Inexpensive Hair Straighteners Vs. Expensive Flat Irons
When you’re trying to decide what kind of flat iron to buy, it’s pretty easy to get wrapped up in the idea of a $20 iron that swears you will get the look you want. Sometimes, you get lucky and find a really good tool for your hair that is inexpensive. Mostly however, you’ll find the quality on a cheap option is way below that of a higher priced one, and you might regret not springing for the better model.
Style Staying Power
If you don’t get enough consistent heat on your hair during the few straightening passes you take, your hair won’t stay straight during the day. It may look straighter than it did, but the frizz will return in some form. A lot of less expensive straighteners don’t heat up enough to get the right amount on your strands, or they don’t have consistent heat all over the plate. Lack of heat consistency leads to hot spots which means you will you’ll end up with a half frizzy, half perfect mane that just looks like a hot mess.
The Plates Matter
Protective coating won’t last as long on cheaper plates
When you’re shopping for irons, you’ll see a lot of different claims about the type of material used in the plates, but inexpensive irons almost never have plates that will last for a long time. They are often made out of metal or glass (neither of which conduct heat well), which means a whole lot of “non-straight” hair!
Heat Hot Heat
Make sure you know what you’re getting before investing any money in an inexpensive iron. Professional flat irons are made so you can use the minimum amount of heat on your hair and get a well-distributed result. Inexpensive hair straighteners may require you to pump the heat level all the way up to get enough control of your hair, and that increases the likelihood of damaging your locks.
Floating On Air
One of the things a lot of people don’t realize about hair straighteners is the more effective ones have plates that are not totally affixed to the housing. When you don’t know how it works, it sounds like a bad idea to have really hot things that aren’t secured, but I can assure you they are. Floating doesn’t mean the plates come off. It means they move just enough to be able to flex. The freedom allows the two sides to adjust based on the angle to get as close to each other as possible. The closer the plates get, the more you will be able clamp the hair correctly.
Inexpensive straighteners either have fixed or a single floating plate which means there are areas of the plates that won’t touch because they can’t get close to each other. If they can’t get close enough, they can’t straighten and you’ll find yourself unable to get the right amount of heat on your hair. What should be a 10 or 20 minute job becomes an attempt to straighten your entire head with a 1-inch by 1-inch square of heat, and that will take an eternity.
All of our straighteners feature floating plates, rapid and even heat-up as well as the most advanced technology available. Check them out at https://straightaheadbeauty.com/shop/flat-irons/ or at retailers nationwide.
5 Ways to Avoid Heat Damage on Natural Hair
Here are 5 Ways You Can Protect Your Natural Hair from heat damage. Direct heat from blow dryers and flat irons can cause hair breakage and damage and a loss of natural curl pattern. But with these tips you can assess and protect the health of your natural hair.
Understand How Much Heat is Too Much
Hair burns or begins to denature at 450F. The temperature is less for fine hair or hair that is weak and damaged. If you’re experimenting with heat for the first time, start with medium to low heat settings. Invest in a professional blow dryer like our V3600 Ionic Pro Blow Dryer or use flat irons or styling wands with an accurate temperature settings.
Know Your Natural Hair
Everyone’s hair is different. It’s for this reason that you must know your hair and its heat tolerance. Damaged hair is more susceptible to heat damage. Doing a hair assessment will help you determine whether or not you should introduce heat to your regimen. Identify your hair’s condition by examining softness, hair texture (finer hair textures can be more easily damaged by heat) and elasticity (hair stretches without breaking easily).
Prepare Your Hair
Prepare your hair for heat styling by moisturizing & deep conditioning. Moisturizing and deep conditioning will strengthen your natural hair. This also ensures that the hair cuticle is closed and coated for a smooth look. Before a heat treatment deep condition with a product that builds the natural proteins of your hair like Mayonnaise. We also like to use coconut oil as it prevents damage in 5 different ways.
Use Heat Protectant
This is the only time that we recommend a silicone based product. Heat protectant creates a barrier between your hair and the heat exposure. Silicones coat the hair and prevents moisture from reaching the hair shaft. This prevents reversion but also keeps moisturizers from absorbing in your hair so moisturize with a light moisturizer before using a heat protectant.
