How to Use a Curling Iron

Do you want to glam your look by making your hair shiny and curly? Well, that's possible, but you’ll need to get yourself a curling iron in the first place. Secondly, you need to figure out how to use a curling iron as you’ll be curling your natural hair from home.

You can use a curling iron to create tight formal curls, thin spirals, big, bold waves, or thick curls. From big to small curls, you can have the type you want, depending on the curling iron. Curling irons come in two varieties, with wands or with clamps. Choosing either is a matter of preference since you’ll get perfect results from whichever you go for.

So, how exactly do you use a curling iron? 

1. Select your tool

The first thing you need to do when the idea of curling your hair hits your mind is to get a curling iron. Ask yourself whether you’d rather go for a curling wand or clamp and how curly you want your hair to be as well.

You also need to consider the material of the iron and the barrel size as well. The length of your hair determines the size of the barrel to select. Heat is vital for holding a curl meaning that you have to consider the heat settings of the tool as well.

2. Wash your hair

Never work with dirty hair if looking for a perfectly curled look. You also don’t want to create curls on smelly and greasy hair. Shampoo and condition your hair as usual and then rinse with clean water. Ensure that it is perfectly clean before moving on to the next step.

3. Blow-dry your hair

After cleaning your hair, use a blow-drier to dry it out. Ensure that it is completely dry if looking forward to getting the best curls. Also, remember to apply a heat protectant on your hair since too much heat can damage your hair.

4. Test the curling iron’s heat

As aforementioned, excessive heat can damage your hair. Since you don’t want that to happen, test the heat of your tool first to be on the safe side. Start with the lowest heat possible to see the impact. If satisfied with the curls it makes, you can settle for it. If not, adjust the heat as needed.

5. Section your hair

Divide your hair into sections according to the thickness of your hair. Hold the layers with a lobster clip and start working on one after the other. Begin from the bottom and ensure that your entire head gets wholly curled. The more the curls you make, the better they look, and the fuller your hair will look as well.

6. Curl your hair

You’ll either use a curling wand or clamp to curl your hair. Let’s look at how to work with each.

i. Curling Iron with Clamp

Curling iron with clamp is a traditional tool designed to hold your hair in place when styling it. The iron is perfect for starters or those with little experience in hair styling. The clamp might also appear intimidating to use, but it's actually easy to use.

Section your hair

Divide your hair into small sections and start working on it. Remember that the smaller the sections, the tighter the curls and vice versa. 

  • Position your curling iron
    Open your clamp and position it toward the root of the sectioned hair you want to work on. Place your hair between the open clamp and the iron and then lightly slide it on the sectioned hair to the very end. Close the clamp fully.
  • Twist the curling iron
    Twist the iron towards your roots while wrapping the length of the divided section around it. Then, wait for about 20 seconds for your hair to heat up.
  • Open the clamp
    Allow the curl to hang freely by opening the clamp and releasing your hair.
    How to use a curling wand
  • Section your hair
    Just like with the curling iron with clamp, you’ll start the exercise by sectioning your hair first. Ensure that you have small sections of stacked layers.
  • Position your wand
    Hold the wand in your hand and position it's base near the root of your sectioned hair, the barrel pointing downwards. Using your free hand, wrap the sectioned hair around the wand’s barrel. Work your way down, ensuring that your ends are wrapped around the smallest part of the wand.
  • Wait and release
    After curling all the sections, let your hair heat up for around 20 seconds and then unwrap it.

7. Shake out your curls

Flip your hair over and give it a good shake to loosen up and give you a more natural finish. If you want to set your curls, mist it with hairspray. This way, the curls will last longer.

How to use a curling iron on long hair
If you have super thick and long hair, hold your curling tool with the clasp facing forward. After that, clasp a 2-inch section of your hair about halfway up and then twirl the curling iron out and away. At this point, you only should be curling the roots only.
Hold for about 10 seconds, and then gently release the clasp. Slide the curling iron downwards to about 2 inches from the ends. Curl the section all the way to the roots and then hold for another 10 seconds.

How to use a curling iron on short hair

For short hair, you’ll have to divide it into at least six sections of 1 inch each and secure each with a duckbill clip. Start working on your bottom partings, swirling each section around the iron. Wind the hair until you reach ear height.

To achieve a modern look on your short curls, leave ½ inch uncurled, and then leave the iron for about 10 seconds. After curling all the sections shake your hair off and tune around the hairline as desired.

How to Use a Curling Iron on Short Hair

How to Use a Curling Iron

Step 1: Choose the right curling iron.

The first and foremost thing for a person is to opt the right curling iron for your hair. You have to choose the barrel according to the need of your hair.

The barrels normally comes an increment of an inch. The starting point is 5/8 inch all the means to 2 inch. If the barrel is smaller, it produces tighter and smaller curls. This kind of iron is ideal for shorter hair.

