Flat irons have been around since the early 1900s and were originally designed to straighten curly hair. Although today's models function in a similar manner, they are more effective and produce more consistent results. These sophisticated modern tools are now used by women with all hair types, including straight hair. The latest flat irons do much more than smooth and straighten hair. We did a little digging and uncovered some useful tutorials for every function of this everyday styling tool.
The basic: Straightening hair.
This one is no surprise since straightening hair is the intended function of a flat iron. It's fairly easy to do but just in case you want to perfect your straightening skills, we found this video demonstration from a hairstylist on YouTube.
Getting brave: Flip your ends.
If you prefer a little bend in your hair, rather than a stick straight style you can easily flip the ends with your flat iron. All it takes is just a slight turn of the wrist. This YouTube video demonstrates how to flip your hair out or under.
Refine your mad flat iron skills: Curl your hair.
It takes a bit of practice, but a flat iron can create beautiful spiral curls. The effect is a bit different than a curling iron but some prefer it. The practice has grown in popularity over the past couple of years -- so much that many flat irons, including the Sedu Revolution Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron, have special rounded edges to make curling hair even easier. There are several tutorials available on YouTube. We found a couple of different techniques - one for ringlet-style curls and one for looser curls.
Attempt the crazy: Iron your clothes with the flat iron.
That's right; in a pinch you can use your flat iron to press your clothes. It's actually a great option for when you're travelling or in a hurry to get out the door. That's because a flat iron is small, easy to pack and it heats up fast. Plus it's unique size and shape means that you can skip the ironing board. That being said, it won't compare to your standard iron when it comes to severely wrinkled clothes, and it can't reach the middle of shirts and skirts without creating more creases. If you decide to give it a try, make sure you clean up any hair product residue before you use your flat iron on clothing-- it can leave some nasty stains. And in order to avoid scorching delicate clothes, we recommend using a flat iron with an adjustable temperature.
See our report on flat irons for product recommendations.