August 13, 2013
A flat iron can be every woman's best friend and most powerful secret weapon - if used properly. In fact, these handy tools aren't just for straightening: With an optimal combination of hair products and the right technique, the possibilities are endless. Just follow these tips to get everything from soft, beachy waves to cascading curls.
The straight and narrow
There are a few things to keep in mind if you're seeking pin-straight strands. First, Cosmopolitan magazine explained that the key is to blow dry hair as straight as possible before even touching it with a flat iron. Attaching a concentrator nozzle can help to better direct the heat as you blow dry, meaning you'll have less frizz. Using a paddle brush, pull hair taut and point the hair dryer downward, going section by section until your whole head is completely dry. Next, apply a fine mist of Dire Straights Flat Iron Straightening Lotion by Steiner and brush through from roots to ends to protect against heat damage. Even in the face of high humidity, your strands will stay stick straight. Divide your hair into 1- or 2-inch sections and run the flat iron over each piece. Cosmopolitan noted that if you try to straighten too big of a section you might miss a spot or over-iron hair, which can lead to breakage.
It takes some work to get the tousled waves that so many stars sport on the red carpet. Section out your hair into 2- or 3-inch pieces, depending on how dramatic you want your waves to be: Larger sections will result in a subtler effect, while taking smaller chunks will have a bigger impact. Starting at the root, clamp a section between the iron and turn it 180 degrees down the hair, then flip it 180 degrees backward in the opposite direction as you slowly pull the hair through it. Keep maneuvering the flat iron in this way back and forth until you reach the ends of the hair and repeat across your entire head. Finish with the Steiner Gloss Mist Shine Spray to stave off static and step up the shine.
Hairstylist Ara Fernando told Cosmopolitan that it's advisable to use an iron with around 1-inch plates and curved edges. Just twirl the iron 180 degrees down your hair and then pull the iron in one fluid motion down each section of the hair, keeping the iron twisted. Fernando warned not to stop at any point or press too tightly or you could cause severe damage. Lock your look into place with Phytolaque Soie XL Finishing Spray, which won't weigh curls down.
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