Top Five Flat Iron Styling Tips

FHI 1 inch Flat IronFlat irons are best known for creating straight styles, but you can also add body and volume, create curls and make waves as well. It just takes a little product, practice and patience. If your flat iron has a rounded style barrel (and most of them do!) you’re ready to create these must-have styles with ease. These top requested flat iron styling articles and videos to get you styling like a pro!

Straight Styles: Flat Iron Straightening Success, a step-by-step tutorial for the straightest strands around.

Adding Volume: Pump up the Volume on your Bob, transform your bob from flat to fab with these top tips.

Curly Styles: Creating Curls with a Flat Iron, yep, bouncy coils in no time.

Waves: Make Some Serious Waves with a Flat Iron, tips for making those waves you crave.

Styling Tips: Flat Iron Styling with GHD, showcases tips and tricks with a ghd flat iron and some strand supporting styling products.

Got your favorite flat iron? Get going!

-CurlyBelle

Beachy Waves with a Flat Iron

Beachy waves are always in style, but even more so for Spring 2008 when tousled, textured hair is the top tress trend. Sarah Victor presents an awesome step-by-step tutorial with a one inch flat iron and some strategically placed hair clips. If waves are what you crave, this styling video is your new BFF. Remember, it’s all in the wrist twist!

StyleBell’s Top 5 Favorite Flat Irons

People love to corner me and ask me lots of flat iron questions, and I’m always happy to answer them. Being one of the lucky few who gets to test drive almost all of the hair straighteners on the market, I have acquired a lot of street cred in the hair appliance market, and with curly hair like mine, I really put every flat iron to the test.

In the flat iron world, not all flat irons are created equally and everyone’s hair straightening needs differ based on hair type and texture – yep, we’ve written about this before in our Flat Iron Buying Guide 101.

But, if you really want to use the benchmark my friends use – “if this flat iron can straighten your curly mop, it can straighten mine!” – my top five flat iron picks would have to be:

1- GHD MK4 1-inch Flat Iron – pure Ceramic power and technology – this iron gets my hair the GHD Flat Iron mk4straightest it can be and frizz is no longer an ”issue”. It also creates really believable curls if you practice. It’s a little pricey, but I love the bells and whistles: Dual voltage, stronger cable, auto shut off ‘sleep mode’. Everyone knows I rave about the GHD MK4 iron – it’s THAT good. (Read a review)

2- Babyliss Pro Nano-Titanium 1-inch
Flat Iron – state of the art technology and a super smoothing Babyliss Flat Ironsurface to kill my curls and add lots of shine – the perfect combo! The Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium is actually longer than most flat irons and you’d think it would be hard to handle, but just the opposite, it smooths faster than ever and the shine is unbeatable. Bonus: It’s at a great price point and offers a killer 4 year warranty. Really, how can you go wrong? You can’t.

3- Maxiglide Flat Iron– Ok, I’ll start by saying this flat iron is not for everyone. It’s Maxiglide Flat Ironlarger than any flat iron you are probably used to and has these tiny detangling pins that take some getting used to. That being said, if you have thick, unruly, hard to straighten hair you know that using a flat iron will take some finesse. Once you master the Maxiglide, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. This iron gets my thick massive mop silky. Yep, silky. (Read a review)

4- FHI Platform 1-inch Flat Iron – Another iron on the pricier side, but I think the FHI 1 inch Platform Flat IronFHI Platform is worth every penny when you see the results. Sleek with a capital S and the Ceramic Tourmaline and Titanium Technology eliminates toxins in the hair and really brings out the shine. Style sighting: This iron has also been spotted backstage at a lot of fashion shows too.

5- HAI Convertable 1-1/4 inch Flat Iron – My stylist loves this iron – mainly Hai Flat Iron Convertablebecause she can straighten my hair fast and I don’t have to sit there forever! One of the best flat irons for transforming my hair from curly to super straight, the Hai Convertable manufacturers also just increased the warranty to 3 years – SWEET!

Make Some Serious Waves with Your Flat Iron

Flat irons are great for creating that smooth, sleek style, but why not try making some waves? All you need are the right tools, a great blow out, and a little practice.
The Tools: Curling Flat Iron, Heat Styling Protectant, Styling Cream

The Perfect Blowout
The first step to any great style with a flat iron is the perfect blowout. Creating a super smooth canvas of hair before you style will not only allow you to create those sleek straight looks, it’s also essential for creating waves. A good blowout helps control and prepare your hair by providing a smooth base for creating long lasting, frizz-free waves. Read more about The Perfect Blowout.

