hair that tends to frizz under humid conditions. The steam may cause more frizz and keep the hair from being properly straightened. The steam option works best for people whose hair is already fairly straight.

Ceramic hair straighteners are favored by most people because they get hot quicker, stay hotter longer and leave hair smooth and shiny. Ceramic hair straighteners work well on even the most difficult to manage hair. They stop frizz and flatten even the tightest curls, often in about half the time required by other hair straighteners. While ceramic hair straighteners are often thought to be the most expensive, there are plenty of reasonably priced, high quality ceramic models available.

Hair straighteners are also sometimes called "flat irons" and they offer adjustable options. There are styles to treat short hair, long hair, fine hair and thick hair. Most of the popular styles of hair straighteners are lightweight yet sturdy, scratch resistant and easy to clean, and many offer an ergonomic design. They are usually made to prevent pulling the hair, tangling and breakage.

The main drawback of hair straighteners is that all varieties can damage hair. It is best not to straighten hair on a daily basis. People who use hair straighteners should also use heat treatment products and condition their hair regularly.

With the large amount of hair straighteners available on the market at the moment how do you know which one would suit you. The prices seem to vary from around the £40 mark up to £90 and beyond. Are all the cheap ones rubbish or are the expensive ones over priced?. Well the answer is it all depends. It all depends on your hair. If your hair is thick and in good condition then you do not need to pay for an expensive straightener, YET! Budget straighteners usually come with metal plates. The trouble with metal plates is that microscopically they are like sandpaper. This surface will eventually damage your hair with repeated use. If, however, you do not intend to use the straightener on a regular basis and only on special occasions AND you have healthy hair already then these budget straighteners can be ideal for you and at price that will make you smile. Ceramic plates however are microscopically smooth and do a much better job of flattening the hair. Ceramic plates also have a more even heat distribution across the plates surface which means that the whole plate is an even temperature. Imagine the disaster if most of the plate was 190ºC and part of it was 210ºC. If your hair was fine then the excess temperature would frazzle your hair! Ceramic plates also heat up and cool down quickly which means that the temperature can be controlled better. If your hair is fine then this will be important to you since temperature is more crucial. Cheap elements have poor control and may not cool quickly enough if the desired temperature is exceeded.

Another problem to consider then is the temperature required. Most high street store straighteners do not reach sufficient temperature to actually work. Unless the straightener reaches temperatures around the 180ºC mark then the styles produced will fall out in a very short time. High temperature straighteners which reach 180ºC will produce a style that will last all day. Along with high temperatures come other problems however. You do not really want to dry your hair our which is what will happen with repeated use of high temperature appliances. If you intend to use your straightener on a regular basis then you need to think about protecting your hair. Ceramic hair oils etc can help protect your hair and should be used with any straightener anyway to help replace the oils that can be lost from your hair when use high temperatures. There are, however, technologies available in the more expensive straighteners that can help. Infra Red radiation produced from some high temperature ceramic plates can help seal the moisture in your hair so that you hair does not loose its condition. Ionic technology breaks down the size of the water molecules on the hairs surface making them smaller and easier for the hair to absorb. This can actually improve the condition of you hair! A combination of both technologies would add moisture to your hair and then seal that moisture in. This will actually improve the condition of dry hair. If you intend to use your straightener on a regular basis then you should look for straighteners that employ some of these technologies.

Normal Hair needs temperatures from 160ºC - 180ºC to straighten it but again protective technologies can increase the temperature that your hair can withstand and therefore a longer lasting effect can be achieved.

If your hair is thick then you will need temperatures higher than 180ºC. This greatly reduces your choice of straightener as cheaper models will not achieve such high temperatures. When using such high temperatures it is important for your hair's condition to use Ceramic plates, preferably with ionic and/or infra red protection. A temperature control will also add to the usability of your straightener giving you more control and peace of mind. You can then increase the temperature up to your required temperature rather than finding out too late that your straightener is too hot for your hair.

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