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So, you’ve brushed up on the top fashion and makeup trends for fall, but what about your hair? Just when we thought we’d finally perfected the art of beautifully bouncy curls, the beauty powers that be went ahead and changed their tune—loose, man-made barrel curls are out. (We think The Bachelor might have had a little something to do with that.) And to replace it: the two polar opposites of pin-straight locks and natural ringlets. So this fall you can either break out that flat iron and channel your inner Cher or let it all hang out, Diana Ross-style. Here, some tips on how to make the new “it” dos work for you.

RELATED: 28 Hairstyling Tricks Every Woman Should Know

jessica alba straight hair
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Invest in Proper Tools

Not all straighteners are created equal. A cheap flatiron not only won’t give you the super-straight locks you’re looking for, but it can also do some serious damage. Look for one with ceramic, titanium or tourmaline plates that doesn’t reach temperatures much higher than 365 degrees (the ideal heat for styling hair without frying it).

naomi harris straight hair
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Safeguard Your Strands

Applying a heat-protector product before you clamp down is absolutely essential for maintaining the health of your hair. Just spritz a bit of your favorite formula on a section of hair from root to tip before going over everything with heat. There is one product, however, that you should absolutely never use with heat: hairspray. (Otherwise, it’ll burn your hair.) Wait until your locks are pin-straight and cool before applying for hold.

jane straight hair
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Nail the Technique

The wrong way: taking a large chunk of hair and running your flatiron over it multiple times. Really only the outer edges feel the heat that way, and by the time the middle strands can be affected, the outside hairs are fried. The right way: Separate your hair into smaller sections and go over each section no more than one time with the straightener. The only exception is if you have super coarse or curly hair, in which case you might need to make a few trips. 

Try to resist the urge to pair your new 'do with low-rise jeans and a popped-collar polo circa 2002.

RELATED: The Absolute Easiest Way to Avoid Hair-Straightener Dents

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