Create a new look with a straightener A straightener is a super accessory in the quest to get your hair looking just the way you want it.
Maybe you already have straight hair and just want to keep it in perfect shape - or you have wavy, curly or frizzy hair and are looking for a completely new look.
Whatever the case, a straightener is the hair care device you need.
We bring you a huge range of the best value hair straighteners from leading UK electrical and air care stores including Argos, Tesco Direct, Hair Trade, John Lewis, Boots the Chemist, Amazon, Claires Accessories, Fragrance Direct, Go Electrical, eBay, Light in the Box, Superdrug, The UK Edit, EachBuyer UK and My Memory.
You'll find all the leading brand names for straighteners here including TRESemme, Corioliss, BaByliss, ghd, Nicky Clarke, Remington, Ionika, Wahl, Toni & Guy, Braun, Electric Hair, MHD, Cloud Nine, H2D, Carmen, LOOF, Vidal Sassoon, Bosch and Pink Heat.
We also feature several hairdryer and straightener gift sets in case you are want to buy a birthday or Christmas present for a friend or relative.
We also bring you a range of handy accessories for using with a straightener including heat resistant protective gloves, heatproof heat mats, straightener stands and heat resistant pouches and carry cases for transporting straighteners in in you suitcase or handbag.
If you want a mini, medium or large straightener which matches the colour of your other hair care accessories, you'll have no problem finding one here as they are available to buy in a range of colours including black, white, cream, blue, green, pink, yellow, purple, silver, gold, grey and chrome.
Sadly the prospect of a straightener giving new life to your hair is impossible on the basis your hair is already dead - that is something you need to realistically keep in mind.
The living part of hair is at the base of each follicle where tiny blood vessels enable it to keep growing.
Once a hair reach the skin's surface, it no longer has nerves, muscles or a blood supply - so it is not alive and contains dead cells.
But there's no denying a straightener can certainly make your hairstyle look exciting and invigorated.
It isn't much of a fashion statement to have your hair all brittle and tired looking - so we are going to suggest at the very outset that if you are going to buy a hair straightener, stretch your budget as far as possible in the interest of getting a device which is kind to your hair.
Before we go into details about a hair straightener - also referred to sometimes as a flat iron, straightening iron on hair iron - let's get the safety precautions out of the way first just in case you miss them if we put them near the end.
While it is not an absolute necessity, it is always best to go for hair straighteners that have an auto shut off feature.
It is only too easy to forget the device once you leave it on the dresser to answer the door and get engaged in a conversation - especially if you were nearly done with working on your hair.
The risks of leaving an active straightener unattended are obvious including the possibility of leaving nasty burn mark on a surface or, worth still, the potential to start a fire in your home.
Another matter consider relates to your personal safety and the safety for your hair - it is advisable to buy a flat iron straightener with an LCD display that lets you know exactly what temperature it is at.
Doubtless you will have talked to hair experts before and in case you haven't, do ask them for their opinion on the temperature range best suited for your type of hair.
Along the same lines, the option for variable heat settings is not just convenient, but essential as well.
And this last one's not safety, but convenience - if you are travelling abroad and are not sure whether the voltage there is compatible with the product you have, it may be a good idea to invest in a travel straightener.
They don't need sockets as they operate on gas cells or rechargeable batteries.
Caring for Your Hair
Try to find a hair straightener that has a lock of some sort that will ensure you don't turn up the heat accidentally while you are using it.
In this context, some hair straightners also have the option to give you an instant heat boost should you need it, at the press of a button.
No matter how good and safe for your hair straightener might be, do use a heat-protecting spray on your hair. Again, choose the one that is appropriate for your type of hair - which includes hair colour, natural or artificial.
There are hair straighteners and flat irons that can work their magic on towel dried hair and without being particularly harsh on your hair either, but still, any unnatural process that dries your hair is to be used with discretion.
The best process to dry your hair is to towel dry, use a wide toothed comb and let it loose for a while. If that is not possible, a hair dryer is the usual option - you can use the dryer from a distance to blow hot air which is not the same as touching the individual strands with a hot object.
Some types of hair that are naturally frizzy will require specific types of serum to keep them smooth. Don't be too quick to blame your electric or gas-powered straightener if you are not getting desired results - ask an expert if you should be using hair serum.
Always keep your hair straightener clean. If you don't, whatever is on the heated plate will be transferred to your hair.
Cleaning is easy - just keep a piece of damp cloth handy. A hand towel and a spray-bottle of water on the dresser works fine. Heat the straightener, turn off the power and then wipe with the damp cloth. It's that simple.
Most flat iron straighteners operate with a power cord which connects to your electricity socket in your home - but we also feature a range of standard size and mini cordless straighteners which are ideal for when you are away from home or on holiday or business.
These heat up quickly and an provide an average of 40 minutes of styling time. They normally feature a high power lithium polymer battery which can be recharged at the mains or in a car.
A cheap straightener will cost under £20 but you can expect to pay a more for a top of the range deluxe cordless device with all the latest high-tech features including ionic and infra red technology.
How to use a Hair Straightener
There are several procedures to follow to get the best out of your head straight to results from your hair straightener.
First you should wash you hair with shampoo and, if necessary, use conditioner to ensure it is as soft as possible, enabling the straightener to work to maximum effect.
You can then use a hair dryer to blow dry your hair although it's widely believed the best option is to let it dry naturally. Plug your straightener into the mains and allow it to warm up.
