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How to Curl Hair with a Flat Iron

Get more mileage out of your hot tools with some styling hacks.

Learning how to curl hair with a flat iron is kind of an essential skill to learn, especially if you want to create more relaxed bends like summery beach waves or loose Hollywood curls. Like with anything, practice makes perfect. Plus, a lot of it is all about trial and error, and finding the method and look that suits you best.

While this technique can feel complicated, it’s actually pretty easy when you get the hang of it. Keep reading to learn the best technique for how to curl hair with a flat iron, and make sure to be patient with yourself as you learn!

Ready? Let’s get started.

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heat protectant for flat iron
Heat protectant is always a must.

1. Start by protecting your hair.

When using a flat iron, spray on a thermal protectant throughout your hair. We love the smooth results we get from TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray. After spritzing your hair, comb the product through to ensure it’s evenly coated. This added layer of protection will prevent hair from singeing on hot spots on the iron. For thick hair, section and spray to absolutely ensure all strands have an even coating.

5. Section hair.

Divide your hair into two sections from the ears up. Clamp the top section of hair onto your crown and secure with a clip.

6. Tug and twirl.

Starting with the bottom parting, further section-off the hair into smaller sections, Two to three sections usually works best, but it depends on how tight you want your curls to be.

The trick to learning how to curl hair with a flat iron is to hold your iron like a curling wand. To do so, hold your flat iron close to the scalp, wrap the hair in between the prongs and slowly move downwards, while giving the iron the occasional twirl around both prongs.

As a rule of thumb, the tighter and closer the wrapping of the hair around the iron, the tighter the curls, which is ideal for ringlets. For looser, romantic curls, do the opposite.

7. Mix up the texture.

wavy hair with flat iron
Switch up the texture of curls.

For a more interesting look, try adding in flicks with the curls. To create the flicks, clamp the iron halfway down the section of hair, and turn it back on itself to create a U shape. Staying on this angle, move towards the tip. Make sure to add some flicks at the back sections as well.

8. Finish with a spray.

hair spray on curled hair
Lock you style in with hair spray.

Give your curls some structure and control by adding a hair spray, such as Love Beauty and Planet Light Hold & Frizz Control Coconut Milk & White Jasmine Light Hold Hair Spray.

You can also opt to mist hair with a shine spray, such as Bed Head by TIGI Headrush, for a luxurious highlight. If looser curls or more wavy curls are required, use a brush, such as a paddle brush to gently separate your ringlets. Alternatively, use the fingers to run through hair, gently shaking from root to tip.

As we said earlier, practice makes perfect! Be patient with yourself as you learn this new technique and keep practicing until you get it right.

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