Hair Care Tips How Do I Create Loose Waves With A Small Barrel Curling Iron? By Marilyn Atkins Posted on August 3, 2023 0 In this article, you will learn how to create beautiful loose waves using a small barrel curling iron. If you’ve always wanted to achieve that effortless, beachy look, this is the perfect technique for you. With just a few simple steps, you can transform your hair into gorgeous waves that will turn heads. To start, section your hair and apply a heat protectant to minimize damage. Then, take small sections of hair and wrap them around the curling iron, holding it vertically. Leave the ends out for a more relaxed look. Repeat this process throughout your hair, alternating the direction of the curls for a more natural finish. Finally, gently tousle your waves with your fingers and finish with a light-hold hairspray for added hold and texture. With these easy steps, you can effortlessly create loose waves using a small barrel curling iron. Whether you’re attending a special occasion or just want to switch up your everyday look, this technique will give you the perfect beachy waves you’ve always desired. So grab your curling iron and get ready to rock those gorgeous, carefree waves! What is a small barrel curling iron? A small barrel curling iron is a hairstyling tool used to create curls and waves in the hair. Unlike larger barrel curling irons that create big and voluminous curls, a small barrel curling iron is specifically designed to create tight curls or loose waves, depending on the technique used. The barrel size typically ranges from 0.75 inches to 1.25 inches in diameter, making it perfect for those who prefer a more subtle and natural-looking wave. Choosing the right small barrel curling iron When looking for a small barrel curling iron, there are a few factors to consider to ensure you choose the right one for your needs. Consider the barrel size The size of the barrel will determine the type of curl or wave you can achieve. A smaller barrel size, such as 0.75 inches, will create tighter curls, while a larger size, like 1.25 inches, will create looser waves. Consider your desired style and the length of your hair when selecting a barrel size. Look for adjustable temperature settings Different hair types require different heat settings to avoid damaging the hair. Look for a small barrel curling iron that offers adjustable temperature settings. This will allow you to select the heat that works best for your hair and minimize the risk of heat damage. Check for a ceramic or tourmaline coating A curling iron with a ceramic or tourmaline coating is ideal as it helps distribute heat evenly and reduces the likelihood of hot spots. These materials also help reduce frizz and add shine to the hair, leaving you with smooth and beautiful waves. Preparing the hair Before using a small barrel curling iron, it’s important to properly prepare your hair to ensure the best results. Wash and condition the hair Start by washing your hair with a hydrating shampoo and conditioner. This will help moisturize the hair and provide a good foundation for styling. Avoid using heavy or greasy products that may weigh down the hair. Apply a heat protectant Before applying any heat styling tool to your hair, it’s crucial to protect it from the heat. Apply a heat protectant spray or serum throughout your hair, focusing on the lengths and ends. This will create a barrier between the heat and your hair, minimizing potential damage. Detangle the hair Using a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush, gently comb through your hair to remove any knots or tangles. This will make the curling process much easier and prevent any unnecessary pulling or breakage. Divide the hair into sections To ensure an even and organized styling process, divide your hair into sections. Start by separating the top half of your hair from the bottom and secure it with clips or hair ties. Then, further divide each section into smaller subsections depending on the thickness of your hair. How to create loose waves Now that your hair is properly prepared, it’s time to create those beautiful loose waves using your small barrel curling iron. Heat up the curling iron Plug in your curling iron and allow it to heat up to your desired temperature. Remember to start with a lower heat setting and gradually increase if needed. Start curling from the mid-lengths Take a small section of hair from one of the bottom sections and clamp it between the curling iron barrel and the clip. Start curling from the mid-lengths of the hair, leaving the roots and ends straight. Wrap sections of hair around the barrel Wrap the section of hair around the barrel, holding the ends with your fingers to avoid any burns. Keep the hair wrapped around the barrel for a few seconds, but be cautious not to keep it in for too long to prevent heat damage. Hold for a few seconds and release Release the clamp and gently slide the curling iron out of the curled section. Allow the hair to cool for a few seconds before moving onto the next section. Repeat the process on all sections Work your way up from the bottom sections to the top, repeating the curling process on each section of hair. Remember to curl the hair away from your face for a more natural-looking wave. Tips for achieving loose waves To achieve the perfect loose waves with a small barrel curling iron, consider these helpful tips. Use larger sections for