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How to Curl Your Hair With a Curling Wand the Right Way

No matter you have short or long hair, a curling wand can help you get the curly hair of your dreams. If this is your first try attempting to use a curling wand to achieve enviably bouncy curls, you might be a little baffled— or wary of getting burnt. We detail how to curl your hair with a curling wand and how to use a curling wand, from heating it to holding it right.


Which Curling Wand Size is Best?

Curling Wand Size

The size and shape of a curling wand will determine what sort of curl it’s best for. The smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl you can achieve. For instance, if you want Victorian-era ringlets, pick a barrel that’s an inch in diameter or smaller.

On the other hand, voluptuous loose waves are easier to create with a broader barrel (1.5 inches or larger).

Conical barrels are great if you want to vary the size of your curls from root to rip. You can achieve the same with straight-barrel models, but it might be a little trickier for newbies.


What Do I Need to Curl My Hair?

curling hair

If you’ve ever used a flat iron, the same principles apply. You can’t wield heat tools without a bit of preparation beforehand. Make sure you have the following items handy:

  • Heat protectant
  • Clips
  • Hairspray
  • Volumizing product (optional, but helpful)
  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Hairbrush


How to Use a Curling Wand: Step-by-Step

How to Use a Curling Wand

Let’s dive into it—grab your curling wand and other essentials, and get ready to show off Insta-worthy curls.

Step #1: Clean Slate

Ideally, you should start with squeaky clean strands: no judgment if you haven’t had the chance to wash it for a while, but dirty hair won’t hold curls well.


Step #2: Brush and Protect

Once your hair is clean and dry, brush it out until it’s free of knots and tangles. Apply your go-to heat protectant product, especially if you have weak or color-treated strands.


Step #3: Section Hair

Using your clips, section your hair into pieces. The smaller you piece out your sections, the tighter your curls will be. That means if you want looser curls, opt for larger sections. A Marilyn-Monroe-style pinup look will require smaller sections, for example.


Step #4: Heat It Up!

Your curling wand should have a range of heat settings. If your hair type is fine, damaged, or color-treated, you’ll want to choose a lower setting. Those of you with thick or coarse tresses will have to ramp up the heat to see effects.


Step #5: Get a Grip

Here’s the hardest part for most newbies regarding how to curl your hair with a curling wand: getting comfortable holding it.

Firstly, take advantage of the button-lock setting if your wand has it to avoid accidentally changing the temperature or turning it off. Next, make sure you have a firm hold on the handle and can maneuver your wrist easily—extend the cord and get it out of the way.


Step #6: Start Curling

Unclip a section, starting toward the bottom of your head. Hold the hair straight out from your head, taking care to keep it away from your neck and face.

Next, wrap the bottom of your hair around the barrel or cone of the wand. If you have a clamp model, hold the clamp open, and then secure it around the bottom piece of your hair.

If your wand is clampless, start wrapping the barrel or cone an inch or two away from the ends, so you don’t burn your finger. Hold on to the tip of your hair until the section is securely wrapped; otherwise, it’ll fall loose—be careful, though!

Next, start twisting upward toward the roots of your hair. Once the entire section is wrapped around the wand, hold it for a couple of seconds and then release

If you’re hesitant about placing your hair around the scalding-hot wand, invest in a heat protectant glove. Some models have these included.

Repeat the process with the rest of the sections.


Step #7: Cool Down

Before you continue, give your curls a chance to cool off. Otherwise, you risk ruining them by trying to comb them out too soon.


Step #8: Comb It Out

Grab your wide-toothed comb and gently run it through your tresses. Go slowly and carefully here, separating tighter curls with your fingers if needed.


Step #9: Final Touches

Preserve your hard work with your favorite long-lasting hairspray. Don’t go overboard; you don’t want to weigh your curls down.

Watch the below video to learn how to curl hair using  a curling wand.



We hope our tutorial on how to curl your hair with a curling wand helps you achieve your dream style. Whether you’re after sexy tousled waves or glamorously bouncy curls, don’t get discouraged if it turns out less-than-perfect on your first attempt. When it comes to how to use a curling wand, practice definitely makes perfect!


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