The reason is the hair hasn’t enough span to ring around the barrels to make a ringlet. We suggest you buy a ¾” to 1 ¼” thick barrel for medium-length hair.

Any larger, and the curls barely form a bump—but if that’s the look you’re going for, well and good! # beach waves

Step 2: Shampoo and condition.

We would like to start with the fresh hairstyle. You may not have a clean canvass. Oil, dirt and product filth can render unexpected slip and limpness to your hair, prematurely flattening your curls mid day.

Unclean hair fails to take up styling products and harder to make the style with.

So proper washed and conditioned is a must to use iron on the hair. A clarifying product or shampoo thoroughly leaves and cleanses primed of the product.

Step 3: Protect and prep.

It is a good idea to use thermal protectant before using any styling tool on hair. If you are incredulous and chalk it as a fine step, think not of having potholders if you get freshly parched cookies from the oven.

Scald is real and wet locks are vulnerable to get scratched from it. Creams can be heavy for fine or short hair and may do some limp age. Therefore we really like to use sprays from the basis to the tip.

Step 4: Blow-dry.

Before using an iron on your hair, you must be sure that your hair is completely dry. You can use a blow-dryer to do so. Sometimes the hair seems dry but it feels slightly wet.

Like an innocent girl wait for up to 90% dry that is a healthier way for your threads.

Step 5: Section your hair

Make your hair at least 6 sections and secured each one with a duckbill or darby clips. If you have long hair, you can use a clip for a top left, bottom right, top right, top middle, bottom middle and bottom left.

This is not a very stick rule as some short hairstyles may do with few sectioning.

You can‘t believe how speedily you can make the curl of your hair within the short time.

Step 6: Begin curling.

We prefer curling long tresses far from the face to open up our characteristics. But we like to mix up curling direction for chunkier and fresher looking short hair.

If the section of the hair is one and half inch thick, the curl will be more appealing.

Begin from bottom partings, go ahead to twirl every segment just about the iron, winding up to your go near ear height. Before twirling, keep about half inch hair uncurled at the ends.

When you leave it, you may get a modern feeling. Keep the iron around ten seconds to have a concrete curl. Do the same thing on all summit sections.

When you use a curling iron having a clamp, catch the prongs open at the time of caricature locks around the barrel. Clamp prongs altogether if you have reached half an inch close to the end.

To get wands, go from the top of the section and move downwards, keeping the similar amount of payment to the end for a good curl. Use heat carefully.

Step 7: Shake it off.

If you complete curls of all section, you may move ahead to fine-tune the sections around the line of the hair. It all depends on the style you like to get from.

You may use your finger to slightly split the ringlets. Additionally, you can brush your hair for more natural and softer look.

How to use a curling iron for loose curls

A very common complaint about the curling iron is that it creates ringlets. Nobody likes to get perfect ringlets if they are Shirley Temple.

Using a curling iron or a straightener without a clamp is an option for creating loose waves.

Both of these tools are very difficult to master. It helps us more to be master of the curling iron.

Now use what we have got. You can get loose waves of your hair if you know the right procedure of using a curling iron.

Here’s how


Do you like to avoid annoying ringlets? If you like so, you have to do two things at the time of curling your hair. At first, does not use curl to the end of the hair?

When you use a curling iron on your hair, you must keep one to 2 inches untouched under the clasp.

The next thing you can do is vary the positions of the curling iron. I curl the piece far away from my face.

Then I alternate between the curling iron and my face. It helps more to get a very natural wave.


I use spray on my hair with a flexible hold hairspray. So when I loosen the curls, they don’t fall apart.

You have to use the spray from six to eight inches away from the head so that a light mist envelops your locks.


This is the secret of getting loose waves by the curling iron. If your head is curled, you can flip your hair forward and backward.

You have to do it double if you possess long and thick hair. You can run your finger to break up ringlets which are left intact.

How to Use a Curling Iron (FAQs)

Question: What is the direction to use the curling iron?

Answer: Make section of your hair at first before starting to make the style. This will help you to make the desired style of your hair. To have a natural look, you need to keep the styling tool away from the face. You will use the tool in the forward and backward direction from the right to the left.

Question: How much hair can I take to make the hair curl?

Answer: To curl too much hair at the same time is a not a good idea, this is the view of Melville. If you take a little more hair, you will get a loose wave of your hair. It is not possible for you to distribute heat properly for all the sections. To make wonderful curl, wrap a small section of hair on the barrel. The system is stated above. Taking too much hair is not a good idea at all.

How I Curl my Hair - Tips, Tricks & General Info (Curling Iron Hair Tutorial)


Now that you’ve figured out how to use a curling iron on hair, make it a routine, and you'll become a pro in no time. Remember, practice makes perfect. You’ll never have to visit a salon to get your hair curled again. You’ll also never find yourself amidst struggle again.

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