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How to Curl Hair

How to Curl Hair

Tips for creating curly & wavy hair

No two curls are the same, and that’s what makes them awesome. Whether you’re looking for I-woke-up-like-this waves or prom-perfect curls, it’s important to pay attention to the details. Fortunately, there are many tools to choose from, so achieving your look has never been easier. PS: let your hair dry before it touches any heat—a styling tool can damage wet hair.

Step 2: Split hair into sections

A good rule is to separate your hair into 2 or 3 sections, depending on the thickness of your hair. start by clipping the top layers on top of your head, letting the lowest layer hang down. When you’ve curled that layer, move to the middle, then the top.

Step 3: Set the temperature based on hair type

Fine or color- treated hair

Low heat: 300–350°F

Thick & slightly curly hair

Medium heat: up to 400°F

Textured or curly hair

High heat: up to 420°F

Step 4: Choose the right tool for your style

Tip: Curl away from your face for a more natural pattern.

Curling iron

This classic tool is the best way to achieve all kinds of curls. Why? Curling irons are easy to use and come in a variety of barrel sizes, which means lots of curl possibilities. The clamp makes it easy to lock in the exact pattern.

Step 4: Choose the right tool & style

Tip: Curl away from your face for a more natural pattern.

Curling iron

This classic tool is the best way to achieve all kinds of curls. If you’re looking for options, get a curling iron with different size barrels. A 1 ½ inch barrel will give you cool-girl beachy waves, while a ¾ inch barrel creates perfectly tight curls.

Curling wand

Wands are similar to curling irons, but without the clasp—they’re perfect for natural looking curls. Choose from a tapered barrel (tight to loose), an inverted taper (loose to tight) or a straight barrel. Wear a glove to protect from the heat.

Straightening iron

Yes, a straightener can help you curl (ironic, right?). Get subtle beachy waves by clamping hair at eye level, then rotating the iron towards the back. Continue down the strand, releasing an inch before your ends.

Curlers & no-heat techniques

If you’re wary of heat-intensive tools, try curlers. They’re an old trick that works really well, especially overnight. For a looser wave, use regular hair ties and buns.

Step 5: Finish with a hairspray

Lock in those locks. Even if you’re going for a looser curl, hairspray is an important last step. Not all hairsprays are the same, though. Choose from super-tight lock to a more subtle hold.

Let the compliments pour in

Final look: Beachy waves

How we did it:

  • Use a curling wand, iron or straightener
  • Band size: 1 inch or larger
  • Hold the tool vertically for loose curl (and leave out the ends)

Final look: Glam curls

How we did it:

  • Use a curling iron
  • Band size: 3/4 inch or larger
  • Hold the tool horizontally for tighter curl

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