How to Curl Hair With a Hair Straightener


Curling your hair with a hair straightener seems counterintuitive, but in fact, a flat iron is capable of making some of the best curls your hair has ever seen. Learning this technique can eliminate the need to even own a curling iron.

To start off, you need to select the correct straightener. To get the best curls, use an iron that has plates that are no larger than a 1″wide. Flat irons with a rounded barrel are best for curls, as squared off barrels might give you an undesired crease in your curl. You’ll want to make sure your iron has adjustable heat and can get to at least 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure your hair is completely dry. Don’t use a flat iron on moist hair, even if it says ‘wet-dry’, as this is a serious electrocution risk, and also can damage your hair. Use a heat protectant product when your hair is 10% moist, then blow-dry out, for the best results, and to protect your hair.

To begin curling your hair, you’ll need sectioning clips, a flat iron, medium hold hair spray, and paddle or vent brush. When using a flat iron, speed and motion is key in getting the size curls you want. A faster motion will give you looser curls, while a very slow motion will give you tight curly-sue spirals.

Put the majority of your hair in sectioning clips, out of the way. You’ll start curling using the bottom layers.

Take a 1-2 inch section of hair, brushing out straight. Flip the iron so your wrist is in the farthest back position it can be in, then close the paddles over the hair close to the scalp.

Bend your wrist forward to the most comfortable position possible, while holding the end of your hair with your brush.

Bring the iron over the hair at the speed needed for what size curls you’re looking for, all the way to the ends. Think of this like curling a ribbon on a wrapped present using a knife. You’re stressing the follicle to do what you want using this technique.

Repeat around the bottom layers, then move up, releasing sections as you do them. The entire process should only take about 20 to 40 minutes, depending on your hair length and how good your flat iron is.
Hair curled by a flat iron, in my experience, holds longer than that done with a curling iron, because  of the chemistry of the hair and how you’re manipulating the hair. However, if your hair has trouble holding shape, spray some medium hold hair spray on each section after curling.

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