As tempting as it is to just pick the highest setting on hot tools in hopes of saving time with maximum sleekness, deep down you know the damage it causes. While healthy hair can better hold up to the heat, thin or chemically treated hair should turn it down a notch. Or several notches.
Even though many flat irons have built-in temperature settings in degrees, others simply list ranges from low to high. If you're operating with a tool with no thermostat, there's a simple test to make sure your iron is hot enough . . . but not too hot to handle. Curly Bella witnessed her stylist do this simple test with thermal irons on her last visit. Find out how to do this at home and read more.
- Tear a small piece of tissue paper, big enough to fit inside the tool but with a little extra to hold. Mist the center lightly with a water spritzer (three squirts max).
- Place the paper between the heating plates or against the comb for five to 10 seconds.
- When it's ready to go, the paper should come out dry, but clean. If it's still damp, wait a few minutes before retesting.
- If it's too hot, you will see smoke and scorching or other discoloration on the paper. Turn it down!