How to Curl Hair with a Straightener: Step by Step Guide for Beginners

By: | Last Updated: February 4, 2023

Have you ever seen a hairdresser, friend or family member claim to be about to curl hair and then they whip out the straighteners?

You’re left sat there thinking “are they really curling hair with a straightener?!?!

But somehow, these people magic up a head full of curls, in half the time it takes you to use your dedicated curling irons.

In case you’re wondering how they do it..

Well, we’ve got you covered…

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If you’re looking for a styler that can both CURL and straighten hair, then check out L’ANGE HAIR Le Duo 360° Airflow Styler – it’s making waves this 2023 (pun intended!)

flat iron curls for long hair – Curling Diva

Wonder no more, curling your hair with a straightener doesn’t need to remain a big mystery!

No longer is there need for both a straightening iron and a curling tong, from now on one tool will do. It will definitely help to save on packing space when you go on holiday or a weekend getaway.

READ: Flat Iron vs Curling Iron: Which is better for curling hair?


It won’t break the bank to have to replace just one tool in the future, bonus!

thin flat irons for curling – Curling Diva

If you’re on the market for a new flat iron that can also curl hair, read our guide to best flat iron for curling hair.

Going back..

Here’s how you can curl hair using a straightener:

1. The first step is to ensure that your hair is tangle free.

Brush those knots out before you’re stuck with straighteners trapped in a matted mess of hair and you’re wondering how your life got so hard.

2. Split your hair into sections.

comb and detangle hair – Curling Diva

This is important in ensuring that you don’t miss chunks of hair. It also means once you’ve perfected a curl it’s easier to leave it be and not mess it up. Start by clipping up around the top ⅔ of your hair.

3. Make sure your straighteners are on and heated.

Now, this is the exciting (and slightly scary) part, but you can do it (wooo, yeah)!

4. Take a piece of hair that’s about an inch wide.

curling hair with a wide straightener – Curling Diva

Clamp your straightener close on this piece of hair near your root (not your ends!). Now if you’re working on the left side of your head twist the straightener about 180 degrees anti-clockwise (if you’re working on the right side, do the same clockwise).

5. Now gently, but firmly, drag the straightener down the length of hair.

ways to curl hair with straightener – Curling Diva

Voila! You should have yourself a perfect curl. You just need to repeat this with the rest of your hair, remembering to take your time and to keep partitioning sections to make it easier to work with.

For a more detailed step by step, check out our ultimate guide on how to curl hair with a flat iron!

It’s okay…

Now, if what you’ve ended up with is a bit of a wavy mess that’s okay. Hey, you’re new to this and Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just remember that classic saying you probably heard from grown ups your whole life ‘practise makes perfect’ (turns out they were right!).

curl ends of hair with a straightener – Curling Diva

Before you know it you’ll be rocking a perfect head of curls all crafted by your, erm, straightening tool. People will be calling you Vidal Sassoon and praising your insane hair skills (well okay, probably only in our imagination).

Some extra tips…

Hair curled with straighteners isn’t always going to look identical each time you do it. How you use the flat iron can affect the type of curl you’ll end up with.

Try holding them pointing up and down to see how you can vary your curls. Also, try manually wrapping your hair around the straighteners, after clamping them on your hair, before pulling them down.

Experiment and find what works best for you, it’s not an exact science.

CHECK OUT: Different Techniques For Curling Hair With a Flat Iron

Here’s a quick video on how to flat iron curls with no twisting:

If you’re wondering how to perfect and hone in your newly learned impressive skill, here are our recommendations:

Next steps:

  • Tease out, or gently comb, your curls to give a more gentle wave or beachy look.
  • Tie up your hair for a cute curly ponytail.
  • Curls make an awesome messy bun, so dig out those bobby pins and get clipping.
  • Sweep your hair to the side and secure at the back for a classy side swept curled look.
how to curl hair with flat iron easily – Curling Diva

Now it’s time to find an excuse to sport a head full of your beautifully crafted curls. Watching Netflix in your pajamas with your cat is an excuse enough, right?

Looking for more? Check out these other tutorials:

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

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