The straightening process itself will need to be carried out in sections. This is definitely the case if you have long very hair. You should divide your hair into four of five sections and then clip them to the top of your head, leaving one section of the back of your head down.
Now you should add heat protectant spray to the first section of hair which you intend to straighten. Follow this procedure for the remaining sections.
When your straightener has reached the correct temperature you need to separate a section of hair approximately 3cms wide - and then carefully place the straightener plates at the root of the strip of hair and gently slide the device down in one pass along the section of head towards its tip.
Repeat this process until you have completed the first section of hair. Then move on to carry out the same process to the other sections of hair.
Be very careful not to leave the straightener in the location on a section of hair for too long as the heat from the device is capable of making it brittle or seriously damaging it - you may wish to invest in a pair of heat protective styling gloves to avoid the risk of burning your hands during the straightening process.
In order to keep your hair healthy and full-bodied, you should use your straightener no more than a maximum of four times a week.
Hairspray or a hair shine solution can be applied to you after straightening to make it look shiny and vibrant and keep it in place.
After straining your hair you may wish to use the curling iron. tong or wand to add some curls or little flips to the end sections of your straightened hair.
Choosing a Hair Straightener
There are many types of hair straightener to choose from, featuring heating plates made from various materials. Here's the low down on some of the most popular ones available.
Ceramic Coating: This type of plate gives a lot of gloss and creates a soft finish. It heats up quickly and has a smooth surface. It is a very good and basic type of plate.
Solid Ceramic: These are even better in that they heat up evenly and allow all the hair on its surface to be straightened at once. Smoother and shinier finish than ceramic coated ones but more expensive.
Teflon Coated: Remington is renowned for its top quality Teflon coated plates. Teflon is completely non-stick, so there's no chance of getting your hair snagged at any point of time.
Being non-stick, these plates are resistant to hair spray (remember that hair protection spray we talked about?) and virtually anything that may stick to a plate that is not non-stick. They are easier to maintain, as a result.
Ceramic Diamond Teflon: Along with the benefits of teflon mentioned above, the diamond gives a 75% enhancement in gliding which results in one of the smoothest hair straightening experiences.
Nano Diamond Ultraglide Ceramic: There is nothing smoother than this type of plate and nothing that heats up as quickly. It's similar to the ceramic diamond option - only, better.
Titanium: Plates made from this material are extremely light and equally strong. They are quick to heat up and provide even distribution of heat.
Titanium will last significantly longer than ceramic plates since it is corrosion resistant. Nano Titanium Ceramic plates are a version that use an advanced form of ceramic technology for constant high heat performance.
This is a type of straightener, not a plate. We mention this and the also the infrared type so that you can understand the next one in the plate category better. Ionic hair straighteners use steam, much like a steam iron.
Dirt and odour is removed without fuss and hair is left healthy and shining.
The hair itself is used to generate heat. This technology is expensive but definitely worth the investment. It keeps hair healthy, frizz free and extremely smooth.
This is a coating made from ground up semi-precious stones applied to ceramic plates.
The process becomes one that combines the benefits of Ionic and Infrared straighteners.
Tourmaline coated plates generate negative ions which lock in moisture and also remove frizz by dampening static electricity which is one of the major causes of frizz.
Subtle infra-red heat is generated as the plates move through the hair, ensuring the most perfect finish in terms of gloss, shine and smoothness. It is easy to see why Tourmaline is preferred for professional use.
From water filters to hair straighteners, silver is best known for its use in eliminating bacteria. Additionally, it is also non-stick and smooth.
This material is best used in your kitchen utensils, frankly! Don't go for this type of plate even though it all began with stainless steel.
It takes a lot of time to heat up, doesn't hold heat evenly and can be very damaging to hair unless you are an expert who is super careful.
Definitely not something you want to use on your hair if you just want the job done fast and easy.
The purpose of this list was to give you an overview of the plate-types so that you are not lost in the options!
You should not choose a hair straightener based solely on the type of plate it has.
Apart from plate width, there are also the safety features as well as the overall ease of handling of the gadget.
Let's round off the plate section with brief reference to plates widths and which are best for the various types of hair.
A wide plate with of 6cms if ideally suited to long, thick hair. A medium width plate of four to five centimetres is suitable for short to medium length hair, and a slim plate of 2.5cms is the ideal choice for short hair.
It is best to not to experiment too much with the plate width.
If you had a slim-plated straightener before you grew your hair, it is time to get a medium or wide plated one - don't consider forcing the slim plate through your lengthened tresses!
A new development in the world of hair straighteners has been the introduction of the innovative straightening iron which features a built-in iron brush comb.
This handy hair device features an LCD display and a ceramic anti-static straightening brush.
The brush heats up quickly and allows you to comb out tangles and know easily without the need for tugging and pulling.
Now for a few final thoughts about hair straighteners.
You will be using hair straighteners to make your hair look beautiful, glossy and smooth, not to mention straight.
However, the truth is you are going to be heating up a dead strand and bending it out of its natural shape.
It figures that you need to be as gentle as possible while you are at it since hair cannot regenerate on its own.
You will be aware, of course, that the straightness achieved is neither permanent and nor is it invariably straight either!
Sometimes you may want waves and on other occasions pin-straight hair. If you still want some sense of a wave in your hair, there are straighteners with curved housing that force the hair around itself to create just the kind of wave and bounce required.
Most people quite simply want their hair to be as straight as possible - getting it straight, shiny, smooth and healthy can be by following the simple advice provided earlier.
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