If you are like us, you could consider yourself addicted to your flat iron. What's not to love about turning your otherwise unruly hair into something sleek and smooth? The problem is, if you aren't using your flat iron correctly, you are damaging your hair. There is a big difference between silky smooth locks and fried ones.

You can use your flat iron without ruining your hair, you just need to learn how to do and avoid these mistakes.

9 Flat Iron Mistakes You Are Probably Making:

1. You set the heat too high.

Guilty. And if you ask most girls, they do the same. They crank the heat up as high as it will go, but you shouldn't. We know it works much faster, but it is also damaging your hair more quickly.

2. You don't let your hair cool.

If you are straightening your hair before pulling up in a ponytail or bun, let it cool so it can relax for a few minutes before you pull it back.

3. You don't section it.

We've all been guilty of randomly grabbing pieces of hair and just going to town until it looks straight. But sectioning your hair is important. It guarantees you won't straighten the same pieces over and over because your sections will be thinner.

4. You like to hear the sizzle.

If you ever hear your hair sizzle, STOP immediately! This is the ultimate in hair damage. Make sure hair is completely dry before straightening. (Or curling!)

5. You don't clean your flat iron.

You probably don't even think about cleaning it, but product builds up on it causing it to snag and pull your hair.

6. You use the wrong products.

Help your flat iron out by using shampoos and conditioners that will help make hair sleek and smooth. It really will make a difference.

7. You set the temperature too low.

We know we said having the heat setting to high ruins your hair, but so does setting it too low! If it's too low, you will have to straighten pieces more than once. Medium to medium-high is the best temperature.

8. You don't brush it first.

After sectioning, you will want to brush each section to get the kinks and knots out.

9. You don't pre-treat your hair.

Thermal protectors work! They shield your strands from heat and help prevent damage.

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