Everything You Need to Know About Curling Your Hair With a Flat Iron - Sam Villa

Everything You Need to Know About Curling Your Hair With a Flat Iron

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For years we've used our flat iron to create smooth, sleek and straight styles. Slowly, we've discovered this tool does more than straightening our hair! From loose waves to tight ribbon curls, you can create a wide variety of looks with just one heat styling tool. With any hair tool, there's technique involved and it takes some practice to perfect!

We've got all the details you need to know to prevent your hair from damage and to keep those curls lasting ALL day!!!!

First off, why use a flat iron in place of your curling iron?

  • The plates of your flat iron heat evenly, this is the key to achieving curls that last
  • Waves, tight small curls, boho curls or even beach waves can be done with a flat iron, so there's no need to change barrel sizes or tools.
  • Once you have the technique down, a flat iron can be quicker than using a curling iron.

Now, let's discuss the DO'S and DONT'S

  • DON'T forget to use a thermal heat protectant. Flat Irons can produce a lot of heat so it's important to NEVER forget your heat protectant spray. We recommend using Redken Iron Shape 11.
  • DO work in small sections. It's about control and if you try working with too large of a section, the hair will slip out and create a very funky crease in your hair.
  • DON'T stop moving the iron! It's not a curling iron, we don't want to hold the hair in the iron because again, this can cause a crease in your hair. Simply glide the hair through and keep it moving.
  • DO glide through the hair at different speeds! Speed up or slow down, depending on what style you are going for! For a tighter curl, use a slower, more deliberate motion. For looser waves and typically when curling around the face, move through the section a little faster.
  • DON'T curl the same section without allowing the hair to cool first. Whether the curl is too tight or it slipped out from the iron, let that section cool off before re-curling.
  • DO take your time and control the movements of your flat iron until you understand the amount of compression and speed it takes to create curls that are perfect for you!


  • Direction is important! Always curl the hair away from the face. Once you get to the back of your hair, the directions will blend together!
  • Practice with the iron OFF! Curling your hair with a flat iron can be difficult and it might take a lot of trial and error. If you take the time to practice with your iron off first, you will avoid mistakes such as potentially burning your hair or creating creases. Figure out what kind of curls you want and practice the technique with the iron off then once you are comfortable, flip the iron on and go to work!
  • Combine different types of curls for interesting results. Who says you can't combine some sexy curls with some organic boho waves? We encourage you to experiment with combining different curls; sometimes the results look a lot more natural!
  • Always shake out the curls once they have cooled and set the curls in place with a moveable styling or finishing spray. Check out Redken Fashion Work 12 hairspray for a nice hold without the crunchy feel.
  • For tighter curls, use smaller sections combined with slow and tight movements.
  • For waves, your sections can be a little larger (never wider than the width of your plates) combined with faster and wider movements.
  • For organic or boho waves (sometimes called "beach waves"), use small to medium sections and start slow and controlled but speed up the closer you get to the ends. Almost not even curling the ends.

Now that you've learned the rules behind using a flat iron for curls, go and practice! Don't forget to share your success! Tag your flat iron curls and waves pictures on Instagram with #samvilla.

Check out this awesome video tutorial to learn how to create beach waves with a flat iron.