Who wouldn’t love to head out the door some days with bouncy, bombshell curls that look like you just stepped out of the salon?
Believe it or not you can.
Such high impact, salon quality curls can be had with of all things a flat iron meant for hair straightening.
Sure it may seem strange to some.
But check out what follows and you’ll soon come to learn this counterintuitive concept is really rather simple. And a great way to get those flowing curls that up ‘til now may have eluded you.
Okay real quick we’re going to cover the how-tos you need including:
- Products and Stuff
- Portion Control or the Importance of Sectioning
- Practicing the Technique – as demonstrated in three different videos on how to do this
Or the tricks and tips behind these vivacious curls.
Plus there’s a final video that quickly shows you exactly how to get five different looks from waves to curls with your straightening iron.
So let’s start off with
Wash and dry, and I do mean 100% dry, your hair.
Then brush it out to smooth and detangle.
Pretty standard stuff.
Another reason for the brush time is brushed locks are easier to section out for ironing.
#2 Products and Stuff
Here’s a nice look at the typical “stuff” you need to make these notice me curls happen.
There are a few additional takeaways from this.
I’d hope you’d agree that the most important of those is the heat protectant.
Yes, you want to seriously spray on the heat protectant and work that into your hair so it’s nicely dispersed FIRST.
It’s also smart to watch how long you hold the iron on any starting spot as too long risks creating a crease. Not such a big deal for the hair underneath, but the hair on the top you want to look its naturally curly best.
And don’t forget to check the hair in the back as there may be bits you missed. It’s easy to miss some when you are first learning how to do this.
Unexpected Bonus: There are lots of ways you can wear these straightener curls – pinned back, half up, or even in a pony tail. No matter which you choose you’ll look cute, chic and very put-together .
#3 Portion Control or the Importance of Sectioning
If you’ve got long, thick hair you absolutely must split it into sections. Others with shorter or fine to medium hair may find it more optional.
I’d still do it since this approach leaves you in control of the curl.
- Smaller sections with the iron pulled down slower equals tighter curls.
- Bigger sections with the iron pulled a little faster equals bigger looser hair.
So divide it in half, top and bottom, using your finger to run along the hair right above your ears.
Twist and clip the top section out of the way for now so you can focus on curling the bottom half.
#4 Practicing the Technique
Now for the main event.
To turn you into a flat iron curling maven we’ll look at how three divas do it – step by step.
Curling with a Straightener by Camila Coelho
Here are some of the takeaways from this one.
Grab a section of hair. Try to get close to your scalp with the iron.
She wraps the hair around the flat iron like this:
- Clamp the flat iron onto the strand of hair,
- Throw the lower portion of the strand back over the flat iron,
- Twist the flat iron to the back 360 degrees so the hair wraps around it,
- Pull the iron down through the strand.
Tip: You want the little bottom half/tail end of the strand peeking out and pointing forward from between the plates. This way the hair glides perfectly across the heat plates with getting caught as you squeeze them together. If it does get caught just jiggle it to keep things moving.
This approach to curling results in a tighter curl at the end of the hair.
Tip: The slower you go down the strand the better curl you’ll get.
In no time you’ll be able to do this in less than five to seven minutes. Even when taking smaller sections of hair.
To finish things off spritz with hair spray to hold the curl.
Okay since getting the technique is important let’s look at that again a different way.
The important takeaways from this one would be:
The trick is it depends on how you twist the curling iron to get the curl you want.
After apply the heat protectant start half way down the strand, clap down, throw the strand over the iron, and then twist it back 360 degrees
Work the iron gently and SLOWLY down the strand of hair you’re working with. The slower you go the curlier the hair you’ll end up with.
Scrunch it or twist it a little and then move on to the next.
So, basically the cheat sheet is:
That after putting your hair back into something like a half pony because you’re going to focus on the bottom portion first. Hold the rest up with a clip or elastic or whatever you prefer to use to keep it out of the way.
It may take some practice (don’t get discouraged) until you have the bottom end of the strand coming out between the two plates of the iron.
Yet getting to that each time is key to making this work. That and patience and practice like anything else.
Trust me. You’ll get better and faster the more you do this.
Remember too that usually the ends of your hair don’t need as much heat as the middle do to produce nice, pretty curls.
Two things determine the amount of curl you end up with.
- The size of the strands you run through the iron. Obviously the smaller the strand the more curl inducing heat the hair will be subjected to.
- And two how fast your glide the hair through the iron.
It just depends on the final look you’re going for. Tighter curls or looser ones.
Spritz with hair spray and scrunch it gently to finish the look. You might find using hair spray more underneath the curls is better so you don’t weigh them down.
One more thing. How your twist the iron determines whether your curls go in towards your face or out. Some have a preference. Some alternate with each strand. We’ll see more about that with the next video.
But before we get to that let’s talk about things most miss with flat iron curls….
