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Flat Iron Tricks: 3 Ways To Create Waves & Curls With a Flat Iron

Sam Villa

Author Sam Villa | Founding Partner of Sam Villa


A flat iron is used for more than straightening and smoothing hair. With the proper technique, you can use your flat iron to create waves, curls and so much more!

Sam Villa & Andrew Carruthers, Education Director demonstrate how to use your iron to create today's modern looks. In the video above, you'll learn how to create flat waves, push waves and also how to use your flat iron as if it were a curling iron to create beautiful, soft curls.

Tools & Products For Success

  • Sam Villa SLEEKR Flat Iron - you will want a flat iron with a rounded body, especially as you create curls in the hair
  • Sam Villa Wide Cutting Comb - used for sectioning the hair and combing through to distribute your product
  • Sam Villa Sectioning Clips - our new dry sectioning clips don't leave marks in the hair! Perfect for the Flat Wave technique
  • Redken Iron Shape 11 - a thermal heat spray that protects your hair from the heat of the iron

How To Create a Flat Wave

Begin by create a C curve in the hair and tapping with your flat iron

Begin by taking a horizontal section and misting the hair with a thermal heat spray to protect the hair prior to curling. We recomend misting the hair with Redken Iron Shape 11 then combing the product through with a large tooth comb. Next, pinch the hair a few inches from the base and push up to create a "C" pattern. Then slide your flat iron in and tap the section (open and close, open and close) to heat up the wave.

After you create your first flat wave secure with a clip

After you have heated up the wave with your flat iron, take a clip and come in from the open side of the wave to clip the hair into place, securing into the hair underneath the wave pattern.

Continue to create curve patterns in the hair and tap with your flat iron

This time, push the wave so the "C" is in the other direction and repeat the process by tapping the wave with your flat iron to heat up the section.

Clip the hair as you move down the section to allow the hair to cool

Clip the hair coming in from the open side of the "C" or wave pattern as you move down the section. Then repeat.

Continue to the bottom of the section creating waves with your flat iron

You can create tight or loose wave patterns depending on your desired outcome. The process is the same: push the hair into a "C" shape (reversing the "C" after you clip the hair), then clip the hair to allow it to cool, then move down and repeat.

The finished result is a flat wave pattern

The end result is a beautiful flat wave pattern that you can use as a setting piece for your up styles, or you can finger through the waves to create a beautiful organic wave texture. Have fun and experiment with the Flat Wave Technique!

How To Create Soft Curls With a Flat Iron

Begin at the front near the hairline

Begin by taking a vertical section and misting the hair with a thermal heat spray to protect the hair prior to curling. We recomend misting the hair with Redken Iron Shape 11 then combing the product through with a large tooth comb. Then you will begin with your iron open and pointed toward the ground. Turn the flat iron and the hair a half turn (away from the face) and begin to slide down the seciton.

close the iron as you move down the section

About midway down the section you can close the iron and gently pull through the ends to create a nice soft curl around the face frame. Hot Tip: Don't go too slow through the ends during this part to avoid a tight curl. You will want it loose in this area so it's okay to speed up through the ends.

point the flat iron toward the ground at the base

Take another vertical section behind your last section - moving toward the back of the head. Mist the hair with your thermal heat spray and comb through. Next, point your iron toward the ground and slide the iron over the hair near the base.

twist the iron and hair a half turn

Turn the iron and the hair a half turn (away from your body) and slowly begin to slide down the section.

move the flat iron at a medium pace through the ends of the hair

When you get to the ends you can move a little faster to avoid a tight curl at the ends of each section.

encourage the curl with your hands

The finished result is a loose curl that looks like you used a curling iron – but the finished look is more organic and natural.

How To Create a Push Wave With a Flat Iron

place flat iron at a diagonal and move the hair into the iron pulling toward you

This technique is similar to the first one, the Flat Wave, but instead of forming a "C" shape and tapping the iron then clipping into place, you move the hair through the iron in a "C" pattern as you tap and pull or push the iron to create waves in the hair. As before, mist with a heat protectant spray before trying any technique with a flat iron.

first you pull the hair in the iron toward you, then you push the hair to create C patterns

Your flat iron will be placed at a diagonal and get your guest to tilt their head toward you to make this technique easier to achieve. Move the hair through the iron and create "C" patterns by pinching the section and either pushing or pulling the hair as you open and close the iron. You will alternate the pushing and pulling motion all the way down the section.

continue through the ends and the end result is an organic wave pattern

The end result is similar to the Flat Wave, but as you can see it has a much more organic look and texture because the iron is creating additional texture in the hair as you open, close and push or pull the hair to create waves.

You now have three ways to wave and curl hair using a flat iron with a rounded body. We encourage you to try using your iron in different ways other than straightening hair - the results will surprise you!

Try these looks out and share you photos on Instagram with #samvilla for a chance to be featured!

For information on booking a Sam Villa artist in your salon call 1-800-812-1115.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the box below. Be sure to scroll down below the comments for more recommended videos!

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