You’re probably thinking I already know how to straighten my hair! … I dry it, plug the straighteners in and start straightening until it’s straight. That’s not wrong but there are a few tricks us Hairdressers at Material Bath would like to share with you to help you protect your hair from damage and moisture loss when straightening or smoothing your hair.

So starting from the very beginning:

Step 1: Cleanse

Make sure your hair is clear of oils, dirt and previous products by shampooing twice – one to remove dirt and oil and the second to prep hair for conditioner or a treatment. Rinse well.

hairdresser bathStep 2:  Condition

Focus on the mid-lengths and ends of the hair, as these areas lack the most in moisture, and avoid the roots. Rinse, rinse, and when you think all the conditioner is out rinse again as even the smallest amount left will weigh your hair down and make it limp and lifeless. You can never over-rinse your hair.

Although many people believe that leaving conditioner on for 5-10min will aid the hair in absorbing more moisture it won’t, conditioner is designed to only act on the very top surface of the hair shaft in fact it will only weigh hair down more.


hairdresser bathStep 3: Comb

Hair is most fragile when it’s wet. Instead or rubbing (which causes frizz and tangles) just apply pressure to a towel so it soaks up the excess moisture then comb through with a wide toothed comb. If your hair is prone to tangling use a leave-in detangling product, take fine sections and comb your hair starting at the ends and working up towards the roots. Once you’ve finished combing your hair through, liberally spray or apply a heat protecting product. At Material hairdressers we use and recommend Philip Kingsley’s Daily Damage Defence: conditioner, de-tangler, UV filter & heat protector in one!

Step 4: Dry

Hold the hairdryer about 6 inches from your head on a high heat and speed. Starting at the back where your hair holds onto the most moisture will stop you over-drying the rest and cut down frizz and damage. When your hair is partially dry turn both the heat and speed down to prevent over drying.

Step 5:  Straighten

When using straighteners it’s not always about getting the hair poker straight. If you achieved a good blow-dry in the step before then this is really just about smoothing at a lower heat.

Ideal temperatures for hair type:
  • Fine hair – 160 degrees
  • Medium  hair – 170 degrees
  • Coarse hair – 180 degrees

Once you’ve decided on the temperature for your hair type, the next step is sectioning. Taking fine sections when ironing allows the heat to flow evenly through the hair and achieve a consistent look.

Step 6 : Bevel

Apply the straighteners slowly over each section and as you reach the ends of the hair just very slightly bevel the ends under. Follow this method until you have completed the whole head. By working in this manner, you should find that the style stays looking good for longer.

The best and least damaging way to straighten/smooth your hair is to apply the heat of the iron only once. Of course there will be the odd occasion when you need to add heat again but as above allow smooth strokes down the hair shaft from the root to the ends.

So that’s easier said than done!

We’re always here to help you: if you want advice on anything mentioned in this article please talk to your hairdresser at your next appointment at Material in Bath, We’re always happy to share tips and advice; you can even try using the irons on your own hair while you’re in the salon and we’ll give you some pointers there and then. Or you can take one of us hairdressers home with you…. Just ask if you can record us blowdrying and straightening your hair on your smart phone!