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Flat Iron Basics

I see a ton of flat iron damage in the salon. Today I'm bringing you some flat iron basics to help keep your hair healthy when you have smooth goals.

Most common mistakes:

> Hair must be 100% dry with NO moisture

> Heat is WAY to high - stay below 250, blondes & colored hair should leave the irons alone!

> Moving too fast - take thin sections, move very slowly and only make one pass

> Not letting the hair cool - hair must cool min 5-10 minutes before touching it or the press falls out

Flat irons are for special occasion use only, using a flat iron on hair every day will eventually cause breakage.

The Frizz/Flat Iron Cycle of Damage

Here's the cycle most guests get in to - they have frizzy hair (hello Florida humidity) so they crank up the heat to 400 degrees, go over their hair over and over with an iron literally burning the surface then go outside only to have the hair poof and get frizzy all over again. It's not your hair - it's your process.

When you burn the hair surface the hair is now thirsty so it expands to look for moisture (water vapor) in the atmosphere. Humidity is just a big moisture filled cloud around your thirsty hair.

So the heat temps stay high and they flat iron all over again and burn the hair more and the cycle of burned hair, damage, and frizz continues. Sometimes they grab a 'smoothing' product that often contains silicone.

Thermal Protection

Using a thermal protectant is NOT OPTIONAL when using hot tool like a flat iron. Without one it's the same as grabbing a hot pan out of the oven without an oven mitt. You would burn the pads of your fingers making them rough and callused - you are doing the same to your hair.

Sneaky manufacturers put silicone or dimethicone in thermal protectants. This is basically plastic so when you apply heat to it the plastic melts into your hair. It will look shiny the first few times but that plastic will begin putting little holes into the hair causing damage.

Pro Tip >> Make sure your thermal protectant doesn't have silicone in the first 5 ingredients. Odds are it'll be somewhere in the product list but as long as it's out of the first 5 you should be fine. My favorite thermal protection is combined with a leave-in conditioner spray. It hydrates hair stopping frizz at it's source and protects against heat damage.


In this video demo I show you how to flat iron your hair for the best results and least damage.

I'm using the L'Oreal Professional SteamPod for this demo which presses the hair using steam causing 98% less damage than regular flat irons. If you flat iron often this is a worthwhile upgrade to save your hair.


Products Used

Aluram Leave-In Conditioner

Apply wet to detangle, soften & smooth, UV filter, thermal protection

Aluram Smoothing Cream

Light styling hold, frizz-fighter, thermal protection

Aluram Shine Serum

Apply to hair once cooled - the oil molecule blocks hair from looking for moisture (humidity) in the atmosphere causing frizz. The oil also creates shine and hydrates thirsty strands.

All products are just $15 and available now through The Pretty Swan Shop.

Free 2-day shipping on all orders over $49.

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