The use of a straightener doesn’t end with just straightening your hair for a flatteringly sleek and put-together look. It can be a magic worker to give you perfectly undone and textured hair that you get from one day at the beach.
No, you don’t have to go to the beach for wavy beach curls anymore. Your straightener can help you with that. Go grab your iron flat for quick delicate ringlets and full bouncy curls! If you want to know how to curl hair with a straightener, you must not skip this guide!
How To Curl Your Hair With A Straight Iron?
- 1 How To Curl Your Hair With A Straight Iron?
- 2 How To Curl Hair With A Straightener?
- 3 Take Your Pick From Different Curling Styles
The easiest way to curl your hair with a flat iron is by simply twisting and turning. The good news is, there are a few styles you can try, which is mentioned below. If you find it hard to stomach the fact that you can get waves and curls with a flat iron as well, here’s a quick interesting fact.
Several stylists use straighteners instead of curling irons to curl even celebrities’ hair. Because apparently, their texture lasted longer when the stylist used a straightener for waves and curls. So, you can maneuver the flat iron through your hair for flowing and bouncing waves! Ahead, find a guide on how to curl hair with a straightener and get perfect curls.
What Type Of Curl Do You Want?
But first things first. You have to decide what kind of curl you want to dress up in. The choices are certainly more than one; from bouncy curls and loose curls to casual beach waves and curls.
And, you can achieve these styles at home with a straightener itself. Do a virtual digging and pick your choice of curl or choose any from the many mentioned below!
What is the right straightener for curling?
After the style of curl is chosen, next comes the straightener. Choosing the right straightener for curling is imperative(1). There are a few things to consider, of course. Which includes the type of plate, the width, and the shape of it, temperature, and finally the cost of the straightener.
When it comes to the type of plate to curl hair with a flat iron, the two most common types are titanium and ceramic. Although ceramic irons are slightly less expensive comparatively and are great for most hair types, they do wear over time. On the other hand, titanium irons heat quickly and evenly, but they are expensive.
Next, when we look at the width and shape of the plate, choose a flat iron with the standard 1 or 2 inches plate. Ideally, a straightener for both straightening and curling has a smaller width with rounded edges. Why? To get the best of both styles with one styling tool! A flat and paddle-style iron won’t do curls well because you won’t be able to hold it properly. Another element is the temperature. You must choose a straightener with adjustable heat since different hair types and styles need different temperatures.
When it comes to the price factor, you might veer closer to straightener at a cheaper price. But a straightener is a worthy investment! The cheapest option may be too tempting, but the better options, though pricey, have lesser chances of damaging your hair while performing better than the cheaper ones. Especially with the shine and consistency of curls. So, choose your straightener wisely and use it at the highest temperature your hair can tolerate.
- If your hair is thin, stick below 300 degrees.
- Thick hair, turn it up to 350 or 400 degrees.
- If your hair is normal, use 300 to 380 degrees.
How To Curl Hair With A Straightener?
Before you start with your curling process, grab the rest of the tools you require for this curling session. Preferably:
- Heat protectant spray
- Hair clips
- A couple of hair ties
- Wide-tooth brush or comb
- Hair spray
- Any other styling product you need (optional)
After you are ready with the tools required, it is time to prep your hair. You cannot simply take a straightener and be done with curling without prepping your hair! Follow the first two steps before you start curling and then, proceed with the next steps.
Dry Your Clean Hair
If you are styling after a shower, make sure that your hair is dry! You must not, or more importantly, cannot curl your wet or damp hair. Because it won’t work! Or worse, you are risking burning your hair. So, when you are ready to curl, dry your hair. If you are choosing to blow-dry, use mousse.
The extra volume will keep your hair from looking too flat. Similarly, you must make sure that you don’t have any styling products in your hair already. Wash your hair beforehand to avoid curling dirty hair since it cannot hold the shape well.
Saturate Dry Hair With A Heat Protectant
Protecting your hair by using a heat protectant or thermal spray is vital and you cannot miss this step. Because safety comes first! Flat iron temperatures are extremely high; somewhere between 250 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Not to mention it is applied directly to your hair. By using a heat protectant(2), you are creating a protective barrier between the iron and the hair, meaning no frizzle, no frying, and less damaging. Furthermore, the ingredients in heat protectants will strengthen and smooth the follicles.
Make sure to use a non-aerosol working spray for this. Comb out any tangles in your hair, then spray the heat protectant all over your hair (no combing since it should mist on and dry). If you have thick hair, section your hair and spray it on each section instead of spraying on the top. But you also have to make sure that you don’t use too much hairspray to keep the hair from becoming stiff and crunchy.
Section Your Hair
Attacking the whole mess at once is never the solution and is never easy. So, part your hair in small sections (preferably 1 to 2 inches at a time) to make the whole process a lot easier. Particularly if you have thicker hair. The smaller the section, the curlier your hair will be.
For tight, ringlet curls, part a section less than 1 inch. Larger sections — wider than two inches — result in bouncier and looser curls, which look more natural. Or you can mix it up with both large curls and delicate curls.
Starting the process of curling from the nape of your neck — close to your ears — is how you do it to avoid making a hot mess. Tie up the hair above your ears and put it in a bun on top of your head, leaving down as much hair as you can work with for the first layer of curls.
