How to Use a Flat Iron on Curly Hair

Learn how to use a flat iron on curly hair from professional stylist Joy La Rosa in this Howcast curly hair tutorial.

So, I’m going to show you how to use a flat iron on naturally curly hair.

What I’ve done first, was we did a nice blow-dry before we got started. So we got the majority of the wave out that way.

So you can do that a couple of different ways without blow-drying it. If you wanted to, you could always experiment with pinning it all back, and letting it air-dry , all pulled back so that the top was really, really straight. Then you would just have to go in and define the bottom. The flat iron is a really powerful tool, so you just really want to use it to touch up anything that you missed. So what I’m going to do, is we’re going to take a small section, here on the side, and just quickly pin the rest of the hair up. Brush it through with our fingers. I’ve already put a heat protectant over this, and the one that I used, was a gloss-based heat protectant. Be sure that whatever you’re using as a heat protectant says "heat protectant." Some of the things that we think are protecting our hair actually aren’t, so just make sure it has that little label on it. Then what I’m going to do is, I always use a comb, when I’m flat-ironing. The reason I do this is, it’s just going to straighten the hair before it even goes into the flat iron. What I’m doing is, because we already blew the hair dry, I’m skipping this mid-point here, because I want to have a little bit of volume. So, what I’m really using the flat iron for, is just to define and smooth the ends of the hair.

The only time I would not do that is if you had something around the face that maybe needed a little bit of smoothing. So, if you can see, when I’m using my comb, my comb just sits right in front of my flat iron and it goes right along with it. If you take just a little bit of time, take nicer sections, then you don’t have to make so many passes with the flat iron. It usually takes just as much time to do it this way, as it does to just go through and grab big chunks and just whip through with your flat iron. But you get a prettier result, and its healthier for your hair. So, if you are somebody that habitually flat-irons your hair, then you might want to take it slow, and do it right. And then these pieces right by the face, I always like to move away from your face, so they don’t just hang down, they kind of come up over the top of the rest of the hair.

So, I’m just going to continue doing this, throughout the rest of the head. So, just to recap, what I did was I started with a blow-dried or straightened set. Then I started at the sides, worked in smaller sections using a comb, and then followed my flat iron right behind it to get this beautiful smooth look. I did that all the way up each side of the head, and then I went around to the back and finished that. Right around the face, I moved the direction away from your face, so that you get this nice soft piece of hair here, that just lives on top of everything else But I think the flat-ironing is a great, every-so-often way to straighten your hair from natural to straight. So, this is how I would flat-iron naturally curly hair.