Limit Heat Exposure
Anything in excess is detrimental and heat is no exception. We wouldn’t recommend using direct heat on your natural hair any more than once a week. Less if your hair is easily damaged. Start off with a small amount of heat to see how your hair reacts or only use medium to low heat when styling.
Back To School Hair Tips
Summer is almost over and school days are right around the corner. Sun, wind, sea and salt may have left their mark on hair that enjoyed days at the beach, in the pool or catching some rays. To get hair back into shiny, healthy mode for classes, there are several steps you can take.
GET A TRIM
Get a trim to remove dry or split ends leftover from sun and surf. To avoid a back-to-school hair trauma, avoid getting a drastic haircut. A minimum trim will get hair back into healthy hair mode with minimal stress.
Avoid drastic hairstyle changes. It always takes some time to learn to style a new hairdo. Resist the temptation to make a radical hair change right before school starts. If you must give in to your itch for a change, make subtle changes. Add bangs, change your bangs, and start to grow them out, add a new part, change an old part, and add new hair accessories.
Hair jewelry and accessories are always a great option. Headbands and chic hair clips are always popular. Consider wearing your hair in soft romantic braids. Or pull hair back and clip it with a tortoiseshell barrette.
DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT
Give yourself a good hair conditioning treatment. Use a rinse-out conditioner, or Deep Revitalizing Treatment like our Renewing Argon Oil Hair Mask.
HOT OLIVE OIL TREATMENT
A hot olive oil treatment is always an option. To do an olive oil deep treatments follow these instructions:
Use extra virgin olive oil, which can be purchased at the grocery store. Heat just enough oil to cover your hair (approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of oil depending on the length of your hair) in the microwave until warm (but not hot). Carefully apply the olive oil, with your fingertips, to the ends and dry parts of your hair. If your hair is naturally oily, avoid applying the olive oil to the hair closest to your scalp or your bangs.
After you have applied the olive oil, put on an old shower cap (the oil may be hard to remove from the cap so use one that you can throw away). Leave on for about 30 minutes then rinse, shampoo and condition your hair. We recommend our Renewing Argon Oil Shampoo and Conditioner to help keep hair hydrated and healthy.
FOR A DEEPER TREATMENT
For a deeper treatment, wrap a hot towel from the clothes drier around the shower cap and leave on your hair for at least one hour. Wash the olive oil out with a mild or moisturizing shampoo like our Renewing Argon Oil Shampoo then apply conditioner. Do not over shampoo your hair. One good application of shampoo should be all you need to remove the oil. It is best to let your hair air dry to maximize the benefit of the oil treatment.
Be sure to do the olive oil treatment on a Friday or Saturday and never right before you are going out. This is also a messy treatment. Sometimes it is best to apply the oil in the bathroom. Have some clean rags available to wipe up any accidental spills or drips.
If you want the same results as the olive oil with less mess, try coconut oil. It also works wonders on dry hair.
No Heat Styling Tips For Short Hair
Ok ladies you did it, you finally got the cut you’ve been wanting for the last year, and you love it! However you just washed it for the first time after your hairstylist did it and you’re freaking out! You don’t know how to style it! Well not to worry … We’ve got you covered! If you have short hair your best bet is to utilize your natural texture, which means learning how and what products work best. Here are some tips for styling short hair without using heat:
- When in the shower, after shampooing, make sure to comb your hair while our Renewing Argan Oil conditioner is still in. Then rinse.
- Towel dry your hair by blotting and squeezing the water out. Not rubbing from side to side. Do NOT brush, you already did that in the shower.
- Apply a leave in conditioner to protect the hair and help retain moisture.
- Control the frizz with a light smoothing cream that will weigh it down just enough to eliminate the poofiness.
- For extra dry and frizzy hair add a dime size amount of your favorite oil. Key point: make sure you get every strand equally. Take the time to rub it evenly throughout your hair, you will thank us later.
- As your hair is drying flip flop your part to each side, back and forth every 5 minutes or so to avoid creating an exact part.
