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Sometimes, it feels like hair has a mind of its own—especially when you have curls. Which is where hot tools come in (if you choose to use them!). Yes, yes, too much heat in the form of straighteners and curlers can damage your hair when used in excess, but if you know how to protect your hair and what kinds of tools are best for your hair type, they can be a bed head’s knight in shining armor. Scroll down to get the six best straighteners for curly hair, according to a top hairstylist. Plus, learn four tips for straightening curls

TIP

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Scroll down to shop the 6 best straighteners for curly hair

Find the right flat iron for your hair type

Curls come in a whole spectrum of shapes and sizes, so the best option when it comes to a straightener is one that has a range of temperatures, won’t fry your hair or cause breakage, will help limit frizz (be gone, humidity!), is easy to use and hold, and is the right width and material—ceramic or titanium—for your hair thickness. The difference between the two is that titanium straighteners warm up quickly and work to distribute a lot of heat evenly which makes them better for thick, kinky, or textured hair, according to Ulta’s Flat Iron Buying Guide. One the flip side, if you have thin, damaged, or chemically treated hair, the high heat that the titanium delivers can be damaging, so ceramic irons may be a better option because they help seal the cuticle and reduce frizz for a smoother look.

Prepare and protect your hair

According to celebrity hair colorist, Bianca Hillier, to protect your hair against damage and breakage and achieve the best look, she recommends using low heat with slow passes through the hair and to always use a heat protectant before straightening. Her favorite pre-heat product is the Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother ($28) because has a soft hold that won’t ever get crunchy or greasy. “Be sure to apply the product to damp hair, comb through for even distribution of the product. This way each strand is protected. This highly concentrated leave in smoothing cream will help nourish the hair with the patented technology,” she explains. With curls, it’s also always better to prep your hair the night before with a treatment for the longest lasting shine and hold on the straight look with a product like the Olaplex No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment ($28) and the Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector ($28). “Both of these products are incredible at repairing the hair from the inside for minimal damage when applying the heat,” Hillier explains. “When used together, they are scientifically proven to offer 68 percent more repair and [make hair] 3x stronger.”

Make sure your hair is dry

“A common mistake people with curly hair often make when straightening their hair is not getting close enough to the scalp and passing through the hair too quickly, this can cause frizz and a fuzzy appearance. Another epic fail is not waiting until the hair is dry! This will deep fry your hair, damage and break the strands,” Hillier explains. Her favorite blow dryers are the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer ($400) and the Sedu Revolution Pro Hair Dryer ($200).

Use the right heat and technique

When it comes to curly hair in particular, Hillier instructs not to elevate the hair and to pull in the direction the hair naturally falls to prevent a dent at the roots. Finally, when you’re prepped and ready to get styling, for extremely curly, wavy, and even kinky hair, the GHD Platinum + Styler Flat Iron ($249) has technology in it that automatically adjusts the heat to the maximum of 365 degrees and is a prime straightener to ensure smooth and sleek hair without the damage, according to Hillier. That said, she warns that some flat irons can reach temperatures up to 450 degrees, so you want to avoid using the hottest settings to save your hair from excess damage.

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