Flat Iron Maintenance
This entry was posted on August 17, 2009.
These simple tips will help prolong the life of your professional flat iron and keep those bad hair days at bay!
A Few Minutes a Day
Taking a few extra minutes to care for your flat iron (or curling iron) after each use will not only help prolong its life, it will also ensure it is clean and ready for use the next time you need it. Some extra care goes a long way with a flat iron, and it's easier than you think. Plus, if you've ever had a flat iron die on you, you know all about the bad hair days you must suffer until the new one arrives, so proper care is the way to go.
Caution, it's HOT
Remember to always use extreme caution when handling your hot flat iron, and keep in mind that the plates of the iron will remain very hot for a short period after you turn it off. You should always wait for the flat iron (or any hair appliance) to completely cool down before cleaning or storing it, and you should always unplug it immediately after use.
While your flat iron is cooling down, I suggest placing in on a heatproof mat to protect it and your counter tops. Many of the flat iron manufacturers sell heatproof mats along with their irons, and it's a good idea to get one. I've seen them in silicone and in a variety of other heat resistant materials, any of which are fine for resting your hot appliance on while using or during the cooling down period. (Pictured: StyleBell Heatproof Bag/Mat Combo)
The flat iron plates should be cleaned with a soft cloth and a professional iron cleaner specifically formulated for use flat irons and other heat styling appliances. You should never use any harsh or abrasive cleaners that will damage or scratch the surface of the plates, or reduce the iron's ability to glide through the hair easily. Make sure to never spray iron cleaner on a hot iron, this could potentially damage the plates of the iron. Always make sure you use iron cleaner on a cool iron to protect your iron from possible damage. I recommend cleaning your flat iron after every use to keep your plates in tip-top shape, and maintain its peak performance. Remember "gummy residue". Enough said.
With regular use, sometimes the handles of the iron may become loose. If this occurs, you can step away like I do, or try to fix it by removing the hinge cover and tightening the nut. Always make sure the iron is unplugged and completely cool before attempting to tighten a loose nut. Remember to replace the hinge cover securely when you are done. If you are unsure, mechanically challenged, or don't like the idea of taking your favorite appliance apart, please seek professional help! A stylist, a professional salon worker, repair man, or electrical appliance guru should be called in immediately.
Proper Storage Please!
When storing your flat iron, you should never, ever, never wrap the power cord around it. Did I say NEVER? I really cannot stress this point enough. Wrapping the electrical cord around the flat iron causes damage and stress to the connection points and will lead to damage of both the iron and the cord. I wish I could tell you how many people complain that their flat iron broke after 3 months due to cord damage. When storing your flat iron, bundle the cord loosely and lay the cord next to the iron. This will prolong the life of your flat iron, guaranteed.
It's Worth Repeating
A flat iron will take several minutes to cool down completely after use. To avoid burning your counter top or vanity, you really should invest in a heat resistant mat or heatproof bag specifically designed to cover the flat iron's plates. A heatproof mat protects your counter surfaces while the iron is cooling down, and also keeps your flat iron plates clean and protected from damage during storage and travel. A mat is a great resting place, but for travel and storage, if you can get a heatproof bag, it would be a better investment in the long run.
Taking care of your flat iron not only prolongs its life, it also ensures better performance and smoother slip through your hair as you style. Plus, exercising caution with any heat appliance is always recommended, safety first!
And of course, if you're in the market for a new flat iron, our Best Flat Irons section features the most-wanted irons around!