looser waves If you prefer a more relaxed and casual look, take larger sections of hair when curling. This will create looser waves instead of defined curls. Alternate the direction of the curls To create a more natural-looking wave, alternate the direction of your curls. Curl some sections away from your face and others towards your face for variety and dimension. Leave the ends straight for a more natural look For a more effortless and natural look, leave the ends of your hair straight when curling. This will prevent the curls from looking too uniform and give a beachy, tousled vibe. Avoid touching or brushing the curls too much Once you’ve finished curling your hair, refrain from touching or brushing the curls too much. This can cause the waves to lose their shape and may result in frizz. Instead, use your fingers to gently separate and tousle the curls for a softer and more lived-in appearance. Setting the style To ensure your loose waves last all day, it’s important to properly set the style. Allow the curls to cool down After curling your entire head, allow the curls to cool down completely before finalizing the style. This will help the waves set and hold their shape for a longer period of time. Apply a light-hold hairspray Once the curls have cooled down, lightly mist a light-hold hairspray over your hair to set the style. Be careful not to use too much product as it can weigh the hair down and make it appear stiff. Gently tousle the curls with fingers For a softer and more natural look, use your fingers to gently tousle and separate the curls. This will give your waves a more effortless and carefree appearance. How to maintain loose waves To keep your loose waves looking beautiful and defined, follow these maintenance tips. Avoid washing the hair too often Washing your hair too frequently can strip it of its natural oils, which help maintain the waves and prevent frizz. Try to wash your hair every other day or use a dry shampoo between washes to freshen up your style. Use dry shampoo to refresh the style If your waves start to lose their shape or become greasy, use a dry shampoo to revive them. Sprinkle a small amount of dry shampoo at the roots, then use your fingers to massage it into the hair for added volume and freshness. Protect the curls while sleeping To prevent your loose waves from getting flattened or tangled while you sleep, consider tying your hair up in a loose bun or braid. This will keep the waves intact and reduce friction against your pillowcase. Common mistakes to avoid To achieve the best results with your small barrel curling iron, be mindful of these common mistakes. Using too high heat Using excessive heat can damage your hair and lead to breakage and dryness. Start with a lower heat setting and gradually increase if necessary, but avoid using the highest setting unless your hair is very resistant to heat. Holding the curling iron for too long Leaving the hair wrapped around the curling iron for too long can cause heat damage. Keep the hair wrapped for a few seconds, typically between 5-10 seconds, and release it. If you prefer looser waves, you can hold the hair for a shorter amount of time. Not using a heat protectant Failure to use a heat protectant spray or serum can result in significant damage to your hair. Always apply a heat protectant before using any heat styling tools to keep your hair healthy and protected. Overusing hair products Using excessive amounts of hairspray, mousse, or other styling products can weigh your hair down and make it feel sticky or stiff. Use a light hand when applying products and focus on the ends and mid-lengths of your hair. Inspiration for styling loose waves Now that you know how to create and maintain loose waves with a small barrel curling iron, here are a few hairstyle inspirations to try with your new wavy look. Half-up half-down hairstyle For a chic and effortless look, gather the top half of your hair and secure it with a hair tie. Leave the waves flowing freely, creating a beautiful half-up half-down hairstyle that showcases your loose waves. Messy bun with loose waves To create a more relaxed and casual look, gather your waves into a low or high ponytail and wrap it into a messy bun. Allow a few loose waves to frame your face for a soft and romantic touch. Side-swept waves For a glamorous and sophisticated look, part your hair on one side and sweep the waves to the opposite side. Secure the side-swept waves with bobby pins or a hair accessory for a red carpet-worthy hairstyle. Braided crown with loose waves For a bohemian and feminine look, create a loose braid on each side of your head, starting from the temple area. Bring the braids towards the back and secure them with bobby pins, creating a braided crown. Let the remaining waves flow freely for a romantic and ethereal style. Conclusion Creating loose waves with a small barrel curling iron is a simple and effective way to add volume and texture to your hair. By selecting the right barrel size, properly preparing your hair, and using the correct techniques, you can achieve beautiful waves that will turn heads. Remember to take care of your waves by using the appropriate products and avoiding common mistakes. With these tips and inspirations, you’ll be able to effortlessly style your hair into loose waves using a small barrel curling iron. Enjoy your newfound wavy look and have fun experimenting with different hairstyles!