How Can I Achieve A Tousled Look With A Curling Iron?


If you’ve ever wondered how to achieve that effortlessly chic tousled look with your curling iron, look no further. This article will provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to create those relaxed, beachy waves that are perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re a curling iron pro or a novice in the world of styling tools, we’ve got you covered with easy-to-follow steps and expert advice. So grab your curling iron, get ready to have some fun, and let’s achieve that tousled look you’ve always wanted!

How Can I Achieve A Tousled Look With A Curling Iron?

Choosing the Right Curling Iron

Consider the Barrel Size

When it comes to choosing the right curling iron, one of the first factors to consider is the barrel size. The barrel size determines the size of the curls you’ll create. If you prefer tighter curls, opt for a curling iron with a smaller barrel size, around 1 inch or less. On the other hand, if you prefer looser waves, go for a curling iron with a larger barrel size, such as 1.5 inches or more. Remember that the size of the barrel will directly impact the final result of your tousled look.

Select a High-Quality Curling Iron

Investing in a high-quality curling iron is key to achieving the best results. A high-quality curling iron will provide even heat distribution and last longer. Look for features like a ceramic or tourmaline barrel, which can help protect your hair from heat damage. Additionally, check the reviews and ratings of different curling irons to ensure you’re choosing a reliable and durable option. Investing in a good curling iron will not only give you the best results but also save you from potential hair disasters.

Choose a Curling Iron with Adjustable Temperature

It’s essential to choose a curling iron with an adjustable temperature feature. Different hair types require different heat settings to achieve the perfect tousled look. Fine hair, for example, is more delicate and will need a lower heat setting, while thick or coarse hair may need a higher heat setting. Being able to adjust the temperature of your curling iron allows you to customize it according to your hair’s needs, minimizing the risk of heat damage and ensuring long-lasting results.

Opt for a Curling Iron with a Clip or Wand

When it comes to choosing a curling iron, you have the option of one with a clip or a wand. Both have their advantages, so it’s a matter of personal preference. A curling iron with a clip is great for beginners or those who prefer a more controlled and secure curling technique. On the other hand, a wand, which lacks the clip, provides more freedom and versatility in creating different curling techniques. Consider your skill level and the type of curls you want to achieve to decide which option is best for you.

Preparing Your Hair

Wash and Condition Your Hair

Before using a curling iron, it’s important to start with clean, freshly washed hair. Use a shampoo and conditioner that are suitable for your hair type to ensure your strands are hydrated and ready for styling. Avoid using products that can weigh your hair down or leave a residue, as this can affect the curling process.

Apply Heat Protectant

To protect your hair from heat damage, it’s crucial to apply a heat protectant spray or serum. Heat protectant products create a barrier between your hair and the hot styling tools, minimizing the potential damage caused by high temperatures. Apply the heat protectant evenly throughout your hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends, where the heat from the curling iron is most concentrated.

Dry Your Hair Completely

To achieve the best results with your curling iron, make sure your hair is completely dry before styling. Any moisture left in your hair can cause the curls to fall out or become less defined. If you’re in a hurry, you can use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process. Just remember to use a heat protectant spray while blow-drying to minimize heat damage.

Brush or Comb Your Hair to Remove Tangles

Before you start using the curling iron, make sure your hair is tangle-free. Using a wide-toothed comb or a brush specifically designed for detangling, gently comb through your hair to remove any knots or tangles. This will not only make it easier to section your hair but also ensure that the curls will be smooth and even.

How Can I Achieve A Tousled Look With A Curling Iron?

Applying the Tousled Technique

Section Your Hair

To achieve the tousled look, it’s important to section your hair before starting the curling process. Start by parting your hair down the middle, dividing it into two equal sections. Then, take one section and divide it into smaller subsections. The size of the subsections will depend on your hair’s thickness and the desired result. Smaller subsections will create tighter curls, while larger subsections will result in looser waves.

Heat the Curling Iron

Before curling your hair, it’s crucial to heat the curling iron to the desired temperature. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended heat settings based on your hair type. Allow the curling iron to heat up fully, ensuring that it’s hot enough to create the desired curl but not too hot to avoid causing damage to your hair.

Curl One-inch Sections

Once the curling iron is heated, begin curling one-inch sections of hair at a time. Take a subsection of hair and wrap it around the barrel of the curling iron, starting from the roots and working your way down to the ends. Hold the hair around the barrel for a few seconds and then release the curl. Repeat this process with the remaining sections of hair, working your way around your head.

Alternate Curling Directions

To achieve a natural-looking tousled look, it’s important to alternate the direction of the curls. Curl some sections of hair towards your face and others away from your face. This alternating curling technique adds dimension and creates a more effortless and lived-in look.

