Choose your Chi

Finally, smooth, silky, straight hair or managed curls were achievable, and for more than an hour or even a day. But to get the optimum effect, you typically had to rely on the skills of your hairdresser.

To introduce the newest generation of hair straighteners, the Chi G2, the Salon at Ulta held a Boot Camp one Sunday to teach customers some of the tricks of using the new ergonomically designed flat iron that features both ceramic, which evenly distributes heat, and tourmaline plates, which minimize flyaways and reduce the drag on hair.

Among the “campers” was Leslie Bosworth, who has a “very old” Chi.

“Leslie has very naturally curly hair that is double-processed,” explained her hairdresser, salon manager Karen Morodan. “She got a blow-out yesterday but today we’re going to smooth it out. ”

She began by diagonally sectioning Bosworth’s fairly thick hair into half-inch sections. To create volume, Morodan started at the roots and lifted the hair up and out as she passed the flat iron over her hair.

The iron should be kept moving in a curved pattern to the ends, then flicked either under or up. Unlike with most flat irons, only one pass over the hair is needed.

“You want to avoid bumps by having the iron glide smoothly, and if there’s too much hair, it won’t do that,” Morodan said.

After watching the stylist flat iron most of her hair, Bosworth took Chi in hand and got to work.

“This will save me time if I only have to make one pass,” said an obviously happy Bosworth of the smooth, healthy hairdo that will last her three days. “Even with the older Chi, I would have to have taken smaller sections and taken more passes. I’d also have hair all over me.”

To create a straight look, Morodan advised parting your hair in sections and pinning it up. The thicker your hair, the thinner the sections. Section hair on the diagonal so that the hair falls more naturally once you finish passing the flat iron through the hair.

While most women think of using a flat iron to get their hair straight, it can also be used to create soft, smooth, silky curls. To achieve this look start with square-shaped, instead of diagonal, sections. Hold the flat iron vertically and begin feeding sections of hair through the blades. Create some tension and rotate the iron one time and run it down the strand of hair like scissors curling a piece of ribbon.