How to curl your hair with a wand: Everything you need to know

Leona | 21 November 2017
How to use a curling wand
20 minute Style Medium

Whether it’s easy beach waves or glamorous vintage curls you’re after, we’ve got them all covered. Now grab your curling wand and lets get started. 


Most of us have experimented with a curling wand at some point in our lives. But did you know that you can create a multitude of looks with this clever styling tool, simply by using different techniques and products? Yes really! So if you want to learn how to curl your hair with a wand, you’ve come to the right place!

Whether you are a fan of tight ringlets, polished bouncy curls or cool-girl loose waves, there are plenty of styling options just waiting to be explored. But to get the wand curls of your dreams, you first need to know the basics of how to use a curling wand…

How to curl hair with a wand: A step-by-step guide


Prep hair.

Before you use your chosen tool, you’ll want to safegaurd your tresses from any heat damage that may occur.

We suggest generously spritzing the TRESemmé Heat Defence Styling Spray all over your hair. This protectant contains a heat activated complex to help guard your strands when styling.


Section your hair.

Using a comb, divide your hair into individual sections, gathering as much or as little hair as your need, depending on your desired curl size.

Switch on your curling iron and get it to the right tempature. This may be a case of trial and error, but start on a lower heat setting and work your way up if needed.


Begin curling your hair.

Now you’re ready to know how to curl hair with a wand.

Depending on the look you’re going for, wrap your tresses around your wand from either the root or the mid section. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat the process around your head, working on one section at a time.


Style your curls.

When you’ve completly curling your tresses, allow your hair to cool for a few minutes before styling, otherwise the curls can begin to drop or turn frizzy.

To turn your curls into chic waves, gently run your fingers through your strands to loosen them.



And just like that, you’ve learnt how to use a curling iron like a pro!

For the finishng touch, spritz your look with the VO5 Wave Creation Hairspray. With its lightweight, ultra-brushable technology, this hairspray will give your freshly curled ‘do an all-day hold.

6 stunning wand curl styles you need to try


Now you’ve mastered how to curl your hair with a wand, why not try some of these amazing hairstyles next time?

DVF tight waves hairstyle on brunette model. Indigital
Tight waves. Credit:

1. Tight curls

Use: A hair curling wand with a small barrel, as the smaller it is, the tighter the curl! Work with 1-2 inch sections of hair if you want lots of tight, little coils.

Apply: The VO5 Smoothly Does It Curl Defining Mousse to damp hair, before using a hair dryer, as this will help to hold the shape of your curls, as well as add volume.

Tip: For spiralled, tight curls, simply twist your hair before wrapping it around the curling wand.

model with long brown hair and loose wand curls
Get smooth, ultra long, loose waves. Credit:

2. Loose waves

Use: A hair curling wand with a large barrel. Wrap 2-3 inches of hair around the heated tool to help create the effect of natural, loose curls.

Apply: The TRESemmé Perfectly (un)Done Wave Creating Sea Foam, to create air-light waves. Work 2-5 pumps (2 for very fine or short hair) through damp tresses and blowdry.

Tip: To help frame your face, hold the curling wand vertically and twirl away from your face. Remember, to get those effortless waves, don’t curl your hair from the root, but from midway down each section.

model with large brown vintage curls - how to curl your hair with a wand
Get vintage curls using a curling wand.

3. Vintage curls

Use: A medium-sized hair curling wand. To learn how to create vintage curls at home, follow our step-by-step tutorial, here!

Apply: The TRESemmé Perfectly (un)Done Ultra Brushable Hairspray to help set your curls. Spritz the product on your hair once all of your curls are pinned up, then again when you’ve let them loose and brushed them through.

Tip: Curl and pin the hair near your forehead in the same direction to create a uniformed style.

model with strawberry blonde hair and big curls - how to use a curling wand
Go retro with big, voluminous curls. Credit:

4. Voluminous curls

Use: A medium-sized curling wand and a teasing brush to fluff up your curls at the root, for tonnes of added volume.

