This Is Going To Change The Way You Use Your Flat Iron

PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
What if we told you that the most versatile hairstyling tool EVER was already sitting on your bathroom shelf? The humble flat iron — which you might have delegated to straight looks and straight looks only — has the potential for so much more. Glamorous curls? Check. Off-duty waves? Check. Wait, even updos? Yes. Check.

If you don't believe us, just ask Gigi Hadid’s hairstylist Jennifer Yepez who created the following looks using nothing but two (very) hot plates. You might want to go ahead and get your flat iron warmed up — you’re going to want to copy these looks STAT.
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The Basics
For this shoot, we decided to use the GHD Platinum Styler, which is the Rolls-Royce of hot tools right now. Here’s what you need to know: It heats up in eight seconds flat to one temperature only, 365 degrees (just hot enough to shape the hair, but not so hot that it will fry it). The wishbone shape of the handle allows you to move and rotate the iron every which way. And, most important, it has beveled plates and a cool, outer shell to help you create the waves of your dreams. (You can find more info on the flat iron here.)

Feeling confident? Great, let’s move right along.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
The Look: Sleek & Straight
Before we graduate to curls and waves, let’s make sure we go over the basics of getting perfectly glossy, straight hair. Because, it doesn’t involve obsessively dragging the flat iron across your strands a million times — even if that’s what you’ve done since middle school.

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
Whether you choose to work on blow-dried or air-dried hair, always section it out first before ironing, even if that just means clipping up your top layers. “I always work from the bottom up,” advises Yepez. This keeps everything neat and organized and will result in the sleekest look.

Also before you start, be sure to mist your hair with a heat protectant (Yepez loves Nexxus ProMend Heat Protecting Mist) and coat your dry ends with a styling oil, like Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Oil. And, this is very important, either let the products air-dry or rough-dry them into your strands with a blowdryer before pulling out your iron. “You don’t want to use anything that is wet and then put the flatiron through, because then you’re sizzling your hair,” warns Yepez.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
After combing to detangle, pick up a handful of hair (more if you have fine hair, less if thick), clamp the iron down firmly at the roots and drag it slowly to the ends.

“Most people go so quickly, without really letting the heat stay on and [mold] their hair,” says Yepez. “Then, they have to go over and over it and waste time and damage the hair.” If you work at a slower pace, you’ll end up finishing faster and getting better results. It’s a win-win.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
You know how you never touch your curls until they’re fully cool? The same goes for straightening. If you run your fingers through a section before it sets, you’ll wind up with waves and dents in your perfectly straight strands. Which can be pretty and model-off-duty-y, but that's not what we’re going for here.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
If your hair needs a little more glisten, rub an illuminating oil, like Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil, between your hands and lightly run it over the surface of your hair. It’s best to use all your products before styling — as any moisture added at the end could cause the strands to curl up, says Yepez.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
The Look: Soft Waves
We’re going to let you in on a little secret. There’s more than one way to curl your hair with a flat iron. The first version involves clamping down, flipping the barrel, and running it down your hair — similar to curling a ribbon. But that look can be a little too precious, which is why Yepez swears by this alternative for cool-girl waves. “It looks effortless, but like you put some effort into it,” she says. We’re on board with that.

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
After misting the hair with thickening spray (Yepez loves R+Co Dallas Thickening Spray) and rough drying, it’s time to start the waves.

To begin, take a two-inch section of hair and clamp the flat iron down horizontally a few inches from the root. Twist your wrist to rotate the iron forward. (The hair should be wrapped around the top of the iron). Hold for several seconds, unclamp the iron, and reposition it just below the first bend. Press down and rotate the iron in the opposite direction as you did previously. Repeat — going over, under, over, under — until you reach the ends. If your hair is resistant to a curl, prep it first with a light misting or setting spray, like Oribe Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
For the best results, hold the previous crease with every rotation. (As seen here.) This will help reinforce the waves and keep them from losing their shape, says Yepez.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
Once the waves are fully cool, gently shake them out with your fingers. You can go over them with a wide-tooth comb, but be sure not to brush the hair, which will make it look puffy, says Yepez. Mist some dry shampoo on the roots (she likes Kerastase K-Powder Bluff) and texturizing spray through the lengths to give it that pretty, messy finish.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
Finish with a light misting of hairspray if you'd like (Tresemme Tres Two Ultra Fine Mist Hairspray works great) and you’re all set.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
The Look: Loose Bends
Greek goddess bends are back — and you don’t need an ‘80s-style crimper to get them. Instead, Yepez has a simple hack that’s so effective, she even used it backstage at the Diane Von Furstenberg show in 2010. “I love that this is something anyone can do at home,” she says.

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
After prepping dry hair with mousse (Yepez loves Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse), braid two-inch sections all over your head. If you want bigger, less defined waves, simply braid bigger pieces. Start as close to the roots as possible. “You don’t want to have super-straight roots then crimped hair,” says Yepez. Secure with small plastic elastics.




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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
Once all the braids are secure, pass the flat iron over each one just like you would if you were straightening your hair. (Remember, slow and steady wins the race.)
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
After the braids have cooled, carefully unwrap each one — from the back pieces to the front ones.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
Once you’ve loosened all the braids, gently glide a wide-tooth comb through your hair. But whatever you do, do not brush it. (Unless you want a cotton-candy effect.) If your hair is still looking a little frizzy — and not in the good way — rub some styling cream, like John Frieda Secret Weapon Touch-Up Creme, between your hands and work it through the ends or over any trouble areas, says Yepez.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
The Look: Glossy Loop
Think flat irons are just for down looks? Think again. Stylists are using them to create cool new updos and twists. “If you’re wearing your hair in a chignon that’s super sleek, it feels like you’re going to a formal event,” says Yepez. “If you want to make it more cool, keep your ends out to make a fun shape.”

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
After misting your hair with a high-gloss shine spray, like Kerastase Gloss Appeal, brush it into a tight ponytail at the crown of your head. There’s no need to flat iron your whole mane for this look, but you should straighten at least the tail.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
Spray the entire ponytail with hairspray (like Elnett Extra Strong Hold Hairspray) before folding it forward to create a simple loop. Then, twist the ends around the base of the elastic to hide it and pin the loop in place with one or two large, U-shaped pins. Be sure to leave several inches of the ends out.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
Mist a generous amount of the same hairspray on the ends until they’re somewhat stiff. Clamp the flat iron down and slowly glide it straight out to the side to create the graphic, bird-of-paradise flick.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PERLSTEIN.
Finish with a bit more shine spray on the top of your head, but leave it off the ends (as that can make them lose their strong shape). “Everyone can do a simple bun," says Yepez. "Leave the ends out and it suddenly becomes cool."
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