As I get more proficient at working a flat iron, I’ve learned there are a lot of silly things you can do that work against your ability to get the style you want. Actually, I take that back. I knew all along that as I tried to get beautiful, bouncy curls and, instead got frizzy flat messes it was me that’s the problem!
I can’t be the only person having this issue. There is no way in the world I’m the only one who has taken so long to learn how to work a curling iron (and who was late to the curling wand game). If you’re having trouble with your new “hair gadget”, take a look at some of the tips I’ve picked up along the way.
You can save a whole lot of time when you’re ironing by taking your time. That might sound like its counterintuitive, but it’s not. It’s easy to try and make really big curls because you think it will save you time, but they’re more likely to break up and frizz than smaller curls.
When you curl a lot of hair at once, not all of it gets close enough to the heat to curl. It will take forever to get all the hair hot enough and you’ll spend hours trying to curl when smaller pieces would curl in just seconds. Plus, you risk doing some serious damage to the hair that’s closest to the heat.
The amount of hair is not the only thing you can over estimate. You can buy irons that are too big for your intended goal. The easiest way around this is to buy more than one or spring for a tapered iron that allows you to get different sized curls depending on the area you’re curling. If your hair isn’t super long, a 2 inch iron is probably too big to curl your hair.
Buying an iron that is too big can stop you from getting actual curl, and leave you with blobs of somewhat bumpy hair that doesn’t achieve the look you want. For more on what type of barrel to use based on the length of your hair, take a look at my basic tips for curling hair.
Round irons make it easy to think the way to get your hair curled is to hold and twist the iron around it. While this will make a curl, it won’t give you a natural look. The way to get the kind of curls or waves that look like they organically sprang from your natural style is to hold the iron still and wrap your hair around it. Oh, and make sure you position the iron vertically as well.
I can’t be more direct about this: LET YOUR HAIR DRY BEFORE YOU TRY TO CURL IT. DO NOT TRY TO CURL DAMP HAIR!
If you think your hair isn’t bouncing back or it looks particularly unhealthy after a long curling session, it’s entirely possible it has been fried by your endeavor. If your hair is damp, let it air dry or blow dry it before putting the heat on. It really isn’t worth being unable to do anything with your hair for months at a time because you were impatient, and this is what will happen if you try curling damp or wet hair.
For several reasons, you should make sure you’re curling away from your face. Curling toward your face can mean burns on your cheeks and ears, and that’s no good. Curling away also creates a smoother look (as if your hair flows out of your look). You will look windswept and natural when you create curls that pull the flow of your face outward.
There are two ways you can overheat your hair, and they both result in charred locks. Trust me, you don’t want either! The main issue is keeping your hair in contact with heat for too long. This can result in a nasty burning smell, and you might even end up holding the lock you were working on in your hand – on its own! Other than that, you can just crank up the heat on your iron too much. This will also burn your hair or at the very least, dry it out. Dry hair won’t curl well, and it takes a while to get it to bounce back with the kind of vigor you want your hair to have. Too much heat is much worse than not enough.
Stay away from these few things, and you should be pretty much good to go on the curling part. That being said, you still have to be careful. There’s no getting away from the fact that curling is a practiced art to some degree, but if you’re mindful about the information above it will help.