Hot tools are an integral part of many people’s beauty arsenal, but when handled incorrectly, they can cause serious damage. And if you’re someone who prefers a blow-out instead of wash and gos in the winter, you’re already privy to the amount of breakage and split ends that pop up this time of year.
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For those who need a refresher course on how to not completely fry their strands, celebrity hairstylist and ghd Brand Ambassador Justine Marjan is here to school you. She’s got years of experience under her stylish belt and a client list that includes A-listers such as Khloe Kardashian, Shay Mitchell and Kerry Washington. In short: she knows her stuff. Keep reading for her expert tips on pre-care, post-care and the tools that will safely straighten your strands. They’re foolproof and perfect for the hot tool newbie.
Prepping Your Hair
How you prepare your hair before grabbing a hot tool depends on a lot of things, including your hair texture, health and the desired result. Curly girls should start by applying moisturizing oils and serums that will keep frizz to a minimum.
“I suggest applying a nourishing hair oil and hair hydrating mist, then diffusing with the ghd air hairdryer with the ghd air diffuser attachment on a low pressure high heat setting. Avoid touching your curls with your hands until hair is completely dry for the most bouncy looking curls,” says Marjan.
To the contrary, if your hair is already straight and you want to simply freshen up or add volume, always prep with a heat protectant throughout your head and a volumizing foam at the roots. From there, you can blowdry without a nozzle attachment to maximize life or with it to achieve a smoother finish.
Naturalistas, or those with kinkier hair, should also utilize a heat protectant spray if they’re blowdrying straight. And while you’re doing this, Marjan says to use a natural boar bristle round brush “for a smooth finish that won’t compromise the integrity of the hair.”
One of the biggest concerns with heat-styling is how to extend your look without compromising your hair’s health. For starters, Marjan highly recommends sleeping on a silk pillowcase to keep frizz at bay and prevent any awkward dents and creases from forming.
Alternatively–especially if you curled your hair–preserve your style by placing it into a bun before bed. According to Marjan’s method, you should “split the hair into two sections from the forehead to the nape of the neck, then twist each side away from the face into a bun and secure with french pins. When you wake up in the morning, simply remove the pins and shake out your curls.”
She also suggests using a dry shampoo before bed and massaging it into the roots, so it has time to soak into your strands while you sleep. You’ll wake up with a buildup-free scalp and won’t need to worry about shampooing it for a little longer.
The Best Hot Tools
As for the best flat irons, curling wands and more to use, Marjan is obviously a little bias, but what makes brands like ghd so great is the fact that they don’t reach dangerous temperatures that will completely fry your strands. Whereas most traditional tools reach an upward of 450 degrees, ghd tools only reach a much safer 365 degrees.
“365 is the glass transition phase, meaning its the exact temperature that we can melt glass and re-mold it without it shattering. The same idea can be applied to hair,” says Marjan. “At 365, we can mold and shape the hair without blowout out the cuticle layer or causing frizz and breakage.”
Her favorite one is the ghd platinum styler because of the tri-zone technology that allows it to heat up evenly.
“You can use it to style the hair multiple times throughout the day without worrying about damage.”
The ghd air hairdryer also uses ionic technology that minimizes frizz and flyaways while drying the hair 2x faster than the traditional blowdryer. Marjan loves that “there is the option to add on different concentrator nozzles or a diffuser for both smooth styles and bouncy curls.”
So next time you pick up a hot tool, remember three things: keep the heat low, prep your hair with extra moisture and keep a dry shampoo on hand for when that style starts to lose its freshness.