Hairstyle tips to get the most out of your flat iron
So Much More than Just Straightening!
Flat ironed hair styles are set to be just as hot in 2018 as they have been for the last few years.
If you’re looking for a fresh look this year, I’ve got a few straightening iron hair styles that, with a little patience, trial and error and the right tools, you can create in the comfort of your own home.
Read on for 8 hairstyles that’ll have you looking like you just stepped out of the salon. It can be hard to get the right look without the best tools so I’ll also point you in the direction of which hair straightener is best for each styling technique, just in case you’re wondering what to get for your next hair straighteners.
The Perfect Straighten
Flat ironing hair can be harder than it looks and there are a few tricks to getting perfectly straight hair that will stay that way all day (and all night, too!).
- Comb hair thoroughly before straightening. It’s better than brushing because it separates the strands and allows the plates to contact every strand for a longer lasting effect.
- Apply a high quality straightening product with heat protectant qualities.
- Pin hair up in section clips and begin styling from the nape of your neck, working around your lower hairline and then up section by section. Use a tail comb to separate small sections of hair for straightening.
- Pick up each section close to the roots and glide smoothly in a downwards motion through the section.
- Apply a (light!) setting spray for a bit of extra shine and perfectly straight hair for longer.
It seems like a lengthy process but taking the time to do it well will mean you get a long lasting result and won’t have to do touch ups later. For a reliable straighten with just one pass per section, you can’t go past the Bio ionic flat iron. It’s a model used in top professional salons and, if you know how to use it, it can give you a salon straighten at home.
Styling Short Hair
Even if you’ve only got an inch of hair, there are lots of cool ways you can flat iron short hair. Try these short and funky flat iron hair styles:
- Smooth Front, Textured Crown: Separate about two inches from your hairline back, create a side part and flat iton smoothly down, as close to the scalp as you can get. Apply a texturizing wax to the back section and flat iron upwards, away from the scalp.
- The Pixie: for little flicks that frame your face, choose very small sections of hair and roll them between your fingers before using the flat iron in a curving motion. You can also texturize the top like the above style.
- Sleek and smooth: flat iron all of your hair keeping the straightener as close to your scalp as you can for a chic ‘cap’ style.
The best flat irons for these styles have 1 inch plates and a narrow housing which allows you to work with precision close to the scalp. The Chi Air Expert is a classic and reliable model and it’s hard to go past for short hair styling with flat irons.
The Flip Under Bob
This is my absolute fave flat iron hair style right now: think The Great Gatsby or Pulp Fiction! And it never goes out of style. The technique is simple: straighten each section until you’re an inch from the bottom and then roll your wrist either inwards (if you want your bob to tuck under) or outwards (for a funky flick out). A quality hairspray will help keep this classic style in place.
This flat iron hairstyle is deceptively simple: you just use your straightener exactly like curling tongs! The wrist movement takes a little getting used to but you’ll soon be a master.
- Secure hair in section clips on top of the head. Begin working from one side around the nape.
- Take small square sections (approx ¼ inch x ¼ inch) instead of long flat sections.
- Clasp the hair in the fat iron as close to the root as you can.
- Make a circular motion with your wrist so that the section is wrapped once around the iron (this needs to be fast and fluid to avoid burning your hair – perhaps try it with the iron off until you’ve mastered the motion!).
- Pull the iron smoothly down the section – it magically spirals as it goes and VOILA! You have a perfect corkscrew curl!
In my opinion, the best curl hair straightener for tight curls is something super narrow like the Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium. You’ll be able to start your curl nice and close to the scalp and avoid getting that tell-tale “crown line”.
The method for larger barrel curls is exactly the same as the corkscrew: you just need a larger flat iron! The best creating curly hair flat iron for larger curls has plates of 1 ¼ or 11/2 inches – I love the Fhi Platform Ceramic Tourmaline which comes in a range of size options.
The 2018 Crimp
If you’re of a similar vintage to me, you might have cringed when you saw the ‘C’ word. But the modern crimp looks nothing like something out of an 80’s Jazzercise video. You use the flat irons to gently zig-zag through the hair (just quickly flicking your wrist back and forward as you pull the straighteners down the section), creating angular waves. Trust me – it looks amazing! A smaller straightener with 1 inch plates is best for this style – I quite like the Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium because it keeps the frizz out of your crimp.
Beach Babe Waves
Love Blake Lively in Gossip Girl? There are even flat iron styles to get her look!
- Apply a wave enhancing product and tousle it through your hair.
- Take random sections of hair instead of the carefully lined ones you do for straightening.
- Clasp the hair a little further from the roots and pull the hair straightening tongs out away from your head instead of straight down (think of it like when you curl a ribbon with scissors).
- Work through all sections in this way and set with a hair spritz.
For that natural, tousled wave, a slightly wider plate is best. I simply love the Croc Classic for beach babe waves.
Elegant Hair Ups
Styling hair with a flat iron doesn’t have to stop at loose locks – you can put your hair up in some intricate and beautiful ways using your straighteners. Try these styles out for a special event:
- French Roll with a Little Height: Straighten all of your hair and then section off a long fringe. Back comb the hair on your crown for a little height and then smooth the fringe section over the top and secure with pins. Pull the back and sides into a tight and sleek french roll.
- The Messy Bun: have a little fun by curly some sections and straightening others and then piling it all on top of your head and securing it with bobby pins.
Styling Damaged Hair
If your hair’s looking a little worse for wear or needs some TLC, you can still try any of these styles, you just have to be careful about which hair straighteners you use. I love tourmaline because it allows you to straighten effectively at lower temperatures. My flat iron recommendations for damaged hair are the Karmin G3 or the Fhi Platform.
Conclusion: Just have a Play!!!
I do hope you try out some of these straightener hair styles and have just as much fun with your hair as I do. The trick is to relax and allow yourself to play a little. Who knows? You might accidentally create something fabulous!
If you’re starting from scratch (or upgrading!) and want to buy hair straighteners to start creating some of these (and some of your very own!?!) styles, have a scroll through my hair straighteners reviews and guides to find the perfect set for your hair.