Nope, the tool isn't just for straightening your hair.

By Rachel Wermager
Updated May 06, 2021
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Flat irons, usually called straighteners, are thought to do one thing: easily smooth out your hair. But actually, your trusty styling tool can do much more than that. First of all, you can simply add some volume to your hair with your flat iron, even when it's straight. Or, to try something new, you can use your flat iron to style your hair with beachy waves or even spiral curls. You can even iron your clothes with one. Learning about different hacks with your flat iron is especially great if you have a smaller bathroom, don't want to buy multiple styling tools, or need a solution in a pinch. Before you master these techniques, try practicing with your flat iron turned off. Once you get the hang of things, turn on the device, and you're ready to go.

Below are five tasks (some hair-related; some not) that your flat iron can be used to do. Try these out next time you feel like you want to try something new with your tried and true hair tool.

woman using flat iron on hair
Credit: macniak/Getty Images

1. Use a Flat Iron to Give Hair Volume

You don't typically think of volume when it comes to using a flat iron, such as the Sephora CollectionTame: Infrared Flat Iron ($85, Sephora), but it's possible to get the straight strands you want without having it all fall flat. Apply heat at the roots and lift, then hold hair away from your head with a comb to cool.

2. Use a Flat Iron to Create Beach Waves

It sounds counterintuitive, we know, but flat irons aren't just for straight styles. Create an 'S' shape as you move from roots to ends, repeating all the way down. Small sections of hair work best to get this desired look. This technique is a great example of how to get effortless beach waves.

3. Use a Flat Iron to Curl Hair

Streamline your curling iron and flat iron into one appliance in a few simple steps. Flip hair over the iron, run all the way through hair, then twirl to hold in place. Now,  you won't have to buy several hair tools to achieve multiple looks.

4. Use a Flat Iron to Iron Clothes

Whether you're in a pinch, your flat iron can be your rescue for wrinkles. It's especially useful for getting wrinkles out of shirt collars (or difficult-to-iron areas) because the surface area is so slim.

5. Streamline Your Makeup Bag

Depot makeup by placing a piece of wax paper over your flat iron. Add the makeup compact, let it heat for one minute, then pop the warm makeup out. Place it onto a magnetic palette, such as the Make Up Forever Artist Color Refillable Makeup Palette ($2, Sephora). This way, you can keep all your favorite beauty products together on one palette.

Now that you know all the surprising ways your flat iron can be used, you'll wonder why you've only been using it to straighten your hair all this time.

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