9 Common Straightening Iron Mistakes That Will Totally Fry Your Hair
Without a doubt heat styling can work beauty miracles.
But too much heat too often can be a death sentence for your hair. And no one ever confused straw with gorgeous hair for a reason.
Still we’ve all been guilty of straightening iron mistakes from time to time. For how many will you plead the fifth?
The Mistake: No Thermal Protectant
This is by far the biggest mistake you can make.
If you have a death wish for your mane go ahead and start flat ironing unprotected strands.
Ultimately though your soon-to-be-fried hair will pay the price.
Fact is too many of us cheerfully skip past this step needlessly putting our mane at peril. Whatever you do, do NOT neglect to apply heat protectant.
The Mistake: Steam Rising
As Teen Vogue put it “Sizzle is the enemy. If you see steam or you hear the sizzle, stop and evaluate the situation.”
And by stop they mean immediately if not sooner. Because steam isn’t a sign good things are happening to your hair. At best is means your locks aren’t dry enough. At worst it means they’re frying and dying.
The Mistake: Damp Hair
Never ever work with hair that isn’t dry as a bone. And no, damp almost dry doesn’t count.
The Mistake: When it Come to Plates Bigger Isn’t Better
It’s a mistake to use an iron with plates that are too honkin’ big.
Instead what you want are one inch ceramic or tourmaline plates that will let you produce a natural looking outcome. For sure anything beyond an inch and a half should be used for styling only.
The Mistake: Jacked Up Heat
Just because your iron can heat to 450 degrees doesn’t mean it’s smart for you to do so – no matter how big of a hurry you’re in.
Don’t be guilty of this sin since cranking up the heat puts your hair at risk – especially fine strands.
Basically you want to find the lowest temperature that produces the results you seek. It’s better (read smarter) to see if 300-350 degrees won’t do the job.
The Mistake: ‘peat and Repeat Repeatedly
The idea is to get what curl you can out of one smooth and steady pass with the straightener.
Don’t stop the tool or you’ll create kinks or creases.
And for sure don’t run the iron over the same section of hair immediately to fix those. Especially if it’s hair that will be underneath other curls.
Instead give it a chance to cool down before attempting a second pass.
The Mistake: Fistsful of Hair
Taking too much hair at one time will make it hard for the tool to do its job.
Plus not sectioning properly will make it take longer because you will miss some strands and have to back track until it all look beauteous.
The site allbeauty.news makes a good point about the size of the section of hair you’re working with relative to the size of your flat iron:
“The section of hair you choose should always be a little bit smaller than the area (width) of the hot plates.”
Besides, working with smaller sections will produce better curls that simply last longer.
The Mistake: Chintzing on the Flat Iron
You get what you pay for really applies big time with hot irons.
Things like auto shut off, a temperature indicator and short temperature recovery times really are more than just nice features. They make the tool much more usable.
Beveled (rounded) edges also make a big difference. They make it easier to create perfect curls with one smooth pass through your hair.
And be sure to match the material of the plates to your hair type. Words like ceramic or tourmaline do more than bulk up the description on the outside of the box.
Something else you can’t help but notice is that many complain of burning their fingers when trying this styling technique. Which is why you might want to get a flat iron with a thumb rest on the end.
Those seeking such finger protection might want to check out what the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium 1″ U Styler offers. Beyond that, from reading customer reviews it seems to regularly exceed everyone’s expectations. Just saying.
The Mistake: Not Cleaning the Straightener
If you can’t remember when you last cleaned the thing it’s been too long. Gunky build-up on the plates will not let your hair glide smoothly over them leaving you with a not so fresh feeling.
So do this. While the iron is still warm but unplugged wipe it down with a damp paper towel using sufficient elbow grease. Or try rubbing alcohol which should do the trick to degunk even the grossest of irons.
Directing the Curl
Okay so where were we in the video training? Oh yeah. The direction of the curls.
Rather than always curl the hair away from or towards your face some like a blend of inward and outward directed curls. Here’s a quick look at exactly how that would work.
Curling Hair with a Flat Iron
Once you’ve got all the curling done there’s one more thing.
Breaking Up Isn’t Hard to Do
Most often you’ll want to soften the curls some. Doing so helps your hair to look fuller and thicker. Plus the curls look more natural.
So you’ll want to break them up at least a little. You can either do this by finger raking them or by taking a brush to them to produce a more consistent looking finish.
Now any advanced course would show you how to get an assortment of curls and waves with your straightener. That’s just what this video does in a little over four minutes.
5 Easy Curls/Waves Using a Flat Iron
Those in search of the perfect curls look for them in many places. Your flat iron should now be added to the list.
Of course the first or even fifth time doing this the curls likely will not be absolutely perfect. That’s because this is a skill that takes practice to master.
But if you stick with it you will find yourself gaining in confidence and ability with a technique that works really well. Then watch out!