7 Great Tips On How To Use a Curling Iron With Clamp

by Leah Williams | Updated: 11/08/2019

Wondering how to use a curling iron with clamp? Traditional curling wands come in two types, one with a built-in clamp and the clipless kind. Choosing which curling wand to get is a matter of personal preference but each product has its own pros and cons. Some love the idea of a curler with a built-in clamp while for others, it’s a deal-breaker.

The clamp is designed to hold the hair in place while styling it. This feature is perfect for individuals who are either new to hair styling or those who want to simplify the process of curling their hair. Most curling iron sets come with heat protectant gloves but if you don’t want to use such products then a curler with a clamp will be most helpful to you. Lucky folks with shiny, extra smooth hair fall in love with curling wands with a clamp because these tools make styling completely fuss-free every time.

A personal curler with a built-in clamp may look intimidating but it’s easier to use than you think!

Curling Irons with Clamp in this article

Pros and Cons of a Curling Iron with Clamp


  • Fuss-Free Styling
  • Defined Curls
  • User-Friendly


  • Misshapen Curls
  • Bulky


Fuss-Free Styling

If you want to make hair styling so much quicker in the morning then you will love a curler with a built-in clamp. It just makes hair curling a breeze! There is no need to use hair clips to set your hair in place as you curl your hair because there is a giant clamp built right into the device. Convenient, right? 

Defined Curls

If you love defined curls then a curling wand with clamp is the best styling tool for you. The clamp changes the way you hold the device, allowing you to create tighter curls, not loose waves. 


Hear me out! A curler with a built-in clamp may look intimidating but trust me, once you get the hang of it, hair curling will be a breeze. I feel that this curler is more user-friendly than a standard clip-less curler because you’re simply wrapping the hair around the barrel and then waiting for the curl to set. That’s it.

With a clip-less curler, you have to hold the hair in place as you curl your hair, which can be a burden for some. Also, you might end up burning your fingers or getting a crick in the neck because you are holding your hair every time you wrap the hair around the barrel.


Misshapen Curls

When used the wrong way, a curler with a built-in clamp could cause the dreaded crease. You have to refine your technique if you want to achieve the perfect curls. I highly suggest practicing with the wand turned off until you learn how to hold the curler properly. 


The built-in clamp does add to the bulkiness of the curler, which is a bad thing if you want to take your curler with you while traveling. If you are after portability then a curler with a built-in clamp is definitely hard to lug around unless you have extra space in your luggage. 

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use Curling Iron with Clamp

Step 1 – Create Sections

After shampooing, conditioning, and drying your wet hair, brush and divide your hair into 2 to 3 sections. If you have thick hair, you might have to divide your hair into 3 to 5 big sections.

Step 2 – Twist & Hold

Start ironing vertically with the clasp facing forward. Clip the ends of the hair section (each about 1 to 2 inches from the ends) halfway on the strand then twist the curling iron away from your face. Twist the curler all the way up near the roots, keep the hand steady then hold the curler for a few seconds.

Step 3 – Release & Style

If you have thin to moderate density hair, hold the curler for 7 to 10 seconds. If you have thick, coarse hair, hold for 10 to 15 seconds then release. Continue curling your hair in sections until you’re done. Give your curls a shake, a brush, or a flip then set the curls in place with your favorite hair styling product and you’re done.

Tip! Don’t wait until you are seeing sign of dryness and use the right heat protective product.

7 Great Tips On How To Use a Curling Iron With Clamp To Curl Your Hair

Tip 1 – Work in Sections

This seems like a no-brainer but never skip this especially if you have thick hair! One of the reasons why most people favor clipless curlers over curling irons with a clamp is that the latter tend to produce unsightly creases and frizz. The creases make the curls that do not look natural, misshapen even.

The simplest, easiest way to address creases and create a curled look is to work the hair into smaller sections. The thicker the hair, the smaller the hair sections. If the hair section is too thick, the clamp won’t be able to hold the entire section, which could lead to pesky creases! To achieve the perfect curl, the hair section should fit the clamp perfectly; no ends should peek out of the clamp.

Tip 2 – Curling Thick Hair

How to use curling iron with clamp when your dry, thick hair can’t hold a curl? Try holding the curling iron vertically with the clamp facing forward. Clip a 2 inch section of your hair halfway up, twist the curling iron away from your face to get close to the roots then hold. Wait for a few seconds, release the hair section and then curl the same section again about an inch or two from the ends. 

The direction of the curler and re-curling the same hair section will help stretch the life of your curls! Don’t forget to give your curled tresses a spritz of strong hold hairspray to extend the longevity of the curls.

Tip 3 – Bouncy, Voluminous Curls

One of the best tips to try if your hair lacks volume or body: curl the hair sections in different directions. Alternating between inward and outward curls pumps up the volume especially in the mid-length sections of the hair. Also, curl close to the hair roots. Be sure to finish up with a spray of extra strong hold hair spray so the curls won’t fall flat.

