Once you’ve bought yourself your ideal hair straightener, you may be surprised to find out how versatile it is to curl or straighten hair. Not only does it give you the straightest, glossiest hair you can get without going into the salon, you can also use it as a curler. While you may think that curling hair with a flat iron sounds a bit strange, this article is here to show you how to curl your hair with a straightener, giving you red-carpet hair with minimal effort. You don’t have to use the best hair straightener and curler in one; you can easily find a good flat iron that curls in the mid-range flat iron selection.
How to Curl Hair with a Straightener for Beginners
Whether you’ve bought a curved flat iron or a hair straightener and curler in one, the process is very much the same. Most round or curved flat irons can be used as straighteners, though some do make the process easier by having specially rounded edges to give you a tighter curl.
There are many hair straightener and curler 2-in-1 options that are specifically designed to be used for both straightening and curling, but you can use any round flat iron to get the job done. Some curved plate flat irons may have wide plates, and these will limit you to only getting large, loose curls due to the width of the plates. Take the time to play around with various flat irons to find the best flat iron for curling your hair that gives you the style you’re aiming for.
If you’ve never used a flat iron before, we strongly recommend that you get used to just using it to straighten your hair before moving on to curling your hair (link to how to use a hair straightener article). By learning how to use a hair straightener you can see how your hair reacts to different heats as well as becoming for familiar with your straightener curler. If you watch any tutorial videos on how to curl your hair with a flat iron, it looks incredibly easy and straightforward. That said, putting it into practice may be a bit trickier than you’d initially expect. Remember that the people doing the tutorial videos have a ton more experience than you do.
Before You Start Curling
While it’s understandable that you would want to jump straight in and grab your curling iron and start experimenting, prepping your hair will ensure that you get more consistent results. When you’re first starting out, take the time to get the basics down so that you learn how to curl hair with a straightener the easy way before moving on to more complicated techniques.
Firstly, make sure that your hair is clean and dry. Wet hair just doesn’t do well with flat irons at all and won’t hold its shape. Dirt can also interfere with the curling process, so make sure your hair has been washed within the last day.
The main trick to curl hair with a straightening iron is to use the best flat iron for curling. As we mentioned previously, wide plate flat irons are trickier to use and can only make large waves and can’t be used to make tighter curls. Some flat irons have flat edges which also make them unsuitable for hair curling.
Heat protectant is a specially designed spray that covers your hair and protects it from heat damage. Since you’ll be using a lot of heat during the curling process, using this product will ensure you get smooth, silky locks instead of a burnt frizz. Also, make sure that you set your hair straightener to the right temperature for your hair. Anything cooler will extend the process, and anything hotter will just damage your hair that much faster. As a general rule, thinner hair needs less heat than thicker hair.
Brush your hair thoroughly before starting the curling process and divide your hair into sections. The thicker your hair, there more sections you’ll need to take care of. By tying up most of your hair and only focusing on one specific area, you don’t have to wonder if you’ve already curled an area and you can control the process better.
You can also practice different types of curling techniques with a cold iron before moving onto a hot iron. This gives you a chance to practice the technique without subjecting your hair to heat unnecessarily. Once you’ve got the hang of the motion, you can do it for real with a heated iron.
Once you’ve experimented with different techniques and found one that you really like, it’s time to apply the same method to your entire head of hair. To make your life easier, divide your hair into sections and start curling from the hair closest to the nape of the neck. That way you can work your way up without missing a single section or having to deal with loose hair everywhere.
Work your way up from one side to the other, constantly moving up towards the top of your head. If you want your hair to fall away from your face, keep your wrist away from your face while moving the flat iron through your hair. This will give you a nice gentle effect with minimal extra effort.
Once you’re done with the curling process, make sure you preserve your look with a little bit of hairspray. You may find that the different sections tend to clump together, so run your fingers through your hair to ensure even separation of the curls. You’ll have a beautiful look just like that!
Hair Curling Tips with a Straightener
If you find the above explanation a bit too long-winded and intimidating to follow, don’t worry. We’ve got a couple of hair curling tips that, if you keep them in mind, will ensure that you get great results, no matter your experience level or which hair straightener and curler you’re using.
· Protect your hair. Heat is a damaging agent that dries out your hair and makes it look flat and lifeless. By using a heat protection product, you take care of your hair and protect it during the styling process. While you should apply heat protectant all over your hair, focus on the ends of the hair which are more prone to damage and need greater protection.
· Don’t stand still. Once you’ve started the curl, don’t stop your hair iron until you’ve run out of hair. This ensures you don’t burn your hair or end up with any odd crimps that just look weird
· Know where to start. Modern curls don’t start right from the top of the scalp. If you want gentle curls, start curling at eye-level
· Don’t go all the way. If you want lazy beach curls, don’t curl the ends and focus on the middle part of the hair instead
· Play around with curl direction. You can easily control the direction of your curls through the way that you move the edge straightener through your hair. You can keep your hair away from your face by angling the flat iron away from your face while you move the iron. You can also alternate curl directions for a more natural look. Always try to experiment and play around with your flat iron to find out new ways of how to curl hair with a straightener
· Smooth before curling. If you’ve got naturally curly hair, your natural curls may interfere with the curling process. So first go over and straighten out a section of hair before doing a second pass in which you curl your hair. Since this is double the heat, make sure you have plenty of protectant to keep your hair healthy
· The curl is the start of an upstyle. You can even use your straightener curler to lay the foundation of a stylish updo, most of which rely on having some structure to your hair before you proceed
· Keep your hair length in mind. Different lengths of hair look better with different iron curls hairstyles. Don’t be afraid to experiment, regardless of the length of your hair
How to Curl Short Hair with a Flat Iron
Don’t let the fact that you’ve got a short cut to deter you from playing around with different styles. Knowing how to curl short hair with a flat iron will teach you which methods work best to add volume and texture to what might otherwise be a very boring haircut. Using a curling iron and straightener in one, you can add plenty of shape and body to your hair in a couple of minutes.
