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Flat irons are an essential beauty tool for a smooth, straight style, but over time, they can damage your hair and cause split ends. Hair has strength, but when the center, or cuticle, of a hair is damaged from direct heat, the hair tip splits, causing frizziness. You cannot avoid some heat damage, but you can limit split ends by preparing the hair for styling and making a few changes to your beauty routine.

Squirt a drop of heat-protecting styling oil in your hand. Rub the product into your hands, then work it into the hair, starting at the tips. Do not apply the oil to the scalp. If you prefer, moisturize your hair ends with a conditioning spray.

Comb the product through your hair. using a boar-bristle hairbrush. Avoid using a brush with metal-tipped prongs.

Set the heat on the flat iron to the appropriate heat selection. For fine hair, keep the temperature below 300 degrees F. Use a setting of between 300 and 380 degrees for normal hair. Straighten coarse and very curly hair at 350 to 400 degrees.

Straighten the hair in 1-inch sections to keep the hair smooth. Glide the iron over the hair evenly.

Tip

Flat irons with ceramic panels conduct and distribute heat evenly as you straighten your hair. A flat iron that allows you to adjust the heat setting allow you to adapt the process to your hair type.

Sleep on a silk pillowcase to reduce split ends.

Limit chemically based hair treatments; these can dry out the hair, contributing to split ends.

Vary your hair style often, opting for styles that let you avoid daily hair straightening.