Hairstyling Appliances: Tips and Tricks (2)

Stylist straightening hair with a flat iron
Photo: ESB Professional/Shutterstock
Previous page
Number 1: Always make sure the hair is wrapped smoothly and held securely in the rollers. Good tension in the roller ensures that you get the best curl results.
Number 2: A light misting of hairspray on the wrapped rollers will give a little extra hold and "lift" to the curled hairstyle.
Number 3: Make sure that your hair is completely dry before using the hot rollers and ALWAYS let the rollers cool COMPLETELY before taking them out. Most of the incidents of poor results from using hot rollers come as a result of having damp hair before using the rollers, or from taking down the rollers before they have completely cooled.
Remember heat and moisture will break the side bonds needed to change the curl pattern of the hair, but they don't get reset into the new curl pattern until the hair is cooled and dried.
Curling Irons / Flat Irons: Similar to hot rollers, curling irons and flat irons use heat (and in the case of curling irons, occasionally a bit of moisture) to change the curl pattern of the hair. The main difference is that the curling iron lets you add curl in specific places (the flat iron lets you straighten targeted sections of the hair). You can style your hair in a multitude of ways and then use the curling iron to add curls only where you want them, or use the flat iron to give a smooth, sleek finish.
Curling irons come in a variety of sizes from small, pencil-thin barrels for tight spirals, to large barrels for big soft curls. Similarly, flat irons come in varying widths to give more precise control. Generally, the longer your hair is, the bigger the curling iron you want to use. With flat irons, the larger the heating surfaces on the flat iron, the larger the section that can be straightened will be.
Curling iron and flat iron
Number 1: Curling irons only work well on completely dry hair. If your hair is even a little damp, the resulting curls will be limp, if they manage to hold at all. Using a flat iron on still-damp hair only serves to swell the hair shaft. Applying the concentrated heat of the flat iron's elements onto the damp hair basically "cooks" the hair, and can seriously damage it.
Number 2: Curls formed using a curling iron must be allowed to cool completely before they are manipulated further. Likewise, segments straightened with a flat iron should be left to cool to prevent reverting to the previous curl pattern. Wrap the section of hair around the curling iron barrel, hold the tool in place for a few seconds to evenly heat the hair, then gently slide the barrel out of the curl and allow it to stay in place until it cools.
Number 3: Lightly spraying the section of hair with hairspray will give a stronger hold to the resulting curl, or will help to eliminate frizz in flat iron styles.
See also:
Combs and brushes
How to curl hair with a flat iron
More hair styling techniques