Smoothing iron - Functionality and application possibilities
Straightening irons, electrical appliances, which are primarily used to straighten curly or frizzy hair, convince by their simple operation, a handy format and a wide range of applications.
The following article informs about the function and the different application possibilities of the popular styling aid, which proves to be useful not only for hairdressing.
How does a straightening iron work?
Flat irons have two heatable plates which are connected by a hinge and can be opened or closed. Models with heating plates in varying widths are available on the market. Depending on the type of hair and the intended use, different plate sizes are advantageous.
In order to protect the structures of the hair and avoid burns, the plates have a special coating, often made of ceramic or Teflon. The remaining parts of the straightening iron are mostly made out of robust plastic.
The straightning iron is connected to the mains via a cable. There are meanwhile also wireless devices, which are supplied with energy by means of a rechargeable battery. After activation via the power button, the heating plates heat up and the working temperature is usually reached within about 15 to 60 seconds. In most cases, the temperature can be adjusted using a rotary wheel, but some straighteners also adjust the heat automatically to protect the appliance and hair from damage. In most models, the selectable temperatures range from 100 to 230ºC.
The hair is placed in small hair strands between the heating plates, which continuously release heat to the hair as the straightener moves down from the hairline to the tips. Once the straightening process is complete, do not store the iron on heat-sensitive surfaces or immediately stow it in a bag, as it will take time for the appliance to cool down.
What are the possible applications of straight irons?
A straightener can not only be used to create very different hairstyles; it can also be used in the household.
1. hair straightening
Before each treatment with a straightening iron, it is advisable to apply a special heat protection, for example in the form of a fluid or a spray, to the hair. This prevents excessive heat build-up. Since wet hair is very sensitive, the straightener should only be used on dry or at least semi-dry hair. In order to achieve smoothing effects, the hair is placed strand by strand between the heating plates and the appliance is then guided evenly from top to bottom. The hand describes a wide arc, which prevents the formation of protruding hair tips. To prevent burns, the straightening iron must not touch the scalp.
2. wavery hair
Curls can be created in different ways with the smoothing iron. In all variants, a preceding kneading of foam strengthener creates additional volume. In principle, it is easiest to first bind the top hairs to a plait and start with the hair underneath.
The straightening iron is moved about two centimetres downwards from the hairline, then turned 180° around itself and pulled in this position to the tips of the hair.
Alternatively, the hair can also be wrapped in strands around the heating surface. The straightening iron is then guided downwards. Especially natural looking curls are obtained when the hair is turned onto small rolls of aluminium foil, which are then heated with the straightening iron.
Hairspray fixes the curls.
3. create gentle waves
For slightly wavy hair, first braid all hair to narrow braids and give these gradually between the heating plates. This method creates a discreetly creped hairstyle with small waves.
4. fix hair chalk
Hair chalk is suitable for the short-term colouring of individual hair areas. After application, the chalk can be fixed with a straightening iron by binding the colour pigments more intensively to the hair through the effect of heat. The colours are then durable until the next hair wash.
5. iron clothes
Small wrinkles in certain areas of clothing can be removed quickly and easily with a straigthener. This is a particularly good way of ironing shirt collars, button panels and sleeves, for example. Hairbands, fabric belts or similar accessories can be completely ironed with the straightening iron. If the temperature is adjusted accordingly, the straightening iron can also be used on sensitive textiles.
In order to avoid soiling the clothing, it is essential to ensure that there are no residues of hair styling products on the appliance.
6. smoothing gift ribbons
Crumpled gift ribbons that have sufficient heat resistance can be smoothed with the iron and then reused. In this way, smoothing irons even help to protect the environment, as ribbons do not have to be disposed of after a single use. However, plastic ribbons must not be exposed to the heat of the iron.
The smoothing iron - flexible styling tool and handy household helper
Straigthening irons can also be useful in the budget to meet certain challenges. More often, however, the popular appliances are used to create a variety of hairstyles. Straightening irons open up a wide range of styling possibilities. When using them, however, care should always be taken to ensure that the hair is adequately cared for, as the strong heat can cause further damage, especially in the case of already damaged hair structures.
In addition to the straightening iron, you can also buy a curling iron.
If you prefer the classic models, we also have a test report for you. You can find out which models are the best in our large Curler Test.