How To Curl Your Hair With A Straightener: Our Simple Styling Guide

how to curl your hair with a straightener

Don’t have a curling iron? No worries. A hair straightener will work just fine in creating equally gorgeous curls. Whether you want loose and relaxed waves or tight ones, a hair straightener, when used correctly can serve you well. Check out our tips and recommendations below in creating the best curls.


Which Type of Hair Straightener Works for Curling Hair?

woman with curly hair holding hair straightener

Now keep in mind that not all hair straighteners out there work in curling your hair. You need to look for the flat irons and not the ones with a comb or a roller. The thinner the plates, the easier it is to wrap your hair around them. Wider plates might not achieve tighter curls and may also be more difficult to maneuver, so be sure to look for those with 1-inch-wide plates or just a little bit more.

Choose hair straighteners with rounded edges and not the completely flat ones. The rounded edges glide better on your hair, which makes it easier to pull it out more forcefully to create tighter curls. The flatter ones could end up snagging in your hair.

Check the plates as well. If the plates have a small gap, they might not work as well in retaining heat. Make sure there is no big space in between the places.

Go for those hair straighteners that can go to a higher temperature setting and also have a swivel cord function, so you can maneuver it around your hair without you worrying that your head will get all tangled up in the cord. Choose those straighteners with the ability to lock in moisture as well. Nobody wants to have dry curls.

How to Prep Hair for Curling

male stylist curling a woman's hair

Every time you subject your hair to intense heat, you need to protect it and prep it first. First, make sure it is completely dry. If it is still damp, that excess moisture could evaporate during the curling process and then make your hair frizzy later on. For smoother results, make sure your hair is completely dry.

Apply a heat protectant spray as well. Look for a good brand of heat protectant spray that will really prevent your hair from getting fried up when using your heat styling tool.

Section your hair as needed. Use a sectioning clip to keep the rest of your hair out of the way while you work on one portion of your hair.

How to Create Tight Curls with a Straightener

If you want tight curls, here are the steps you should take:

woman with natural curls

  • Set your hair straightener to a high temperature.

The higher the temperature, the more likely it is for the curls to hold longer. Just make sure you follow the steps mentioned above to protect your hair from the inevitable damage it will incur from being exposed to high heat.

  • Now place a portion of your hair in between the plates.

Get a portion of your hair. Just get enough to create the size of curls you want. Place it in between the plates starting from the roots. Close the plates and then pull down the hair straightener. Stop when you have reached a part where you can rotate the straightener.

  • Rotate the straightener 360 degrees.

While still holding down your hair, rotate the straightener 360 degrees. Ever so slowly pull it down. Pause for a few seconds while inching your way down to the roots of your hair. Keep doing so until you got to the ends of the hair. It is important to let the hair straightener linger for a few seconds. Don’t rush the process or you will not end up with tight curls.

  • Release the plates.

Appreciate the curls you made. Now do the rest of your hair following the steps mentioned above. When you reach the back hair, just turn your head sideways so you can reach the back area better. Instead of pulling it down, pull it in the direction of your face to make it less awkward for your arms.

  • Set the curls with a setting spray.

Once you are done, arrange your hair and then spray a setting spray all over it to hold the curls longer.

How to Make Beachy Waves with a Straightener

Do you like beachy waves? Follow the steps mentioned above. But before you apply a setting spray all over the curls, do the following steps first:

  • Use your fingers or a wide-toothed comb to comb through the curls.

This will help loosen up the curls, so you can achieve the beach waves you want.

  • You can also apply a hair oil.

Using this will make it easier to create a nice beachy wave on your hair.

  • Apply a setting spray.

This is optional. Most beachy waves will hold up well and can last for a day but if you have hair that does not hold waves or curls easily, you can go ahead and do this step.

How to Make Finger Waves Using a Straightener

If you want to look like a 50s or 60s actress, you ought to try the finger waves. After prepping your hair, proceed to do the following steps:

1.   Get one section of your hair. From the roots, form an S shape using your hair.

Use your flat iron to “flatten” that “s” shape. Press the plates together until your hair holds the S shape.

2.  Keep shaping the hair into an “s” shape until you get to the ends.

Work your way down to the end of the hair. It is a little tedious, but the results are worth it.

3.  Now do the above-mentioned steps to the rest of your hair.

Keep repeating until you got all your hair covered.

4.  You can keep it this way or use a fine-toothed comb to separate the waves and create a vintage style curl.


Which of these methods do you like the most? Why don’t you try them all and see which look suits you best?

What’s Next 

Find reviews of the best hair straighteners here!

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