There are lots of ways to use your flat iron besides just using it to straighten your hair. Straighteners are actually quite the versatile product and can be used to create different looks and while they do a fabulous job of straightening your strands, they can be used for other things as well. If you’re interested in learning some helpful tips on getting the most out of your straightener as well as some new ways to use your flat iron, keep reading to get all the details!
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1 Get to Know Your Plates
Before we get into the ways to use your flat iron, let’s get to know your flat iron a little better. Did you know that the type of plates you have make a difference? I honestly thought there wasn’t much of a difference between flat irons unless you spend beaucoup bucks, but that’s not always the case. There are several different types of plates including ion, tourmaline, ceramic, titanium and sapphire. One of the most popular is ceramic which have the advantage of penetrating the hair shaft so that you can straighten your hair in less time with less heat. Then there are tourmaline plates, which create negatives ions to reduce frizz and creates additional pressure on your hair so that your tresses are shiny and sleek.
2 Pick the Right Size
Aside from having different types of plates, flat irons also come in different sizes. As if we didn’t already have a bunch of decisions to make! Choosing the right size is important to straighten your hair more efficiently and reduce the risk of damaging your hair. Your hair length and type should determine the size of your flat iron. Narrow plates that run ½”-1” are good for short hair that is fine or thick. 1 ½ -2” plates work well for long hair that’s fine or thick.
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3 Make Sure Hair is Dry
Although it might be blatantly obvious to avoid using a heat tool on soaking wet hair; you don’t want to use a flat iron on slightly damp hair or hair that’s just been doused with a heat protectant, either. Always give your hair time to completely dry after washing it or spraying it any type of hair product before you get to work with the flat iron.
4 Protect Your Tresses
Regularly using a heat protectant on your hair before you use your straightening iron or other heat tools is a must. Skipping this step can result in dry, fried hair and no one has time for that! There is a huge range of heat protectants from drugstore to high end brands that help protect your hair, impart shine, add volume and leave hair smelling divine. Spritz heat protectant about an inch from your roots since the root area is often oily and can make hair appear greasy if you apply product to that area.
5 Adjust the Temperature
Does your flat iron have an adjustable heat setting? Some come with one whereas others have a built-in thermostat. If you do have a heat setting, don’t assume that the hotter you can get it, the better. The temperature you set your straightening iron to depends on the type of hair you have. If your hair is damaged, chemically treated or fine, stick with setting it no higher than 300. If your hair is normal, 300-380 is ideal and for thick, coarse or curly hair, 350-400 works well.
6 Separate Your Hair
How do you like to start the process straightening your hair? Do you leave your hair down and start picking random areas? Some experts recommend sectioning your hair and starting from the bottom layers first and working your way up in order to get a more even look. If you find that your hair isn’t always as straight in certain areas, try sectioning your hair.
7 Go Slow
Another flat iron tip that is frequently recommended is to go slow. Unless you’re just doing some quick touch-ups, rushing through the flat ironing process isn’t going to straighten your hair any better or faster. Take your time so you don’t have to end up doing multiple passes through the same area, which can often damage hair if done too often.
8 Start Small
While you’re taking your time straightening your hair, don’t forget the importance of doing small sections at a time. I’ve had mornings where I’ve had little time to do my hair and I just grab a huge chunk of hair and try to straighten it however, it doesn’t really do much! You’ll have much better results if you take small, manageable sections at a time.
9 Make Waves
As previously mentioned, straightening irons aren’t a one-trick pony and can be used for various hairstyles such as soft waves. For soft, undone waves, start by spritzing your hair with salt spray. Next, braid some sections of hair and run the flat iron over the braids and undo them to reveal gorgeous texture. For a video tutorial, check out huffingtonpost.com. Girlie, chic and looks great for just about any occasion!
10 Create Curls
Isn’t it kind of funny of how you can create a hairstyle that’s the exact opposite of what it’s created to do? I love that though, because that means you can do so much with just one tool! To create some luscious curls, simply wrap a 1” section of hair around your flat iron while you turn the flat iron away from your head; similar to curling a ribbon with scissors. For a step-by-step tutorial, refinery29.com.
11 Hair Chalk
If you love the look of pastel tips or brightly colored strands, try the trend yourself by picking up some soft chalk pastels from an art store or on Amazon. Once you get the chalk, twist the strand of hair as you apply the chalk to your hair. If you have dark hair, wetting your hair beforehand can deposit the color better. Also, the process can get pretty messy, so you might want to do it outside. Once your hair air dries, seal in the color with your flat iron and you’re good to go. For more detailed tips on hair chalking,go here thebeautydepartment.com.
12 Depot Makeup
Another super useful flat iron tip that I picked up from The Beauty Department was to use it to depot eye shadows from a palette. Let’s say you want to create a new palette of all of your favorite eye shadows. Simply heat up your flat iron and place it over the eye shadow you want to depot to melt the glue. For the detailed tutorial, go here thebeautydepartment.com.
13 Iron It out
If you’re traveling or just find yourself in dire need of an iron, use your straightener to straighten out your clothes. Use it to de-wrinkle the hem of your dress or skirt, ribbons, iron the placket of a dress shirt or any small area that needs some pressing. Avoid using this trick on delicate fabrics like silk which could get damaged.
14 Give Yourself a Break
As much as we all like freshly styled hair, don’t forget to give your hair a break from heat tools every now and then. Using your straightening iron on a daily basis will damage your hair, so be sure to give yourself days off and use a moisturizing conditioner and deep conditioning treatment to help counteract the effects of your flat iron.
15 Clean Your Tools
One of the often overlooked tips on using your flat iron is to clean it. Did you know that there are actual flat iron cleaners out there? You can buy a flat iron cleaner from a beauty store, or DIY it by wiping down the cool plates with a damp paper towel. You can also use a Q-tip tip to get to the hard-to-reach areas. If you’ve used your flat iron many times and you’ve never cleaned it before, your best bet is to buy a flat iron cleaner to get all the product build-up off.
I hope these tips on using your flat iron comes in handy for you. Straightening your hair seem easy enough, but there’s actually more to it than we might think. Do you consider yourself an expert with the flat iron? Do you have any flat iron tips or tricks that you want to share with us?
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