Tip 4 – Undone Beachy Waves

I cannot get enough of beachy waves, they’re so flattering. Although beachy waves could be one of those passing trends, I feel that they are here to stay!

If you love relaxed curls as much as I do, try this trick:

Clamp a hair section halfway on the strand so the curls aren’t too high up. Then, twist the barrel in one direction, away from the face towards the back of the head. As you twist, leave more space in between the hair portions to create bigger curls. Don’t curl all the way to the ends to give your tresses a more un-done, lived-in look.

Also, curl for less time for even looser curls, about 75 to 7 seconds per hair section. Finish up with a spray of your favorite hairspray or a dollop of hair mousse to set the curls in place.

Tip 5 – Creating Defined, Tight Curls

If you love the look of tighter curls then I would search for a curler with 1) a smaller barrel with clamp and 2) the ability to reach high temperatures. The smaller barrel helps you create tight curls while the clamp sets the hair section in place for added definition. The high heat, of course, curls the hair efficiently, extending the life of your curls (around the 400-degree mark). You want to twist the curler all the way up to the base of the hair strands for added volume. Getting near the roots help address limpness so hair won’t deflate by the afternoon.

Rake your fingers through your freshly styled hair so the tight curls would look natural. This trick is perfect for thick, coarse hair that refuses to behave. Just be sure to apply a heat protectant product and be mindful of the curling time so you don’t end up burning your hair in the process. Finish up with your favorite hairspray for best results.

Tip 6 – Tilt the Curler at an Angle

The dreaded crimped curl is a common problem when styling the hair with curlers that come with a built-in clamp. Thankfully, it’s easy to avoid the unnatural crimp by simply holding the curler in the right angle. Tilt the curler to a slight angle as you twist the curler near the head to smooth the harsh creases. If you have long hair, you have to curl your tresses near the hair root to avoid the crimped look.

The general rule of thumb is, hold the curler horizontally for defined, bouncy curls and iron vertically for looser, beach waves. Holding the curler diagonally is best for pumping the volume at the hair roots. Finish up with hairspray or apply a volume-plumping mousse to preserve the life of the curls.

Tip 7 – Use a Heat Protectant Glove

This may seem like a simple (and obvious) step to take, but it is always recommended when using any hot styling tool to wear heat protectant gloves. Particularly when it comes to curling wands with clamps, this would be useful for hair that may get stuck. The gloves will give you more control over the styling products so you don’t end up scalding your head by accident!

Buying Guide: The Best Curling Tongs for Long or Fine Hair

After Large Curling Tongs for Long Hair?

Bombay Hair Curling Iron with Clamp

Large curling tongs are ideal for users with long hair who love full, voluminous curls! One of our favorite long curling tongs for long hair is the Bombay Hair Curling Iron with Clamp in rose gold. The 32 mm rose gold barrel is made from pure titanium alloy so it heats up quickly. It also produces infrared heat and negative ion for creating the silkiest, most long-lasting curls sans heat damage.

The Bombay Hair Curling Iron with Clamp in rose gold heats up to 450°F so it’s hot enough to control the unruliest mane. There are also light indicators that cue you in once the ideal styling temperature has been reached. The cool tip gives you precise control over the curler. The added convenience of the built-in clamp is also helpful if you are dealing with long hair. The size of the curls are always consistent.

The only caveat is the price, which is steep for what it is. You can always search for a budget-friendly alternative but really, you get smart features, innovative technologies, select controls and luxe rose gold barrel with the Bombay Hair Curling Iron with Clamp. If you’re not in a hurry, this is one of the best curling tools that’s definitely worth saving up for. 

After the Best Curling Tongs for Fine Hair?

Babyliss Curling Tongs 

I style my hair regularly, that’s why a gentle curler is a must for me. Unless you’re a newbie then you know that a ceramic curler is the best curling tongs for fine hair! Babyliss curling tongs are quite versatile and so easy to use. And there are lots of options for individuals with fine hair.

For me, the best curling tongs for fine hair is the BaByliss Volume Waves Ceramic Curling Tong. This curling wand features ultra-advanced titanium ceramic heaters that produce even, consistent heat for quick and long-lasting results. The ceramic material applies heat gently, preventing heat damage.

It pumps up the volume to support full, luscious locks even if you have thin or natural straight hair. The easy to use clamp makes styling so much easier. The BaByliss Volume Wave Ceramic Curling Tong comes with 5 digital temperatures to select and the lowest settings are perfect for people with fine hair.

Conclusion: How to Use Curling Iron with Clamp

The clamp takes a while to get used to but it makes styling in the morning so much easier and more convenient. If you are new to hair curling, start practicing before a major social event. Most brands have step by step video tutorials online. Once you have the proper technique down pat, you could play with the clamp and experiment with different hairstyles!

Other Curling Irons with Clamp

About the Author

Leah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.