Curling Wand Sizes and 7 Styles to Try

Miriam Herst | 27 January 2017
curling wand sizes woman with honey blonde curls

How to get the curls of your dreams.

Every women has that one dress that always looks good, the shade of lipstick that’s forever flattering and a certain way of styling her hair that makes her feel like she can conquer the world. When my hair is freshly curled and sprayed in place, I feel like there’s nothing I can’t handle. The silkiest and softest blowout can’t rival the feeling I get from the volume and texture I get when I curl my hair. I feel put together and confident and a little bit like I’m living up to my Beauty Editor title. When it comes to creating my curls curling wand sizes play a big factor. Today, I’m walking you through different curling wand sizes and explaining what kind of curls you can achieve with each one. I’ve also included some of my favorite products that I use to make the most of my curls.

Hair Wand Sizes: What’s the Right One for You?

curling wand sizes natural black curls
With some patience and skill it is possible to fake natural looking curls.

1. Fake Curls

Curling wand size: ¼ inch curling wand

It is possible (albeit a little time consuming) to fake natural curls. The secret to nailing a look that doesn’t seem like you put hours into it is using a tiny ¼ inch wand curling iron. You’ll start by applying some of the Dove Style + Care Volume Amplifier Mousse onto your damp hair. Let your hair air-dry to take advantage of whatever natural texture you already have going and get ready to curl. Section your hair off and curl it layer by layer. The trick to making it look like your hair dried like this is alternating the direction of your curls. Hold each curl on the barrel for thirty seconds, let it slide off into your hand and hold it there for another thirty seconds. Finish off with a spray of the Bed Head by TIGI Full of It Volume Hairspray.

DOVE STYLE+CARE VOLUME AMPLIFIER MOUSSE
curling wand sizes honey blonde curls
Follow these guidelines for a headshot worthy hairstyle.

2. Runway-Ready Curls

Curling wand size: one-inch curling wand

This look requires a one-inch wand curler and a little bit of practice. The top of your hair will stay silky smooth while the bottom half gets all the curling action. Start by protecting your hair with the TRESemmé Get Sleek Heat Protection Spray. These curls begin at your jawline and extend all the way to the end of your strands. Wrap your hair around the barrel and hold it for 30 seconds. Once again, let the curl stay coiled in your hand while it cools. One you’ve curled all your hair, shake it out to loosen your curls and spritz them with hairspray to keep them in place.

TRESemmé GET SLEEK HEAT PROTECTION SPRAY
curling wand sizes red blonde waves
This style is both understated and chic.

3. Wavy, Curls

Curling wand size: 1 ½ -inch curling wand

This style is the quickest to create and is perfect for a beginner. Wrap your strands loosely around the 1 ½ -inch barrel of a hair curling wand, then let your hair fall as they cool. Comb your fingers through your waves and rock this style product-free. It’s the best way to add some visual interest and deviate from your usual style, without going overboard.

Curling Wand Hairstyles: Different Curls For Different Girls

best curling wand for fine hair waves

1. Loose Tousled Curls

We love the look of these loose curls! They’re formal enough to make it look like your hair is done, but totally not stuffy. The easiest way to get this style is to use a 1-inch curling wand to quickly curl the bottom half of your hair. This gives an easygoing look to this hairstyle! Just don’t forget that anytime you curl your hair, it’s always best to first prep your hair with a heat protection spray.

curling wand hairstyles on long black waves
Loose, sexy waves are a style staple for evening. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

2. Big, Voluminous Curls

To create these bodacious curls you’ll need a large barrel curling wand and a slew of bobby pins or hair clips. Take the curling wand and curl small sections of hair with the barrel held horizontally. When the hair has heated through, pull the section off the barrel and pin into a pin curl while it’s still hot. This helps you keep the large curls (so they don’t just fall out) and gives you mega volume.

curling wand hairstyles on big brown curls
A more defined S-curl can switch up your default curly look.

3. Messy Curls

We love the look of messy but defined curls for winter formals, as they add an extra element of fun. For this style you’ll need a 1-inch curling wand. Curl all of your hair in the same direction and let the curls cool off before running your fingers through to separate the ringlets. Then, to set your style into a messy but put-together look, flip all of your hair over and mist with Bed Head By TIGI Maxxed Out Massive Hold Hairspray. It will help you get volume and achieve a trendy, piecey look.

BED HEAD by TIGI MAXXED OUT MASSIVE HOLD HAIRSPRAY
curling wand hairstyles on hollywood waves
Side-swept Hollywood waves are a classic option.

4. Tight Curls

For extra-formal curling wand hairstyles, you’ll want to go for a smaller barrel size, around 1/2″ or 3/4″. The smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl! For a more polished wave, curl all of your hair in small sections, and all in the same direction. To keep the tightly coiled look, don’t brush out the curls or loosen with your fingers, and instead let them lay exactly how they come off the barrel and align them neatly.

curling wand hairstyles on boho half-updos
A braided half-updo gives some boho chic to your evening look.

5. Braided Loose Curls

We love the hippie vibe of these loose curls in a braided half updo. To get these barely there curls, use a large barrel curling wand (1.5″ to 2″) and use it to bend the ends of your hair, as opposed to truly curling all of your strands. You can follow this tutorial to recreate this super fun braided half updo.

curling wand hairstyles on a mermaid braided bun
Play peek-a-boo with your highlights and put them up in a half-updo.

6. Flowery Half Updo

This pretty flowery half updo is absolutely made to be worn with mermaid curls. Fashion the top half of your hair into the half updo first, then get to curling the bottom half of your hair. For the ultimate mermaid hair look, you’ll want to create sections with different amounts of curl. To get the look, use your standard one inch curling wand to curl randomly sized sections of hair. You’ll be a beach babe just in time for your winter formal!

curling wand hairstyles on tight ringlets
Backcomb your curls for extra texture.

7. Big Teased Curls

To get this truly huge hair look you’ll need to start with wet hair. Apply a volumizing mousse to help you to achieve massive volume when styling. Then use a 1/2″ curling wand to curl your hair, starting around your ears. To amp up the volume even further, use a teasing brush to backcomb through the length of your hair.

Need more inspirational curling wand hairstyles? Take a look at these curly hairstyles for formal occasions

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