How to Curl Your Hair with a Curling Iron

How to Curl Your Hair with a Curling Iron

Curling irons give you quite a few options for achieving the best hairstyles for whatever social situation you are going to be in. They’re a helpful and versatile tool, when used correctly. By experimenting, you can eventually learn all of the ins and outs of what they can do for you, but it will save you time and perhaps frustration to find out how to use them in advance. Here are some tips that will help you to get the exact style that you want quickly and easily.

Safety First-When Curling Your Hair

Curling Irons


When curling irons are hot, its important to remember that you need to keep the iron from touching your skin or you could end up with a few serious burns. Getting too close to the face or forehead has ended poorly for many who are just learning. It’s a painful lesson not soon forgotten, but it is far better to be aware of the dangers and take steps to avoid it altogether. If you’re just learning, take your time, be careful and don’t let the iron get too close to your skin or scalp, turn off iron when not in use and allow it to cool in a safe place.

Choosing the right iron

The type of curl you get depends on the size of the barrel you choose. You’ll get tighter curls with a smaller barrel of 3/8 to 1/2 inch. Just bear in mind, the larger the barrel the looser the curl. The irons also come in a variety of materials for different hair types. If you have fine to medium textured hair you’ll get the best results with a ceramic barrel, course or thick hair needs a titanium barrel and irons with tourmaline coating help to cut down on the amount of frizz and static if this is an issue for you. Once you’ve chosen the best iron(s) its time to get down to creating fabulous hairstyles.

Curling short hair

When you use a curling iron on short hair, Use a smaller barrel and make sure to curl it with the barrel facing downward. This is how you avoid getting an unruly style that springs upward when you don’t want it to. Section off clean, dry hair in one-inch segments. Start at the mid section and slide the iron down to catch the ends and roll it up. Don’t leave hair in iron any longer than is needed to get the curl you desire. 5 seconds is a good place to start and you can increase the time as needed.

Mermaid curls

Place your hair in a ponytail. Curl one-inch sections while your hair is still up. Start at the holder and slide iron down towards ends of hair. Wrap hair around the iron in a spiral motion and hold for 5 seconds. Release the iron and gently pull iron downward while releasing hair for beautiful spiral curls. Try to loosen the clamp so there is only a slight pull on the hair as it releases. When hair is cool, remove ponytail holder and style.

Creating volume

If you want to get a fuller look with more volume, the rule of thumb is to curl your hair away from the face on each side. On the left side, make the curls go counterclockwise and on the right, curl in a clockwise direction. You can add volume by starting your curl at the mid point of hair sections without curling the ends or near the roots, but bear in mind that curls last longer when they are closer to the hairline or the roots of your hair.

Loose curls or bouncy and tighter

If you want looser curls, hold the curling iron vertically. If you want the curls to be tighter with a little bounce, hold the iron horizontally while curling.

Flat curls or voluminous?

Here are a few more tricks to using a curling iron. If you want your curls to be flatter then pull the iron downward. If you want to increase volume, you’ll need to pull it in the direction that is up and away from your head.

There are so many amazing hairstyles you can achieve when you know what your iron is capable of doing. These are the basics of using a curling iron to get the hairstyle that you want. The more you practice, the better you’ll be.

Back to Top