Get ready to turn heads with your glamorous curls! Whether you’re looking to add some bounce to your everyday style or want to glam up your look for a special occasion, a curling iron is a perfect tool to create curls that are voluminous, shiny, and full of life.
If you don’t have naturally curly hair, don’t worry—with a little practice and the right technique, you can easily create beautiful curls with a curling iron.
In this guide, we’ll tell you how to use a curling iron to create a variety of different curl styles, from loose and natural to tight and defined. So, grab your curling iron and let’s get started on creating some show-stopping curls!
Steps to Curl Your Hair Using a Curling Iron
If you’re not sure about how to use the curling iron, here are step-by-step instructions on how to use one and achieve gorgeous head-turning curls.
Pick the Right Type of Curling Iron
When shopping for a curling tool, it is important to determine what type of tool you prefer, whether you want a wand curling iron or a curling iron with a clamp. A curling iron with a clamp holds the hair in place and helps you get a more precise and even curl.
A curling wand, on the other hand, does not have a clamp and you must wrap the hair around the barrel of the iron and hold it until it curls. Both types of curling irons can create beautiful curls and it’s a matter of personal preference and what you feel most comfortable using.
There are many different types of curling irons available—barrel, 3-barrel and automatic curling irons. And, if you want to avoid the time and effort of manually winding your hair around the curling iron, then an automatic model may be the perfect option for you.
Ultimately, the best curling tool for you will depend on your hair type, length, and the specific look you are trying to achieve.
Pick a High-Quality Curling Iron
The healthiest types of heat tools for your hair are usually made of ceramic or tourmaline. Ceramic curling irons are a good choice for styling your hair because they provide even heat distribution, which can help to prevent heat damage.
Tourmaline curling irons are even better because they emit negative ions that can help to smooth the cuticle of your hair, resulting in a frizz-free and sleek finish. Both options can be effective for creating curls and waves in your hair.
Pick the Right Curling Iron Size
Next, you must think about the type of curls you want and for this, you must consider the size of the curling iron’s barrel. You must also pick the barrel size depending on your hair length.
Curling irons come with barrel sizes starting from 5/8 inches to 2 inches. If you want looser, beachy waves, then a 1 inch curling iron is ideal.
But if you want tighter curls, then it is better to choose a curling iron having a smaller barrel size that is 1 inch or less.
Wash Your Hair and Blow-Dry It
To achieve the best results with your curled hairstyle, start by washing your hair with a shampoo and conditioner designed to control frizz.
Unwashed hair is quite difficult to style and the dirt, oil and product build-up can make your hair limp and flatten your curls prematurely.
Once your hair is about half dry, apply a volumizing mousse and finish blow-drying it using a bristle brush to get salon-like results. This will give your curls more definition and control and also provide frizz protection.
Spritz On Some Hairspray
To ensure that your curls last longer, it’s important to use hairspray both before and during the styling process. applying hairspray before and during styling can be especially helpful if your hair is resistant to curls.
Using a light-to-firm hold hairspray can help prep your hair and hold your curls in place. But, be sure to apply the hairspray in a misting motion rather than saturating your hair, as too much hairspray can cause a burnt smell and weigh down your waves.
It’s also best to avoid using hair oil, as it can make your curls look limp.
Choose the Right Temperature
Before you start curling your hair, it’s important to find the right heat setting for your hair type. To avoid damaging your hair, it’s best to start with the lowest heat setting and gradually increase it as needed.
If you have dry, fine, thin or color-treated hair, you should be especially careful not to use the curling iron at a very high heat setting.
But irrespective of your hair type, to protect your hair from heat damage, be sure to use a heat protectant before styling. This will help ensure that your hair is damage-free and healthy.
Section Your Hair
To create full, bouncy curls, you should curl all your head hair and not just the top layers. Start by dividing your hair into 2-3 horizontally stacked sections, depending on the length and thickness of your hair.
If you have fine hair, you’ll need fewer sections, while thicker hair will require more sections.
