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#AskHauterfly: What’s The Right Way To Curl Your Hair?

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If I had to rate the level of difficulty in using various hair styling tools, I would say the straightening iron is the easiest to master. Curling irons are a mid-level challenge while blow-drying your own hair to perfection is next to impossible. Anyone who says they can blow-dry their hair to movie star levels of fabulous-ness is lying. Don’t believe them, girls.

At least that’s how it is for me. Straightening my hair is a piece of cake. The curling iron, though, leaves me with sore arms and it takes forever to finish. And although I had more misses than hits initially, I have more or less got the hang of working the curling iron now. (The blow dryer is a challenge I’m not yet ready to tackle).

Here’s what you need to know about how to curl your hair right:

1. Pick a barrel according to the length of your hair

Bigger is not always better. Very often, people pick a bigger curling iron than they need thinking it will make curling easier. Pick a curling iron according to the length of your hair. If you want beachy waves, you can brush through tight curls to give them a more relaxed look or you could try this hack instead.


Aveda Styling Air Control Hair Spray_Hauterfly

Aveda Styling Air Control Hair Spray (Rs 3,554)

2. Don’t use hairspray sparingly if you have stubborn hair

Generally, hairspray is reserved for the end to keep your hairstyle in place. However, people with hair that’s resistant to styling will notice that by the time they are done with curling all their hair, the very first sections have already fallen flat. If you spend as many hours watching videos on YouTube as I do, you’ll have noticed that often times hairstylists apply a light mist of hairspray before the styling to prep the hair and then a final spritz to finish and seal the style.


Tresemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray_Hauterfly

Tresemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray (Rs 700)

3. Always use a heat protectant

This goes without saying — not using heat protectants means damaged hair. Don’t ever heat style without using a heat protecting spray first.

4. Don’t use oil

The whole point of curling your hair is to create a voluminous, full look. Don’t use any oils and oil-based hair products that have the potential to weigh down your hair.


Babyliss C338E Curling Iron_Hauterfly

Babyliss C338E Curling Iron (Rs 2,699)

5. Invest in a good quality iron

Another no-brainer, girls. Penny-pinching isn’t going to help here. Invest in a professional quality tool to get the best results. Cheap curling irons do not perform half as well as professional tools do. Plus, they can also damage your hair.

6. Pick a curling iron with a clip

This one’s apt for novices and klutzy folks. The clip on the curling iron makes curling your hair easier. You can either wrap the ends in the clip to curl them for a ringlet-effect or leave them out if it’s a boho look you’re after.

7. Try different techniques

There are so many types of curls you can achieve if you try different techniques of wrapping hair around a curling barrel. If you want volume at the roots and tight curls, you should wrap the hair as close to the roots as possible while holding the iron perpendicular to the strands. If you want messy, relaxed waves, start midway along the length and leave the ends out while holding the curling iron vertically.


Loreal Elnett_Hauterfly

L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hair Styler (Rs 795)

8. Decide the look you want

For an old-school Hollywood look, wrap the hair in the same direction while curling it. However, the trendier way to do curls is by alternating the direction of your sections. If you wrap the first section away from the face, wrap the next one towards the face. It looks more natural, lived-in, and messy. Or you could go for the standard wrapped away from the face curls that are flattering to most face shapes.

9. Don’t clamp your hair for too long

Ideally, you should hold an iron to your hair for no more than eight to 10 seconds. However, you can hold it a bit longer if you have stubborn hair or you want tighter curls. A *bit* is a few more seconds only. Don’t be fooled into believing that the longer you hold the iron the better your hair will hold the curls. Also, make sure you hold all the sections for the same amount of time or you’ll definitely have a messy look.

10. Let your iron heat up

Give your iron sufficient time to heat up before using it or your efforts will go down the drain. Also, do not turn up the temperature unnecessarily. Be especially careful of high temperatures if you have processed or chemically-treated hair.

11. Don’t curl wet hair

This is a blanket rule when you are using heat-styling tools. NEVER use a straightening or curling iron on wet hair. Your hair has to be absolutely dry before you heat style it, and there’re no two ways about that. If you hear your hair sizzle when you use a curler or straightener, remember that’s the sound of your hair FRYING. You must avoid that at all costs, unless permanently damaged hair is the look you’re going for (I didn’t think so). If you have freshly washed hair, blow dry it before straightening or curling it. It will also help tackle frizz around your crown.


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