A good straightener not only straightens hair, but can also help tame cowlicks, smooth down frizz, and lend your locks a glossy sheen. But, did you. Know that the humble flat iron can actually accomplish far more than you may expect. From curling your locks to playing double-duty as a clothing iron, these creative uses will make your straightener even more indispensable than you ever expected.

 

Use your flat iron for curls and waves, too.

In addition to pressing your wayward strands into a smooth coif, your flat iron can also create loose 70s-inspired curls. We recommend starting off with a heat-protecting oil. After distributing the protectant, you’ll pin your hair back and work in half-inch sections, starting at the root and twisting as you pull down. Once you’re done curling, a few moments of finger-styling and a drop or two of anti-frizz serum is all you need to finish the look.

If relaxed beachy waves are more your style, your flat iron can definitely make those happen. Start by blow drying wet hair with a paddle brush and a few pumps of smoothing oil. Next, section off your hair and, beginning with the longest pieces, twists the hair around the flat iron in half-turn motions. Once you make it through all of your locks, run your comb through the ends, do some finger-tousling, and set with hairspray at the end.

 

Crimp Your Hair.

Give your hair a total transformation with a simple flat iron trick. Starting at the roots of your hair, guide the flat iron down while twisting your wrist back and forth every inch. An extra hot iron and persistent pressure will ensure that your crimps are clean and even. You can also increase the spacing between crimps for a loose, subtle interpretation. Either way, this look is no ’80s throwback. It’s an updated take on an old trend and definitely much improved.

 

Seal in temporary color from hair-chalking.

A major player in the recent “unicorn hair” trend, hair chalk allows you to experiment with bright and pastel hues on a low-risk basis. However, hair chalk’s temporary nature often results in premature fading and bizarre stains showing up on clothing. To keep your hair chalk in place until your next shampoo, we advise heating up your flat iron and putting it to work. Once you’ve passed the chalk over your hair enough to achieve a saturated hue, a few presses of the heated iron will help the color fuse to your strands until you’re ready to wash it out.

 

Fix a sweaty hairline.

When you’re running late from a morning workout and don’t have time to wash your hair, you can remedy a damp hairline with a flat iron that works on wet hair. But be sure it has porcelain plates and not metal ones, or else hair will burn.

 

Get your shine on.

It may sound counterintuitive, but a flat iron can help temporarily perk up dull or damaged hair. First, separate hair into ½- or one-inch sections and apply both a heat-protectant spray and a shine serum to your whole head. Then lay a section of hair on one plate of the iron, but don’t clamp it. Repeat, starting from your root and slowly moving through your hair, to get a lustrous look.

 

Seal in hair extensions.

Human hair tape-ins, sometimes known as skin wefts, are all the rage among celebrities. These small hair extension bundles have something like double-stick tape at the top. Sandwich your hair in between two adhesive pieces and use a flat iron to seal the bond, which adds instant volume or length.

 

Fake your way dry.

No time to blow-dry? Spritz dirty hair with dry shampoo, focusing on the roots. Then use your flat iron as you normally would, except instead of going straight down, slowly rotate the iron down and under your ends. This gives you that perfect round-brushed look in a fraction of the time.

 

Got a wrinkled collar? A flat iron can fix that problem.

Flat irons are good for more than just hair styling. If you’ve got a wrinkled blouse collar but don’t have time to set up an ironing board, your flat iron can come through for you. Its small surface area makes it a great tool for small problem areas like a creased collar.

After ensuring that the flat iron plates are clean of hair product residue, you can smooth the heated iron over your collar for a quick and convenient press.

 

Iron-on patches go on just as well with a hair straightener.

Iron-on patches are a quick and cute way to spruce up a boring jacket or a basic top, and luckily, they can be added in a flash, thanks to your flat iron. We particularly like this technique for adding patches to difficult garment areas like a sleeve.