Using a lobster clip, pin up the topmost layers of hair so that they don’t get in the way and start curling the bottom layers. This will help you achieve full, even curls all around your head.
Curl Your Hair
Using your curling iron, start curling your hair. Wrapping the hair around the barrel of the curling iron in different ways can create different types of curls.
For instance, wrapping all the hair around the barrel will create good ol’ glamorous curls, whereas, if you want modern and messy waves, then you must leave the ends out and start curling the hair lower down on your head.
Curl your hair until the entire barrel of the curling iron is covered. Avoid layering your hair across the barrel because this can cause hot spots i.e., some of the hair may get overheated while others may not get heated at all and this can scorch your hair and damage it.
Also, the angle at which you hold the curling iron while styling can help to control the volume in your curls. If you want more volume, heat the root of your hair first and hold the iron perpendicular to the section you’re curling, straight off your head.
For less volume, hold the iron straight down instead. If you want big, bouncy curls or a classic blowout look, you should aim for more volume by holding the iron at a right angle. On the other hand, if you want beach waves, hold the iron straight up.
To achieve the desired curl or wave, it is recommended to keep a hair iron on your hair for no more than 8-10 seconds. If your hair is resistant to styling or you want a tighter curl, you can hold the iron for a little longer.
But to achieve consistent results, ensure that the iron is fully heated before using it and make sure to hold each section of hair for the same amount of time.
Shake Out Your Curls and Set Them
After you have finished curling your hair, flip it over and gently shake it to achieve a more natural and loose curl.
You can finger style your hair to separate the curls or if you want a more natural, softer look, then you can brush your hair gently. You can use a medium-hold hairspray to set the curls in place.
Curling Iron Usage Tips
Here are some tips and techniques that will allow you to use your curling iron to achieve beautiful curls and varying looks.
- Using curling irons of different sizes allows you to achieve curls of varying sizes, which can help to create varied textures and add more dimension. For a more natural and different look, you could have larger curls near the top of your head and tighter curls around the tips.
- If you want natural-looking curls, without looking overdone, then you can achieve this look by simply curling the strands of hair away from your face. You can achieve a more natural look by curling a few sections of your hair in a random direction.
- If you want to achieve a loose wavy lazy-curl look, then you can use the flat wrap technique. This essentially requires rolling the hair on the heated curling iron for a short time without winding the hair up completely around the rod.
- If you want springy, bouncy curls, then hold the curling iron horizontally and curl your hair.
- If you have thin hair, then start rolling the curling iron close to your scalp. This will help to add volume to your hair, making it look thicker and fuller.
- For shorter hair, use smaller curling iron sizes. Curling irons with bigger barrel sizes of 11/4-inch or larger will not be effective for shorter hair and will not produce waves that are visible enough. To make your curls more noticeable, use a curling iron with a 3/8-inch barrel, which will allow you to create tight curls more easily.
- If you want to sport a wavy look but don’t have the time to curl your hair in leisure, then you can simply tie your hair into a ponytail. Detangle your hair by brushing it and then divide the ponytail into sections. Wind a section around the curling rod, hold and release after a few sections. Repeat this with all the sections of your ponytail. Once all sections have been curled, open the ponytail and release your hair into gorgeous waves. Spritz some hairspray for extra hold.
- When curling strands of your hair, place the strands in your palm for a couple of seconds and allow it to cool before releasing them. This will help your curls stay in place for a longer period of time.
- If you want your curls to last for a long time, then a simple trick is to pin the section of hair near your head just after curling it. This will help to keep their shape intact. Allow the curls to cool and after you have curled all the hair, unpin and drop them down. You can use hairspray for the curls to hold.
Now that you’re a pro at using a curling iron, with your new-found skills, you can create glamorous, bouncy curls that will turn heads wherever you go.
Whether you want tight ringlets or loose waves, a curling iron is a perfect tool to help you achieve any look you desire. So go ahead, embrace your inner stylist and let your stunning curls do the talking.