Properly using a flat iron

Posted in Celebrities on September 17th, 2010 by Reagan

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I wanted to quickly write about flat irons again. A lot of people are wondering about how to prevent damage from flat ironing. Many of my clients are surprised to find out that you aren’t really supposed to use a flat iron to straighten the hair. Flat irons are a finishing tool. Your hair is supposed to have already been blow dried straight, and just smoothed over with a flat iron. Going over and over the same section with an iron is going to torch anybody’s hair, it’s just not what they are made for!

Here is my best advise for someone who wants the straight look:

After showering, towel dry your hair. Put a protective product in it like a leave in conditioner, a protein spray, or a straightening syrem. If you’re not in a rush, let your hair air dry until it’s about 80% dry, or as close to that as possible.  Then blow dry sections of your hair using a flat brush to get it straight. Using a blow dryer with a nozzle will help it get more smooth and straight. Please try your hardest not to touch your hair with the point of the blow dryer. It is so bad for your hair, and it will burn your brush I admit, sometimes I do it on accident myself when the hair isn’t staying on the brush, as a reaction, but try to avoid this. We are trying to prevent damage, k?

After my hair is blow dried, I assess whether it needs flat ironing or not. Which is usually not. My hair is naturally wavy/curly so of course it doesn’t take the amount of work to straighten that some people’s hair needs. Also, I have loads of experience with blow drying every hair type, and if you’re not able to get it at first, you shouldn’t feel bad. It’s a skill that you have to work hard for!

I use my flait iron for making curls more than anything else. It might also be because I like big-full hair! Big like Dolly.

Ok, did we learn something today? What tips have you learned for blow drying your own hair? Would you guys like a blow drying tutorial?

My flat irons

Posted in Answers, News, Products on September 14th, 2010 by Reagan

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Lots of you have been asking about flat irons lately, and for Pete’s sake you’ve waited long enough! I own 3 different flat irons, and I have to say they’re all quite different! Here is what I have to say about flat irons, and their many talents.

The T3 is what I’ve been using the longest. I have the exact one pictured. It’s a nice smooth iron, doesn’t snag -which is extremely important to me- and it has lasted me a really long time. It is a great size for the flat iron waves, it’s overall a great little iron. BONUS: it is much much cheaper than it was a bunch of years ago when I bought mine. woohoo!

The funny thing about the Herstyler, is that I bought it from a peddler! She just walked into my salon, sold it to me for 40 bucks and walked out of my life forever. It was a total impulse buy and the only reason I did buy it, was because she let me try it out first, and I figured it would be convenient to own two flat irons in case I needed a back up in a jam. (this is the most important thing in the world with blow dryers, you never know when you are going to burn your motor right out, what the crap do you do then?). At first I just loved being able to have an iron at home and one at the salon, but I actually learned quickly that I like this iron better than my T3. It is kind of a CHI knock-off, but it is a great one…and very inexpensive. This is my preferred flat iron for doing waves, and I used this one in this video. I bought it two years ago, so I’d say it was well worth that measly 40 bucks, eh?

I recently bought the Babyliss because of the Keratin treatment needing to be sealed in with a 450 degree iron. Most irons hover around 410, so I had to buy one special for this treatment. I strongly advise against using this high of a temperature just for every day flat ironing, it is much too hot, but this actually is a great little flat iron. It is extremely skinny, which I’ve loved when using on my clients with ethnic hair. You can get so close to the root. It’s great! The plates on this iron are also very long, so I can take very wide sections cutting down on time. Making waves with this iron is a little trickier since it is so thin, because it can leave a kink when twisting. Also, it has an on/off button rather than a switch, which is a little annoying, but considering it heats up almost instantly, it’s not a big deal if I accidentally bump it and turn it off mid-use. BONUS: this is also less money than I paid. But that’s only a bonus for you!

Here’s the deal. I love all of these flat irons. I do. It’s true. But I’m a hairstylist and I’m totally allowed to have three flat irons, that’s the cool thing about my job.

So, since maybe you aren’t allowed to have 20 flat irons, the number one flat iron I would suggest to you is a CHI. Or a Herstyler if you aren’t trying to be spendy. The CHI (and it’s knock off herstyler) is so smooth and luxurious, and above all, it really is all around great for all types of hair and ironing.  I love it for flat iron waves. I think it’s a worthy investment, but again, I’m very happy with my Herstyler too.

Do you use any of these flat irons?

Keratin, what have you been waiting for?

Posted in Answers, Products on September 3rd, 2010 by Reagan

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I’ve been meaning to write about Keratin for a while now. I’ve gotten several questions about it so it’s really about dang time I discuss it on the blog! If you don’t know what it is, Keratin (or Brazilian Blow Out) is a protein treatment that smooths and fills the cuticle of your hair, dramatically reducing frizz. It is applied to clean, dry hair and then sealed in with a very hot (450 degrees F) flat iron.