Apply: The TIGI Bed Head Superstar Queen For A Day Thickening Spray onto damp or dry hair, for maximum lift and drama.

Tip: Before you start teasing, tilt your head upside down and lightly shake your hair to help separate the curls.

blonde model with glossy waves - how to curl hair with a wand
Shine bright with glossy looking waves. Credit:

5. Glossy-looking waves

Use: A hair curling wand with a medium or large barrel for softer waves.

Apply: The Toni&Guy Curl Lock Oil before curling your hair. The non-greasy formula will help to enhance shine – as well as tame frizz – leaving you with glossy-looking waves. Comb the product evenly through damp hair, before using your heated styling tool.

Tip: While this oil can be used on any hair type, it works especially well on frizz-prone strands.

model with mid-length blonde hair and tousled waves - How to use a curling iron
Subtle beach waves are the perfect undone look all year round.

6. Beachy waves

Use: A medium-sized curling iron, starting a few inches away from the root.

Apply: The VO5 Dry Texturising Spray to your finished look, for effortless, undone hair, which gives a tousled effect to layers and waves. It can also be used as a ‘pick me up’  to rework your style.

Tip: Drag the iron out slowly so that it slightly straightens the tip, making for a softer look.

Curling iron basics


Curling irons are specially designed to create all kinds of wand curls and can be used on all hair types – and picking the right one for you is key.

Whether you’re shopping in-store or online, finding the perfect tool can be a pretty laborious task. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Tight curls on light brown afro hair
The smaller the curling wand, the tighter the curls.

Cone-shaped wand

Recognisable by their thin upper end and a thicker lower end, a cone-shape wand is amazing for creating curls of various shapes and sizes. The larger side can be used to create fuller, larger coils, while the smaller end is perfect for tight ringlets.

Straight wand

A straight wand creates curls that are equal in shape and size throughout your hair, allowing you to achieve a more uniform look. This type of curling iron is ideal for those with naturally straight hair who want that beach waves look, as it can be used to curl inwards or outwards.

Long brown hair with medium sized curls
Medium waves look great on short to long hair.

Slim wands

These tools – usually sized between 13mm and 19mm – are great for producing tighter curls and twists. So, if you’re looking to create mountains of coils for a really voluminous look, slim wands are the one for you.

While smaller curling tools are great for producing a naturally permed look on longer manes, they’re also ideal for shorter hairstyles as they can help add texture and shape.

Medium-sized wands

If you want curls that are a little softer, then definitely try out a medium-sized curling wand with a barrel approximately 25mm in width. Amazingly versatile, these wands are fantastic for creating natural-looking waves and curls, working brilliantly for various hair lengths and types, too.

model with long brown hair and loose waves
Luscious, loose waves look especially great on long hair.

Larger wands

With a much larger barrel size, these curlers can give you a looser and more romantic style. Usually around 32mm in width, bigger curlers are perfect for adding beautiful waves to super-long hair, for a more natural and polished look.

Blonde-haired model with undone curls
Find the tight curling wand for your fine hair.

For thin or fine hair

When considering how to use a curling wand, it is important to think about your hair type.

For those with thin or fine hair, the best curling wand for you is one that has an adjustable heat setting. You may need to experiment with different temperatures if you find that your fine hair doesn’t hold curls well, but that’s all part of the process.

model with dark long hair and large waves
Taming thick hair with large, loose waves.

For thick or coarse hair

It can take a while to curl thick or coarse hair, especially when you have a lot of it! Because of this, you’ll need a curling wand that can reach high temperatures and that’s lightweight. After all, we don’t want an arm workout every time we curl our manes!



Ready to test out your newfound curling skills? Well, to fuel your curl obsession, head on over to our Curly Hairstyles page, for the down low on permed hairstyles, how-to videos and tonnes of hair inspiration.

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