How to Choose Your Ideal Hair Straighteners

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With straight hair in style, many women wish they could straighten their curly or wavy hair. Heated hair straighteners offer the ability to do this, but choosing the right one is important. It could mean the difference between straight but healthy hair that looks great and a lot of split ends and heat damage. Here's a quick guide to buying a straightener for your hair.

Know that heat damages hair. Even with the best straightener and products meant to reduce the damage, you can't prevent it totally. Does that mean you can't use a straightening iron on your hair? No - you just need to take even better care of your hair if you're using one of these tools. That means brushing gently, avoiding other damaging techniques and conditioning well. Avoid straightening wet hair, since it causes water to boil in the shaft.

There are two basic types of hair straightener - those which use metal plates and those using ceramic. Neither are bad, but most high end, high quality straighteners use ceramic. A more expensive hair straightener isn't a bad buy - usually the extra you're paying will buy you quicker heating, more features, and better temperature control.

Higher heat changes the composition of your hair faster and may result in less stress than a long, slow heat up. However, it's important to make sure that your hair straightener is not so hot as to burn your hair. If you smell that burnt hair smell while straightening, you're actually scorching the strands. That will result in a dry, unmanageable mane relatively quickly. So, look for a hot, but not too hot, straightening iron.