We get it—nothing will ever come between you and your flat iron. Nothing smooths your unruly strands, relaxes your curl and contains your frizz like your trusty hairstyling iron. But as styling iron devotees know, frequent application of hot metal plates on your hair can do some serious damage. Lower the risk of wrecking your hair with these five secrets from pros who know how to give damaged hair the slip.

 

  1. Work with a Silicone Flat Iron. Silicone is the hairstylist’s secret to keeping hair healthy. An iron like the Beyond, which features a raised silicone cover over the plates, glides over the hair easily and smoothly, reduces direct heat exposure and locks in moisture and shine. This next-generation tool offers even heat distribution for perfection on every strand from top to tip.
  2. Small Sections For 1 Pass Straightening. One of the most significant causes of heat damage from a flat iron is taking multiple passes along each hair strand. To get your hair straight with a single pass, divide your hair into super fine sections to ensure the heat can penetrate thoroughly. Also, a silicone flat iron will offer even and consistent heat all along the iron. This eliminates hot and cold spots which can cause the smoothing to be erratic.
  3. Dial Down the Heat. Another bonus of using a silicone flat iron is the ability to work with a lower heat setting. Since the heat is even, there’s no need to use the highest temperature setting—you’ll get long-lasting, even smoothing.
  4. Use Heat Protection. Applying a good thermal protection spray or cream before you dry your hair will give you extra anti-damage insurance. These formulas not only shield your hair from heat, they also soften and condition it and add shine.
  5. Trim Often. Split ends are like gateway drugs to greater damage. As your hair splits and frays, the damage travels up the entire hair strand and becomes completely pervasive. Keep split ends under control with frequent trims—every four to five weeks or so–that remove the tips and keep your ends solid and healthy. A cutting technique called “dusting” removes just a microscopic amount of hair from the tips so you won’t sacrifice any of your length!