You know what a flat iron is, and what it’s for. It’s this hand-held, clip-like thingy that has two plates inside each side of the clip. You plug it in a socket, or charge the batteries, and then wait for it to heat up before you press your hair between it. Use one right, and then you’ll notice how smooth and straight your hair has suddenly become after ironing it.
Now, do you know how your little hair-helper works?
No, there’s no whiz-bang magic in it. There’s some science, yes, but nothing so terrible that it will need a physicist’s or a chemist’s dissertation to explain the process of ironing your hair.
You see, each strand of your hair has something that holds it in place and keeps its figure intact. The bonds that force your hairs into its natural shape are called hydrogen bonds. These hydrogen bonds occur naturally in your hair, and there are a few ways to alter those bonds enough that the hair loses its natural figure and settles down, straightening one’s hair.
That is why it’s rare to find somebody who has born with naturally straight hair, even when they wake up in the morning. There’s always some effort to keep hair from bouncing all around the place. Brushing, combing, shampooing, relaxants, gels and conditioners are all ways to try and keep hair straight.
And then there’s your handy flat iron.
The heat from a flat iron breaks the hydrogen bonds in your hair, making it go with the pull of gravity on your hair. This makes your hair straight and manageable. Get it wet, however, and your hair bounces back to its original shape.
Flat irons, as wonderful as they are, can and will damage your hair. The heat from the plates will naturally burn your hair, and the pulling and tugging while the hydrogen bonds are broken will also weaken your hair. Giving your hair time to regenerate before the next ironing session usually solves this problem.
However, the type of flat iron you have also determines how much damage your hair will be receiving.
Flat irons with aluminum plates are the most hazardous for your hair’s health. These aluminum flat irons will do the most damage to your hair, as metal has a tendency to heat unevenly and pull hair while ironing it. If you are ever going to use these kinds of flat irons, be very, very careful that you don’t mess up your entire hair-do with one wrong tug!
Next up on the ladder are ceramic flat irons. Instead of metal plates alone, these plates are either heavily coated with ceramic materials or are composed entirely of certain ceramic substances. It is believed that ceramic flat irons have smoother surfaces than their metal counterparts, and so far, that has proven to be true.
And finally, you’ve got the tourmaline flat irons. Ground tourmaline, a precious crystal, is ground down into a fine powder and infused into the ceramic plates of a flat iron. So far, they’re the best flat irons available on the market, with the smoothest surfaces compared to any other flat iron currently available. And they’re the most expensive too, with branded tourmaline flat irons ranging from 150 to 200-plus dollars.
Now that you’ve got an idea about how your humble little flat iron works, maybe you’ll give it a little more credit the next time it gives you that immaculately straight hair you want draping down your shoulders.
About the Author:
Kristy Carlson is a professional hair stylist and writer for http://www.myhairstylingtools.com, a leading supplier of Flat Irons. She will give all the do’s and don’ts of beautifying yourself. If you would like to update your look checkout Oprah’s Beloved Beauty Products
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