If you straighten your hair using a conventional flat iron, the straightening process can be inconvenient and time-consuming. You must blow-dry your hair completely prior to straightening it. This two-step process ensures that you won’t experience severe heat damage due to flat ironing wet hair.
The new generation of flat irons claims to solve this problem by enabling you to straighten towel-dried hair without having to blow dry it first.
How Is it Possible?
Wet-to-dry flat irons are designed to straighten your hair, whether it is slightly damp or completely dry. Unlike conventional flat irons, these innovative straighteners dry and straighten the hair in one step.
Using a flat iron on wet hair used to mean serious hair damage in the form of breakage and split ends. New wet-to-dry straighteners are equipped with a special venting system that extracts excess water from damp hair, converts it to steam, and releases it through specially designed holes in the plates.
The manufacturers claim that the steam vent technology helps prevent damage to hair.
Advantages of Wet to Dry Straighteners
Time Savings: Wet to dry flat irons are designed to dry and straighten hair simultaneously, which can speed up your styling routine—but don’t expect miracles.
Straightening damp hair takes longer than straightening dry hair, and the wetter the hair, the longer it takes. If you use a wet-to-straight flat iron on dripping wet hair, it will take several passes to get your hair dry and straightened, and it can cause heat damage to the hair as well as a frizzy appearance—not what you’re going for!
If your hair is almost dry, the flat iron will straighten your hair much quicker. In the end, a wet-to-dry straightener can still save you time on your styling routine.
Lasting results: When used on almost dry hair, a wet-to-dry hair straightener leaves hair straight and smooth for longer than a conventional flat iron. It makes curly hair looking straight and sleek until the next shampoo without needing frequent touch-ups.
Less Frizz: When used properly, a wet-to-straight flat iron eliminates static and keeps your hair frizz-free for longer than regular flat irons. Natural moisture is retained inside the hair, while excess water is converted into steam. The cuticle is closed and smooth, keeping hair shiny, silky, and frizz-free.
How to Use a Wet to Dry Hair Straightener
A wet-to-dry flat iron should be used on towel-dried and untangled hair.
If used on very wet hair, a wet to dry straightener will produce quite a bit of steam, which can burn you, especially when you use it for the first time and aren’t expecting it. For best results, blow-dry your hair about 80 percent prior to drying/straightening with this iron.
The entire process goes like this:
- Wrap your hair in a towel to get out excess water.
- Use a wide-toothed comb to get all the tangles out.
- Use a heat protectant to prevent damage.
- Since you can’t get the straightener close to the roots, blow-dry them prior straightening; leave the rest of your hair slightly damp.
- Make sure the unit is set to wet mode. Choose the appropriate temperature setting for the type and condition of your hair.
- Style the lower sections of your hair first. The unit makes a hissing sound as excess water escapes as steam.
- Point the vent holes away from your head and hands to avoid burning yourself, especially if you’re not used to this type of flat iron. Steam burns are still painful burns!
Some wet to dry straighteners are equipped with comb teeth built into the plates; they help disperse and detangle hair while you dry and straighten it. The straightening combs also give you more control than traditional smooth plates when grabbing and straightening a section of hair.
What to Avoid
Despite their name, wet-to-straight flat irons shouldn’t be used on wet hair—only lightly damp hair. Styling wet hair can result in a wavy or frizzy look, damaged hair, and much longer styling time. With almost dry hair, you will get smoother and more lasting results.
To avoid heat damage, avoid going over a section more than twice. Wet hair is harder to grip and you need to go over the section a couple of times to get it dry and straight—yet another reason to get your hair drier before you start straightening.
Since you cannot come close to the scalp, this kind of flat iron still leaves the roots wet, making it difficult to achieve volume at the roots. This can make thin hair look even thinner and can leave an unnatural contrast between your roots and the rest of your hair. To prevent this, use a blow dryer for a few minutes to lift the roots, then use the hair straightener to finish drying and add a straight and glossy finish to hair.
How to Choose a Wet to Dry Flat Iron
Since a hair straightener is a long-term investment, carefully read the product description and know what you’re getting.
Wet to dry straighteners, like most regular flat irons, have either ceramic or titanium plates.
Ceramic flat irons generate far-infrared heat, which is the gentlest way to straighten your hair with a flat iron. Ceramic plates also produce negative ions that counteract the positive ions in damaged and frizz-prone hair. Ceramic plates are often infused with the mineral tourmaline for better heat protection and a shinier finish. Plates that contain tourmaline produce six times more negative ions than plain ceramic plates.
A wet to dry straightener with ceramic plates infused with tourmaline could be the right choice if you have fine and delicate hair.
Titanium flat irons are lightweight, fast-heating, and very durable. Titanium plates also produce negative ions and can be infused with tourmaline. Wet-to-dry flat irons with titanium plates are suitable for individuals with thick or coarse hair.
This new generation of flat irons is a great help. Just be sure to use them properly and you’ll have great and lasting results in much less time than before!