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The Right Way to Use a Flat Iron

Are you using yours correctly?

A flat iron is one of the most beloved tools in one's hair styling kit. But despite its popularity, many people out there aren't aware of the proper way to use the tool. Turns out, there's way more to using a flat iron than just clamping down on your strands and pulling the iron through. Lucky for you, we're sharing everything you need to know about how to use a flat iron properly. From how to prep your hair to how to embrace looks beyond just a pin-straight mane (yes, creating curls too!), read on for expert-approved flat iron tips you should follow stat!

 

The Prep: Use a Heat Protectant Spray

 

Ironing your hair can take its toll. To keep damage to a minimum, be sure to use a heat protectant product-serum, spray, cream, you name it-on your hair prior to taking your first pass. It's an extra step, but it's fully worth it!

 

Only Straighten Dry Hair

 

Unlike your blow-dryer which can be used on wet hair, ironing your hair when it's not completely dry is a terrible idea. Your hair is at its most fragile when it's wet, so it's important to wait until your strands are completely dry before you straighten. Of course, we recommend allowing your hair to air-dry fully, but if you're pressed for time, use a blow-dryer to dry your strands prior to using your flat iron.

 

Work in Sections

 

When straightening your hair, we recommend working in sections or layers. To do so, clip away the top portion of your hair, leaving behind a small bottom layer to work with first. Since the goal is to run your iron through your hair just once, you'll want to make sure the sections are not too thick as this may require additional passes to get your hair fully straight. The size of your sections will all depend on the thickness and quality of your hair. Use your best judgment.

 

Follow the Proper Technique

 

You're already investing time into straightening your hair, so you might as well make it count! Once you have your first section, clamp the iron down as close to the scalp as possible and slowly-repeat: slowly-pull the iron down the lengths of your hair. Once that entire layer is complete, release another layer and repeat the same technique until your full head is straightened.

 

Embrace Different Looks

 

Think your flat iron can only be used to flatten your strands? Think again! Your flat iron can be used to achieve a wide range of looks-bouncy curls and soft waves included! In fact, we're sharing four gorgeous hairstyles you can achieve with your flat iron here!

 

Finish with a Serum

 

Once your hair is styled to your liking, top off the look with a finishing spray or serum. Doing so can help keep your mane looking smooth and frizz-free for a longer period of time!

 

Editor's note: There's no denying that a flat iron can be a lifesaver for taming unruly strands and styling hair to perfection. That said, overdoing it with any heated styling tool can lead to unwanted damage. As such, it's not a bad idea to cut down on how often you apply direct heat to your strands. When you do use your flat iron, toggle the device to the lowest temperature setting to reduce the amount of damage that can result.

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