One of the most common complaints I hear about curling irons is that they create ringlets as opposed to loose waves. And nobody wants perfect ringlets unless they’re Shirley Temple. While using a straightening or a curling iron without a clamp to create loose waves is certainly an option, both of these tools are more difficult to master. Since it took us long enough to master the curling iron, let’s use what we’ve got. You can achieve loose waves with a curling iron, you just need to know how to use it correctly.
There are a couple things you can do while curling your hair to avoid annoying ringlets. First, never curl the ends. When you clasp your hair in the curling iron, there should be 1-2 inches untouched below the clasp. Another thing I always do is vary the direction of the curling iron. I always curl the pieces in front away from my face, but the rest I like to alternate between curling towards my face and away. This creates a more natural wave.
Before the last and most important step, I always spray my hair with a flexible hold hairspray. That way once I loosen the curls, they won’t completely fall apart. Be sure to spray about 6-8 inches away from your head so that just a light mist covers your hair.
This is the key to achieving loose waves with a curling iron. Once your whole head is curled, gently (but not too gently), flip your hair forward, then backward. If you have super thick or long hair, you may want to do this twice. Run your fingers through your hair to break up any ringlets that were still left in tact.