Leave the Ends Out

For a tousled look, leave the ends of your hair out of the curling iron. This will give your hair a more relaxed and beachy vibe. By leaving the ends untouched, you’re avoiding a uniform curl pattern and allowing the curls to mix with your natural texture.

Loosen the Curls with Fingers

After curling your entire head, use your fingers to gently loosen the curls. This will break up the curls and create a more tousled and carefree appearance. Avoid using a brush or comb, as this can undo the curls and make them look too polished. Instead, use your fingers to separate and manipulate the curls until you achieve the desired tousled look.

Creating Variation in the Tousled Look

Vary the Curling Iron Barrel Size

To add variation to your tousled look, experiment with different curling iron barrel sizes. Using curling irons with different barrel sizes will create curls of varying tightness and texture. For example, you can use a smaller barrel size for tighter curls in some sections and a larger barrel size for looser waves in others. Mixing up the barrel sizes will give your tousled hairstyle a more dynamic and interesting appearance.

Play with Different Curling Techniques

In addition to varying the barrel size, you can also play with different curling techniques to create variation in your tousled look. For example, try using a traditional curling method on some sections, where you wrap the hair around the barrel. Then, on other sections, experiment with the twist and twirl method, where you twist the hair before wrapping it around the barrel. These different techniques will add texture and dimension to your tousled hairstyle.

Try Curling Only Sections of Your Hair

For a unique twist on the tousled look, consider curling only certain sections of your hair. Leave some sections straight or lightly waved for an effortless and lived-in vibe. By curling only sections of your hair, you can create a contrast between the smooth and textured areas, resulting in an interesting and eye-catching hairstyle.

Experiment with Leaving More or Less Ends Out

Another way to create variation in your tousled hairstyle is by experimenting with how much of the ends you leave out of the curling iron. For a more relaxed and carefree look, leave more of the ends untouched. This will give your hair a beachy and tousled appearance. On the other hand, if you prefer a more polished and defined look, curl the hair all the way to the ends, ensuring a consistent curl pattern throughout your hair.

How Can I Achieve A Tousled Look With A Curling Iron?

Finishing Touches

Apply a Texturizing Spray

To enhance the tousled look and add long-lasting hold, apply a texturizing spray to your styled hair. Texturizing sprays are designed to add volume, texture, and grittiness to the hair, making it easier to achieve and maintain the tousled look. Simply spray the texturizing spray evenly throughout your hair and use your fingers to scrunch and tousle the hair for maximum effect.

Gently Tease or Backcomb Your Hair

For added volume and texture, consider gently teasing or backcombing your hair at the roots. This technique lifts the hair and creates a more voluminous and undone look. Use a teasing comb or a fine-toothed comb to lightly tease sections of your hair at the crown or wherever you desire extra volume. Be mindful not to tease too aggressively, as this can cause damage and make your hair difficult to style later on.

Finger Comb the Curls for a Natural Look

After applying a texturizing spray and teasing your hair, use your fingers to gently comb through the curls. This finger combing technique helps to soften the curls and create a more natural look. Avoid using a brush or comb at this stage, as it can separate the curls too much and ruin the tousled effect. Finger combing allows you to maintain the texture and shape of the curls while still achieving a relaxed and effortless vibe.

Set the Style with Hairspray

To ensure that your tousled hairstyle stays in place throughout the day, finish it off with a light misting of hairspray. Choose a flexible hold hairspray that will provide long-lasting hold without making your hair stiff or crunchy. Hold the can of hairspray about 10-12 inches away from your head and lightly mist it over your hair. This will help lock in the tousled style while still allowing your hair to move naturally.

Effective Tips and Tricks

Start with Second-Day Hair

For optimal results when creating a tousled look with a curling iron, it’s often recommended to start with second-day hair. Second-day hair has more texture and natural oils, making it easier to style and hold the curls. If you have freshly washed hair, you can still achieve a tousled look by using a texturizing spray or dry shampoo to add some grit and texture before curling.

Don’t Over-curl Your Hair

When aiming for a tousled look, it’s important not to over-curl your hair. Over-curling can result in tight, bouncy curls that may not be the desired outcome. Instead, aim for looser waves or relaxed curls by using a larger barrel size and leaving the ends untouched. The goal is to create a more effortless and undone appearance rather than a perfectly coiled curl.

Use the Right Amount of Heat

Using the right amount of heat is crucial when using a curling iron to achieve a tousled look. Too much heat can damage your hair and make it frizzy, while too little heat may not effectively curl your hair. Follow the recommended temperature settings for your hair type and always start with a lower heat setting, increasing it if necessary. It’s better to err on the side of caution and gradually increase the heat as needed.

