So you’ve heard there might be a better way to create curls than with a curling iron?
Still in the dark as to the big secret to gorgeous curls with this hot styling tool?
Or maybe you don’t yet know your way around a heat plate, errr, I mean flat iron, but would like to?
Unless you’re sleep walking you should have guessed we’re talking flat ironing your way to better curls. With the right, yet simple, tricks you can be creating luscious, look-at-me curls, or soft sexy waves in now time using an appliance many use to straighten their locks.
Who knew, right?
To help show you how, I’ve searched YouTube high and low and believe I have two awesome videos that will tell you all you need to know about this super styling technique.
Not sure who first came up with this brilliant idea, not even sure if they are a cosmetology school grad or need to be, but the results can be curls that are nothing short of amazing. I mean who would have thought, “Hmmmm, let’s use a straightening tool to curl our hair.” Yet a flat iron isn’t all that different than a curling iron, so I guess it’s not that big of leap.
Still how cool is it to have one tool that both straightens and curls your mane?
Flat Iron Curling – Step By Step
Typically it’s as easy as clamp it, wrap it and then pull it through. While paying attention to a few other details.
Dry your hair. Completely. Did I mention you want to make sure your hair is 100% dry? Good.
Add heat protectant, especially on the ends. And then brush it through just a little to insure proper coverage and protection.
Section your hair. Some do three layers on each side -top, middle bottom. Remember that the under layers play more of a supporting role so the curls there don’t really matter quite as much because they’re not as visible. Others split their hair into a left and right half and work from the back forward. Or from the front back.
IMPORTANT: To get the best flat iron curls you need the right flat iron.
- Think thin. Downright skinny even. Or an inch wide perhaps?
- With even heating across the entire surface of the plates.
- Look for plates with curved or rounded edges.
One final hint? You may see the ideal irons advertised more as styling rather than straightening tools.
Anyway that’s the big secret to success here. You want to pick the perfect styling tool.
Now you’re not going to leave the hair on the iron for too terribly long. Still the longer the length of time you leave the iron on your hair the tighter the curls. It’s a delicate balance as too long risks damaging your hair. While too short means not much of a curl.
This is where clamp, wrap and pull comes in. You take a kind of small section of hair, maybe an inch or so wide, clamp the iron on it, turn or wrap the flat iron towards your head, and pull the strands through it.
As you complete a layer, give those curls a shot of flexible hold hair spray and then move on to the next.
And remember that you’ll wrap the opposite direction on the other side of your head so that again you are twisting outward or away from your face. In other words you want to curls going in the same direction on both sides, if that makes sense.
Tip: Use the lowest setting on your flat iron that you can get away with. That may be 400 degrees F. It may be less. The right temp depends on the texture of your hair. Well, yeah! But the high heat is what gives your flat iron curls staying power, okay? Get this wrong for your hair type and at best you’ll only strip off any essential oils. Get it wronger still and you’ll singe the shafts. And burnt hair isn’t sexy.
If you have bangs you want to curl the hair up to and around, but not including them. Because you don’t want curly bangs most likely. To insure they don’t get caught up in the flat iron clip them off and away to the other side of your hair with that hair you aren’t curling.
Any hair that is shorter you want to get the iron as close to your scalp as possible. Plus this gets trickier the more layers you have in your hair.
How much or how little definition to your curls depends on how much your rake your fingers thru them. Most feel tousling more gives a more messy, more natural look to the resulting curls.
Then flip your hair over so the ends are hanging over your face and spray on your favorite hair spray to hold the look in place.
Did you get all that? Yeah it was a bit quick, wasn’t it? So let’s to go the video tape to see this demonstrated.
Flat Iron Tutorial
It looks easy. And it is. After you’ve practiced it a time or two or three. In other words you shouldn’t expect to be a pro at this the first time out. It will take doing it a few times to get the hang of it of how to wrap your strands and how fast to pull them through the tool. But then watch out!
Still that doesn’t mean you won’t make any of the ….
All Too Common Flat Ironing Mistakes
There are several things you can do that will affect the outcome, or worse, damage your hair. Here’s the short list of the more common way we misuse this tool.
Mindlessly cranking up the heat to the max just because you can. Using scorching hot heat just means more damaged hair not necessarily straighter or curlier hair. Around 400 degrees should work with most hair types. But if you want specifics, stylists will tell you anything north of 400 degrees F can damage finer locks while anything lower than 350 may not do the job on thicker coarser strands.
Along the same lines, ignoring the smell of burning hair is a big mistake. Because if it smells like your hair is going up in smoke, it likely is.
Not bothering with heat protectant or telling yourself it doesn’t matter. It does. And be sure to cover the ends since over time they have suffered the most abuse at the hands of your straightening iron.
