Ask anyone, and they’ll probably tell you that their flat iron is one hot tool they can’t live without. While we’ve used flat irons for years to create sleek, straight ‘dos, the versatile styling tool does much more than the name suggests. You can also use flat irons to create tons of styles from loose beach waves to tight pin curls.
If you’re looking to learn the basics of how to curl your hair with a flat iron, Cassi Pinder, L'Oréal Professionnel artist, is here to teach you. Read on to find out how to style flat iron curls. Whether you have waist-length hair or shorter strands, you’re going to want to take notes!
Is it better to curl your hair with a straightener or a curling iron?
Deciding which tool is best for you depends entirely on your skill level and the hairstyle you’re trying to achieve. Since curling irons offer varied sizes (and sometimes interchangeable barrels), they work best for creating looks like voluminous bombshell curls.
Flat irons can help you achieve curls, beach waves, and so many other styles, but there can be a bit of a learning curve when you’re trying to get the hang of the styling techniques. While beginners might have an easier time styling with a traditional curling iron, all you’ll need is a bit of practice (and a few expert-approved tips) to master flat iron curls.
How do you curl your hair with a straightener?
Section the hair
Before you begin curling, be sure to apply a few spritzes of heat protectant throughout your mane. We recommend the Redken Iron Shape 11 Heat Protectant Spray. This lightweight, thermal heat protection hairspray is perfect for use with flat irons and curling irons up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit to protect your hair, add shine, and reduce frizz. Detangle your mane with a boar bristle brush to avoid any snarls while you’re styling. Be sure to use a detangling product like Biolage All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray before you begin detangling.
Part your hair down the middle and choose which side of your head you want to curl first. Gather a 1-inch section of hair that’s closest to the nape of your neck. Use a clip to keep the top half of the hair out of the way for now.
Begin your first curl.
Pick up the first 1-inch piece of hair that you’re going to curl. Spray the L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Infinium 4 Hairspray onto the hair for extra hold, then clamp the flat iron at the base of the section.
Create your curl.
Holding the iron horizontally with one hand, begin twisting the iron downward as you pass it through the section.
Use your other hand to guide the hair through the iron as you twist. Release the strand from the iron once you reach your ends.
Release the hair from the clip and gather another 1-inch section. Continue curling the hair in 1-inch segments repeating the same technique, starting at the back of your head and working your way towards the front.
Pro tip: Gently run your fingers through the hair while it’s still warm to loosen the curl.
Complete your look.
If you’re searching for other ways to style your hair with a flat iron, keep scrolling for three more of our favorite looks to try.
Ways To Style Your Hair With A Flat Iron
Recreate these stylist-approved S-waves for a glam look that’s wearable from the office to date night. Grab a 1-inch flat iron, a boar bristle brush, a heat protectant like Biolage Thermal Active Heat Protectant Spray, and follow the tutorial above!
Good hair day by @monarchhairco.
Hint: You don’t need a crimper to achieve this ‘90s-inspired hairstyle. You can also create crimped hair with your flat iron. Starting with dry, detangled hair, apply a heat protectant throughout your mane. Then, apply a quarter-size amount of hair mousse like Pureology Style + Protect Weightless Volume Mousse throughout the mid-lengths to ends of your hair. Separate your hair into eight even sections and create three-strand braids with each section. Craft fewer braids if you want bigger crimps.
Pass your flat iron over each braid, starting by your roots and pressing down on each segment for a few sections until you reach your ends. Wait until your hair cools down before undoing your braids. Complete your look with a few spritzes of hairspray like Redken Triple Take 32 Extreme High-Hold Hairspray.
Good hair day by @beautybybrittw_.
We’re all about embracing beach hair any time of year, and styling with a flat iron is one of the easiest ways to achieve beach waves in the comfort of your bedroom. Be sure to apply a few spritzes of texturizing spray like Matrix Style Link Texture Builder Messy Finishing Spray to complete your beachy look.
Interested in more expert styling tips? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.