How to Use a Curling Iron: Step-by-Step Tutorial for Perfect Curls


Are you tired of not achieving the perfect curls with your curling iron? Fear not, as we have got you covered with a step-by-step tutorial on how to use a curling iron. In this article, we will explore everything from preparing your hair to troubleshooting common mishaps.

Step-by-Step Tutorial

Preparing the hair

The first step to achieving perfect curls is to prepare your hair properly. To do this, wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Towel-dry your hair until it is slightly damp. You can use a blow dryer to dry your hair completely but make sure to use a heat protectant spray before blow-drying.

Choosing the right heat setting

Next, choose the right heat setting on your curling iron. If you have thin or fine hair, choose a lower heat setting. For thicker or coarser hair, you can use higher heat settings, but be sure not to go overboard as you may end up damaging your hair. Always start with low heat settings and work your way up as needed.

Sectioning the hair

Section your hair into small sections. The smaller the section, the tighter the curl. Use clips to hold the remaining hair away from the section you are working on. Start at the bottom of your hair and work your way up.

Curling the hair

Place the curling iron around the section of hair you want to curl. Hold the iron vertically and wrap the hair around it, starting about an inch away from the roots. Hold the curls in place for about 10-15 seconds, depending on the thickness of your hair and the tightness of the curl you want to achieve. After releasing the curl from the iron, use your fingers to gently separate the strands to create a more natural look.

Tips for maintaining the curls

After curling your hair, let it set for a few minutes before running your fingers through it. Don’t brush your curls out as this will make them frizzy. Apply a styling spray or finishing serum to maintain your curls throughout the day.

Styling Tips

Loose Waves

To achieve loose waves, use a larger barrel curling iron. Curl your hair from the mid-section to the ends, leaving the roots straight. Leave the curls on the iron for less time to create a more relaxed wave.

Tight Ringlets

To achieve tight ringlets, use a smaller barrel curling iron. Take smaller sections of hair and leave the curling iron on for longer. Use hairspray to set the curls once you’re done.

Voluminous Curls

To achieve voluminous curls, use a larger barrel curling iron. Curl your hair from the roots to the ends, holding the iron vertically. After each curl, flip your hair over and run your fingers through it to create volume.

Product Recommendations

Heat protectants

Using a heat protectant is crucial when using a curling iron. It helps protect your hair from heat damage and even helps your style last longer. Some recommended heat protectants are Redken Iron Shape 11, TRESemmé Thermal Creations Protective Spray, and BioSilk Silk Therapy Thermal Shield.

Styling sprays

Styling sprays help maintain your curls throughout the day. Some recommended styling sprays are John Frieda Frizz Ease Curl Reviver Mousse, OGX Locking + Coconut Curls Finishing Mist, and Bumble and Bumble Curl Defining Creme.

Finishing serums

A finishing serum will add shine and definition to your curls. It also helps reduce frizz and flyaways. Some recommended finishing serums are K√©rastase Nutritive Oleo-Relax Serum, OGX Vitamin E Penetrating Oil for Dry Hair, and L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil.

Troubleshooting Guide

How to prevent frizz

Use a smoothing serum or finishing spray to tame flyaways. Avoid brushing your hair after you have curled it to prevent frizz. Use a diffuser on your blow dryer to dry your hair without disturbing the curls.

How to prevent hair damage

Don’t use your curling iron on the highest heat setting if your hair doesn’t require it. Be mindful of how much heat you apply to your hair when using a curling iron and ensure that you are using heat protectants.

How to make curls hold longer

Using hairspray or a finishing serum will help your curls last longer. Additionally, try not to touch your hair too much and avoid running your fingers through it too often as it can cause the curls to loosen.

Video Tutorial

For a more visual demonstration of how to use a curling iron, check out our short video tutorial below. Follow along with our expert hairstylist and learn new tips and tricks on how to perfect your curls!


Which type of curling iron is best for different hair types?

Thicker hair needs a curling iron with a higher heat setting and a bigger barrel. For thinner hair, a curling iron with a lower heat setting and a smaller barrel will suffice. Ceramic and tourmaline curling irons are great for preventing heat damage and maintaining hair health.

How often to use a curling iron?

Using a curling iron too often can damage your hair. We recommend no more than 2-3 times a week. If you use a curling iron more frequently, we suggest using a heat protectant every time you use it to prevent hair damage.

How to maintain the curling iron?

Clean the curling iron with a damp cloth after every use to remove any product buildup. Store your curling iron away from any other hair styling products. Don’t wrap the cord around the curling iron when storing it as this can damage the cord.


Curling your hair with a curling iron doesn’t have to be difficult. If you follow our step-by-step tutorial and adhere to our tips and tricks, you’ll achieve the perfect curls in no time. Remember to always use heat protectants and maintain your curling iron for the best results.

We hope this article has been helpful and inspiring to you.

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