4 Different Ways To Curl Hair With Curling Iron

Not all curls are created equal. In fact, there’s a very specific technique to every type of curly look you can conquer, with a myriad of tools to help you achieve this. 

One of these tools, the gold standard, is the curling iron. Fit with an evenly distributed barrel and a clasp, this tool can create a different look depending on how you wrap your hair, where you wrap your hair, and even what product you have in your hair. 

So exactly what should you be doing to achieve a specific style?

We’ve compiled a foolproof guide on how to curl your hair with a curling iron that guarantees success (in our experience anyway). 

The Prep

Before you begin the process of curling your hair we need to lay down the groundwork. If you only apply hair spray once you're done curling your hair, you’ll run a risk of your hair falling flat. 

Consider using a light-to-firm hairspray while prepping your hair, especially if your hair is resistant to curl. This will protect your hair while adding shine to your gorgeous locks. 

You may be tempted to crank up the heat setting on your curling iron has high as it will go.

That should help it hold better right? While it's true that higher temperatures can set your hair faster, but it can also damage your hair. 

If your hair is processed or damaged, it’s recommended that you keep the heat a little lower. For healthy hair, you feel free to turn up a bit higher. No matter what your hair type, it's important to apply a heat protectant to prevent any long-lasting damage. 

Finally, remember to blow dry your hair all the way before you start to curl. Starting with a blow wave can take time but it’ll ensure salon-quality results. 

Quick Tip: If you’ve got naturally straight hair you can get started straight away. With naturally wavy or curly hair, consider running a straighter through it first. 


A Tutorial: 4 Ways to Using a Curling Iron

Now that we’ve covered the basics, you'll find some pro tips for curling your hair with a curling iron. 

1. The double wrap 

YouTube Vlogger and Hairstylist, Kayley Melissa, takes us through a tutorial for the double wrap to create loose, wavy curls. She refers to this as the soft wave at the 1.25-minute mark. To create this look she uses a 1” inch curling iron. 

  1. Start by sectioning your hair in half, putting the top half out of the way. 
  2. Face the curling iron downwards at a 90-degree angle. 
  3. To create a barely-there wave, wrap your hair around the curling iron once or twice, and once it heats up, quickly release. 
  4. Follow this up by wrapping slightly lower down the hair. 
  5. The key to getting this look is making sure the hair is quickly released once heated. 
  6. To finish the look you can apply a pomade or a texturizing spray for depth. 

2. The flat wrap 

For a wide curl with lots of volume, we go to Andrew Carruther, the Education Artistic Director at Sam Villa. This tutorial can be seen at the 5-minute mark. To achieve this look, he starts with a 1” inch curling iron. 

  1. Begin by sectioning off your hair and taking a vertical section.
  2. Choose the direction you would like your hair to curl, this can be towards your face or away from your face. 
  3. Take a strand of hair and wrap it around your curling iron. 
  4. For this look, you want to ensure that your hair is flat against the iron. Twisting the hair will change the curl. 
  5. Continue to wrap the hair around the iron until you get to the end. 
  6. For a more natural look, leave the last 2” inches of hair uncurled. 

This look can vary depending on the section of hair. A smaller section will create a tighter curl pattern, while larger sections will help you create looser curls. 

3. The twist

If you’re looking for wedding curls, a wave for an updo or braids you can't miss the twist technique. Beauty influencer and celebrity stylist, Justine Marjan, takes us through her routine. She suggests starting by using a spray and brushing it through with a wet brush so that the hair spray is evenly distributed through her hair.

  1. Start by sectioning off your hair and take a 1” inch section.
  2. You need to place the iron near your roots with enough room to wind up.
  3. Hold it for a minute to give the hair time to heat and then release. 
  4. Drag the iron down, twist your hair and release. As you move the iron down, you want to ensure the hair is in a complete twist. Repeat this on the last section of your hair. 
  5. The wave and curl pattern will vary depending on how many times you choose to twist and release. 
    • If you want a tighter curl pattern you would need to drag, twist and release more often. 
    • For a more relaxed curly pattern, you’d need to leave more room between twists. 
    • For a professional look, make sure that the ends are smoothed over as you glide the iron down your hair. 
  6. Finally, add some texture spray to give your hair volume and shine. 

4. The spiral  

And sometimes we just want to be a mermaid.

To get gorgeous mermaid curls, YouTuber Britnee Alexis uses a 9mm curling iron. 

  1. Use tiny sections of hair because this will help create a permed look. The tighter your curls the more likely you are to look like a mermaid. 
  2. Face the iron and spiral your hair around the wand. It’s important to get a tight spiral all the way to the bottom of the wand. Hold for one second and release. 
  3. Try not to hold the iron too long once your hair has been spiralled. This can cause your hair to kink. 
  4. For this look, Alexis suggests creating curls that go away from the face. 

Once you have completed your entire hair, your curls should be tight. Loosely, finger your curls out as you style your hair to create a more natural look. If you are looking for volume and texture, scrunch instead of fingering. 


Different Ways To Curl Hair With Curling Iron: Which one is your favorite?

And you thought there's just one way to curl hair with a curling iron, eh? I did too!

So which one of the above is your fave go-to way of using a curling iron? If it wasn't any of those mentioned above, leave a comment below and let us know! 🙂

Last Updated: March 25, 2021

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