- When your hair is semi dry, spray a texturizing spray at your root for extra lift and bounce.
- Lightly mist and scrunch a sea salt spray all over. Just enough to dirty and roughen up the hair.
- Flip your hair upside down and add your favorite spray wax to the ends of your hair and twist a few pieces to create that piecey, edginess that makes everyone ask, “How did you make your hair look like that?”
We know this seems like a lot of work and even more product, but trust us. You’ll have healthier hair, spend less time styling it, look and feel better than ever, and absolutely love your new short hair.
Rehydrating Dry Hair
Taking good care of your hair, eating a healthy diet, using quality hair care products meant for your hair type and using some over-the-counter conditioners can prevent it from drying out. Plus, there are many simple home remedies that can help treat dry hair and restore its health and shine.
Olive oil is the most popular home remedy for dry hair. The rich vitamin E and antioxidant content present in olive oil help heal damaged hair by sealing the cuticle, or outer layer, with moisture. Olive oil can be used as a hot oil hair treatment to strengthen, add shine and restore moisture to very dry hair.
- Put enough olive oil for the length of your hair in a cup or bowl and slightly warm it in a microwave.
- Apply the warm oil thoroughly over your scalp and hair shafts. Massage your scalp gently for five to 10 minutes.
- Cover your hair with a warm towel and leave the oil on overnight, or at least for 30 minutes.
- Finally, shampoo and condition your hair with our Argan Oil infused Rejuvenating Shampoo & Conditioner.
- Do this at least once a week to give your hair much-needed nourishment and care.
Note: You can also use coconut oil, almond oil, castor oil, jojoba oil or corn oil for this hot oil treatment.
Mayonnaise is an excellent ingredient for treating dry hair at home. It contains lots of protein that will help make your hair soft and shiny.
- Measure out one cup of full-fat mayonnaise. Apply a thick layer of it on slightly damp hair and scalp.
- Massage the mayonnaise into your scalp and then work it through your hair to the ends.
- Cover your hair and head with a plastic cap for about an hour.
- Rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water and then shampoo as usual.
- Repeat weekly to hydrate very dry hair.
Eggs are also very helpful for dry and damaged hair. A good source of protein and lecithin, eggs help strengthen and repair damaged and lifeless hair by adding moisture, shine, and texture to it.
- Whip an egg white thoroughly along with two tablespoons of lukewarm water. Apply the mixture to your damp hair and scalp and massage with your fingertips in a circular motion for 15 minutes. Then shampoo your hair with cool water. Do this once or twice a week, depending on the condition of your hair.
- Mix together three eggs, two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of honey. Apply this mixture to damp hair and scalp. Cover your head with a shower cap for about 30 minutes, and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo and cool water. Do this once a week to make your hair soft and silky.
Beer works as an excellent hair conditioner. The protein in beer helps repair damaged hair cuticles and nourish hair follicles, which in turn makes your hair shiny and smooth.
- Shampoo your hair as usual and then spray a small amount of beer onto your hair. Allow your hair to dry on its own. When it is dry, your hair will look smooth and shiny.
- You can also spray beer onto your hair before blow drying or styling your hair.
Note: The smell of beer will not remain on your hair if you let your hair dry naturally.
The saturated fats, vitamins A and E, protein and various other minerals in avocado are highly beneficial for dry and damaged hair. Avocado also helps add moisture to dry hair shafts and strengthen your hair.
- Mash one ripe, peeled avocado. Mix in one teaspoon each of wheat-germ oil and jojoba oil to make a smooth paste. Apply the mixture on freshly washed hair, from the roots to the ends. Cover your hair with a shower cap. Leave it on for half an hour and then shampoo your hair with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy once or twice a week.
- Mash a ripe, peeled avocado and add two tablespoons of olive oil to it. Mix well until the consistency is thick and smooth. Shampoo and rinse your hair. Apply the mixture to your hair and leave it on for 30 minutes. Finally, rinse your hair. Do this once a week.
Bananas are another excellent ingredient for treating extremely dry and damaged hair. The high potassium and moisture content in bananas prevents split ends, and softens and improves the elasticity of your hair.