Here are some pros:
~Blow drying your hair will be half the job for you
~Blow dries will last days longer
~Blow drying your hair will be half the job for me! (but not half the money, too bad, hehehe)
~Hair will look shinier, healthier and smoothier
~It’s not a chemical process, so it isn’t damaging (aside from the 450 degree flat ironing)
~You might get yourself a boyfriend/husband in like one minute

Here are some cons:
~It’s expensive, my salon starts at $300 and goes higher depending on length and thickness
~You have to use specific sulfate free shampoos
~Some people have said it relaxes parts of their hair unevenly after the second or third time getting the treatment
~You can’t shampoo, tuck your hair behind your ears, use a headband/pony or sweat for three days after getting the treatment, which is inconvenient

Good to know:
~It is not a Relaxer/straightener. It will soften your wave/curls, but don’t expect pin straight hair a la Japanese straightener.
~It last 4-6 months.
~It takes 2+ hours for the treatment.
~Like I said, you can’t shampoo your hair for 3 days, or use a pony or anything that might kink it.
~Some brands are still using formaldehyde in the product, so be sure to google the specific brand before getting it. Most have cut out the formaldy, but just make sure.
~Keratin is best for people with wavy to curly or frizzy hair who straighten or blow dry it. It is really a miracle treatment for this type of person, and it is definitely the newest hair craze. For good reason.
~I don’t get Keratin on my own hair, because I like frizz and also it softens wave, which I don’t want since I wear my hair wavy every day.

If you are the right person for it, it is a really amazing treatment, and very worth the money. I have seen Keratin change people’s lives. I have a regular client with afro-hair who gets keratin and every time she comes in for a blow out, I feel like it is one of those times in your life when you have done something so miraculous in just 45 minutes that you accidentally kurtsy afterwords and everyone whispers about it later. And also since she started getting the Keratin, I no longer feel like I have just spent 2 hours at the gym when I’m done with her. So that’s always nice.

I definitely recommend the Keratin treatment.

Tammy’s flat iron waves

Posted in Reader Submitted Photos on August 9th, 2010 by Reagan

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Tammy tried out flat iron waves! It looks great, right?

Have you tried out any of my suggestions? Send me a picture to [email protected]!

(ps Tammy claims to have small hair, but she has me totally fooled here!)

Hair Answers: you like MY hair?

Posted in Answers on July 28th, 2010 by Reagan

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I can’t believe you guys like my hair! I’ve gotten more than a few emails asking for my hair’s step by step.  I guess I can’t feel too cool, because apparently I have a very common hair texture, and it can take a little bit of time to figure it out. I flat ironed my hair every single day for probably 5 years before one day I accidentally air dried it and someone gave me a huge compliment. My head then immediately communicated to my hair the following conversation…

Brain- “Hey hair, what do you say we take it easy on the damage and 45 minute daily styling?”

Hair-”I thought you’d never ask.”

…And I (we) never looked back.

Here is my hair’s step by step:

Step 1~Shower. Maybe. I’m only going to say this once (except I think I’ve said this more than once) I usually shampoo once every 4-5 days. Please like me anyway.
Step 2~Towel dry.
Step 3~Apply product. I use all or some of the following: Redken Outshine (A cream), Redken Full frame (a mousse), Garnier Wonder Waves (a miracle spray of beachiness), It’s a ten (detangler and leave in treatment),  L’Oreal Proffessionel Architexture (a wax) and Redken Anti snap. I genuinely use all (and others on occasion) of these products. I’ll start out with a cream after I towel dry, then wonder waves spray or a mousse, then I continue to scrunch until the cows come home or until my hair is dry, then I rub some wax in my hands and scrunch again!
Step 4~Scrunch more. Just do it and stop complaining.
Step 5~Maybe blow dry my fringe (bangs) if I feel like it or need to. I’m going to do a bang/fringe tutorial soon
Step 6~Dance.
Step 7~Wear for 4 or 5 days with no regrets. And maybe use a little hairspray.

*guys, this was really hard (I swear I accidentally wrote “haird” when I meant hard) for me. I guess it’s because I do my hair different every day! Sometimes I leave the house with nothing in my hair, sometimes I use everything on this list. I guess I don’t like to be chained to anything, but these products I’ve suggested really are what have been consistantly great for me. I hope it helps and that you have all the hair success you always dreamed of. And if you don’t then I think you should repeat step 6.


Also, please forgive the picture. I had a hard time finding a decent picture that wasn’t the side of my head.

Tutorial: Flat Iron Waves

Posted in Tutorial on July 27th, 2010 by Reagan

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I hope you enjoy our first tutorial and the little photo shoot we did in beautiful Charleston right after. Please, could Kat be any more beautiful?

