Most women know that using a flat iron to curl hair is an easy way to get waves or curls without using a curling iron. But, not all of us know how to do it the right way. If you’re looking for tips on how to curl your hair with a flat iron, you’ve come to the right place.
When done correctly, curling your hair with a flat iron can be an easy and quick way to achieve natural-looking waves or curls.
Here at Lucky Curl, we tap into our hands-on experience with hair tools to give you the best guides for gorgeous hair. Read about the different techniques to create waves or full curls, all with a flat iron.
Do you need a special flat iron to curl hair?
Curling irons are the go-to hair tools for curling hair. They work both to create bouncy curls and tight curls, but the good thing is that you can replicate those with a flat iron.
Do you need a special flat iron to make curls? No, but different curls need different techniques in wielding the tool. The good thing is, that you can curl hair with a flat iron in many ways. You can create looser curls, s waves, and so much more with a little practice.
6 Tips for Curling Your Hair with a Flat Iron
Like any other hair styling tool, curling with a flat iron needs some prep. Here’s what you should do before starting to curl your hair:
Start with clean, dry hair.
If your hair is dirty, the oil will make it harder to curl. It’ll take forever to dry if it’s wet, and you might end up with frizzy curls.
Use a heat protectant.
This step is essential no matter what hairstyle you’re doing. A good heat protection product will help keep your hair healthy and minimize damage from heat.
Section your hair.
Curling small sections of hair will give you better results than trying to curl all your hair at once. You can use clips or a headband to keep the sections in place while you work. Using a wide-tooth comb makes everything easier.
Once you’ve prepped your hair, it’s time to whip out the flat iron and start curling.
Use heat sparingly.
As with other hair tools that use heat, use the lowest heat setting. This is true especially for thin hair, as it is more prone to damage.
Apply the right styling products.
If you have naturally straight hair, use styling products with a maximum hold to keep your style in place.
Choose a round-edge iron.
Using a straightener with rounded edges makes curling easier than using one with a straight edge. Go ahead and get one; it’s worth investing.
Curls You Can Make with Your Flat Iron
We were not joking when we said you could make different curls with your flat iron. Though curling irons are still the best tools for creating curls, you can still have gorgeous curls and waves with your trusty hair straightener.
Here’s what you can do with your flat iron:
- Bouncy curls
- Beachy s-waves
- Pin curls
- Polished waves
3 Different Ways to a Perfect Curl
Doing a hair hack like using a flat iron to curl might be tricky for some, so we made a guide on how you can curl hair with a straightener. If a head of looser curls is more your type, read on and learn as well.
How-to: Bouncy curls with a flat iron
Bouncy curls are the kind of curls that are fun, flirty, and perfect for any occasion. They’re also pretty easy to do with flat irons.
Here’s how you can create bouncy curls:
- Start with clean, dry hair. Apply heat protectant and divide your hair into sections.
- Take a small section of hair and clamp the tool around it near the roots.
- Make sure the iron is facing away from your face; pull it down your hair while still rotating it.
- Release the curl at the ends and repeat on other sections of hair.
- Top off with finishing spray.
How-to: Beachy s-waves
Beachy s-waves are the perfect summer hairstyle. They’re loose, casual, and natural-looking. The good news is, you can create them with a straightener.
- Separate hair into one-inch sections. This step will take a short time for thin hair; proper sectioning is a must to apply heat evenly for thick hair.
- Make a “C” shape with the rounded curve facing outward, beginning at the hair shaft.
- Make the same shape, this time alternating directions. This action will help you form the s-shape.
- Repeat the “over-and-under” technique until you reach the end of the hair length.
- Tousle hair lightly and apply a setting hair spray.
How-to: Pin curls
Pin curls are tighter than bouncy curls but not as loose as classic s-waves. They’re a good middle ground if you want something between the two.
They’re also pretty easy to do with a straightener. All you need is patience and some pins. Clips will do great, too!
- Begin by sectioning hair. A one-inch section would be a great way to start.
- Apply thermal spray evenly to the section.
- Wrap hair around two fingers to make a coil.
- Slide the curl out of your fingers and secure it with a pin or a clip.
- Ensure that the heat is evenly distributed by rotating the coil between the straightener a half turn at a time. Hold for a few seconds, then release.
- Hold for a few seconds, then release.
- Release the coil and comb through with fingers for effortless waves. If you want tighter ones, make smaller sections and use a rattail comb to break the curls apart (but not too much).
Our Final Hair Say
So there you have it: everything you need to know about curling hair with a flat iron. Have a budget only for one tool? Go for a straightener; it’s a dual-purpose tool. Flat irons can save the day if you want to create curls or loose waves, but no curling wand is available.
You can also check out our article for the best flat iron for curly hair if straight tresses are your thing. Good luck with styling!
Leah WilliamsLeah 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.
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