Flat Iron Hair Styles

Crystal Schwanke
straight hair style

Think it's impossible to get silky smooth, straight locks at home? With the help of a flat iron, you can have one of the hairstyles you covet. Which flat iron is right for you will depend on your hair length, texture, and the results you hope to achieve.

What Is a Flat Iron Hairstyle?

A flat iron hairstyle is typically very straight and silky, though you can use a straight iron to create flips, curls, and even volumized roots. This type of hairstyle is fairly easy for people who already have straight hair to achieve, and it's also possible for people with very curly hair to obtain, though blowdrying hair with a round brush first to remove some of the curl may offer the best results.

The straightening tool for the job comes with heated sides, usually made out of ceramic in order to protect hair from excessive damage, and it's available from several different brands, from Revlon to CHI or Sedu. You may have heard of the term "sedu hairstyle" but "Sedu" is really a brand of iron, marketed by Sedu Beauty Products.

Basic Flat Iron How-To

Start with dry hair (apply volumizing mousse before your hair dries if you want straight but still voluminous hair with lots of body). If you didn't already apply a heat protecting product before your hair dried, do so before you start with the flat iron.

  1. Divide your hair into at least four sections--two on top and two on bottom. Work from bottom to top, using one-inch sections.
  2. Clamp the flat iron as close to the roots as possible and pull it down the length of the hair slowly and steadily. Work your way around the bottom of the head and then release one top section to straighten. Follow with the last top section.
  3. To get additional volume at the roots, start close to the roots and straighten the hair while holding it up and away from the head, or pull hair toward the opposite side as you run the flat iron through. The longer your hair is, the wider your flat iron can be.

Creating Flips

To create a flip under, out, or away from the face with a flat iron, simply flick your wrist in the direction you'd like the hair to go as you near the end of each one-inch section. Be sure to spray hairspray on that hair so that it will maintain the style rather than falling as the hair cools. Unless you have very long or very short hair, a one-inch flat iron will be the easiest to use for creating flips and curls.

Curling with a Flat Iron

If you can only purchase one hair styling product, a flat iron is a wise choice. In addition to straightening and smoothing, it can also curl your hair. Start with the flat iron on a one-inch section of hair that you'd like to curl. You can start close to the roots or further down the shaft of the hair, depending on the look you're going for. Wrap the hair around the iron once and then slowly pull the iron down and through the ends of the hair. For a demonstration, watch From Head to Toe on YouTube. A one-inch flat iron works best for this style as well.

Daily Use

 Nicole Kidman with sleek, straight style
Nicole Kidman with sleek, straight style

For someone who washes her hair on a daily basis, the use of a ceramic flat iron may be necessary every time the hair dries. However, for someone who does not wash her hair every day, the ceramic flat iron can be used to create straight hair on a hair washing day, then used for touch ups on days when the hair remains dry but the curls in the hair start reappearing. Especially in humid climates, people with curly hair may need to utilize a ceramic flat iron every day to ensure that the hair remains as silky and straight as possible.

Be sure to use a heat protecting spray or serum and deep condition regularly to avoid damaging the hair. Ceramic plates on flat irons are less damaging, but can still dry out the hair over time.

Prior to the ceramic flat iron, it was extremely difficult for people who have very curly or kinky hair to obtain straight hair outside of a salon. It used to be necessary to have hair straightened by a professional using chemicals. However, the ceramic hair iron has all but eliminated the need to pay someone to straighten most types of hair.

Also, the flat iron does away with the need for a person with curly or kinky hair to stand in their bathroom with a blow dryer and metal round brush for hours on end blow drying their hair straight - - only to achieve mediocre results. Those with curly hair may want to consider using a blow dryer and brush to get started, but getting it perfect with just those tools is no longer necessary and overall styling time will still be cut down substantially.

Can This Style Be Accomplished at Home?

A flat iron hairstyle basically consists of very straight hair--long or short, so just about anybody can achieve it. While many people who already have straight hair can accomplish the "silky" and straight look with their hair by simply blow drying it, a person with very curly hair can achieve this type of hairstyle by utilizing a ceramic flat iron.

Celebrities Made Straight Hairstyles Popular

Jennifer Aniston with a smooth look.
Jennifer Aniston with a silky, smooth look.

When favorite celebrities wear certain hairstyles, those styles often become popular and mainstream. In the case of the flat iron hairstyle, a few of the most well-known celebrities who wear their hair very straight and silky-looking are Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez. Both of these women's hairstyles have changed over the years, but many women still try to copy those perfectly straight looks.

Choosing the Best Flat Iron

The best flat iron for you will depend on your hair type. While an inexpensive drugstore one may work for your friend, your very curly, coarse locks may require a higher end iron. Folica's Flat Iron Guide is one place to start. You may also consult Amazon.com or Makeup Alley for additional reviews. Look for reviewers who have hair like yours and see which ones they recommend and which ones didn't work for them. This will help you narrow down your search so that you can straighten, flip, and curl your hair as quickly as possible. Flat irons can cut down on styling time and make hairstyles that seemed out of your reach before completely feasible.

Flat Iron Hair Styles