I've noticed that more and more people think they can manage proper hair care on their own. Before I moved to the DMV area, clients came weekly or on a bi-weekly basis for hair appointments. However the reality is that people are stretching out their appointments a bit longer. Some are protesting because of a bad salon experience, some are on a budget and consider hair a "luxury", others "think" they are hairstylist because they watched a few "How to..." YouTube videos. Whatever the reason may be I want to make sure that you accomplish great results without damaging your hair. It's a few factors that go into a successful blowout, press and curl, or ceramic straightening. I will walk you through steps that should be factored in when you are maintaining your hair at home. I Do Not recommend that this become a regular occurrence for you, rather a "Rare" one. I highly recommend seeing a "Licensed Professional" for your hair care needs.
Shampoo your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. I like Joico smoothing cure line. I also like Wella Enrich line. It specifies it's for coarse, curly, and frizzy hair, however I use it for medium and normal hair as well.
People with fine hair should use Joico Body Luxe or Kerastase Bain Volumactive. It's very important that you use good products because that determines how well the outcome of your hair will be. If your foundation is solid then the final result will reflect a healthy sheen, and voluminous body.
After you have shampooed and conditioned your hair, you will apply a heat protectant. I use Design Essentials HCO Leave-in treatment as well as Moroccan oil. After I apply the product, I then blow-dry the hair with a ceramic blow dryer (Babylyss Pro). A ceramic blow-dryer not only gets hot but it also gives your hair a noticeable sheen. While blow-drying, use a paddle brush, if you want straight sleek/silky hair (http://www.denmanbrushus.com/ ) and a round brush
( http://www.beautystoponline.com/Rusk-Brushes-and-Hair-Combs-s/181138.htm ) if you want your hair to have volume and curls. The brushes give your hair body. You want to make sure you don't over-use product as it will weigh your hair down and compromise the outcome.
Press and Curl-
This process takes a bit more skill. Pressing hair is an art in my opinion. You have to have the right pressing comb. It has to be "broken" in (meaning the wax coating has to be burned off), and you have to know the technique of silking the hair properly. I only use Kentucky made pressing combs. The teeth have to be pretty close together, if you have a wide-tooth pressing comb, you won't get your hair as straight. One of the keys to using a pressing comb properly is knowing that the back of the comb is what gets your hair straight. You still use the teeth to comb through the hair then you turn it slightly to the back almost like you are flipping the hair upward. Divide the hair in 4 large sections and press hair in 1/2" sections.
Ceramic Straightening (Flat-iron) -
This step is easier than Pressing the hair. The key to using a ceramic straightener is having a good one. There are so many on the market today. In order to get a good iron, you should definitely do your research. I only use irons which I can control the temperature. The irons that only have an on and off switch often fluctuate in temperature. You want the heat to be consistent so that you get great results. I use a couple different ceramic straighteners, FHI and Babylyss Pro. I have different sizes as well. These tools are not to be used on your hair daily. It is safe to use once a week following a shampoo and conditioning. If you use this tool on a daily basis, expect to see breakage. No ones hair can tolerate that amount of heat daily. Most people rush when they do their own hair and that's why you don't get the same results as a professional. Flat-ironing in small sections is key to getting a salon finish, as well as gliding down the hair shaft slowly. Consistency is key, you want the same amount of heat to be distributed evenly throughout the hair.
Even though I gave you tips on at-home hair care maintenance, it's not to encourage you to be your own stylist rather educate you on the proper why to do it in case of an emergency.