One of the easiest, but probably not the safest way to straighten your hair, is by using a flat iron/hair straightener. However, following a few techniques can ensure little to no damage, and these include conditioning your hair, using a heat protectant, using a ceramic hair straightener, and using a good moisturizer after, etc.

After becoming a beauty fanatic in my early teenage years, I was more than eager to find out how is the best way to do it. Over the years, I've received numerous tips from different stylists, along with reading millions of articles on the web. So, I decided to use this opportunity to share how I straighten my hair, and the products I use.

Step One

Ok, so first I have to prep my hair before I straighten. This includes shampooing and conditioning (I swear by Aussie and Garnier Fructis products, so I use Aussie Moist Shampoo and Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner OR Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Fortifying Shampoo and Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Frizz Defeat Deep Treatment). Why? Because flat ironing dirty hair is pure madness, and all you'll be doing is pressing in old dirt and oils which can fry your hair. Make sure that you do NOT skip using a conditioner! Using one with a good quality before you straighten your hair with heat acts as a protectant, and the extra moisture it puts into your hair will prevent dryness and further damage. Remember, a good heat protectant cannot do all the work!

Step Two

Now that the hair is freshly shampooed and conditioned, I gently blot my hair with a towel to absorb excess water, then apply my Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Blow Dry Perfector Straightening Balm (reduces frizz and leaves your hair miraculously smooth). A wide tooth comb is then used to comb through the hair which helps to distribute the product evenly. I then blowdry my hair(I use Revlon's Tourmaline Hair Dryer) using my fingers until it is about 50% dry. After that, I use a paddle hair brush which helps to distribute the heat from the hair dryer.

If you decide you don't want to use heat to dry your hair, there's absolutely no harm in skipping the blow-drying process. You can simply allow your hair to air dry completely. I do this almost all the time. Saves me energy.

Another technique you can try in order to reduce the heat used when drying, is to divide your hair into 6 sections when it is wet, then braid each section. Air dry for about 15 minutes or a little longer, then undo the braids and finish drying with the hair dryer on a low setting.

Step Three

Now on to the part we're really here for. When it comes on to straighteners, a high quality ceramic hair straightener is the safest and most effective option. 2 years ago I invested in a 100% ceramic Royale Classic Straightener (I'll do a little review soon), which I paid US$250 for, and it's the best thing I've ever bought in terms of hair styling tools. The good thing about this is that it has a temperature controller. I normally set mine to 300˚ F, but never higher than 350˚ F (which is the suitable temperature for straightening normal hair. Those with thick or curly hair can go up to 400˚ F, but avoid going any higher). This allows my hair to straighten with just 1-2 passes.

So now that my hair is completely dry, I start from the back, making a horizontal part going across my head. I then mist on Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Flat Iron Perfector (will do a review for this soon also) on a 1-2 inch wide section of the hair, then gently clamp the hair straightener as close to my roots as possible, then work my way down, running a tail comb directly after the hair straightener to ensure even distribution of heat. This step is continued until all the hair is straightened. After I'm through, I finish off by adding some moisture back into the hair by using Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment.