How to Curl Your Hair With Every Styling Tool
The heat is building this summer, and what's hotter than learning how to curl your hair? Curls are versatile! With the help of a quality styling tool, you can transform yourself into a vintage vixen or a beach babe, as you wish.
However, whether you’re enjoying some fun in the sun or enjoying steamy dates on patios, there is one thing we can’t avoid this summer - humidity! If you’re looking for a hairstyle to beat the heat, curls are always an excellent choice.
This comprehensive guide will cover EVERYTHING you need to know to create a perfect curl, no matter what that means for you. We start with a basic guide that covers the main tenets of curling hair and then dive into the details. We’ll explain how to use a curling iron, wand, or straightener, and even give you some tips depending on your specific hair length.
How to curl your hair - the basics
If your hair isn’t naturally curly, we have all the basics to get you started.
What you’ll need to curl your hair
For perfect curls, you’ll need the heat tool of your choice. This could be a clip curler, a curling wand, or a hair straighter. When choosing a barrel size, go larger for bigger curls and smaller for tighter curls. Don’t worry, we have product recommendations for you below!
In addition to a hot tool you’ll need:
- Detangling hair brush
- Heat protector spray
- Hair spray
- Optional: if you’re using a curling wand, you’ll definitely need a heat protective glove
Step #1: Before you start
Before you can get curling, set yourself up for success with this important prep.
- Make sure your hair is completely dry before using any hot tools. If you apply heat to wet hair, it can cause damage or break your hair.
- Use a protective spray. Purchasing a heat-protective spray will also protect your hair from long-term damage. Mist the spray and allow it to dry before moving on to curling your hair.
- Brush all of the tangles out of your hair.
Step #2: Things are heating up
Make sure you pick a hot tool with adjustable temperatures and pick the correct temperature for your hair type. Using too high a heat setting can damage your hair and cause it to break.
- For fine or damaged hair, keep the heat settings at 80°F to 370°F.
- If you have a normal thickness or healthy hair, 375°F to 395° will work.
- If you have thick hair, you’ll need to use the highest setting to penetrate the shaft. Use 400°F to 420°F.
Step #4: Hot tips to get you started
And now we get to the fun part! Actually styling your hair. This is a basic set of steps, but we’ll shortly dive deeper into more specific curly styles.
- Section off your hair using clips. It’s easiest to divide your hair into bigger chunks, and re-section each chunk as you let it down.
- Once you’ve let down the first large chunk, divide it into 1” sections for the best curls.
- Spray a light mist of hair spray - make sure it’s a mist, and not saturated. This will help the curls hold better.
- Start curling around your head in sections. You can curl towards your face or away from your face depending on the look you’re going for.
- Alternate the directions of the curls for a more natural look.
- Wait for your hair to cool so the curl can set.
- Brush out your hair either with a boar bristle brush or your fingers, depending on how fluffy or loose you want the curls to be.
- Apply more hair spray to lock everything in!
How to use a curling iron
For more defined curls from root to tip, choose a curling iron with a clip. Our Beach Wave Babe Set comes with adjustable temperature, heats up quickly, and features tourmaline plates that will protect your hair while curling. It also comes with a heat-resistant glove to protect your hands!
Start by placing the curler 1” away from the roots under the clamp. Wrap the hair around the barrel and clamp down. Hold the curl for 10 seconds, release, and let the hair cool.
How to use a curling wand
These days, a lot of beauties are switching out the traditional clip curler for a curling wand, as they afford you more control over your curls. Some people find it tricky to get the hang of winding the curls under the curler, while others find it’s a better choice for achieving beachy waves.
If you’re not ambidextrous, a wand makes it easier to change the direction of the curls, and there’s no clip to worry about. Our Studio Series 32mm Curling Wand comes with a heat-resistant styling glove to keep you from accidentally toasting your fingertips.
Make sure the glove is on the hand that’s winding the hair. Start 1” away from the root, and wind your hair around the curling wand. Hold the wand vertically, not horizontally, to achieve the right curl.
The Studio Series wand is uniform in length, but if you have a wand that tapers at the end, twist your hair from the thick base to the tip. Just like with the clip curler, hold the curl for 10 seconds, then release and let the hair cool. Finally, brush everything out for a beachier look!
How to curl hair with a straightener
The trickiest curling method to master is learning to curl hair with a straightener. It’s worth it because there are many benefits to getting a handle on this technique.
This style of curl is very popular and looks a little more casual than big barrel curls. Additionally, using a straightener to curl your hair means you don’t need to own as many hot tools. Our Venice Babe 1.25” Flat Iron makes it easy, with ionic technology and tourmaline-infused plates that protect your hair from damage while reducing frizz.
There are two ways to describe this method, but experimentation is going to be the best way for you to figure out which curl style is easiest for you.
To create this style of curl, clamp it over a section of hair gently and then spin the straightener as you pull the hair through. It takes some finessing. When clamping the flat iron around the hair, give it a half-turn so your hair is in a U-shape around it.
Hold the iron in this position as you move it down to the ends. Some people like to move their hand in an S-shape as they pull the hair through. The best metaphor to describe this method is like curling a ribbon using scissors, but instead, it’s your hair with a straightener.
Don’t worry if it takes a few tries to get this technique right. If you’re nervous about achieving this look, grab the Digital 2inONE Twist Flat Iron with Rose Gold Titanium Plates. This hot tool can do it all, allowing you to straighten or curl with the same device, giving you two methods to get this look right.
Creating beach waves
So far, our styling tips are great for getting you glamorous curls, but many people are opting for more relaxed or messy beach waves. Whether you’re using a curling iron, a curling wand, or a straightener, you’ll want to change up your technique.
Instead of starting 1” away from the roots, start the curl at the eyebrow level. Leave the ends of your hair free instead of curling all the way to the end. When using a straightener, curl your hair while moving your hand in an S-shape.
Tips to curling long hair
If you have long hair, whether it’s fine or thick, choose a clip curler or wand with a thicker barrel. Choose a barrel that is 1.25” in diameter or bigger. It’s easy to get impatient and want to rush things, but you need to be careful to avoid damaging your hair.
Make sure to follow the instructions in our basics to avoid burning your hair, like choosing the right temperature and keeping your hair sections at 1”.
Tips to curling short hair
Unlike long hair, when you have short hair, you have less length to work with. Choosing a clip curler with a thinner barrel will give you more defined curls without having to bring the hot tool close to your scalp.
Choose a curler with a 1” diameter, so consider grabbing the adorable Glister “Mini Curls” Travel Clip Curler for more control. Remember to use a heat protector spray and hair spray, but mist it lightly to keep your hair bouncy instead of stiff.
Perfect Curls for a Perfect Summer
We love curly hair! Whether your hair is short or long, your vibe vintage glamour or trendy beach waves, curls are a great way to show off your personality. Curls can make a statement at a music festival or at a chic restaurant, and look different depending on how you curl.
We want to see how you wear your curls! Post your photos, give us your best tips for styling or caring for curly hair, and make sure to tag us @almostfamoushaircare.