- Mash one ripe or overripe banana and spread it thoroughly on your hair, from the roots to the ends. Leave it on for up to an hour and then rinse your hair with lukewarm water. Do this once a week for effective results.
- Alternatively, mix one ripe or overripe banana, one tablespoon of almond oil and two tablespoons of honey. Apply this hair mask on your hair thoroughly. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes and then rinse well with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy once week to enjoy smooth and shiny hair.
Hair Scares & Fixes
Beyond the average “bad hair day,” tresses can sometimes be seriously stressful — but are you making it worse? From personal pet peeves to major damage control, here are some of the biggest mistakes you can make with your locks and how to fix them.
Don’t … over process your hair to fit into a trend.
Why: Coloring too often can leave hair severely and visibly damaged.
How to fix it: If your hair is already fragile and dry, resist the urge to bleach it out. Give it a rest for a few months and try conditioning treatments once or twice a week. In order to keep all of her hair looking healthy, stick to a consistent color schedule and regularly apply a repairing treatment.
Don’t … let cowlicks and fringe dry before styling.
Why: Allowing cowlicks to air dry before you tackle them makes it harder to manipulate and style. This can result in unwanted flyways or make hair look messy and unpolished.
How to fix it: Once dry, spray a little dry shampoo in the roots to soak up any oil or sweat throughout the day that can disrupt your style.
Don’t … wash your hair every day.
Why: Washing your hair too often can cause your scalp to over-produce sebum, creating greasy-scalp syndrome. It can also strip the hair itself of oils that add moisture and keep it healthy.
How to fix it: Cut back on washes and use hair powder to extend the life and texture of your current style.
Don’t … go more than one or two shades darker than your natural hair color.
Why: If you go too dark the color can look inky (like you applied it yourself) and can result in a drab or washed-out look on certain skin tones.
How to fix it: Add a few subtle highlights to frame the face and soften a too-dark shade. You want to find a color that accentuates your features, rather than washing you out. Try brightening up dark hair with a clarifying shampoo. This product aids in removing excess minerals that can cause your color to look dull.
Don’t … blow dry upside down.
Why: The purpose of a blowout is to close or seal the cuticle. Flipping the hair over is in fact pushing the cuticle up and roughing up the hair. It creates temporary volume, but the hair will flatten, defeating the purpose.
How to fix it: Rather than flipping over, stand straight and use a brush to pull the hair directly up. Then, with a concentrator nozzle on the end, aim the dryer so that it points to the end of the hair strand, which closes the cuticle. Pulling away from the head as you dry will automatically create the volume you desire.
Don’t … style hair with a brush that’s too big.
Why: Brushes that are too big can make it impossible to create volume.
How to fix it: Use a 2 or 2.5-inch diameter brush for the best results. A boar-bristle brush is great for smoothing and volume. Ceramic brushes are better for curls, but they don’t offer the amount of tension needed for the optimal volume during a blowout.
Don’t … do a major hair color change more than once a year (if your hair is long) or every six months (if your hair is short).
Why: Hair grows an average of six inches per year. That means, waiting six months to a year between color switches will provide enough recovery time to keep hair shiny and damage-free. This is especially important when you’re going several shades lighter or darker.
How to fix it: Work in a big change gradually. For example, if you’ve been coloring your hair dark brown and decide you want to go blonde, try to do it in stages of light golden brown, dark golden blonde and then bright blonde over a period of a couple of months. To treat your hair between color visits, especially through big changes, use a deep conditioner that’s full of vitamins and essential oils. Or, if you feel the need to drastically change the color, it’s best to significantly cut your hair at the same time.
Makeup and Hairstyles of the 1700’s
In honor of Independence Day we decided to see what women and men were doing with their hair back in the 1700’s. The 1700s was a time of big hair, elaborate fabrics and heavy makeup for both men and women. Just as in modern times, hair and makeup styles changed over the course of the century, going from big and bold to low and simple — and back to bigger and more extreme than ever before. The middle classes mimicked the styles of the wealthy on a more modest scale, as did those in colonial areas including the Americas.
