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If you've ever struggled to achieve perfectly smooth, shiny hair, this Instructables is for you. Before I went to beauty school, I had so many misconceptions about how to use a smoothing iron (aka flat iron or straightening iron). I would just grab random chunks of hair and run the iron over my hair, getting frustrated that my hair looked straight, sure, but also dull, dry, and lifeless. Not anymore! Read on for a breakdown of the correct technique for achieving smooth, shiny locks with a smoothing iron.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

You'll need:

  • A straightening iron
  • A comb, preferably with a pointed tip you can use to part your hair
  • At least one hair clip for sectioning
  • A mirror - preferably two so you can see the back of your head

Step 2: Instructions and Bonus Tips

Instructions:
  1. Start with completely dry hair.
  2. Apply a heat protectant to your hair - I use Paul Mitchell's Heat Seal. It has no styling properties or hold - it just protects your hair from heat damage.
  3. Part hair into small sections - you want about 1" worth of hair, in a section as wide as your comb.
  4. Start at the nape and work your way up the scalp.
  5. Grab your first section of hair with the teeth of the comb.
  6. Comb down the hair shaft for about 2", or just enough space for the smoothing iron.
  7. Move the comb and the smoothing iron down the hair shaft at the same time. It should feel like you're pushing the comb down the hair with the iron.
  8. Repeat for the rest of your hair.
  9. Apply a conditioning shine serum and/or oil. I use Bedhead's Afterparty all over, followed by Paul Mitchell's Awapuhi Styling Oil on the ends.

Bonus Tips:

  • You can use the above technique to create a pin-straight look or for something more natural and rounded, like the effect I was going for. To achieve the latter, follow the shape of your head with the smoothing iron and comb, rather than pulling straight down or out.
  • If you have bangs, start with the hair closest to the hairline and work your way up toward the crown of your head. Following the shape of your head with the iron and comb is especially important when smoothing your bangs so they don't stick out unnaturally.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your smooth, shiny hair! Feel free to email me at KirikoKikuchi@gmail.com or follow me on Instagram at @KirikoKikuchi.

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