Thanks to Jake for filming and editing, and for shooting the stills. Thanks to Kat for being the most perfectly gorgeous model ever and THANK YOU, HDOF readers for being patient! We have a few more in the works, I’m really looking forward to getting better at these, Haha! Meaning, please excuse my awkwardness during the intro, I somehow managed to make it look like I’m reading cue cards. I’m not. And I swear my voice sounds different in my head than it does on video, does anyone else feel like that? Next time I’ll practice saying “Unique New York” 100 times before hand.

**note**if you run the flat iron down more quickly, you’ll get less curl and more of a bend effect. Same goes for not turning the flat iron and just cocking your wrist all the way down, you’ll get a slight wave if you prefer that to what we do in the video. Keep in mind that the flat iron waves are meant to be shaken out and played with!

Hair Answers: Protecting from damage

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5th, 2010 by Reagan

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Q by Tarryn: I’m wondering what I should be putting on my hair (especially for protection) before I straighten it with a flat iron. What do you recommend? Right now I’m using Argan oil and a leave-in conditioner although I often put the oil in after my hair is straight. Thoughts? Thanks!
PS- I just noticed the super cute shirt you’re wearing in your pic looks exactly like the one I want from Urban Outfitters. Is it the same?
A by Reagan: As far as post-shampoo products, I think you’re doing great Tarryn! Pat yourself on the hiney for me for doing a good job! Or back…

Leave in conditioner and any kind of oil are a great way to add moisture to hair you are doing mechanical damage on. Especially a flat iron. The only other product I would recommend is a deep conditioning treatment once every few weeks or more, depending on the shape your hair is in. You can buy a deep conditioner at any salon, or even just go in early to your next apt for the treatment. They are usually meant to be left on for about 15-20 minutes.

I’m glad you used the word “protect” instead of “repair”, because the only way to repair damage, is to cut it off! It’s a shame, because so many products claim to repair broken or split ends. That is why a good conditioner, leave in, and moisturizing products make such a difference. They often have proteins in them that can strengthen the hair to prevent damage.

Another great question!

Yes, my shirt is from Urban Outfitters :)

BTW this picture of Giselle doesn’t have much to do with anything, except for that she has amazing hair.

Hair answers: Chemical relaxers

Posted in Uncategorized on June 22nd, 2010 by Reagan

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Q by Annette:
I love your blog! I wanted to submit a question, or a few questions to you. My hair used to be curly but I have lost the curls with my pregnancies. Now my hair is just wavy but I cant do much with it. I prefer it to be straight so I spend a lot of time straightening it. Do straightening perms work and are they expsensive? I wanted to find out what you would recommend, straigthening it on my own or getting a perm? The other question is what products would you recommend to help keep the hair straight and not frizzy? The last question I have for you is can you suggest straight iron that you would suggest that works well? Thanks!
A by Reagan: Here is how strongly I feel about chemical straighteners (relaxers)…..DONOTDOIT!!!!
Dramatic? Picture this. A great blow dry regular comes to me suddenly with PIN straight hair. She tells me she got it chemically relaxed, and then she says she wants her regular big, full, wavy, Miss Texas blow dry. I say “sorry sister, you wrecked your hair and now it is going to take about 2 years to grow out that chemical treatment.”. She starts to cry. The more time passes, her brittle, damaged hair starts to break off and suddenly she has short hairs all over her head and has more frizz than the initial amount she thought she was getting rid of. Then she cries more. Then I cry because her hair is wrecked and I loved it.
Again, a little dramatic. But let me tell you a few things about chemical relaxers…
~They are the very most damaging of ALL chemical treatments. It is without a doubt, the most harsh thing you can do for your hair.
~They are permanent. The real kind. So, it isn’t going to soften after six months. It is pin straight until it has grown out and been cut off.
~Did I mention breakage galore?
~Yes? Let me remention breakage galore…
~Very expensive. So your stylist will make a lot of money and might try and talk you into it, not really caring that it is going to wreck your hair and make you cry. (I care about you, though. We’re in this together!)
~You have very little options with styling. It is chemically straightened, it wants to be pin straight. And it is going to take a lot of effort to manipulate it any other way.
~When the treatment starts to grow out, it looks really funny. The ends are uniform and straight as arrows, the top is a brillo pad.
I plead to anyone considering a relaxer not to do it. There are very few cases that a relaxer is  apropriate, and 99% of those cases are on ethnic hair.
Get a great flat iron! It will cost the same or less as ONE time relaxing treatment and will last a long time! I like CHI flat irons, but I just ordered a new flat iron (different brand) that I’ll disclose as soon as it arrives and is tested out.
Straightening oils and syrems are going to do the trick for you, my friend. You might not get away with creams like many. (I know Annette personally, so this question is a little easier to answer, keeping in mind I can visually picture her hair as I type away..). I don’t have one on the top of my head, but this is the type of thing that every single proffessional line has. And I’ve liked every one I’ve tried out.
Good luck Annette, I hope you don’t get relaxed!