How To: Curl Hair
What You Need
Follow These Six Easy Steps
Curling wet hair can cause breakage and burning, so start with dry hair. Heat a curling iron with a short, spring-loaded clamp. A larger iron (such as one with a three-quarter-inch barrel) is the most versatile, allowing you to create everything from loose waves to tighter curls.
Run a comb through your hair, removing any knots and tangles. You’ll have an easier time with the curling iron if your hair is tangle-free.
Use your fingers to separate a small section of hair from the rest. It should be almost as wide as the barrel of your curling
iron. Holding the section of hair near the ends with one hand, smooth it with the other, combing it again if you like. Then
spritz it with a heat-protectant spray to prevent damage and help set the curl.
Tip: If your hair is coarse or particularly porous, set the curling iron to high, which will help set the curl. For finer hair, a lower temperature will work.
Still holding the section of hair, grasp the handle of the curling iron in the other hand. Open the barrel, insert the section of hair, then close the barrel around the hair several inches above your hand. Slide the iron down the section of hair until it’s almost at the ends, then release the hair from your hand. Twirl the iron under, so that you’re wrapping the section of hair around the barrel several times, steadying and guiding the iron at the tip (make sure that it’s heat-proof first) with your other hand. How many times you wrap the hair around the barrel will depend on its length. As you roll the curling iron up, keep it more or less horizontal. When the iron is as high as you want the curl to go, stop rolling and release the clamp slightly. Count to five, then angle the iron so that the tip is pointing up and the handle is angling down, and release the curl entirely by reducing all pressure on the clamp while bringing the iron down and away from the hair.
Work through the rest of your hair, repeating Steps 3 and 4 with each section.
When finished, lightly comb through the curls and shape them with your fingers to arrange them just the way you want them.