6 Things You Never Knew You Could Do With a Flat Iron

Styling your hair can seem like a total hassle when you are juggling ten different tools at once, scrambling to tame your locks and get out the door before class. Fumbling with a blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron, round brush and comb all before you’ve had your morning cup of coffee is not only inefficient, it’s downright stressful. Luckily, we’ve got a solution for you. That one tool every girl’s got in her arsenal, the flat iron, is all you need for great-looking hair. Your straightener can do so much more than you ever thought, so forget the ten-tool-trauma and embrace the flat iron.

Crimp Your Hair

Give your hair a total transformation with a simple flat iron trick. Starting at the roots of your hair, guide the flat iron down while twisting your wrist back and forth every inch. An extra hot iron and persistent pressure will ensure that your crimps are clean and even. You can also increase the spacing between crimps for a loose, subtle interpretation. Either way, this look is no '80s throwback. It’s an updated take on an old trend and definitely much improved. 

Color Your Hair With Chalk

Brightly colored locks are all the rage right now, but you don’t have to go to a pricey salon to achieve the look. Hair chalk or even soft chalk pastels from an art supply store can give you a whole new do for a fraction of the price. First, run the chalk over strands of hair in thin sections, building layers until you have reached the amount of color you wish to show. Be sure to apply an extra thick layer of color to the tips of the hair to achieve an even finish. Then, lock in all that color by running your straightener over the strands of hair. Your color will be set and looking salon-worthy until your next shampoo!

Lock In Hair Extensions

If you want a dramatic change for a night out or special event, hair extensions are a great solution. Rather than dropping hundreds of dollars on salon extensions though, you can easily get a short-term version of the same look right at home. DIY extensions can come in many forms, but you will often see options that are heat-reactive or that can be supplemented with extension tape. A safe, glue-like substance is activated with the heat of the straightener to seal extensions in at the root of the hair. It’s a great alternative to clip-ins and an easy way to change up your look in a flash. Look for products labeled “fusion” extensions, like these from Sally Beauty. Depending on the nature of the extensions, you may also be able to style your temporary locks with the flat iron. Short-haired girls can now experience the magic of cascading curls too!

Create Perfect Curls

That’s right, your good old flat iron is multitalented. Simply wrap 2-inch strands of hair around the iron plates and pull the iron up or down at a 90-degree angle from your head. Give each strand a twirl with your finger at the end to reinforce the shape. For tighter curls, use smaller sections of hair at a time or for a more subtle effect, start the iron three inches down from the roots keep the top bit of hair smooth and straight. For a tutorial on achieving the perfect flat iron curl, check out a video from beauty vlogger Shelley Cohen.

Build Instant Volume

Flat, lifeless hair can be instantly revived with an easy flat iron trick. Whether you’re already straightening your hair or just want a two-minute makeover, this move will give you a fresh boost. Simply section your hair off and starting as close to the roots as possible, lift your hair up and run your straightener up toward the ceiling. Once you get about half way down the section, switch directions and run the flat iron down toward the ground, curling in slightly at the ends. By lifting hair away from the roots, you’ll lock in volume at every layer. For step-by-step instructions, check out Tiffany Ish's guide on her blog “I am Stylish-Ish.”

Get Beachy Waves

This may be the ultimate hair hack. When time is short but you want a hairstyle to mask that bed head, a simple maneuver with your straightener will do the trick. Simply twist sections of hair into tight swirls and then run your flat iron over top to lock in a soft wave. You could also braid your hair and then follow up with the flat iron for bouncier, larger waves. Use a texturizing spray before applying heat, and follow up with a gentle hairspray to ensure your waves don’t crash before the day is out.