When it comes to beauty, there are few things more covetable than long, sleek, shiny, straight hair. You know the look—the one that beguiled audiences at shows like Ralph Lauren and Chloé this past season? It’s the kind of style that somehow manages to look chic with everything from a great dress to a lazy Sunday outfit. (That’s how it differs from the more formal—and now, more passé—princess curls.)
But, according to some of our friends in the hair world, there are concerns about at-home straightening. After all, you’re clamping your precious, pretty hair with an iron that’s at the temperature required to bake a whole pizza! To help you upgrade your game, we asked them exactly what we’re doing wrong… and how to fix it. Read on to see how you score.
1. You’re not starting in the shower.Let’s get one thing clear: no shampoo or conditioner will straighten your hair. But hair care items labeled “smoothing” may be able to help prepare the strands for the process by providing major moisture. “Take a paddle brush to comb the conditioner through,” suggests stylist Sarah Potempa (who’s tamed Lea Michele’s mane!), “then rinse your hair gently. Once you’re out of the shower, don’t towel dry like crazy! That will enhance the natural curl. Instead, pat downwards gently.” As an alternative to traditional terrycloth, which promotes frizz, try the super-soft DevaTowel to promote sleek strands.