If you’re looking for guidance for trying out different curling techniques with a flat iron, you’re in the right place.
In this post, we’ve provided you with step-by-step info on how to get fabulous curls using diverse curling techniques.
When you get to the end of this post, you should be armed with information on creating multiple kinds of curls with a flat iron.
Continue reading to learn the different ways to curl your hair with a straightener, and get started on creating your desired curls.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
If you’re looking for a flat iron that can curl hair, we recommend the Babyliss Pro Prima Nano Titanium Hair Straightener (check out our review here). Or better yet, check out our best curved flat iron for curling hair guide for more options!
- features IonMultiplier Technology & aircraft-grade warp-resistant titanium plates for highly efficient heat transfer that instantly smoothes, conditions & shines.
- Perfect for all hair types, use the Prima to straighten and smooth OR to create loose beachy waves.
- heats up instantly & holds a consistent temperature while millions of ions deliver shiny hair.
* Prices and Images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on 2023-12-09 at 22:45
Before we start, we want to provide you with some useful flat iron curling tips:
- Practice using the flat iron while in its OFF position. This way, you can practice the curling hair techniques below without the fear of burning yourself. Once you feel safe using the flat iron, you can now turn on the heat
- Always use a heat-protectant spray before you curl your hair. This is because heat can damage the internal structure of your hair. Also, don’t just use a product that you feel will protect your hair. Let the product have “heat protectant” labeled under it.
- The maximum heat temperature to keep your hair safe is 392 °F. It’s a myth that the higher the temp settings are, the better for your hair. So, adjust the heat temp settings of the iron to create fabulous curls with little or no harm done to your hair. In fact, 365 °F is the ideal temperature for hair, especially one that is color-processed. If your hair is fine and thin, you should go even lower than this.
- It’s best to curl your hair in one-inch sections. But if your hair is very thick, you should work with smaller parts, and if you have fine hair, it is best to work with bigger sections.
- If you don’t want flattened curls or too-fluffy curls, don’t brush out your curls. It’s better to use your fingers, or if you really have to, use a wide-toothed comb.
Techniques for Curling Hair with Flat Iron
1. Flicks or Twists
Great for long hair, the flick method is probably the most commonly used method of curling hair with a straightener.
To do this, you have to start curling from half-way down your hair length.
Clamp the iron down on your hair, and do a half-turn by turning the iron back on itself. This way, you will create a U-turn shape with the iron and your hair.
Hold the straightener in that half-turned angle, and then move it down the hair length to the end of the hair.
If you want less pronounced flicks/curls, you can move the iron fast down your hair shaft. For well defined curls, move the iron down slowly.
The curl method is slightly different from the flick.
With this, you can start fairly close to your hair scalp. But be sure to not go close enough to burn your scalp accidentally.
As with flicks, clamp the blades of the iron closed and rotate the iron back on itself. Slowly run the iron down to the ends of your hair to get tight curls. Again, the tighter you want your curls, the slower you should run the iron through your hair.
3. Full turn
Both the flick and curl method involved rotating the flat iron in a half-turn, but this method involves a full turn.
With a full twist, you can get complete, more ringlet-looking curls. To achieve this, rotate the straightener into a full shift, switching the hair onto itself. This way, you sort of create a loop with your hair.
Even more exciting, with this method, you don’t have to make a full turn. You may discover that rotating the flat iron in a three-quarters turn is more suitable for the look you want to achieve. Why not, your look, your choice!
4. Under and Over
Whether you are rotating your straightener in a full-turn or half-turn, you are faced with either turning your hair over the iron and around or under the iron and around.
None of these techniques is wrong, but you should know that, when released from the iron, the curl will form based on the angle change. So, work with the curling technique that looks best on you.
Try to be consistent with the method you pick, so your curls don’t go in different directions.
Alternating methods can also look great, but if you decide to go this way, maintain a consistent pattern throughout. This technique is perfect for beach waves made with flat iron.
5. Half turn and Tension
The half-turn and tension technique is what creates a ribbon curl.
Quite similar to a ringlet curl, the ribbon curl is a tight curl that has more bounce.
Hold your straightener diagonally into the hair section, and clamp it close. As you do clamp close, you should rotate a half-turn slowly, and then slide the iron down your hair.
Use your fingers to shake out the curls, and then finish with a flexible-hold hairspray.
What’s more impressive, the ribbon curls resulting from this half turn and tension technique lasts long, and as the days pass by, it turns into a beach wave style gradually.
6. Wrap, Clip and Slide
Now, if you still can’t figure out how to make twisting work for you, there’s an easier way to curl you hair with a flat iron.
Simply wrap your hair around the iron, clip it (not clamp), and then slide your hair down. Unlike twisting, which pulls your hair, this is much gentler.
Thanks to Kayley Melissa for sharing with us this step by step tutorial. Watch the video above and see for yourself how easy flat iron curls can be.
7. Braid Hair and Flat Iron
If all else fails, you can just braid your hair and then run a hair straightener through it.
This is the fastest way you can get flat iron curls. A great option if your pressed for time!
We have discussed five different techniques for curling your hair with a flat iron. You can use any of these methods to get the curls of your dreams.
But, be patient with yourself! If you do not get the hang of using a flat iron for these techniques immediately, just know that it is normal.
Take your time learning them, and in no time, you’ll be perfect.
The sweet thing is, once you perfect the art of using a flat iron, it becomes very easy and quick to curl your hair. Then, you can creatively start combining different techniques. But in all, do not forget to use your thermal spray!
It’s time to get hooked on a flat iron curling technique. Happy curling!
PIN For Later!
Image Credits: Deposit Photos