featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Most mornings I rush out of the house with wet hair, if I’ve even had time to wash my hair that morning. Yes, I know I could set the alarm a half hour earlier in order to make myself more presentable at work, but I need my sleep more than I need to look like I just stepped out of a salon. After all, I’m the crafts editor, not the fashion or beauty editor.

For those of you who do take the time to style your hair each morning, our beauty editor Nicole Emmerling has a tip on using flat irons and curling irons.
-- AP

Thanks, Anastasia! I’m willing to bet that a large percentage of our readers use either a flat iron to straighten their hair or a curling iron to give it waves or curl. I’m also willing to bet that many of those readers are using these styling tools incorrectly, thus damaging their hair.

Did you know that heat is one of the biggest factors in damaged hair? Yet most of you probably set your irons to the highest heat setting, don’t you? Here’s a little test to do to make sure your iron isn’t too hot.

Take a piece of white paper and hold it between the platens or in the curve of the iron for a few seconds, about the amount of time it would take you to curl or straighten a length of hair. Now remove the paper and examine it. Is it still white, or has it begun to turn brown? If you see brown, your iron is too hot, and you’re damaging your hair each time you use it. Turn down the heat setting, and you’ll protect your hair from damage.

Great tip, Nicole. If I ever have time to style my hair, I’ll remember that one. -- AP

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