During the first decades of the 1700s, women wore a hairstyle called the fontange. The hair at the front of the head was curled, waved, frizzed or teased to produce a very high and round style, particularly surrounding the face. The hair at the back of the head was styled simply and close to the head, often with a few curled tendrils of hair down the back. Middle-class women with the time and resources could mimic these styles with relative ease.
Aristocratic men wore wigs, typically heavily powdered. The allonge style wig was long, flowing and powdered. Men who could not afford wigs might wear their hair long, and those in the lower classes were likely to wear practical headwear, in the form of hats and caps. Both the fontange and allonge were decidedly out of fashion by 1720.
The next 40 years were a time of relatively low, simple and modest hairstyles for both women and men. Men favored powdered wigs that were not too long, with a few curls at the side, and a low ponytail gathered into a velvet pouch. Men who could not afford wigs wore the hair rather long and gathered into a low ponytail. It could be powdered or worn naturally. Caps and hats were still common for men. Women wore their hair curled around the face, without a great deal of height. The tete de mouton style even imitated sheep’s wool. The back of the hair was braided or coiled and pinned close to the scalp. The style was relatively modest and easily copied by those of lower social standing or in Colonial America. Women of all social classes wore bonnets outside the home. On the Continent, women began to powder their hair; however, powder was not fashionable for women in England or Colonial America.
After 1760, women’s hairstyles increased in height. First, they were simply teased, creating a high-volume style, often in an egg shape. By 1770, they frequently required wire armatures or supports and fake hair. They were ornamented with different things, even full scenes in miniature. The overall shape looked a little like an inverted pyramid or even a balloon. The goal was to achieve hair the height of the head, or even 1 1/2 times the head height. For middle-class women, as well as those of colonial regions, this tall shape was favored, with teasing or hair rats made of sheep’s wool providing height on a smaller scale. After 1780, women’s hairstyles became shorter, wider and rounder in Europe. The hair was powdered. American women’s hairstyles became significantly simpler after the American Revolution, with curls surrounding the face and simple, neatly pinned hair in the back. Some women in America adopted the wider and fuller styles favored in Europe.
How Much Should A Haircut Really Cost?
The cost of a haircut can be a surprisingly controversial subject. Years after John Edwards was skewered for his $400+ haircut (you’d think world leaders would have learned their lesson), it was recently reported that French president François Hollande pays his hairstylist more than $10,000 each month. But what can a $10,000 haircut get you that a $100 one can’t? And, more importantly, how much should all of us common-folk, whose grooming habits are not funded by taxpayers, shell out for a trip to the salon?
IT’S ALL RELATIVE
It really depends on your priorities and what you can afford. A better way of looking at it is what value do you get from a haircut? If you pay $50 for a bad cut that’s not shaped properly for your features and that you have to wrestle with every morning, then that cut is not worth the money you paid for it. Conversely, if you pay $500 for a haircut that you love and that you only have to get three or four times per year, you’re getting a better value than you would from a mediocre $150 cut that doesn’t look as good on you and that you have to get eight times a year because the hair doesn’t grow out as well. So, much like any other type of expenditure, it’s about weighing cost versus benefit when it comes to your hair.
IT SHOULDN’T BE ABOUT YOUR HAIR TYPE
Some people have fine hair. Some people have thick hair. But while styling and cutting those two different hair textures may require different appointment lengths, that shouldn’t dictate the price. It’s never reasonable to expect to have to pay more for a haircut because you have ‘difficult’ hair. Whether it’s a light trim on a fine-hair pixie or a head full of waist-long curls, you should be treated equally.
WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM A GOOD HAIRCUT
A good cut should enhance your bone structure, strengthen your features and make you feel sexier and prettier. It should also fall into a good shape when air-dried and last three-to-four months (unless you like to keep your hair short).
WHAT ABOUT THOSE REALLY, REALLY EXPENSIVE HAIRCUTS?
