Here Are Our Tried & Tested Tricks For Better Curling Your Hair

Julia Sachs

hair curling tips

Would you believe us if we told you that you have been curling your hair wrong all this time? Alright, fine, you may not be doing it wrong but there are likely some things you could be doing better. When it comes to styling your hair there are tons of little tips and tricks that can help it look better and last longer—especially when it comes to curling your hair. 

Here are our biggest tried and tested tricks for getting your best hair day the next time you curl your hair—from how to improve the texture to keeping it from going flat as soon as you step outside into the winter air. 

Know Your Barrel Sizes

It should probably go without saying but not every curling iron is created equally. Every curling iron is designed to give you a different result, so take this into consideration when you want to achieve a specific look. For shorter hair, you could likely get away with a smaller barrel for beachy waves, but for longer hair we recommend a wider barrel for wider curls. For beachy waves, we recommend a thicker barrel such as this one from T3 Micro. For more variety in your curling options, you can opt for a tool that offers interchangeable wands to let you work with different curls on the same tool, saving you money and storage space. This interchangeable wand from T3 Micro is one of our favorites. 

Often, you can achieve beautiful curls with a straightening iron (as strange as that may sound). Try wrapping your hair around your straightening iron the next time you use it to get a nice curl. The more you wrap your hair, the tighter the curl will be! Try using a straightening iron with a rounded edge to get sleek, shiny curls. 

Curl Second, Third, or even Fourth Day Hair

Want to know a secret? Your hair might be too clean to hold a curl. If you wash your hair too often or try to curl your hair the same day that you wash it you may be frustrated to find that it does not want to hold a curl. When your hair has more oil in it, it has a better time holding different textures and styles than it is used to naturally. Try using some dry shampoo and curling your hair on its second or third (or fourth) day to find that it has a better time holding a voluminous curl for longer. 

The Closer to Your Root, the Longer Lasting the Curl 

If you have trouble getting your curls to last, try curling all the way up to your root. You may not want your curls to start right at the root, but trust us when we say that it will pay off in the long run. Curling tighter to your root will help your curls maintain their shape throughout the day so that you are able to maintain your style all day long, rather than seeing it fall flat after just a few hours. 

To get more volume out of your curls, try holding the barrel horizontally rather than vertically. This will set your curls up to add more volume while keeping them sleek, and it will also help you get closer to the root without changing the shape. For looser curls and beachy waves, hold the iron vertically and curl at different angles to create a purposeful but messy look. This will help give your hair a natural looking wave without looking to primed and polished. 

Let the Curl Cool Before Dropping It

Surprisingly, one of the biggest culprits to why your curls cannot hold for more than a few hours is likely because of the heat that they get exposed to from your iron. The next time you curl your hair, try dropping it into your hand to let it cool in its curled shape before you let it fall. Letting your hair cool in its curl will keep it from straightening out, helping maintain the curl for longer. 

Better yet, try pinning your curls up in their shape before you let them fall. This will let them cool while you finish curling your hair, so that when you are ready to finish styling they are all fresh at the same time for the finishing touches. 

Avoid Holding Your Curls On The Iron For Too Long

Your first instinct may be to hold your hair onto the iron longer to help the curl last, but this will likely only do more harm than good as it exposes your hair to potential heat damage even more. Hold your hair on the curling iron for no more than 8-10 seconds at a time, and then drop the curl into your palm and let it cool in its shape to keep it curled for longer. 

You should also avoid exposing your hair to too much heat at once. If your hair is thinner or fine, you can get away with cooler ironing temperatures. If your hair is particularly thick, go ahead and set your iron to a higher temperature (and do not worry if you need to keep it on for an extra couple of seconds). 

Use Products to Enhance Texture

Yes, we are talking about hair spray, but we are also talking about primers and heat protectants and texture sprays and—okay maybe this one is not required but it is cute—glitter. Prime your hair with a heat protectant primer before you expose it to heat tools to avoid potential damage caused by heat styling (we love this one from Hot Sexy Hair).

After that, set your curls with a setting mist before you put them in the iron to help your hair hold its curl for longer. This setting mist from Redken is often our go-to. Once finished curling, spray your hair with a texture spray to help maintain volume and texture—especially if you are going for a beachy wave look. Trophy from R+Co is our go-to product because it helps maintain moisture and shine while also enhancing volume and creating texture.  

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