Creased hair? Maybe you clamped too tightly or worked too slow. The idea is to keep the iron moving, you know. But if the iron sticks, and the plates are not all gummed up, you probably want to loosen your grip.
Running the iron repeatedly over the same section of hair isn’t smart. Okay one do over doesn’t matter. A dozen? Not so much.
Working with too much hair doesn’t work. Sections of hair an inch or so wide is, like Goldilocks would say, just right. More than that and you’re in too big of a hurry for flat ironing today.
Bigger isn’t always better which is why thinner plates are best for this kind of curling. Besides, a flat iron with ceramic or tourmaline plates that are an inch wide gives you the most versatility. Working with a tool that size also allows you to safely get closest to the hair nearest your scalp without burning yourself.
Using your iron on hair that isn’t 100% dry is a huge mistake. If you’re working with damp hair then that sizzling sound is likely steam rising not heat protectant evaporating and that ain’t good. Which is why many use this technique on second day hair because you KNOW it’s dry.
Tip: Where ever possible don’t subject your hair to a double barrel dose of hot styling on the same day. So if you can, on days you plan to flat iron your hair, let it air dry instead of taking the blow dryer to it. That way the only heat abuse it will have to deal with that day is from the iron.
How to De Gunk Your Flat Iron
Finally one other issue is not cleaning your tool so it can perform flawlessly the next time.
If it’s gotten to the point where you can see tons of product build up, you’ve waited too long to clean it.
Here’s the problem. Too much of this build up can make your iron sticky and keep it from gliding through your locks putting your hair at increased risk of damage.
Still, you don’t want to take any harsh chemicals to your plates.
But you might steam clean it. Here’s how. Turn the tool up so it’s hot and wipe it down with a wet washcloth. The resulting steam from the moist cloth loosens any residue making it easier to get off.
Or you could use nail polish remover on cold plates. Apply some nail polish remover to a cotton ball and run that over the surface of the plates.
Windex might work for less serious clean up.
Okay but build up won’t be an issue if you take a few seconds to wipe down the plates with a damp cloth after each use. You’ve invested in this tool. Please take care of it.
Sorry, lapsed into mother mode there for a sec. If caring for your hot iron is an issue and you need more help, this “how to” might give you the details on how to do this that you need. [http://snappyliving.com/how-to-clean-a-flat-iron-hair-straightener/]
10 Tips To Curling Your Hair With A Flat Iron
With so many hair types and lengths and such, it’s hard to give a good overview of what you might want to think about when doing this. Which is where this helpful little gem of a video comes it. It quickly covers 10 think-abouts when using a flat iron to curl your hair.
Since one model couldn’t possibly cover all hair type scenarios, this compilation vid offers 10 fabulous tips for how to go about curling your hair with a flat iron demonstrated on wigs and extensions. So if you find flat ironing techniques on the elusive side, this is the troubleshooting video for you.
Hmmm…seems the video has gone missing. Luckily I took notes.
- The claim to fame with a straight iron curl is how long it holds when compared to those your curling iron turns out.
- As you’d image since you’re sliding the iron down each section of hair you’ll get better results with strands that are clean and smooth.
- Creases, kinks, or dents in your hair come about because the iron is too hot or you didn’t keep it moving fast enough.
- Another cause of unwanted kinks is you may be pressing the flat iron too tightly against your locks. A death grip isn’t required to get a good curl if you have the proper tool. Relaxing your grip can result in more flowing curls.
- On the other hand if your created curl isn’t curly enough glide the iron more slowly over the strand to insure each bit of the strand gets hot enough.
- For medium length hair, curl under and you’ll get gorgeous girly spirals with next to no effort. Curl it over you’ll get flippy ends with loads of body that will have you party ready in no time.
- Another tip for better curls is to work with smaller sections of hair. If your sections are too large you may be unevenly heating or not applying enough heat to do the job.
- You can combine those two approaches (curling smaller sections over and under) to get messy waves galore that makes for one crazy sexy hairstyle.
- If your hair is wavy you’ll get super springy curls that may tend to shrink a bit.
- You can also turn the tables on your tool and straighten wavy hair with a curling iron. Just make sure it’s tangle free first.
- Keep your iron clean from product build up or you risk creating dents and creases galore.
- If you want to curl your short hair, no problem. You can put in oodles of flips and double the body you’ve got going for you in really fast.
All of which is why those who want to get a salon like finish at home turn to the most versatile styling tools they have – their flat iron. Especially if yours is ionic with tourmaline ceramic plates, the results can be totally enticing locks of any length. Be they straightened, waved, curled, or flipped.
So that’s how to curl hair with a flat iron.
Oh and if you could use more clever hacks like these do remember to follow our styling inspiration boards on Pinterest