Use hair clips to keep the strands from coming down. Then, section your hair to right and left. You can curl from the right and then from the left. This might feel like a load of work at first, but when you do it a few times, it will get easier. Always remember to work from the bottom up toward your hairline.
Curl Your Hair With A Flat Iron
After grabbing the section of hair you want to curl, choose any of the techniques below to get different styles. The basics are similar in every technique; clamp and turn. When you are turning the straightener, clamp lightly (not too hard and not too lightly) while keeping the hair on the plate itself.
You get different styles depending on where you start on your hair (the scalp or the end), how slowly you move the flat iron, and how much you rotate it with your hair wrapped around the barrel. Once one layer is done, unclip the tied hair and let another layer down. Plus, you can also leave a few strands straighter or wavy as well.
- Always clip up what you cannot curl and keep curling in layers.
- To make sure your curl starts closer to the top of the head instead of just the ends, feed the hair into the straightener a little higher than mid-length.
- The more horizontal you hold the straightener, the tighter the curls, and vice versa.
- The faster you pull down the length of your hair, the looser the curls and vice versa.
- Make sure the hair continues to wrap around the straightener’s barrel as you push it down your hair.
- You have to rotate the straightener in one fluid motion to avoid creating a bunch of crimps in your hair.
Take Your Pick From Different Curling Styles
You can use the straightener in certain ways to get different styles. However, you should only tackle 1-inch sections at a time, regardless of the style you choose.
Pick one style and repeat the chosen technique on each one-inch section on the other side, too, until you are done! How to get perfect curls with a straightener? Read on!
Alternative Flicks and Curls
To try flicks, start halfway down the length of your hair and clamp the iron closed, then pivot it back on itself 180-degree away from your face. Meaning, you have a U shape with the iron and your hair. While keeping the iron on that 180-degree angle and your hair wrapped around the barrel, slowly move it down your hair shaft to the length of it. If you move it slowly, you will get tight flicks whereas if you move it faster, the flick will be less pronounced.
To try curls, start from close to your scalp, then, clamp the iron closed and turn it back on itself 180-degree away from your face. Just like flicks, you can run down the length of your hair slowly or quickly. But you have to seamlessly turn and run down for better results.
For tighter and pronounced curls, pivot the iron a full turn, meaning 360 degrees, turning the hair over onto itself as if creating a loop. You will understand whether a half-turn, three-quarters turn, or a full-turn is more ideal for you when you try them all.
Under or Over
Whether you rotate your straightener half or full, you get two different styles of curl. But when you rotate it under and around or over and around, you get another two styles. Or alternate rotates can also look pretty if you are consistent on both sides. Experiment with your straightener and choose your style.
You can still rock in the 1995 style! Take a section of your hair, clamp your straightener down on your hair, and turn it up a half of a turn. Then, clamp the next bit of hair and turn it down a half of a turn.
Basically, instead of curling, you are clamping down on every bit of your hair. Although this could be time-consuming, the finger wave style is more natural!
This is the easiest way to curl your hair with a flat iron. Feed a section of your hair, clamp down about an inch or two from your roots, wrap the particular section around the barrel. Then, slide it down your hair shaft in that section. But if you hold the flat iron vertically, you will get bouncy, big curls.
For tight curls, hold it horizontally. If you have more time to spare, glam up with beach waves. To get beachy waves, after you’ve wrapped your hair around the barrel, instead of sliding it down the entirety of each section, slide it down just a bit, unclamp, rewrap your hair, and repeat down the length of each section.
Make a continuous “S” shape with your hair by bending sections of your hair and clamping your flat iron down the length of each section. But spritz each section with a texturizer before you begin. If you want a more pronounced shape, use smaller sections and more dramatic and deeper “S” shapes.
Begin by clamping your iron on small sections from your scalp and slide the iron down the length of your hair. Then, rotate your wrist back and forth like you are starting the ignition of a car as you slide it down. You can get a more undone look by running the iron faster to create more waves.
Spritz Your Hair With Hairspray
This is another essential step in curling your hair but completely optional as well. Either you can leave your hair as it is after curling or do additional steps if you want to break them up a bit for a more natural look. To make sure your masterwork of curls holds with tighter holds, you can spritz your hair with hairspray. Consider an anti-humidity spray if you are living in a humid area.
For looser curls with volume, gently run your fingers through your hair and tousle it. Or you can finish your curling session by combing the curls with a wide-tooth comb for more textured and undone waves. Combing will enhance the shape which results in a polished look. And, massage your roots with your fingers to help break up the curls for a beachy look.
And that’s it! You can have perfectly bouncing waves or delicate ringlets without a curling iron. The versatility of this styling tool is indeed a relief. So, grab that iron and curl your hair in different styles!
- TotallyHer Media, LLC. (2020). 7 Best Flat Irons for 2019. [online] Available at: https://www.totalbeauty.com/content/gallery/p_best_worst_flat_irons/p266093/page1
- Lab Muffin. (2020). How do heat protectant hair products work?. [online] Available at: https://labmuffin.com/how-do-heat-protectant-hair-products-work