Life is full of oxymorons. For real, what's the deal with things like jumbo shrimp and working holidays? One thing that seems similarly oxymoronic is curling your hair with a hair straightener. While it sounds like something that flies in the face of everything holy the haircare gods intended, we now have the know-how and technology to carry out this styling feat.
Ready to throw away everything (well, ok, not everything) you thought you knew about curling and straightening? Read on to learn more about what you'll need and how to get those effortless curls you've always dreamed of.
Straight talk about curling with a straightener
One of the best things about being able to curl hair with a straightener is that you can cut down the number of hair appliances you need to have on hand. It's all good to have one of each, but if you need to conserve valuable styling space, save some cash or pack light for your next travelling adventure, being able to turn your hair straightener into a curler can come in handy. What’s more, you’ve probably noticed that hair professionals often choose to use a hair straightener to create curls, despite having an endless supply of hair tools at their fingertips. This is likely because, once the technique has been mastered, curls created with a straightener are beautiful, bouncy and natural-looking.
But just which is the best hair straightener for curling? There are plenty of solid options out there. It's best to go for a straightener with average-size or small plates rather than wide plates if you’re looking to create curls. A classic option that will allow you to straighten or curl with ease is the GHD Platinum+ Black Styler. Hitting the road? Take your straightening and curling power with you with a mini Silver Bullet hair straightener. Cloud Nine hair straighteners provide a range of size options, while Muk hair straighteners can also deliver epic curls.
For the best shot at creating and maintaining luscious curls, you might also want to grab some of these hair products:
- The right hair spray can help keep your curls bouncy and prevent your hair from becoming a frizzy mess when the heat turns up or there's a lot of humidity in the air.
- Thermal protection lets you hit your hair with heat for that fire look without the damage.
- Trusty shampoo, conditioner and treatments will ensure your hair stays healthy and hydrated both before and after you've styled it.
The 3 easy steps to start curling your hair with a straightener
While there are some slight variations to how you can do this based on what hairstyle you're going for, here are the basic steps to achieving curls with your straightener.
- Take a small section of hair, about an inch in width or so, and clamp your hair straightener up toward the top of the section. Don't clamp too tightly.
- Pull the straightener down toward the bottom of the section like normal.
- When you get to where you want the curls to start, turn the straightener away from your face a half turn. As you do this, slowly continue pulling it down through your hair (which should have rolled up a bit around the straightener).
And that's more or less it! Continue to do this through each section of your hair as you see fit.
Note: That last part – the one about continuing to move your straightener slowly as you spin it 180 degrees away from your face – is really important, as you don't want to tightly wrap your hair around a stationary straightener. That can potentially cause burns, and ain't nobody got time for that when you're on a curling mission!
Loosen up your look
The process for getting some flowing, loose curls with your hair straightener is similar, but there are a few key differences:
- You're going to want your sections of hair to be a bit larger. Try three inches instead of the inch or so you started with.
- You're going to twirl the hair through and around the flat iron, twisting and slowly making your way down, but instead of just going a half turn, you're going to use your straightener kind of like a curling iron. Depending on your hair length, you might get one or two full revolutions as you make your way to the end of the section.
- When you've reached the end of the section, unclamp your flat iron, but hold the curled section in your hand for a few seconds before letting it drop.
- Once the hair is cooled, you can take your handy brush and brush it out gently to get the exact style and look you want.
Easy-peasy beach waves
Even if you're nowhere near the coast, the effortless, summery vibes that beach hair gives off are only as far away as your straightener. While there are a few different ways to get beachy waves with your hair straightener, there's one cheeky trick that will allow you to achieve this look with very little effort.
Just do your hair in a standard braid – nothing fancy. Then, after you apply some thermal protectant to it, of course, gently clamp your straightener down on your braid, moving down the length of it section by section. Undo the braid, and enjoy some quick and easy beach waves. It's the beachy look without the sand, sun and salt.
Three more quick curl tips
- No matter what technique you use to achieve curls with a straightener, you’re going to want to let your curls cool for a few minutes before adding any extra products or brushing them out. This will make them stronger and longer lasting.
- Leave your curls tighter than you think you want. No matter what you do, they'll loosen a bit on their own, so you want to leave a bit of margin for error.
- If possible, try to not curl your hair the same day you wash it. While shampoo and conditioner can keep your hair strong, healthy and ready for curling, a tiny bit of oil and texture can help the curls hold better.
Let's get one thing straight: you don't have to have heaps of equipment to get the hair styling you want. With these tips and tricks, you can turn your favourite flat iron into a magnificent multipurpose tool. Find one today on Oz Hair & Beauty and try these tips out for yourself!