How To Curl Hair With a Curling Iron Tutorial

by Assistant Editor on March 31, 2014

in Haircare, Makeup Tutorials

How To Curl Hair With a Curling Iron Tutorial (2) How To Curl Hair With a Curling Iron Tutorial

Tutorial By SK Tribal

I got my first and only curling iron with some money from my college internship , and It was a purchase that I am still  really proud of. For a long time, I tried using my thick-barrelled curling iron to create big, loose curls that would last. But because of my impatience and a few small errors, I always ended up with substandard results or curls that would unravel very soon. I have very long hair that is naturally wavy with a lot of loose curls so I just follow my natural hair shape when using my curler. But if you don’t have curly hair then you can use your curling iron anyway you wish to. Having said that, there are a few things that I’m listing out here that need to be kept in mind while buying and using a curling iron/flat iron to curl your hair

I have described everything in minute detail as far as I could in the hope that even absolute beginners will benefit.

Before you buy a curling/flat iron:

-Decide if you prefer to curl your hair or straighten it. If you prefer to curl it then decide on the barrel width depending on the kind of curls you desire. Smaller the diameter of the barrel, tighter the curls and vice versa. I use a 1.5-2 inch curling iron to create soft, loose curls but you should choose your barrel length depending on how tight you want your curls to be.

-Here’s some on info on the different barrel sizes and the corresponding curls they can help you produce.

  • 3/8 inch barrel: Great for short hair. It creates soft, tight curls, bangs and wisps.
  • 5/8 inch barrel: Creates smooth, tight curls, on medium length hair. Fantastic for flips.
  • 3/4 inch barrel: Great for all hair lengths, produces medium size curls and waves. The universal size, good for anyone.
  • 1 inch barrel: Creates full curls and waves and root lift. Great on most hair types for creating that long, loose celeb look.
  • 1-1/4 inch barrel: Suggested for large, loose curls, waves and root lift. Think of the volume you can get at the roots.
  • 1-1/2 inch barrel: Best for longer hair, large loose curls, waves and root lift. Use it to create the biggest curls ever.
  • 2 inch barrel: Perfect for creating the ultimate loose curls and waves on long hair

How To Curl Hair With a Curling Iron Tutorial (1)

- If you choose to invest in a straightening/flat iron, make sure you choose one that can be used to both straighten and curl hair. The edges have to be rounded so that you can curl your hair without any kinks. Also, most hair straighteners have medium to large plates so that you can straighten all your hair quickly. This also means that such straighteners will only be able to produce soft, wavy curls and not tighter ones.

-You have to decide what you want more or which style you’ll go in for more often. If you get a flat iron with small plates so that you can both straighten hair and get tight curls with it, then do remember that it takes a lot of time to straighten hair with smaller plates.

-Make sure that the device you choose has sufficient heat settings. The more difficult-to-curl your hair is, the higher the heat setting you will need.

-When you’re buying your device online, make sure the voltage is suitable for use in india or wherever you live.

-Make sure your device has a swivel cord so that when you twist and turn the rod, the wires don’t get entangled.

-Make sure the plate or rod of the device is ceramic and/or Teflon and/or tourmaline coated. This ensures that all the parts of the rod are equally heated up and you don’t end up burning parts of your hair.

- This is more common sense but look for a device with at least a one year warranty/guarantee.

How To Curl Hair With a Curling Iron Tutorial (1)How To Curl Hair With a Curling Iron Tutorial (4)

How to curl your hair:

  • If you’re new to hot tools, practice rotating and moving the device through your hair without turning the device on. Once you’re familiar with the motions you can do the real thing with the power on.
  • If you’re really clumsy and think you’re going to burn yourself, then invest in heat-protective gloves and tape some thick napkins or towels to your ears to avoid burning them.
  • Stand in such a way that if you happen to drop your device, it doesn’t land on your feet. If you can’t do that then place a thick rug/mat/pillow on your feet while working with the iron.
  • Start by separating your dry hair into sections and clip them or pin them away. I usually just put the upper half of my hair into a bun on the top of my head and then split the rest of the hair into two sections. I finish working with the bottom sections of my hair, then put the curled hair into a small bun and then work on the top portion of my hair.
  • Start with one section and divide the hair into subsections. I find that an approx 1-2 cm wide subsection is best. The smaller the subsection, the better the curl holds. But don’t make the subsections too small especially if your iron is on high heat. You could end up scorching your hair.
  • Spray the first subsection with a heat protectant or some sort of styling product (especially if you have hard-to-curl straight hair) and wrap the hair around the rod/wand of the iron. I have a curling iron with a clamp so I clasp the hair towards the end of the section of hair with the clamp and pull the rod down till I reach the end of the hair. Then I rotate the iron upwards in the same direction as the natural curl in that section. If you have straight hair, you can rotate the wand anyway you want. For a more natural look, alternate thedirection of rotation of the wand. This will give your hair a nice tousled look that doesn’t look too uniform or done. Once you’ve reached the top of your head, hold the rod in that position for around 10 – 20 seconds. Then release the clamp and pull the rod straight down to release the curl. Don’t unroll the hair; it will spoil the effect of the curl.
  • This is the main procedure and it is much the same for hair straighteners too.  Here, you will take your plates to be the clamp, put your hair in between the plates, sort of press the plates together with the hair in between ,  roll your hair upwards, hold it for a few seconds, release hold on the plates and pull downwards to release the curl.
  • Once the curl is released, spray it with hairspray (if you need extra help in setting your hair. I personally don’t use hairspray because my hair is naturally curly.
  • This is the procedure which you’ll have to follow for each section and subsection till you’ve curled all your hair. Finish off with a final spritz of hairspray to seal in your style.  And that’s it! Enjoy your smooth, shiny, romantic least till the next wash ;)