Section, Section, Section
To begin, you should section off your hair into manageable 1 to 2 inch pieces. The sections you create should be easy to work with, and small enough to fit into the flat iron you are using. But which flat iron should you use?

ghd MK3 1A Flat Iron To Create Waves?
To create sexy waves, you’ll need a versatile flat iron designed for styling, not just straightening. A lot of today’s flat irons perform double duty and are perfect for creating a variety of styles, in addition to straightening. When choosing a flat iron, it’s best to determine your styling needs, and if you want to create waves as well as straight styles, it’s best to choose an iron with curved edges. GHD MK3 Professional 1″ Flat Iron (pictured).

I recommend visiting our Curling Flat Irons section to choose the iron that’s best for you. It is essential that your flat iron’s plates aren’t, well, flat. The curved edges will take your style from straight to seductress! Here are some more serious wave makers: HAI Convertible 1-1/4” Flat Iron (pictured), HAI elite Digistik Ceramic 1” Styling ToolChi Original 1″ Flat Iron.

L'anza Strait-Line Thermal DefenseProtect those Tresses
Before you start styling with any heat appliance, you should take the time to protect your hair first. A generous coating with a thermal protectant will protect your hair from the high temperature of the iron, and also add volume while your style. Protecting your hair from excessive heat is a very important step, and today’s heat activated products are packed with ingredients that actually make your hair healthier! So spritz, rub and spray away! L’anza Strait-Line Thermal Defense (pictured).

Check out more potent products in these heat protection sections:  Thermal protectant section, or read our Top 5 Most Popular Heat Protectants, to find out more.

Making Some Serious Waves
Starting with your first section, place the flat iron in at the root horizontally. Using one hand to hold the iron at the handle, and your other hand to hold the top of the iron between your thumb and index fingers, move the iron downwards, slowly toward the ends, alternately flipping the iron upside down and back again as you continue gliding down the section. Notice when you flip the flat iron over 180 degrees and back again, this will cause a smooth wave as you glide down the section. Don’t rush it. Taking your time with this motion as you continue down the section will give you that great sexy, wavy style.

Wave ON
As you continue styling each section, working your way around your head towards the back. The most difficult area to reach is the back of your head so definitely take your time here. It’s OK if you cannot get as close to the roots in the back, a little root drag is good in the back because it will give you some added volume you need.

If you don’t get the sexy waves you want on the first try, don’t worry! Just let the section you were working on cool down for a few minutes before you try it again, and move on to the next section while you are waiting. This wave technique takes a little time and practice before you create the ideal waves you want.

L'anza Volume Root Effects

Just a Tip…
When working on the top of your head, create a little bit of lift at the roots by taking a section at the root and flipping the iron away from my head on the first twist. If you want a flatter look at the top, flip your iron in the other direction and move it towards the top of your head instead. If you really want some added volume, add a little root lifter styling product before you start styling or afterwards – however you like it. L’anza Volume Root Effects Volumizing Foam (pictured).

 
Frederic Fekkai Luscious Curls Wave SprayHold the Wave
To give your new waves hold, definition and shine, you should apply a small amount of a styling spray, gel, or lotion specifically created for wavy styles. Just loosely work a little dab (or spritz) through your hair from roots to tips with your fingertips and you are ready to roll! With a little practice, tousled, sexy waves are as easy as can be! Check out these wave savers:

Need a visual? Check out the video below for some quick flat iron styling tips from ghd. 

– Curly Belle

Pump Up the Volume on Your Bob

Got a bob that’s not quite bouncy? Pump up the volume on that cute new ‘do by adding movement and volume with a ghd IV mini flat iron – the slim width is perfect for styling those shorter strands. This video shows how to add tons of body to a voluminously challenged bob, transforming it from flat to fab! All products shown are from ghd, and if you’ve ever tried them you know ghd should stand for Great Hair Days!

-CurlyBelle

Celeb Style: Diablo Cody

Diablo CodyI am definitely a fan of Diablo Cody’s street chic wardrobe, choppy hair style, and tongue in cheek attitude. Her personal style is part pin up girl mixed with some rocker chic plus a dash of glamour. For hair this sleek and smooth I’d fire up an FHI Platform 1″ Flat Iron. The Ceramic and Nano-Tourmaline technology will straighten and add tons of award winning shine worthy of any leopard print loving, million dollar shoe wearing, Oscar winner.

