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Let’s be honest, while hair care can be simple and relatively easy, it usually isn’t. When you add curling your hair to the mix, things get even messier.
That’s where The Perfect Haircare comes in. It is our goal to help you simplify while still getting the best results. So, we have 10 tips to show you the best ways to prep your hair for curling and then how to curl hair with the least frustration. Plus, we’ll tackle a few ways to prevent damage and extend the life of your curls.
Do you enjoy the smell of burning hair and hearing ominous sizzling sounds? Even if you do, we have to insist that you make sure your hair is completely dry before doing any curling. Otherwise, you risk some pretty serious heat damage.
Even with completely dry hair, heat will still damage your hair. It won’t be a huge deal if you only curl your hair once a year for weddings, but regularly curling will weaken your hair over time. Always apply a heat protectant product beforehand.
Finally, you don’t want any snags while you work. Brush out your hair - the Pink Wet/Dry Detangling Brush is an excellent choice. Divide it into manageable sections using pins or clips, preferably.
The difference between an iron and a wand is that curling irons have clamps. They’ll typically create spiral curls almost like ringlets, especially with a barrel less that’s an inch or less.
On the other hand, curling wands can produce a more natural wave-like curl, especially if the wand is tapered.
You can achieve loose curls and tight ones -- or small versus wide curls -- with either. It depends on the barrel size, the size of the sections you curl, and how you wrap the hair around the barrel. So with that in mind…
This is a simple technique you can use with either curler. Separate a small to a medium-sized strand and twist it between your fingers. Without releasing the twist, wrap the hair around the barrel in the same direction, almost as if to continue the twist. Allow extra time for heat to penetrate fully throughout the twisted hair.
When you're wondering how to get wavy hair, there are a few options, but this is by far one of the easiest. Curling wands are versatile, but their other most significant appeal is their speed and relative ease of use. You hold it with the hand opposite the side of your head that you're curling and point the tip of the barrel down.
To create loose waves, separate medium to large-sized strands and wrap mostly their middle around the wand. Wrap up and over, away from the face. Don't go too close to your roots, and don't wrap down to the very end of the hair. Once heated, pull the wand free with a downward motion to help loosen the wave.
You can use this method to create wide, flowy curls that cascade in either direction, depending on whether you wrap your hair downward toward your face or upward and away from your head.
Separate medium to large-sized strands (the larger the portion, the looser the curls) and wrap flat and wide against the iron until the ends. Leave the last couple inches off to create a natural-looking tapering off. After heating, slide the iron out from the middle of the strand.
You can’t effectively curl with every single kind of straightener, like brushes or ones with very wide plates, but narrow flat iron curls are easy.
A favored method for how to curl with straighteners is the ribbon curl. It results in big, full, no-fuss curls (although it can take a little practice).
Taking a medium-sized strand of hair (about 1-inch), clamp down at the root so that your palm is towards your head. Then twist your wrist down and out so that your palm now faces away, and keep the hair taut. Slowly bring the flat iron down the strand at that angle, pulling the hair tight and away—unclamp near the end of the strand allowing your hair to spring into a ribbon curl.
Curling hair isn’t a high-speed sport, and you almost never want to exceed 400 degrees F. Instead of mega-heating strands for a few seconds, leave your hair on until the strands are heated through. It will only be 5-10 seconds for some styles, and others, closer to 30.
To avoid limp curls, minimize touching until your hair is completely cooled. Consider pinning the hair up against your head as it cools to prevent them from getting weighed down.
Once you’ve finished all the way around, you should run your fingers through your hair to separate the curls and let them fall naturally. To soften the look, give your hair a proper brush or comb through. It also helps refresh day two curls!
Finally, to really give your curls some extra staying power, spritz each strand with hairspray while it’s still warm. Avoid any crunch or stickiness by using a lightweight or flexible hold formula.
A few tips and tricks won’t make you a curling master, but knowing techniques for how to curl hair with a straightener, wand, or iron might get you halfway there. Plus, you’ll know how to keep your hair healthy and happy in the process.
We recommend trying out any unfamiliar curling technique without the heat first for the least stress and best results. Figure out how to get it right in the off position, and it’ll be all the easier when you’re holding 365 degrees in the palm of your hand!