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How To Flat Iron Your Hair

"Start out with well conditioned hair. Deep condition once a week, and always use a thermal protector."
- Johnny Wright, Artistic Style Director for SoftSheen-Carson
& Hair Stylist to First Lady Michelle Obama

Tips for Smooth Straightening

Flat ironing gives you the option to wear your hair straight without making a long-term commitment. If you chemically straighten or relax your hair, a flat iron is a great way to maintain the straightness, boost shine, smooth flyaways and add dimension. Read on for all you need to know about how to flat iron your hair like a pro.

Styling Tip: Flat irons with adjustable temperature let you select the right heat for your hair type and style. This is very important! It's also important to use different temperatures on different parts of your hair: cooler near your face where hair is fine and hotter wherever your hair is thickest and strongest.

QUICK TEMPERATURE GUIDE  
coarse or thick hair 380°F and above
wavy or curly hair 350°F - 370°F
medium thickness or straight-ish hair 330°F - 350°F
thin hair 300°F - 330°F
fragile or fine hair 240°F - 300°F
synthetic hair Lowest available setting

How To 'Do

Straight Hair

Follow along for a smooth straight style that you can then wear simple and sleek, piecey and edgy-or however else you please.

Step 1: Turn on your flat iron and set it to the right temperature for your hair (guide above). Some of our favorite irons with adjustable temperature are the Sedu, Amika and Croc.

Step 2: Apply heat protectant throughout your hair. This step is essential! Heat protectant guards your hair against damage and makes your straightening smoother, shinier and longer lasting. (More info about heat protectants above.) Flat Iron Step 3

  • Step 3: Pin up the top half (or so) of your hair and start with the lowest layers; separate into one inch sections and start ironing.
  • Step 4: Remember, movement is essential. Use even, fluid strokes along each section. Not holding heat in one place will prevent damage and deliver even results. Flat Iron Step 4
  • Step 5: If you have pesky hair close to the scalp or at the nape of the neck that's too short for your flat iron, try a mini flat iron. Minis are great for bangs and touchups, too! Flat Iron Step 5
  • Step 6: For finish, add a touch of shine spray or serum to polish off your look.

For more flat iron styling tips, check out Get Curly with Your Flat Iron and Get Gorgeous Waves.

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