How to Use a Curling Iron

Curling irons can make your hair curly, wavy, flipped up, flipped under, flipped forward or flipped back. Of course, when used improperly, they can also burn your hands, your neck and face, your hair and the surfaces you put them on, so it's important to use them correctly.

Get the Most from your Tools

Start with clean, dry hair. If your hair tends to get frizzy, apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner or Moroccan Oil to the middle of hair and ends before styling. If your hair is hard to style or doesn't hold curl for long, apply an alcohol-free styling gel. Keep oils away from your scalp -- your skin will provide scalp oil naturally!

When using a curling iron with multiple heat settings, always use the lowest heat setting you need to curl your hair. Anything hotter won't give you more curl and it may burn your hair.

Wait for the iron to heat up fully before styling or you'll end up redoing the curls you created when you started with a cool iron.

How to Curl Hair

Starting at the back of your hair, pin up the top half of your hair. Work in 1" sections starting at the back of your neck, then letting down layers as you finish each section. Open the curling iron and place a 1" section of hair inside the clamp. Gently pull the iron down until the clamp is holding the end of your hair. Roll the barrel up for flipped up curls or down for flipped under curls. Hold for a second, then open the clamp and slide the hair out of the iron without pulling the curl.

For the most natural look, wrap hair around the curling iron in alternating directions as you go from section to section. For tighter, bouncier curls, wrap less hair. For looser, free flowing curls, wrap more hair. To set the curl, do not comb or brush hair until it cools.

Finish your style and control frizz with a light hairspray.

Safety First

If you're using an electric heat appliance and you're a teen or tween, you need to get a parent's permission before using it. When using any equipment that you plug in, keep it away from the sink, shower, tub, or any water. When using a hot appliance, never touch the metal, even if it is off, as you could burn your skin. and keep the hot metal away from your forehead and neck. Most burns occur when doing bangs or the short hairs at the back of the neck!

To keep hair from getting fried, use hairspray and other alcohol-based styling tools after heat styling.

Have Your Say

Do you use a curling iron or other styling tool? What's your favorite way to style your hair? Let us know in the comments below!



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How do you do your hair in the morning?

  • I don't!
  • I blow dry and style it every day
  • I brush it and put it up
  • It depends on how much time I have

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