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How to Curl Hair with a Curling Iron

Curling hair like a pro is easy...when you follow these tips.

From the beachy vibe of loose curls to the sophisticated style of Hollywood waves , learning how to curl your hair with a curling iron can help you quickly switch up your look. Whether you want to curl short hair, fine hair, long hair, or thick hair, learning how to use a curling iron to do it will make it easy. Below, find a step-by-step guide to curling your hair with a curling iron.

What You'll Need

Curling Iron – Depending on the final look you want, you'll either want to reach for a curling wand-also called a clipless curling iron-or a traditional model with a clamp. Curling wands are great for creating beachy looks while traditional curling irons are perfect for glam Hollywood waves.

Hairspray – Nothing is worse than spending your time curling your hair only to have the curls fall flat. To lock in your look, reach for a hairspray like Tecni.Art Infinium 4 Hairspray . This micro-diffuser spray brings dry and dramatic results. Comb and re-comb hair without sticky residue while locking in your style for the long haul and warding off frizz.

Brush – Whether you want to learn how to curl short hair with a curling iron or plan on adding waves to longer locks, you'll want to start with freshly brushed hair to make sure there are no tangles or knots. Reach for a paddle brush and gently detangle your hair from ends to roots.

How to Curl Your Hair with a Curling Iron

Now that you have all of your tools, it's time to curl.

Step 1: Section Your Hair

No matter what length of hair you have, short to long, sectioning is the key when curling your hair with a curling iron. Start with the bottom section closest to the nape of your neck. By sectioning off your hair, and starting from the bottom, you are able to focus on one area at a time, getting a perfect curl each time, and allowing that curl to cool without the rest of your hair weighing down on it.

Step 2: Curl Smaller Sections

As you go through each section from bottom to top, take smaller 1-inch sections and wrap them around the barrel of the curling iron. The method-and size curling iron-you use will depend on the final result you want to achieve-more on that below!

Step 3: Allow Your Curls to Cool

Once you've curled all of your hair with the curling iron, you want to let the curls cool in order to set them in place.

Step 4: Spray Them in Place

Once your curls have cooled to the touch, you can spray your hair with your hairspray. Depending on the type of curl you're trying to achieve, you may have to first brush the curls out before locking in your style.

No matter what type of curl style you want to achieve, or what type of hair you have, these four steps will always stay the same. What changes, is the method you use while curling.

How to Curl Loose Waves with a Curling Iron

Loose waves are a popular style that can easily be achieved with a 1-inch barrel curling wand and a little patience depending on how thick or fine your hair is. To achieve loose curls, wrap your hair around the curling iron from top to bottom, with the barrel always pointed down toward the ground. For a uniform wave, always wrap the sections of hair away from your face, for a messier look, alternate wrapping sections of your hair toward and away.

If you are curling fine hair with a curling iron you'll want to be sure the sections you pick are no more than one-inch thick. This way when you separate the curls you'll get tons of beautiful volume. If you are curling thick hair, you can play around with the section size-smaller sections will get you more volume and larger sections will give you looser waves.

The key to curling loose waves with a curling iron is in brushing out the curls after they've cooled and before you set your style with any hairspray. Take your large paddle brush-or your fingers for a beachy look-and brush through your curls to separate them all and create a beautiful loose wave.

How to Curl Short Hair with a Curling Iron

If you have shorter hair and want to get in on the curling action, you just have to invest in the proper tools. Instead of reaching for a traditional curling iron or wand, opt for a smaller barrel. This will ensure that you can completely wrap sections of har around the the barrel for a beautiful curl.

Also, when you curl short hair with a curling iron, you want to be sure to alternate the direction that you are curling your hair around the barrel of the iron. This way, you get a natural-looking curl that falls nicely versus an overly-styled finish.

After the curls have cooled, gently separate them with your fingers or with a wide-tooth comb and spray with hairspray to give your style staying power.

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