How to Straighten Layers

Add shine and definition to a layered cut using a flat iron.
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Layered hairstyles are ultra flattering, adding body and shape while framing the face. They are typically heavier toward the bottom, with the lightest layer being at the top. While this may initially seem like a challenge to style, it actually makes the process more straightforward. When straightening a layered cut, it's best to approach it layer by layer for a smooth look with added definition. After a little time and effort, the end result will have your hair looking like you just had a salon blowout -- with no heaviness in sight.

Spritz your hair with a heat protectant. If you have fine hair, opt for a mist formula to avoid weighting down the roots.

Comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb to coat it thoroughly.

Separate your layers into sections of three. Pick up the top layer, and separate it into three sections; clip them to your head before moving on to the next section.

Plug in your flat iron and allow it to heat up. Use the lowest setting for fine hair, and a medium or high setting for coarse, difficult-to-straighten hair.

Release one clip from the bottom layer and brush the hair through to remove any knots.

Clamp the section one-half inch down from the roots with the straightener and slowly pull it down until you reach the end. Move the straightener in a “U” shape as you reach the ends for more body and definition. If you prefer a stick-straight look, pull the straightener straight down.

Continue straightening the bottom section. When you are finished, clip it to the back of your head before moving onto the next section.

Go over the top layer twice with your straightener. As the top layer is shortest, it is the most fine and prone to frizz. By going over it twice, the cuticle is well sealed and protected from any humidity or dryness in the air.

Remove all clips and brush your hair to blend the layers.

Hold a lightweight finishing spray 10 inches from your head and coat your hair evenly to seal the look.

  • Choose a ceramic-plated flat iron to protect your hair against excessive heat.
  • Only flat iron hair that is completely dry. Allow it to air dry if possible to prevent damaging and drying out your hair.

Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.