How to Use a Flat Iron to Straighten Your Hair?

Whether you are just starting to flat iron your hair, or whether you are looking for some new ideas of how to use your flat iron, look no further! Our simple how-to guide will make it easy for beginning and skilled users alike to make the most of this unique tool.


Flat irons have made major strides in the last decade. While their primary use is still to straighten hair, they also have a number of other uses, which make them one of the best multi-tasking styling tools on the market.

Straight Looks

  1. Prep the hair. Though most flat irons on the market today are designed to protect the hair against heat damage, it is always best to prep the hair with a little heat protectant spray, especially if you have very thick hair that will require several passes with the flat iron in order to achieve the silky, straight look you desire. These heat protectants are usually sprays you can spritz all over your hair.
  2. Make sure your flat iron is hot enough. Test the iron on a small section of hair, maybe one to two inches of hair, and see if it achieves the results you are looking for. If it smoothes and straightens the hair, while eliminating frizz, and gives you the softness and shape you are looking for, then your flat iron is ready to go. If you have fine hair, be careful not to use too much heat.
  3. Pin back the top of your hair. Pull back the crown sections of your hair, pile them on top of your head, and secure them with a large clip. This will allow you to flat iron the lower sections of your hair, without the upper sections getting in the way.
  4. Begin straightening. Start as close to the scalp as is possible without burning yourself, and begin the straightening process. Gently slide the flat iron down each section of hair. If your hair is not getting a straight as you desire, try a second pass or a smaller section of hair. For most 1-inch models, a one to two inch section of hair is best, though coarse and thick hair may require smaller sections.
  5. Let down the top section. Once you have completed straightening all of the lower layers, let down the top layer and begin straightening the rest of the hair. Keep in mind that you can shape the hair as your straighten it. If you do not want it hang pin-straight from your head, you can curve it, so that it frames your face. You can also flip the ends out or create a slight wave, which will add dimension to your style.
  6. Go over the hair again in larger sections, once all of the individual pieces are straight. Now that you have straightened each individual section of hair, go over your entire head again, running the flat iron over large sections, to meld and perfect all of the smaller pieces. You can do this by tilting your head so that the hair hangs away from the head and smoothing the flat iron over all of the hair on that side of your head.
  7. Spritz with some hairspray. Now that your hair is straight, spray a little anti-frizz hairspray to maintain the style.

Curly or Wavy Looks

How exactly you can achieve this look with largely depend on your flat iron. In many cases, you can use the flat iron the same way you use a curling iron with a clip, but clamping on the end and twisting the hair around the casing.

You may also be able to just slide the hair through the iron at an angle, which will curl the hair as it passes through. In general, with a 1-inch flat iron, you can clamp a 1-inch section of hair, turn the iron one and a half times, and then slide the iron down, clamp again, and repeat the process for loose, wavy curls.

The real key to mastering flat iron curls is trial and error and practice. There is no telling what method will work perfectly for your hair until you have actually tested them out! Do not forget to use a heat protectant before and an anti-frizz hairspray after!