The basic technique is the same regardless of the length of hair. If you have short hair, try to start further down so prevent your hair from getting too much body at the top.
· You can take advantage of alternating curl directions to create a more textured and natural look that works great with shorter hair
· When you get to the front of your hair, you can use your curling and straightening iron to create a gentle flick away from your face, which is incredibly useful if you tend to push your hair behind your ear
· Use a brush to even out the curls and create a more natural look
How to Curl Medium Hair with a Flat Iron
When looking for the best straightener for curling, you need to take your hair texture into account and the types of curls you’ll be styling most often. When you experiment with different techniques on how to curl medium length hair with a flat iron, you may notice that tighter curls don’t really work so well on medium-length hair. By learning what looks best on you, you can find the best flat iron for your needs.
While you can do all sorts of different types of curls for medium-length hair, it really does lend itself best to beachy waves and basic curls. Beachy waves are a great way to add sophistication to an otherwise very casual hairstyle. You might think that beachy waves only work on long hair, but they actually work well on shorter hairstyles too. While there’s a bit less texture, it’s still a look that is guaranteed to turn heads.
How to Curl Long Hair with a Flat Iron
Long hair definitely benefits the most from curls, giving it tons of interesting texture and life. If you’re learning how to curl long hair with a curling iron, you may get frustrated by the amount of time it takes, especially if your hair is very long. Here are some tips to get the most out of your curling iron and straightener in one when you have extensive tresses:
· Curl your hair while it’s in a ponytail. Since most trendy curls start in the mid-shaft, you can get away with tying your hair up, dividing it into a couple of sections and then curling. Be amazed at the magic that happens when you let the ponytail down
· If you want tight ringlets fast, braid your hair all the way from the top to the tip of your strands. Then use your curler and straightener in one to do a couple of loose flicks on the outside of braid and loosen the braid — instant tight curls with minimal effort
How to Curl with a Straightener for Loose Curls
Loose curls, or beachy waves, are a great look for the summer. They’re casual, yet sophisticated and very easy to do with your hair straightener and curler 2-in-1.
The traditional method to get loose curls with a flat iron is to start three-quarters of the way up the strand and then twist away from your face. Pull the flat iron down the rest of the way. Once you’ve completed the curls, you can brush out your hair to soften the curls and flat iron the ends for a trendier look.
There are alternative ways to get loose curls if you find the above method tricky. Some people find the constant twisting to be challenging, and one wrong twist can affect the entire look. Many tutorial videos can teach you how to curl hair with a straightener to get loose curls, and some offer different techniques which may work better for you. As usual, don’t be afraid to experiment.
Different Ways to Curl Your Hair with a Straightener
There are many flat iron curls hairstyles (link to guide on flat iron hairstyles) that you can try, each with different results. Once you’ve become familiar with your flat iron, you can use it to either curl or straighten hair and play around with all sorts of hairstyles. Before you start that, though, take the time to check out all of the different ways you can use your flat iron to curl your hair.
The two most basic techniques for curling hair with a flat iron are flicks and twists, which produce similar gentle curls. When you start to learn how to curl hair with a straightener by yourself, it’s worthwhile to take the time to practice and get a feel for the iron and how your hair reacts. You’ll soon start developing a feel for how the process works.
A flick is when you start halfway down your hair and do a half-turn with your hair clamped in the flat iron. Essentially, you’re looking to do a U with your hair in the straightener. Then, keep this position and move the flat iron down the rest of your hair. You can control the strength of the curling effect
by going slowly or fast. The faster you complete the curl, the less pronounced the flick will be, because your hair is getting exposed to less heat. If you want tight curls, go slow.
Curls are pretty much the same as flicks, but you start higher up the hair shaft. Start close to your scalp, make a U-shape with your flat iron and run the straightener down to the end of the hair shaft. Again, the slower you go, the more pronounced the effect.
If you want a more intense look, you can adapt the flick technique and do a full curl with your flat iron, rather than the half-turn you did before. By creating a sort of loop, you can get amazing looking ringlets with ease. Different hair types react differently to being curled, so make sure you experiment with half curls, three-quarter curls, and full loops to see which effect you like the best.
If you’ve got a flat iron, you can almost consider that you have a hair straightener and curler in a 2-in-1 package. Take the time to familiarise yourself with your flat iron and then go all out. Experiment with different types of curls to find out which one suits your hair length and type the best. By learning the motion with a cold iron before turning up the heat, you can practice and learn without damaging your hair.