Take it from the pros at Beauty Route! Here’s everything you need to know to perfectly straighten your hair, from prep to finish, while keeping it healthy and shiny. You’re on.

1. The Right Prep

Fact: Smoothing shampoos and conditioners contain extra hydrating ingredients that help create straighter and glossier strands. So make sure you turn to this dynamic duo in the shower to give your hair a head start before using your straight iron, later on. Pat dry your hair to remove excess water, without rubbing.

2. Apply a Thermal/Heat Protectant

Before using a blow dryer or a flat iron, it’s always a good idea to add a heat protectant product to ensure you are safeguarding your hair from too much heat and resisting humidity, for optimal results. Bonus: some of these products are formulated with organic natural oils, such as argan, for that extra kick of mirror shine.

3. Pre-drying is key

To get the sleekest finish possible, lightly dry your hair with a powerful blow dryer like the IQ Perfetto from Gama Professional. Just make sure you dry it from the top down; otherwise you will create volume and texture. Or worse: the dreaded frizz! Always remember that hair sets as it cools, so use the cool air shot once you’re done.

4. Choosing the Right Tool

There’s a reason you get amazing hair in a salon: Stylists use professional products. So if you want the same flawless results at home to smooth your hair with a flat iron, you need to make sure you are using the best quality hair tools. Tourmaline and ceramic plates are ideal to dispense heat evenly, so you don’t have to run the flat iron multiple times. A high-end tool should give you the results you want in one pass.

5. One Section at a Time

You will achieve better results with a flat iron if you have a plan and make your way through with smaller sections, since the appliance is designed to smooth out hair in a better, more concise way, when pieces are not too thick or voluminous. You don’t want to reapply heat, either. Pin hair from the top and start flat ironing from the bottom, which will make it very easy to track your progress to get beautiful and smooth hair.

Also, make sure you are using the flat iron on hair that is pulled taut, Tension here is essential to pull down the sections by starting at the root to get the flattest, smoothest hair. For an even more dazzling shine, use a finishing spray. And, voilà, all glammed up and ready to go!