How to Use a Curling Iron

posted on June 5, 2013 | by Amanda Holstein

How to Use a Curling Iron

While there are tons of hair tutorials out there on different ways to curl your hair, one small detail that always seems to be missing is how to actually use the curling iron. For example, the way you hold the curling iron and which way you turn it is very important when curling your hair. And it’s not as intuitive as you may have thought.

First things first, make sure you have a curling iron you love, including the right curling iron for your hair length. Ceramic curling irons help reduce frizz, some people prefer wands to irons, and this one is a tried and true classic that won’t break the bank.

Follow this guide below to create classic, natural looking waves. I’m using a 1 1/4 inch curling iron for this tutorial.

Start by separating your hair into 2 sections. If you have super thick hair then you may end up doing 3 layers.


How to Use a Curling Iron

Option 1:
Start by holding the curling iron vertically with the clasp facing forward. Then clamp a 2 inch section of hair about 1-2 inches from the ends. Curl the hair out and away from your face, all the way up to the root. Hold for 7-12 seconds depending on your hair texture. Always curl the front pieces away from your face (unless you’re going for a retro Hollywood vibe).


Option 2:
If you have super thick hair, this is a better option for you. Again, hold the curling iron vertically with the clasp facing forward. Then clasp a 2-inch section of hair about halfway up. Twirl the curling iron out and away from your face so that you are just curling the roots. Hold for about 7 seconds then gently release the clasp just slightly and slide the curling iron down to about 1-2 inches from the ends. Now curl the section of hair all the way to the roots and hold for another 7 seconds.


The result of either option should look like this:


Once you’ve done the front pieces, I like to switch up the direction of the curl to create a really natural look. This time, hold the iron vertically but with the clasp facing the opposite direction. Clasp the hair about 1-2 inches from the ends and twist the iron in and towards your head, up to the roots. Hold for 7-12 seconds then slowly release the clasp. You can also use option 2 above, just be sure to twist the iron towards your head for an inward curl.


Now spray the bottom layer with hairspray. Then let down the next layer.


Once you get to the top layer, again be sure to curl the few front pieces out and away from your face. For the 2 pieces in the very front, on either side of your face, I like to use “option 1” because these sections shouldn’t be as curly as the others. I also hold the iron in the curl for less time, about 5-7 seconds, for a looser effect.


Again, spray your whole head with hair spray.


Now gently flip your hair forward then back and rake your fingers through it to get rid of the structured ringlets.





 Does this help you master the curling iron?