Despite the name, a hair straightener can do so much more than straighten your hair. If you've only used your straighteners to create sleek, straight styles, you're missing out on a whole host of opportunities! You can achieve anything from bouncy, sleek curls to textured cool-girl waves with the right tools and technique. So if you're wondering how you curl your hair with a straightener, just grab your straighteners and carry on reading for our step-by-step guide.
Prep Your Hair for Using Straighteners
- Find Your Tool
Few beauty endeavours are more frustrating than spending your morning curling your hair with hair straighteners, just to catch a glimpse of yourself with sad, limp hair just a few hours later. So naturally, you might assume you've got your technique all wrong. Instead, however, you might want to take a closer look at your styling tools. There are a few key things to look out for when choosing your hair straighteners to improve the longevity and quality of your curls.
Ceramic plates are known for reducing frizz and evenly distributing heat, creating long-lasting, even curls. It's also super handy to have adjustable temperature settings. Everyone's hair is different, so you'll want to use a temperature that works best for your hair type. For example, if you have thick, coarse hair, you'll want to use a higher setting than someone with thin or fine hair. This allows the heat to safely penetrate the hair strands to create an even, long-lasting curl.
Bonus tip: The size of your straightener's plate will also make a difference in the final result. We recommend using straighteners no wider than two inches. Any wider, and you may struggle to get round bouncy curls.
- Washing Your Hair
Preparation is the secret to creating curls like the professionals. We recommend using a sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner to keep your hair lightweight for optimal bounce and volume.
One big no-no when it comes to preparation is curling your hair when it's still wet. Straighteners are designed to only be used on dry hair. Even if your hair is slightly damp, it will be more susceptible to damage, and you'll end up with frizzy looking curls. Instead, dry your hair with a hairdryer to smooth the hair and reduce frizz and texture.
Having said all above, for even better results, we recommend curling your hair on the second or third day after washing. Dirty hair tends to hold a curl better than squeaky clean hair. And, if your hair starts to feel greasy, use dry shampoo to soak up any excess oil.
- Use Heat Protectant
This is the most important styling product you can use on your hair before styling with heat. Heat protectants add a barrier between your heated styling tool and your hair, sealing in moisture and fending off frizz. We suggest applying a heat protectant mainly to protect your hair from the heat and to smooth the cuticle, making your hair look and feel smoother.
- Section Your Hair
Hair clips are your styling friend, both pre-and post-curl. Before you start curling your hair, you'll want to section your hair into four even sections; this will make the curling process much more manageable whilst ensuring you cover your entire head.
That's not the last of the clips; if you want your curls to last for a few days, we recommend using clips later in the process to create pin curls. Once your curl falls from the straighteners, you wrap the curl and pin it on the top of your head, leaving it to cool. So, when you unpin the curls, you're left with more structure and lasting power.
Step-by-Step Guide on Creating Classic Curls with Straighteners
- Once you've prepped your hair, you can start by releasing an angled section of hair from the nape of the neck that's around one inch wide. When curling with straighteners, working in diagonal sections creates a more natural-looking wave pattern.
- Gently clamp the hair around three inches from your scalp and twist the flat iron away from your face so that the plates are parallel to the ground. Wrap the hair around the body of the flat iron, holding the end in your hand. The Hail Your Hair Straighteners’ smooth ceramic plates and swivel cord make this usually dreaded party easy – no tugging on the hair or tangled wires to mess up your flow.
- Glide the straightener gently down the hair all the way through the end, clamping with medium tension. Don't worry - learning how to curl hair with a straightener is like riding a bike. You'll get the hang of it for life after a few tries.
- Repeat these steps with one-inch sections until all of your hair is curled.
- If your curls are prone to falling out, immediately spray hairspray on each section after it falls from the straightener or pin curl it.
Exploring Different Techniques
Have you got stubborn hair that doesn’t hold a curl or silky-soft texture with no grip? Whether you're working with freshly cleaned hair or you're going on day three, to get the most realistic, textured beach waves, we recommend spritzing your hair with a healthy spray of dry shampoo and, of course, a heat protectant.
Luckily, beach waves are one of the most straightforward curls to achieve with hair straighteners. Here are two of the easiest ways to curl your hair with a straightener for chic beach waves.
- "S" Waves
If you're after soft, lived-in waves, then you'll love this straightener technique. The process is pretty straightforward:
- Start by taking an inch-wide section of hair and making a "C" shape with the rounded edge facing the outside.
- Repeat this motion in the opposite direction to create a continuous "S" shape as you clap your straightener down, locking the pattern into place.
- Continue down the length of the hair until you nearly reach the ends – you'll want to keep the ends a little straighter so that the waves don’t end up looking too ‘done’.
- Textured waves
- Take a section from the nape of the neck, and then place your straightener near the root pointing downwards, rotate the straightener away from the face and gently glide.
- Release the straightener before you reach the ends, leaving the ends straight gives an extra beachy finish.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2, until all sections have been completed.
- When curling the sections closest to the face, otherwise known as the ‘money piece’ you want to run the straightener flat with no rotation until you reach brow level.
- At eyebrow level twist the curler away from the face, and repeat on the other side and finish the look by combing out the curls with a wide tooth comb for extra texture and dimension.
Bonus Tip: Don't be afraid to mix up the direction of your twist or the size of your sections – creating curls that are ununiform creates texture
When it comes to traditional curls, it's all about shine and volume. Follow our step-by-step guide to create a faux blow-dry when you’re in a hurry, or achieve signature glossy waves by following our traditional curl guide.
- Faux blow-dry
- Smaller sections make smaller, tighter curls, as well as more of them. So, if you want that bouncy blowout look, you should take larger sections at least two inches wide.
- Starting one inch from the roots, close the straightener and rotate the iron 180° away from the face to create bouncy curls.
- Gently glide the straightener down until you reach the ends.
- Repeat this process until you’ve covered all sections.
- Allow the curls to cool down before brushing the curls through with a paddle brush to create that soft blow out look.
- Hollywood Curls
- Take a small section and place your straightener at the roots with the straightener pointing down.
- Close the straightener and rotate a half away from the face; slowly glide the straightener down towards the ends of your hair.
- Work through your sections. This method looks best when you curl away from the face for clean, uniform curls.
- To curl your bangs, smooth the hair with the straighteners and rotate the straightener once you get to eye level.
The Finishing Touches
For looser curls: Use the cool setting on your hairdryer to give your hair a quick blast. This will close the cuticle giving your hair the ultimate glossy finish whilst breaking up your curls for a natural look. Or, gently brush your hair through with a wide-tooth comb for a relaxed yet polished look.
For extra lasting power: Once you've played around and your hair is sitting in the perfect position, lightly mist your hair with hair spray. But be sure to avoid spraying too much; this will leave you with crunchy, stiff hair.
So there are our top tips on how to curl your hair with a hair straightener. As much as we love shiny, pin-straight hair, there’s no need to limit our hair straighteners to this style. We understanding that curling your hair with a straightener is easier said than done, but a little bit of practice goes a long way, and you’ll be a pro in no time.