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Last updated: June 16, 2023

6 Tips For The Flat Iron Waves Clients Want


How To Get Flat Iron Waves Without Denting The Hair

Who says you need makeup to contour your face? You can create face-framing waves on your next client using a flat iron, a few flicks of the wrist, and these six tips from Great Lengths Brand Ambassador and celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan (@justinemarjan).


1. For Fuller Waves, Build The Foundation With Extensions

For starters, these waves wouldn’t be possible without the added length. Justine took her client’s hair from a lob to long using a customized blend of Great Lengths Pre Bonded and Tape-In Extensions for longer hair, more dimension and a color-corrected look without using any chemicals.


close formula


Quick Facts About This Look:

  • Justine used Great Lengths Pre Bonded Extensions around the hairline and to build curtain bangs so they would be undetectable when styling.
  • She applied Great Lengths Tapes to the bottom layer for more coverage and density.
  • She used four shades of extensions total to correct her client’s color and build a dimensional honey blonde without reaching for bleach and further damaging the hair.


Pro Tip: For a similar chemical-free transformation, Justine recommends using three to four different extension shades on lighter hair and two on darker hair to mimic the natural hair color.


how to do a corrective color with extensions


2. Start Waving In The Front

Justine uses a ghd Platinum Plus Styler to create flat iron waves and suggests starting in the front of the hair so you can see how it frames the face before moving toward the back. 


“I know most people want to start in the back, but I always do the front first so I can see how it frames the face,” says Justine. “You want to make sure to keep facial features in mind when styling any look. I want the wave to open up around her eyeline so her eyes stay open.”


3. Wave Out At The Eyeline, Wave In At The Lipline

Waving out at the eyeline and back in at the lipline helps to contour and frame the face.


how to create flat iron waves


4. Wave The Hair In Diagonal Sections For Softer Waves

After styling the front of the hair, move toward the back of the head and wave the hair in one-inch diagonal sections. Justine shares that waving the hair in vertical sections will create a crimped effect, while waving diagonally will create softer waves. 


5. For Loose Waves, Start 2-3 Inches From The Root 

While curling irons and wands are great for tight, voluminous curls, flat irons are great for creating loose waves. To perfect the look, start the wave two to three inches from the root and stop waving at least an inch from the tips of the hair.


how to create flat iron waves


6. Keep A Loose Grip On The Flat Iron While Rotating The Wrist

The key to preventing dents and creases when creating flat iron waves is to hold the tool lightly. 


With these tips in mind, follow the below steps to wave the hair using a flat iron:

  • Lightly clamp down on the hair two to three inches from the root
  • Turn the hair away from the face slightly wrapping it around the flat iron
  • Glide the iron down the hair then turn the hair toward the face to create the wave
  • Repeat and remember to rotate equally to each side for even waves


Justine’s finished look!:


  • Opt for tape-ins for short-term extensions
  • Opt for bonds for more styling versatility and long-term looks
  • Be gentle with the hair when it’s wet
  • Use a specialized extensions brush
  • Use microfiber towels after washing
  • Sleep on a silk pillowcase
  • Avoid salt and chlorinated water
  • Keep heat off the bonds
  • Avoid using silicone-based products on the roots


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