Hairstylist curling woman's hair

There’s no other way to say this – curly hair is simply divine! From loose curls to coils, curly hair is highly coveted in the beauty industry. 

However, as many women with straight hair know, if it doesn’t come naturally, perfect curly hair can be difficult to achieve. But there are 4 different basic for you to get closer to achieving the perfect curl look.

Curling Your Hair with a Curling Iron

woman getting red hair curled

Whichever types of curls you want – a curling iron can do it! With a little bit of patience and a little bit of skill, you can look like you’ve just gotten ready for the runway.

Nowadays, there are so many types of curling irons, that you can create all sorts of curls! Simply select the type of curling iron that you need, and get started.

Here’s how to curl your hair with a curling iron:

  1. Heat up your curling iron. Remember, don’t heat it up too much! Slow and steady wins the race.
  2. Brush your hair. You should brush it thoroughly to get rid of any tangles. If your hair is tangled, the curls will not form the way you want them to. Also, your hair should be completely dry.
  3. Apply the heat protectant. Spray it onto your entire hair, don’t leave any strands out.
  4. Divide your hair into sections. Separate parts about 2 inches thick.
  5. Take a section of your hair, wrap it around the curling iron (while minding your fingers!) and hold it for a few seconds. Don’t leave it too long, just enough to get a well-defined curl.
  6. Pin your curls up fast. Take the bottom of the curl and compact it, then fasten the circle of hair to your head.
  7. Do this for every section of your hair, pinning it back up as you go. Release it once it’s cooled down.

Some more tips: If you want to experiment some more with a curling iron, instead of holding a straight section of hair, you can twist it before putting it on the curling iron.

Also, if you’re going for a more natural look, wrap one lock of hair clockwise, and another counter-clockwise.

And the last tip – if you’re feeling frisky (or if you simply want to add volume to your hair), tousle it with your fingers, since that is a great way to create loose curls or waves.

Curling Your Hair with a Flat Iron

Curling hair with a flat iron

What kind of sorcery is this – something that is meant to flatten, to be used to curl?

Impossible, we tell you!

Or is it?

Somehow, someone along the way decided that a flat iron could be used to make curls.

And the rest is history…

Now, curling your hair with a flat iron takes a little bit of practice, as it’s more difficult than using a curling iron. However, if you only have a flat iron, well, then, you have no choice. A flat iron it is.

Here’s how to get great curls with a flat iron:

  1. Again, you want to have clean and dry hair for curling with a flat iron. Comb it through and apply a heat protectant.
  2. Heat up the flat iron. Don’t overheat it. In fact, setting it to minimum temperature should be quite alright.
  3. Part your hair into sections. If you have thick hair, you will, of course, have more sections. Tie the rest of the hair above your ears in a bun, to get it out of the way.
  4. Starting close to the scalp, clamp the flat iron. Then, turn it back in a half turn, and run it slowly down the strand of your hair. If you simply want waves, then you should move the iron fast. However, if you want tighter curls, you should move it slower.

Now, curling your hair with a flat iron won’t give you the really tight curls that a curling iron can. However, it does seem to do the trick fairly well. Again, if you want even tighter curls, you should turn your flat iron a full turn, making a loop of sorts.

When it comes to how much you should turn the iron, you should definitely first test out a few strands to see what is right for you. Perhaps your hair responds best to half-turns, or maybe a full turn is the right for you. It’s always good if your experiment a little to find your perfect measure!

In case your hair cannot hold curls for too long, then you should use hairspray to help it. However, a few words of caution – don’t use hairspray with aerosol. Not only is aerosol bad for the environment, it is also makes your hair seem sticky.

Also, don’t use excessive amounts of hairspray. If you do, your hair will simply look stiff, and not natural at all, which is probably not what you’re going for.

Curling Your Hair with Hair Rollers

Curling hair with hair rollers at a salon

The most common way of creating curls, and the one used by probably our grandmothers is – using hair curlers. Or, as you might know them, hair rollers.

It wasn’t an uncommon sight to see the older ladies of the family in their house gowns and with hair curlers in their hair. Their devotion to hairstyles is simply unparalleled.

Also, as we all know, many old techniques are making a comeback, being reinvented to fit the new century. So, if you’re not keen on getting cramps from the pressure of holding a flat iron, hair curlers are the choice for you.