There are expensive haircuts that cost a couple hundred dollars, and then there are expensive haircuts that reach into four-digit territory. What gives? In most cases, when an owner prices his or her haircuts that high, it’s a marketing strategy to create buzz while getting clients into the chairs of other, more reasonably priced, stylists at their salon. Let’s face it, would you expect for a stylist charging a thousand dollars for a cut to have a full book of clients? They mostly work on celebrities (which they usually cut for free) and on shoots, and maybe at their salons a few days per month, if that.
In short, those very, very expensive haircuts may be backed up by true talent; but it’s also a whole lot of marketing and brand philosophy. That being said, if a woman is fortunate enough to be able to afford a $1,000 haircut and it makes her happy, then go for it! And you know what? In the end, a haircut is about one thing, and one thing only: feeling confident and badass and like the best possible version of yourself. So if you find a hairstylist that can get you there — whether they charge $50 or $500 — it is money well spent.
8 Ancient Beauty Tricks The Still Work Today
The ancients had some weird concepts of beauty rituals, but they had a lot of great ideas as well. In fact, some of the ideas can still be used today. After doing some research, we learned eight ancient beauty secrets that we should be putting to good use today. Read on to better your beauty routine with ancient secrets!
You may be all about your morning egg white omelets, but there’s a whole bigger world out there. Eggs have been a primary ingredient in skincare for thousands of years. Zhang Lihua, renowned beauty and Imperial Consort of the Chen Dynasty compiled the earliest recorded skin care recipe, dating back to 600 B.C. Egg whites applied to the face and neck will tighten the skin, providing an instant temporary face lift. The protein in the egg will also hydrate the skin.
Marie Antoinette knew that the hands were the first spot to show signs of aging way before science told us. She was known to wear gloves every night that were lined with wax, rose water and sweet almond oil to soften her hands.
The original cold cream:
The original cold cream was invented in the 2nd century (the 100s!) by Galen, and it contained the special mix of ingredients that makes it work as well as it does. The original cold cream contained a mix of grease and water so that both organic (dead skin cells) and inorganic material (makeup particles) would be dissolved and removed from the skin while cleansing and softening it. Rose water was added for scent, and the first cosmeceutical was created. Cold cream cleanses, removes makeup and softens skin all at the same time, and it’s still used today!
The Ancient Greeks were all about using crocodile dung in their facials and body treatments. Brings a whole new meaning to the whole Aphrodite legend, doesn’t it?
Elizabeth I had a battle with small pox early in life, and went on to use thick white makeup to cover up her scars. During this era of the Tudor dynasty, her pale skin was quite en vogue, and became a sign of being regal and well-to-do. To achieve this look, women would attach leeches to their ears to drain blood from their face! We’re certainly not about to stick a leech on our face, but it’d still work if we wanted to go that far.
Milk and honey:
Cleopatra is one of our favorite legendary beauties, and was known for her flawless skin. History tells us that she bathed in milk, honey and olive oil. All three of these ingredients are still commonly found in facial treatments done in some of the finest spas in the country. Next time you need a body treatment, look no further than your pantry!
Rose water, which speaks of romance and luxury, dates back to ancient Egypt, where it did as well. Rose water prevents aging by reducing wrinkles and tightening skin pores. It was also used as a cleanser because it can easily remove dirt, oil and other pollutants from the skin.
Avocado was used centuries ago by Aztec civilizations as a skin moisturizer. Avocado oil will help to balance the skin by reducing pore size to produce healthy looking skin. The oil is easily absorbed by human skin and it will not clog pores.
Easy, Breezy Summer Hairstyles for Kids
Schools out for the summer and kids are ready to start enjoying the great outdoors. You could just throw their hair up in a ponytail and call it a day, but you can just as easily create some cute looks. From braids to mohawks, these summer hairstyles are a great way to keep them cute and cool over the next few months! There’s even one for your little man!
A knotted ponytail is a perfect way to keep the hair off of the neck and adding the knots makes it not only functional but fashionable.
Make your daughter feel like a goddess with this stylish ‘do!
Three Strand Fishtail
If you’ve already mastered the standard fishtail, try giving it this easy twist.
Chinese Staircase Braided Ponytail
A simple and stylish take on the traditional pony tail.
No blades required to give your little guy his cool ‘do!