Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed 1. First, figure out which size straightener is best for your hair type. Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed The general rule is the shorter the hair, the thinner the flat iron. For people with longer, thicker hair, a wide flat iron is best. 2. And know the difference between the different types of straighteners. Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed Life Use the chart above to figure out which kind you should be using. 3. Before you do anything, use a heat protectant spray like this one. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com Putting 365 degrees of heat directly on your hair can cause dryness, breakage, and overall fried hair. Spritz on a heat protectant spray while your hair is damp to put a barrier between the flat iron and your hair. Get this spray for $4.29 here. You can also try Living Proof's Instant Protection Spray or Aussie's Heat Protecting Shine Spray. 4. Set the heat no higher than 365 degrees. Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed Hair burns at the same temperature as paper: 451°F. The highest temperature that you should use your flat iron on is 365°F. For those with fine hair, the temperature should be between 300 and 325 degrees. 5. Get a little bend in your hair with this brush trick. The Beauty Department / Via thebeautydepartment.com Once you've completely ironed your hair, drape the hot hair over a brush until it cools with a bend. Check out the tutorial here. 6. When you get to the crown, flat-iron your hair up and toward the ceiling to get volume. Pink Pistachio / Via pinkpistachio.com Read all of the instructions here. 7. Switch things up by using your straightener to curl your hair. KoutureKiss / Via kouturekiss.com Here's the complete tutorial. 8. Or make some ~beachy waves~. Plane Pretty / Via planepretty.com Read all of the instructions here. 9. Check out this genius twist-and-gel trick to flat-iron natural hair without blow-drying it first. youtube.com Follow this video to learn. 10. Get perfectly smooth hair by using a straightening comb and your flat iron at the same time. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF The Chic Natural / Via youtube.com The straightening comb will detangle and help the hair sit flat while the straightener does its job. See the full video here.Get a straightening comb here for $6.99. 11. Use a thermal brush at your roots to get rid of any cowlicks. Little Miss Mama / Via littlemissmomma.com Check out the tutorial here. Plus, you'll get extra volume at the crown of your head. Little Miss Mama / Via littlemissmomma.com 12. Crimp your hair by flat-ironing a braid. Dirty Looks / Via dirtylooks.us Check out all of the instructions here. Now for some maintenance tips: 13. With a washcloth and some rubbing alcohol, clean the gunk off your plates. Lil' Luna / Via lilluna.com Read the full tutorial here. 14. Make this DIY flat iron holder for traveling out of a pot holder. Creative Juices / Via yourcreativejuices.blogspot.com Follow these instructions. 15. Grab a pair of ear covers to avoid burning your skin. Salon Guys / Via salonguys.com Get them here for $11.99. 16. Get this holster to hold your straightener while you're sectioning off your hair. Simple Sojourns / Via simplesojourns.com Read more here. 17. And in a pinch, use your straightener to iron your collar. Lifehacker / Via lifehacker.com See the details here. Looking for more hair-hacks? Check out 27 Underrated Hair Products That Actually Work. Want great beauty tips in your inbox twice a week? Sign up for the BuzzFeed Health & Beauty newsletter!