How to Curl Hair with a Straightener in 7 Easy Steps

Always wondered how to curl your hair with a straightener? It's easier than you think.

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how to curl hair with a straightener: blonde model with curly/wavy hair long hair

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When head-turning pictures of curly hairstyles flood your Insta feed, it’s only natural that you want to get in on the action. But, when you don’t have a curling wand or heated rollers to hand, achieving pretty curls might seem impossible. But, if you have a pair of straighteners, there’s another way to get the curls you’re dreaming of, you just need to learn how to curl hair with a straightener…

Not only are we going to show you how to curl your hair with a flat iron, but we’re also going to show you how to create 5 genius hairstyles using the tool, bonus!

How to Curl Hair With a Straightener


Prep and Prime.

As this technique requires a lot of heat, it’s important to protect your tresses with a product that primes the hair for styling.

Spray 3-5 pumps of the VO5 Heat Protect Spray onto towel-dried tresses and comb it through the hair. Concentrate on the mid-lengths and ends, where hair is the most damaged.

a beautiful woman applying hairspray on the long blonde hair

Dry Your Hair.

Next, blow dry your hair thoroughly. Run a hairbrush through the hair as you dry it to lift each section at the root and ensure there are no remaining wet strands.

How to curl hair with a flat iron blonde girl using blow dryer and brush

Section the Hair.

Section the hair into two parts and pin the top section into a bun at the back of your head.

This will allow you to access the bottom layer of your hair easily with the straighteners. Brush through the bottom section one more time, if needed. 

How to curl hair with a flat iron blonde girl sectioning hair

Hairspray Your Strands Section by Section.

Take the first section of hair you want to curl and spray it with TRESemmé Extra Hold Hairspray. Repeat this step before curling any of your tresses.

a beautiful blonde woman spraying her long hair

Start Curling.

Run a flat iron through each section of hair from root to tip, twisting as you go. Keep the very tip of the hair loose and feed it into the straightener as you move it slowly down each section. 

If you need to tighten any curls, go over them again and make sure your spirals are as tight or as loose as you would prefer. 

How to curl hair with a flat iron blonde girl using straighteners

Pin Your Curls.

Once you’ve curled each section, use your fingers to spiral the curl upwards and pin it against the roots. 

Repeat this step as you go so that all of your hair is eventually pinned into curls around your head. 

How to curl hair with a flat iron blonde girl pinning curls

Brush Through the Curls.

Once your hair has cooled, remove all the bobby pins and allow each curl to gently unravel. 

Comb your fingers through the hair to loosen the curls and then run through the hair with a brush. This will add a final boost of volume to the hair.

Add a final spritz of hairspray to hold the look in place and voila! You’re left with beautiful, bouncy curls. 

How to curl hair with a flat iron blonde girl brushing through hair

5 Different Ways to Curl Hair With a Straightener

Classic Curls

model with big, glamorous curls - how to curl your hair with a flat iron
Ooze elegance with Hollywood-worthy curls by mastering how to curl hair with a flat iron. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Glamorous, red carpet-worthy curls never fail to turn heads, yet without a curling tong to get them, you may be at a loss for how to achieve the look (sigh!). But not for much longer…
How to get the look:
1. Mist your mane with a heat protectant, like the TRESemmé Heat Defence Spray, all over your strands to help keep them safe while using your heated styling tools.

2. Start by taking a section of hair (roughly 2-3 inches), and clamp your straightener about a third of the way down. Turn the section of hair back on itself and slowly run the straightener down the length of the strands.

3. Continue this process on your entire head, until you’ve achieved pretty coils. Then, give your freshly created ringlets a once over with hairspray to help seal in this shimmering style. See? You did it, learning how to curl hair with a flat iron wasn’t that hard, was it?

Loose Curls

model with loose wavy curls wearing pink shirt - how to curl hair with a flat iron tutorial
Choose loose, undone curls for an pretty everyday look.

If classic curls feel too polished for the casual, off-duty model look you want, then learning how to curl hair with a flat iron with this nifty technique will totally help!
How to get the look:
1. Start by spritzing your hair all over with the TRESemmé Heat Defence Spray.

2. To create this cool-girl look, you’ll need to follow a twirl-and-pull method! So, take 1-2 inches of hair and place your straightener halfway down your hair shaft.

3. Then, in an outward movement, twirl the straightener away from your face and gently glide it downwards. Continue this process on your entire head.

Tip: Don’t want your curls to look overly ‘done’? Just leave the ends untouched and separating them with your fingers, for a more relaxed look.

4. Finish off with some TRESemmé Botanique Natural Hold Hairspray, to give your off-duty style some lightweight staying power. And just like that, you’re all done!

Beach Waves: Method 1

model with purple hair and short beachy waves - how to curl with a flat iron tutorial
Getting beach waves with a straightener is easier than you think. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

With summer ready to burst onto the scene any day now, you may be wondering how to curl your hair with a flat iron to get holiday-inspired beachy waves. Luckily, we have you well and truly covered.
How to get the look:
1. After using a heat-protectant spray, feed your hair through your flat iron, fold it backwards and hold in place for few seconds. Now fold the hair forward in the opposite direction, again holding for a couple of seconds. This will create a loose, natural U-shaped beach wave.

2. Repeat the process on your entire head.

3. To mimic the look and feel sea-soaked strands, you’ll need to add some texture to your mane. So mist the Toni&Guy Sea Salt Texturising Spray all over, before running your fingers through your hair. Easy-peasy and not a patch of sand in sight! Definitely one of our favourite ways of how to curl hair with a flat iron.

Beach Waves: Part 2

long blonde and brown hair with beach waves - how to curl hair with a flat iron tutorial
Cheat your way to beachy waves with the braiding method. Credit: Kristen Soileau

Stuck on time yet still yearn for beach-perfect hair? Don’t fret: this quick braiding method has got your back!
How to get the look:
1. After using some heat styling spray on dry hair, separate your strands into 6 equal sections.

2. Next, braid each section (a simple 3-strand plait will do), then take your straightener and run it over the braids, one by one. It’s crucial that you start all the way at the top of the braid and work your way down, making sure to hold it in place for about 10 seconds.

Tip: If you want to really amp up the wave factor, you can spritz each section with some sea salt spray before plaiting.

3. When you reach the ends of the plait, use your straightener to curl the tips, so the waves seamlessly blend together.

4. Now time for the fun part: undo your woven strands and shake out your hair! Use your fingers to loosen waves and you’re all done. Who knew learning how to curl with a flat iron could be this easy!

Crimped Hair

model with long blonde hair and crimped waves - how to curl with a flat iron tutorial
Crimped hair is offically back – and you can get it using your straighteners. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Love crimped hairstyles but don’t want to look like you’ve just time-travelled from the ‘90s? Don’t fret, as this wavy look has been given a modern update. Think of it as the chicer, younger cousin of the retro-tastic style.
How to get the look:
1. Plait an inch section of hair and create a single, 3-strand braid. Then take your straightener and run it slowly down the plait.

Editor’s tip: Want to ramp up the volume of your crimps? Apply the VO5 Big Volume Mousse to your damp hair before you begin braiding, then blowdry it in to ensure your curls don’t end up sticky.

2. Repeat the action with the rest of your hair, making sure to run your flat iron from top to bottom.

3. Then unravel the braids, et voila! Now, all you need to do is find an awesome party to rock your new, playful ‘do at!




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