Avoid Touching the Curls Too Much

Once you’ve created your desired tousled look, it’s important to avoid touching the curls too much throughout the day. Constantly running your fingers through your hair or playing with the curls can disrupt the shape and make them lose their definition. Try to resist the temptation to constantly touch your hair, as this can lead to frizz and an overall messy appearance.

How Can I Achieve A Tousled Look With A Curling Iron?

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Using Too Much Product

While it’s important to use the right products to achieve a tousled look, it’s equally important not to overdo it. Using too much product can weigh your hair down, make it greasy, or leave a sticky residue. Start with a small amount of product and gradually add more if needed. Remember that less is often more when it comes to styling products for a tousled hairstyle.

Skipping Heat Protectant

Skipping heat protectant is a rookie mistake that can lead to significant damage to your hair. Heat protectant sprays or serums create a barrier between your hair and the hot curling iron, minimizing heat damage. Always apply a heat protectant before using any heated styling tools to ensure the health and integrity of your hair.

Curling Damp or Wet Hair

Attempting to curl damp or wet hair is not only ineffective but can also lead to damage. When using a curling iron, always ensure that your hair is completely dry, as wet hair is more prone to breakage and can cause the curling iron to sizzle and steam. Allow your hair to air dry or use a blow dryer before starting the curling process.

Leaving the Curls Too Tight

One common mistake when trying to achieve a tousled look is leaving the curls too tight. Tight curls can make your hair appear more formal and structured, rather than relaxed and effortless. To avoid this mistake, use a larger barrel size and leave the ends out when curling. After curling, remember to loosen the curls with your fingers for a more tousled and natural appearance.

Maintaining the Tousled Look

Sleep with Loose Braids

To maintain the tousled look overnight and prolong the life of your curls, consider sleeping with loose braids. Before going to bed, divide your hair into two sections and loosely braid each section. This will help preserve the waves and prevent them from getting tangled or flattened while you sleep. In the morning, simply unravel the braids and finger comb through your hair to refresh the tousled look.

Avoid Tight Hair Accessories

When sporting a tousled hairstyle, it’s best to avoid tight hair accessories like elastic bands or tight headbands. These can flatten the waves and disrupt the natural flow of your tousled hair. Opt for loose and soft hair accessories, such as a scrunchie or loose headband, to keep your hair looking relaxed and effortless.

Refresh the Curls with Dry Shampoo

If your tousled hairstyle starts to lose its volume or texture throughout the day, a quick refresh with dry shampoo can make all the difference. Spray a small amount of dry shampoo at the roots and gently massage it into your scalp. This will absorb any excess oil and add volume to your hair, reviving the tousled look.

Avoid Excessive Brushing or Combing

To maintain the tousled look, it’s important to avoid excessive brushing or combing throughout the day. Brushing or combing the curls can separate them too much and result in frizz or a messy appearance. Instead, use your fingers to gently arrange and tousle the curls, maintaining their shape while still achieving a relaxed and effortless vibe.

How Can I Achieve A Tousled Look With A Curling Iron?

Celebrity-Inspired Tousled Hairstyles

Achieving the Beachy Waves

One of the most popular celebrity-inspired tousled hairstyles is the beachy waves. This effortless and carefree look is often seen on celebrities like Blake Lively and Gigi Hadid. To achieve beachy waves, use a curling iron with a larger barrel size and alternate the curling direction of each section. After curling, finger comb through the waves and finish with a texturizing spray for maximum beachy vibes.

Getting Effortlessly Messy Hair

For an effortlessly messy look, take inspiration from celebrities like Kristen Stewart or Margot Robbie. This style is all about embracing the natural texture and movement of your hair. Use a curling wand without a clip to create loose waves throughout your hair. After curling, tousle the hair with your fingers and finish with a light mist of texturizing spray to enhance the messy and rebellious appearance.

Mastering the Red Carpet Tousled Look

Celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Selena Gomez often rock a sophisticated and glamorous tousled hairstyle on the red carpet. To master this look, opt for a smaller barrel size to create tighter curls. After curling, gently brush through the curls with your fingers, creating soft and romantic waves. Finish with a light-hold hairspray to set the style in place.


Experimenting and finding your own style is key when it comes to achieving a tousled look with a curling iron. By considering factors such as barrel size, hair preparation, and curling techniques, you can create a tousled hairstyle that suits your personal taste and hair type. Remember to embrace the ease and versatility of tousled hair and enjoy the effortlessly chic vibes it brings. With the right techniques and a touch of creativity, you’ll be able to rock the tousled look with confidence.

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