Here’s how to make curls with hair curlers:

  1. Choose the size of the rollers. The smaller the curlers you find, the tighter the curls will be. So, if you want wavy, larger curls, you should choose bigger curlers. Also, take note that you can’t really use large curlers for short hair. You need at least shoulder-length hair.
  2. If your hair is wavy or curly, straighten it before putting on hair curlers. You should do this if you want smooth curls. If you keep your natural waves or curls, that might interfere with the curlers and make your hair simply seem unruly. For uniform curls, definitely straighten it at least with a blow dryer beforehand.
  3. Now, if you’re using hot rollers, you need to preheat them to the optimal temperature. Simply follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Also, if you have the option of varying their temperature, you need to experiment a bit before putting them on your hair.
  4. Again, use a heat protectant spray or a cream.
  5. Divide your hair in sections. Create a section about 2-3 inches wide from the forehead to the back of the neck, then secure it. Part the hair on the sides into even sections and also secure them.
  6. Begin rolling at your forehead. Take a section of your hair no wider than the roller and no thicker than 2 inches. Put the roller at the end of the hair and roll down, away from your face. Then, secure the rollers with clips. Do the same with all of the sections.
  7. Leave the curlers in your hair until they are completely cool. When you take them off, be careful and start from the bottom to the top. When you unfasten the clip, simply let the curler fall down. If you take it out, you can mess it up, and then all your work will be (somewhat) destroyed.

Now, you can also use Velcro rollers or flexible foam hair curlers, but the process is mostly the same.

And remember, if you apply a curl-enhancing style product, your curls will be much more durable, and that is especially important if you have fine hair or very straight hair.

Curling Your Hair with Rags

Now, we go way, way back in time.

Before mankind invented curling irons, and even hot rollers, women had already been curling their hair for God knows how long!

Basically, they were goddesses who knew how to style hair with little more than a few rags.

Now, if you’re a bit reluctant to try out curling your hair with heat, this is the option for you!

What you need:

  • An old pillowcase, an old towel or an old t-shirt. Basically, any large piece of fabric.
  • Scissors.

Easy, right?

Now, here’s how to put them to good use.

  1. Cut about 20 strips of fabric, about 2 inches wide and 8 inches long.
  2. Comb your hair.
  3. Use a sea salt spray to dampen your hair. Don’t use too much, you don’t want it completely wet. You can even use regular water. Sea salt has numerous benefits for your hair and it also helps your curls look better and last a bit longer.
  4. Divide your hair into four even sections and clip three of them.
  5. Take a one-inch section of your hair. Starting at the very end of your hair, place the rag horizontally and spread it out completely. Roll the hair around the rag upwards. You can go upwards to your scalp if you want, or you can stop at the center, it depends on where you want your curls to begin.
  6. Tie the rag around the hair in a knot. Don’t make it too tight, as it can be difficult to take off later. Continue until you’ve rolled up all sections.

Now, if you want even curls, you should make each rag the same width. However, if you want uneven curls for a messier look, simply change the width of the strips.

Another great tip for curling with rags is to leave them overnight. If you want to make sure nothing messes your curls up (especially if you’re a restless sleeper), cover your head with a silk scarf.

If you don’t have one, go to sleep and hope for the best.

Again, like with other curling processes, you can tousle your hair a bit after you’ve curled it. That way, your hair will have that desirable messy look that’s all the rage now.

Quick Tips Before Curling

It seems silly, but one of the best things you could do before curling is – practice. You should test out the curling hair techniques before you actually turn the iron on. That way, you’ll be less prone to burning yourself later.

Also, when you’re using heat to curl your hair, it’s vital that you use a heat protectant spray. Yes, hair can sustain quite a bit of heat. However, too much heat can seriously damage your hair. And not simply the outer layer, but also the inner structure. Heat can also destroy dyed hair if you’re not careful enough.

So – heat protectant before heat!

It will form something of a buffer between your hair and the iron. A nice side-effect of the heat protectant is that it adds shine to your hair. It’s a win-win, definitely!

Also, never heat your flat iron or curling iron too much. If you want longer-lasting curls and better-quality hair, you’ll tone down the heat and go more slowly when curling your hair. Not to sound a million years old, but patience truly is a virtue in this case.

Related Posts

2 thoughts on “4 Different Ways to Curl Your Hair

  1. Reply
    June 4, 2019 at 7:58 pm


  2. Reply
    June 4, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    I fell in love with HerStyler 10 years ago when they stopped us at a kiosk in our mall and tried a wand on my hair. My hair never curls well because it’s so fine and straight. Not only did the wand curl my hair but it also stayed curled! I was amazed. We bought a wand for a steep $150+ but it was worth it to me because I’ve rocked that curling wand for 10 years and it’s still like new! I can curl my hair with foam curlers over night etc etc but nothing beats the convenience and curls that my baby curls wand gives me.

Leave a comment