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Most women with curly or wavy hair have at some point coveted straight hair. If you are one of them and wish to try this, you should know that there are several great options these days and none of them involves a clothes iron. New methods, using state of the art technology, are safer and less harmful to your hair. You can opt for the chemical process to permanently straighten your hair and achieve a smooth, shiny, straight mane for anywhere from six to nine months. Or you can temporarily sport a straight hairstyle for special occasions. You may want to try this before you commit to a permanent change.
If you have the time and patience you can just use a good hair dryer and styling brush to blow dry your hair straight or you can try a straightening irons. There are several different types of straighteners available, from the older, most commonly used chrome-plated metal irons to gold-plated ones and of course the newest technology, ceramic. If you are short on cash try the regular metal or the gold-plated ones; gold is easier on your hair. If you can afford to splurge, purchase a ceramic straightening iron and your hair will thank you. The ceramic heats up more evenly and is gentler to your hair by helping preserve the natural moisture. It also results in shinier, smoother, healthier looking hair as it tends to glide through better. Ceramic is known to eliminate frizz and minimize static.

Things to look for in a straightening iron:

- Does it have adjustable and several heat settings? You will have to experiment with it to find your ideal temperature. Although a high heat setting will get hair straighter quicker, try to follow the general rule of using lower settings for fine hair and higher setting for thick or coarse hair

- Look for solid ceramic plates instead of a ceramic coating as the former will last much longer.

- How heavy is it? A lightweight one will be easier on your arms and make you task much more bearable.

- Does it have a swivel power cord? This feature can make your task go much quicker.

- There are now several cordless models on the market. If you are going to use it for quick touch ups or for travel; this option is great.

- Look for a straightening iron with a protective heat resistant case so when you are done you can move on without worrying about it cooling down.

- Get a smaller plate iron for short hair and a wider one for longer hair.


- Make sure your hair is totally dry before using a heated iron. Hair is most fragile and prone to breakage when it is wet and the straightening iron on damp hair will open the cuticle and damage the cortex. If possible, allow your hair to dry naturally instead of blow drying as this will reduce the amount of heat your hair has to endure at one time.

- Use a product like serum or protein treatment before straightening - specially on the ends. This will further help protect your hair and leave it shinier.

- If you are looking for pin straight hair, part hair into small sections and do a couple of passes with the iron on each section.

- If you are in a rush or are looking for just a smooth, polished finish; straighten just the top layer of your hair. No one will see the bottom layers anyway.

- Do not wrap the cord around the iron as it may fray or damage cord causing a hazard and giving your investment a shorter life.