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The Ultimate Guide to Curling Hair: Techniques and Tools

When it comes to styling your hair, curls have an enduring appeal. From loose, beachy waves to tight, bouncy spirals, mastering the art of curling hair is a valuable skill. To achieve these fabulous looks for your locks at home, you’ll need the right techniques and tools.

Read on to find out how to curl your hair like a pro and achieve results that wow!

hot tools gold curling iron (group)

1. Make sure you have the right tools to hand: There’s a wide array of curling tools available, including curling bars, curling irons, curling wands, and other specialised curling tools. The tools you select will depend on the type of look you want to achieve. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on using the classic curling iron. For beachy waves and looser curls, opt for a larger-barrel iron (the larger surface area will also help save time!). For tighter, more defined curls, a small barrel iron will work best.

We highly recommend Hot Tools curling irons for long-lasting, professional results and a beautiful, shiny finish. The gold-plated barrels mean faster styling, and exclusive Pulse Technology ensures a quick heat up, even heat distribution, and instant heat recovery. With a maximum temperature of 220°C, Hot Tools irons are ideal for all hair types and come complete with 9 variable temperature settings for complete styling versatility.

hot tools pro signature hair dryer (model)

2. Prepare your hair: Prepping your hair for curling, or any heat styling, is vital to ensure a successful and safe styling experience. Begin with clean and dry hair, as any product build-up or moisture can interfere with the curling process. Apply a heat protectant spray or serum to shield your hair from the high temperatures of the curling iron. Also consider using other products that will add some ‘grit’ to your hair to help the curls stick—this may include mousse, dry shampoo, or styling spray—and should be selected based on your individual hair type. A pro tip is to also use hairspray before you begin curling to add more texture and help curls stay intact. Make sure to spritz lightly, as oversaturation can work against you.

hot tools gold curling iron (model)

3. Curl your hair: Split your hair into sections to make it more manageable (the amount of sections you’ll end up with will depend on the thickness of your hair). You may find clips or hairbands useful to help define these sections and keep hairs contained. When it comes to the heat of your curling iron, we recommend opting for a lower temperature if your hair is fine, dry, or damaged.

For each section, wrap hair around the curling iron, making sure to curl away from your face for a flattering look. Hold the hair for a few seconds, then gently release the curl and let it cool in your hand for a few moments before moving on to the next section. Working from the bottom layers to the top creates a more natural look. After curling all sections, lightly spritz with hairspray to set the curls. The key is to be patient, not to rush, and to keep practicing to achieve your desired style.

hot tools (model)

4. Style your curls: It’s important to let your curls cool down completely as this ensures that they set in the desired shape and helps prevent them from falling out too quickly. Once your curls have cooled, use your fingers (make sure your hands are clean and dry) or a wide-tooth comb to gently separate and fluff them for a more natural, voluminous look. Be careful not to comb too vigorously, as this can lead to frizz or overly loosened curls. The degree to which you style your curls can be customised to your individual preferences.

hot tools (model)

5. Maintain your new curls with care: To keep your curls intact, resist the urge to touch them excessively, as the natural oils from your hands can cause the curls to loosen. If your hair tends to frizz, you can use a small amount of anti-frizz serum or a light-hold hair spray to tame flyaways. Overnight, it’s advisable to protect your curls by loosely tying your hair into a low ponytail or bun and securing it with a scrunchie to prevent flattening. In the morning, you can refresh your curls with a light mist of water and redefine them with your fingers or the curling iron if necessary. Regular maintenance, along with gentle care, will help your beautifully curled hair maintain its shape and shine throughout the day.

With the right techniques and tools at your disposal, curling your hair can be a fun and enjoyable process. By following the steps above, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the curls you desire. Be sure to visit our blog for more helpful hair and beauty tips!