Not sure how to choose a heat styling tool, or how to properly style and care for your hair? We recently met with hair care brand Ghd’s Asia Education Manager, Robert Resnick, who tells us his five best tips on how to care for your hair and how to properly invest in a hair styling tool.
#1 HOW TO CHOOSE A STYLING TOOL OR A HAIR DRYER
Look out for styling tools that are ionic – they reduce frizziness and flyaways. If you’re buying a professional hair dryer, find one that is lightweight, as they can be quite heavy. You will have to find something that you can hold comfortably and has various speeds and nozzles that can give you a variety of styles, advises Robert.
When it comes to styling tools, you need to be sure about what you want. Most buyers, according to Robert, hope to be able to achieve a variety of styles with just one tool. And while many have come out to demonstrate the use of a flat iron to create curls, Robert cautions against the technique.
He says: “People think they can do that (curls) with a flat iron, but when you look at the plates, they’re angular, so you get kinks in the hair.” It’s also important to get a styling tool that allows an even and constant distribution of heat.
Robert recommends Ghd’s eclipse, an all-in-one hairstyler which has plates with curved edges and can be easily operated with two hands. I tried curling my hair and straightening it with the tool and both proved to be very easy – I had a new hairstyle in a matter of minutes.
Ghd’s eclipse. Image: Ghd
#2 THE BEST TEMPERATURE TO STYLE YOUR HAIR
Finding the right temperature to style your hair is important – if it’s too low, you will not be able to effectively change the shape of the hair, but if it’s too high, it will damage the natural keratin in the hair, says Robert.
“185 degrees celsius is the optimum temperature that’s been found by our scientists in our laboratory in Cambridge. It will close the cuticle, seal the hair and block out all the moisture from the outside,” says Robert.
#3 HAIR PRIMER, STYLING CREAM, AND A FINISHING SPRAY
One of the questions we quizzed Robert on was whether a finishing spray would actually be necessary. After all, the primer protects your hair, while the styling product – be it straight or curly – keeps its shape. Here’s what he says: “If you’re going to get your nails done, a majority of women will have an undercoat, choose a colour then have a top coat. The finishing product for me is a top coat for the hair – something that’s essential to make the hair look as good for as long as possible.”
“Finishing products block out humidity, UV damage, protect the colour from fading – they are designed to protect the hair when you leave the salon… I will always advise a primer – something to protect the hair – a styling product to support the shape of the hair, and something to finish.” he adds.
#4 START STYLING FROM THE FRONT
“It’s best to start from the front because it’s the most important,” says Robert. Why? If you style your hair from the back of the head to the front, and finish by combing out the curls, you tend to undo the style as the hair in the front is still hot from the styler. He explains: “By starting at the front, you allow it cool down [and set the style at the sides of your face] while you are working at the back.”
And his top tips for styling the back of the hair? Section the hair at the back of the head into two, then horizontally at each section. When you’re heat styling it, be sure not to bring the whole section of hair to the front. “By doing that, you lose [styling] all of the roots,” says Robert. Instead, place the heat styler at the root of your hair, turn it round the product once, and glide the styling tool outwards from the back of your head. That way, you’re molding the entire section of hair so the style is consistent from the roots to the tip.
#5 WATCH HOW YOU CLAMP YOUR HAIR
A common mistake women tend to make when heat styling their hair? Clamping the flat iron too tight. “When you have a flat iron or a straightening iron, you pull it very tight to keep the heat in, because once you put your hair in between two plates, the heat is absorbed. So as the hair comes down the hair shaft, you lose the heat,” says Robert.
He explains: “When people have tools that can’t regulate heat, they think by holding it tight, it keeps the heat in longer, so that means the hair can keep the shape faster, but of course it doesn’t. What it does is that it pulls out whatever they’re doing. So if you’re making a curl and you’re pulling it tight, you’re almost making it straight and curly at the same time.”
His advice? Lightly close your styler, turn it around and let the hair glide through instead of pulling it tight; and invest in a product that helps to evenly distribute heat at a constant temperature.