Imp: Curl small sections of hair at a time and protect yourself from burns. These are the two most important things to keep in mind according to me. It takes a little practice to get used to the movements so be patient and practise a bit. Also, if you have long and thick hair like me, it can take an hour or more to finish doing all your hair but don’t get lazy and take big sections while curling. This was the NO. 1 mistake I committed in the past and the main reason why I didn’t get the results I wanted.

Here are some pictures of my hair before and after curling it with my Remington curling iron. I follow the procedure described above and this is the result.

How To Curl Hair With a Curling Iron Tutorial (3)

I’ve tried really hard to describe everything in great detail. I hope you find it helpful and informative :)

Also read: How to curl your hair with socks

Subscribe Updates, Its FREE!

Enter your Email Address  

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Supria March 31, 2014 at 10:02 am

WOW! This is such a useful post. Especially the guide to choosing a good curling iron. I own one and have never used it!
Gotta put into action sometime soon :)


Sktribal March 31, 2014 at 11:30 am

Thanks Supriya :) Same here, had one for a while before I could actually use it properly. Mostly I was too lazy to separate into proper sections…rookie mistake ;)


Priyanka Jain March 31, 2014 at 10:16 am

Very nice and useful post. Great work :)


Sktribal March 31, 2014 at 11:38 am

Thanks Priyanka :)


mily March 31, 2014 at 10:36 am

loved it..but i want to straighten my hair…already have curls :P


Lisha@HeartBowsMakeup March 31, 2014 at 10:51 am

Beautifully explained darling! I usually like curling my hair with a straightening rod. You get tighter curls which lasts much longer!


Sktribal March 31, 2014 at 11:39 am

Thanks Lisha :) Yup straighteners with curved edges do double duty :)


Harine March 31, 2014 at 11:14 am

Love the finished look.. It has given so much of volume to your hair.. Beautiful curls :)


pari March 31, 2014 at 11:38 am

Such a detailed and useful post..thank you so much for sharing this ….


Manasi March 31, 2014 at 11:41 am

nice post dear :)


Clothes and Creativity March 31, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Nice curls! However, nothing works on my super-straight hair.


Aayushi March 31, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Wow….. Your hair are naturally also so beautiful….. Looks super awesome when curled…. Wish to see tutorial on curling hair using flat iron as i have that…. Check out my latest Nail Art on my blog.


shikha March 31, 2014 at 12:16 pm

wow nice curls. My hair is straight but still i like curl hairs and i keep experimenting with my hairs.
Beach holiday keeps a doctor away


laks March 31, 2014 at 12:17 pm

LOve dthe final look. Lovely post dear :)


Anamika March 31, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Very well explained. Swivel cords are really essential


Xuvious March 31, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Thanks for the detailed post! I don’t use one it’s always useful to know! ^_^


Aditi @ The Happy Purse March 31, 2014 at 3:31 pm

i love love love love curls, i think they look super sexy! really awesome tut :D


Meghana March 31, 2014 at 5:56 pm

indeed curls look nice. I have naturally curly hair to some extent.


Shivi@COSMOCHICS March 31, 2014 at 7:59 pm

I loved how it turned out! Super nice! :)


krithi March 31, 2014 at 9:21 pm

looks nice & very informative post
I like to straighten only my front bangs as i have naturally wavy hair … :)


D's Mom April 1, 2014 at 12:34 pm

very useful post and what lovely hair you have :)


Tiny April 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm

woah thats one detailed post..I might not curl now, but it could come handy later :)


Nisha Khan April 2, 2014 at 9:02 pm

You have lovely hair and post is amazing thanks for sharing


Bonny April 2, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Wow this is like a curling encyclopedia..Will refer it to my friends who love doing/ aspire of beautiful curls.


Mayuri April 3, 2014 at 12:26 am

very well explained.. :) love your hair <3


Bhawna@GlamCasa April 4, 2014 at 11:59 pm

I have a 7 year old Remington hair straighter and I must say this brand is the best so far! Loving it!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: