For a time, wearing hair straight was the in thing for women to do. But, thanks to celebrities and beauty bloggers showing off stunning curly hairstyles, women are branching out and it’s all in thanks to the curling iron.
Whether it’s a special occasion such as a wedding or date night, or you just want to switch up your daily hairstyle, curly hairstyles via a curling iron are for everyone.
Use curls to liven up a half updo, a weekend look, or to feel special on a date night or gathering with friends. Loose curls are coveted for their beachy and soft vibe while spirals are fancier and look more formal. Choose one or the other, or mix both for a truly unique style.
How to Curl Hair Using a Curling Iron
There are many stunning looks a curling iron will give you, it is all about choosing the one that makes you feel most beautiful. From loose romantic waves to tight ringlets and everything in between, a curling iron will be your best friend.
Before using a curling iron, it is important to remember that in order to protect your hair from heat damage, misting hair with heat protectant spray is a must.
Additionally, choosing the right curling iron should be on your to-do list. It used to be that the only curling irons available were ones with clamps, but now there are hair wands that also get the job done minus the risk of a visible “crimp” in your hair.
Once you’ve got your heat protectant spray and a reliable curling iron, choose your desired look. The majority of curly hairstyles achieved with a curling iron will require the same prep – clean hair free of tangles and misted with hairspray to ensure your curls hold.
After choosing your desired hairstyle and prepping hair, it is curl time! Whether your hair is thick or thin, it’s best to curl hair in sections no bigger than 1″. You will hold each curl for 5-10 seconds, then release.
The traditional curl technique consists of wrapping hair around the curling iron in a downward spiral and curling away from the face. The tighter and higher you wrap the hair around the curling iron, the tighter the hair will be when unwound. Typically, this technique will give you at least a medium tightness of curl which you can loosen by brushing out.
To get spiral-shaped curls, twist each section of hair (like you’re twirling it around your finger) before wrapping it around the curling iron. The result will be gorgeous ringlets.
Depending on the style you are going for, you will either start the curling iron near the scalp – but not too close to avoid burning – or halfway down the hair. Starting higher up will give you a fuller look while curling just half the hair looks a little more natural and casual.
Gorgeous Curly Hairstyles Achieved with a Curling Iron
Whether you are a novice with the curling iron or you know it like the back of your hand, these 7 curly hairstyles are a must-try with a curling iron.
1. Spiral Updo
Go from limp waves to springy curls on a half updo with a curling iron. After letting hair dry completely, tease the crown of your hair with product, then gather the top half into a twisted messy bun.
If your hair is on the thin side, you will want to mist in hairspray on the bottom half before taking a curling iron to it.
In small 1″ sections starting close to the scalp, wind hair tightly around the curling iron at a downward angle, wrapping the hair so that it overlaps. Hold for 10 seconds, then release.
If the spiraled curl is too tight for you, you can finger-comb hair to loosen it up. Fancy up the look with some rhinestone clips or faux flowers tucked in.
Instead of filling up your whole head of hair with ringlets, just glam up the ends. When hair is completely dry, comb your locks and prep with heat protectant and hairspray.
Part hair off center and starting halfway down the hair, twist small 1″ sections before winding it around the curling iron, making sure to curl away from the face.
Upon releasing the curling iron, you’ll see these gorgeous tight ringlets. Brushing them out will widen and soften them up or you can leave them tight. Clip in some flower or sparkly clips on one side of the head to finish this style off.
3. Slept-In Curls
Big hair wasn’t just for the 80s and if you have thick hair, it will be super easy to get this pumped up curly style. Bedhead curls are also great for women with thick hair who want a dramatic style.
Get the look by first washing hair and letting air dry. Skip brushing the hair out so you’re one step ahead to volume.
Using fingers, work in mousse throughout the hair for extra volume. After separating small sections of hair, twisting each lock before winding it around a curling iron.
After holding for 10 seconds and releasing, use a brush to comb out every other curled section. This will result in a balance of perfect curls with messy texture woven in.
4. Soft Curls
Especially on shorter haircuts, like this shaggy pixie, soft curls are beautiful. They’re also a great option for women who want a less in-your-face head of curls and a more casual vibe. When hair is dry, get the look by first misting your head with hairspray.
Starting at the scalp, wind small sections of hair around the curling iron, again making sure to curl away from the face. Because your goal is soft, loose curls, you only need to hold the curling iron on your hair for about 5 seconds.
After curling each section of the hair, that is when you can brush through them or use fingers to stretch out the curls.
5. Thick Wavy Curls
Another great look for short hairstyles, you can easily thicken up thin hair with these luscious curls. To get the style, work in mousse when hair is damp or dry.
If you have thin hair, you can get away with curling sections larger than 1″. For thick hair, keep each section small and manageable.
Starting at the forehead hairline, hold the curling iron to hair for 10 sections, pulling each curl out afterward just a little bit to round them out.
This style incorporates different directions of curls which you can get by curling each section of hair in a different angle – some to the left or right and some toward the back.
6. Wedding Curls
You’ll feel like a queen on your big day when you use a curling iron to achieve this wedding updo. To get the look, it might be easier to straighten locks to make the hair easier to work with.
Once it’s all brushed out, use a comb and hairspray to tease hair at the crown. Then gather it all up in a loose ponytail or bun – you decide whether you want it at the crown for height or lower down.
If you secure hair in a bun, make sure to keep it loose so you have tendrils to curl. Again, in small 1″ sections, curl hair from the base of the ponytail or bun all the way to the bottom, either maintaining the tight spirals by winding hair flesh against the curling iron or winding it loosely.
Once finished, brush out hair for a softer effect, tucking in pieces sporadically and accenting the style with flowers or shiny pins.
7. Loose Curly Ponytail
An ethereal low curly ponytail is also a perfect option for a wedding or prom hairstyle. If your hair isn’t this long naturally, consider adding in extensions.
Use comb, hairspray or mousse through hair to prep. After teasing hair for texture, gather it in a low ponytail at the neck. Load up locks again with hairspray.
Twirl small sections of hair around your fingers before winding them loosely and at an angle around your curling iron. If the resulting curls are too tight for your liking, brush them out to get soft, loose ones. Finish this style off by pulling two tendrils loose to frame the face.
There are a few things to remember about achieving curly hairstyles with a curling iron. First, the key to getting lasting curls is misting your locks with hairspray before taking a curling iron to hair. This will help hold shape and ensure your curls don’t unravel too quickly.
Second, remember to use a heat protectant spray so your hair stays shiny and healthy!
Third, as long as you use the right product, it doesn’t matter what length or texture your hair is.
After curling your hair, you should not have to do any touch-ups other than misting with a final coat of hairspray. Accessories can always add a beautiful detail to your look – experiment with rhinestone barrettes, faux flowers, or even ribbon. Whichever curly hairstyle above you choose, you are sure to look gorgeous.