The next time your hair doesn't turn out like the tutorial, consider this: you may be using the wrong hot tool. While there's no law against using a curling iron to create flat iron waves, choosing a hot tool based on the hairstyle you're trying to achieve can be key. Ahead, celebrity hairstylists Justine Marjan and Glen Coco share which tools to use for hairstyles like beach waves, a flirty ponytail, your front pieces, and more.

Lived-In Beach Waves

I love the GHD Platinum+ 1" Styler for beach waves because it gives the hair amazing texture without the volume of a curling iron. I love that I can use the rounded edges of the iron to bend the hair or I can press the hair through the iron, shaping it as I move the iron through the hair. Don’t be too uniform with your sections or technique. Hair looks more lived-in when you vary the wave pattern and section size for a more naturally-looking finish.   

Modern Hollywood Glam Waves

I love the GHD 1.25" Soft Curl Iron for this look because the wider barrel size means I can easily build volume in the hair. I also love that the heat temperature stays consistent throughout the length of the iron so I don’t have to worry about an inconsistent curl pattern. Hold the iron parallel to the floor to build more volume in the hair. Wait until the hair has completely cooled before going in with your hands or a brush.

Flirty Wavy Ponytail

The GHD 1" Classic Curl Iron is ideal for this! I can alternate wrapping the hair around the iron and twisting it to create the perfect sexy wave. If you are wrapping the hair around the iron, don’t close the clamp to avoid creasing. If you are twisting the hair around the iron, keep the iron in motion to avoid crimps.

Justine Marjan, celebrity hairstylist


Smoothing the Roots/Crown for Flyaways 

Flat Iron for sure. I like the Harry Josh Pro Tools Ceramic Flat Iron, the Bio Ionic 10X 1" Styling Iron, and the GHD Platinum+ 1" StylerDon’t blast it with too high of heat. Keep it just above high to avoid excessive heat damage.    

Deep Side Part Voluminous Curls 

I prefer a curling iron to get this look. Definitely either the Harry Josh Pro Tools 2-in-1 Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron or traditional Hot Tools. Let your curls cool to have them last as long as possible and back brush to get the ultimate fluff. 

Face-Framing Pieces/Bangs 

You definitely have the most control with a flat Iron. Just close down the iron nice and softly so that you don’t leave any creases in the hair.

Glen Coco, celebrity hairstylist 


Finally find out the 5 things you're doing wrong when it comes to flat iron waves