5 Top Tools Spotted in the Salon

Hai Elite RodI’m always on the lookout for the hair appliances the salons use – who better to attest to a styling tool’s greatness other than a professional who uses it all day long? While waiting for a friend to get a quick trim the other night, I couldn’t help but notice the following styling tools – call me obsessed. Here are my top five sightings (well, this week!) and my commentary of course.

#1 – HAI Convertable 1-1/4″ Ceramic Flat Iron
Pro: Silkens and smooths all hair types – it’s even on our best flat iron list!
Con: Lower price point is misleading to consumers – they don’t realize how great it is.

#2 – Hot Tools 1-1/2″ Ceramic and Titanium Spring Curling Iron – I spotted it easily by its purple barrel, though it might have been a different size – my eyes couldn’t quite judge the width.
Pro: Ceramic + Titanium technology is a great heat conductor for long-lasting curls and this is one of my personal faves.
Con: I wish they made this curling iron in a 2″ width for bigger curls. Hint, hint Babyliss.

#3 – Babyliss Pro Carerra 2 Hair Dryer
Pro: Well known and very popular, magazines love to write about this one.
Con: They are sometimes hard to get because they run out of stock so fast and that’s such a letdown.

#4 – Hai Elite Rod (pictured)
Pro: This wonderful curling wand kicks *ss and is used everywhere to create those loose celebrity curls.
Con: It really is a professional tool. It’s quite large and can be somewhat difficult to handle by yourself so if you take the plunge and buy one, be careful.

#5 – FHI Platform 1″ Ceramic Nano-Tourmaline Flat Iron
Pro: Stylists love this because it straightens hard to straighten hair well. I see this iron in a lot of salons.
Con: It’s kinda pricey when compared to the others, you might not need this much power if your hair straightens easily.

-CurlyBelle

Maxiglide Hairstyling Tips

Maxiglide Flat IronLove your Maxiglide Hair Straightener? Who doesn’t? When I saw these styling tips from Maxius Beauty on how to style with your Maxiglide I thought I’d share them with everyone. These tips are after you’ve applied your thermal protectant of course. Happy hairstyling!

1. Use a lower temperature setting (1 – 4) if your hair is fine or chemically treated, and (5 -10) if you have strong, coarse hair. 2. Always set the Maxiglide on its non-slip, rubber base.3. Your hair should be clean, dry or nearly dry, and free of tangles and knots.4. Never use steam within 3 inches of scalp.5. To prevent steam from wet hair touching your scalp, be sure the hair is completely dry at the roots.6. DO NOT use steam while your fingers are on the ridges of the Maxiglide. Never touch the hot plates!

7. You don’t have to squeeze tightly like ordinary irons – the ceramic plates and the detangling pins will do the work for you. Simply glide it through your hair. You’re not ironing – you’re gliding.

8. When you get to the very end of the hair, pause for a second, then continue gliding.

9. Start with a section of hair about 1 1/2″ inches thick and about 3 1/2″ inches wide.

10. Brush each section to free it of tangles.

11. For Softening: For especially frizzy, dry, brittle or stubborn hair, first, without applying a lot of pressure, barely close the iron and quickly go over the frizzy, brittle part of the hair which is usually the last 3-7 inches before the ends, with 1 or 2 bursts of steam. (This will soften the hair, much like you would iron out a tough wrinkle in a shirt). Then go over the entire section from the roots to the ends WITHOUT THE STEAM. You don’t want to steam the entire section of hair, just the ends.

12. Creating flips is fun and stylish. When you get down to about the last 2 inches of the end of a hair section, start rotating your Maxiglide in one spot. Keep rotating until your hair “flips-out” automatically. Note that for especially frizzy, dry or stubborn hair, you can soften the ends first as described above in tip 10.

13. For more control, you can use your other hand to help guide the Maxiglide.  DO NOT use steam while touching the ridges. And never touch the hot plates. Never.

14. And finally, for those quick touch-ups, your Maxiglide comes with a bonus flat plate without the detangling pins. Using this bonus attachment, you can move quickly through big sections of your hair for speedy touch-ups.  

These styling tips are extremely helpful, especially if you are a first time “Maxglider”. Tons of people love this iron, and for good reason, it’s great for straightening all hair types and lengths. Even CurlyBelle’s thick, unruly mop!
-StraightBelle