by Shelli of Hairscapades
Whether it’s for the ease, the longevity afforded by low dew points, a slew of holiday parties, a style change, or a gift to pamper oneself, straight hair seems to be a holiday season favorite. And, if you are going the salon route, you may be a bit nervous about over-manipulation and/or heat damage. But, if you follow a few quick tips, you don’t have to be!
1. Prepare your hair: If you haven’t combed your hair since the last harvest moon, don’t be surprised if you lose half of it in the salon chair. I kid. I kid. But seriously, a stylist is not going to spend 2 hours finger detangling your hair. If they do, you can expect to pay a hefty premium for their patience and diligence. Just because you are getting someone else to do your hair, doesn’t mean you can neglect it. If you do, don’t be mad when you feel like they are ripping through your mane and half of it goes down the drain.
2. Condition. Whether you pay the stylist or do it yourself the weekend before your visit, use a light protein conditioner and a deep moisturizing conditioner. If your hair is really in need of help, a reconstructor may be in order.
3. Heat protectant: Make certain your stylist is using a good heat protectant. This is a must as it reduces the impact of heat styling on the hair, especially if using a blow dryer and flat-iron.
4. Temperature controlled ceramic flat-iron: Verify that your stylist is using a quality ceramic flat-iron with a temperature control and advise of the max setting that should be used on your hair. Personally, I don’t want anything over 350 degrees. Higher than that may cause a change in the structure of the hair that could result in permanent heat damage. However, you know your hair best, so just make certain that the temperature doesn’t exceed your comfort level.
5. Two to three passes: Request that your stylist straighten small sections (using the chaser method, if possible) and limit the number of passes with the flat-iron to 2-3.
• If you can, choose a stylist that you know and trust. If you have to use someone knew, research them first whether it’s through other clients or a consultation.
• If you need a trim, dissuade a scissor-happy stylist by advising them that you want to see what they are doing. Request a “dusting/micro-trim” of 1/4-1/2″ if preserving length is important to you. (I had 2 1/2″ cut-off, but worked through and agreed upon it with my stylist. Then I watched in the mirror as she did it.)
Hope this helps and wishing you all a very merry straightening experience!!