Hair Care Tips How To Use A Curling Iron To Get Loose Waves? By Marilyn Atkins Posted on July 29, 2023 0 So you want those effortless, beachy waves that everyone seems to have these days? Well, you’re in luck because I’m here to show you how to achieve that look using a curling iron. Trust me, it’s not as complicated as it may seem. In fact, with just a few simple steps, you’ll be rocking those gorgeous waves in no time. First off, let’s talk about the right curling iron to use. You’ll want to go for a barrel size that is about one to two inches in diameter. This will give you the perfect size waves without them looking too tight or too loose. Make sure the iron is also made of ceramic or tourmaline, as they distribute heat evenly and help prevent damage to your hair. Now, onto the technique. Start by applying a heat protectant spray to your hair. This will protect your locks from heat damage and keep them healthy. Then, divide your hair into sections, starting from the bottom and working your way up. Take a small section of hair – about an inch wide – and wrap it around the curling iron, holding it in place for about 10-15 seconds. Make sure you’re curling away from your face to achieve those loose waves. And that’s it! You’ve just learned the basics of using a curling iron to get those gorgeous loose waves. Of course, there are a few more tips and tricks to learn, so be sure to check out the full article for all the details. Trust me, once you master this technique, you’ll be turning heads everywhere you go. Choosing the Right Curling Iron Consider your hair type and length When it comes to achieving loose waves with a curling iron, it is crucial to choose the right tool for your hair type and length. If you have long and thick hair, you will need a curling iron with a larger barrel size to create those voluminous waves. On the other hand, if you have short or fine hair, a smaller barrel size will work better to create defined and delicate waves. Select the appropriate barrel size The barrel size of a curling iron determines the size of the curls or waves it creates. For loose waves, it is best to opt for a curling iron with a larger barrel size, typically around 1.25 to 1.5 inches. This size is perfect for creating soft, beachy waves that look natural and effortless. Choose a curling iron with adjustable heat settings To avoid damaging your hair, it is important to choose a curling iron that has adjustable heat settings. Different hair types require different temperatures to achieve the desired results. Fine or damaged hair should be styled at lower heat settings, while thicker or coarser hair can withstand higher temperatures. Adjustable heat settings give you the flexibility to customize the temperature to suit your hair type, minimizing the risk of heat damage. Preparing Your Hair Start with clean, dry hair Before using a curling iron, it is essential to start with clean and dry hair. Wet or damp hair will not hold a curl well and can even cause damage to your hair due to the high heat. Make sure to give your hair enough time to air-dry or use a blow dryer to ensure it is completely dry before styling. Apply heat protectant spray To protect your hair from the heat of the curling iron, it is important to apply a heat protectant spray. This product forms a barrier between the curling iron and your hair, reducing the risk of heat damage. Spray the heat protectant evenly onto your hair, focusing on the ends and any other damaged or vulnerable areas. Detangle your hair Before curling your hair, it is essential to detangle it to ensure smooth and even curls. Use a wide-tooth comb or a brush with soft bristles to gently remove any knots or tangles. Starting with smooth and tangle-free hair will make the curling process much easier and give you better results. Divide your hair into sections To achieve loose waves, it is best to divide your hair into sections. Start by parting your hair down the middle, creating two sections. Then, divide each section into two or three additional sections, depending on the thickness of your hair. This will make it easier to curl each section and ensure that all of your hair is evenly styled. Using the Curling Iron Plug in and heat up the curling iron Before you start using the curling iron, plug it in and let it heat up to the desired temperature. Make sure to read the instructions provided with the curling iron to determine the appropriate heat setting for your hair type. Waiting for the curling iron to heat up will ensure that it is ready to create the perfect waves. Adjust the temperature as per your hair type Once the curling iron has heated up, it’s time to adjust the temperature according to your hair type. Fine or damaged hair should be styled at a lower temperature, typically between 250°F to 300°F. Normal or medium-textured hair can be styled at temperatures ranging from 300°F to 350°F. Thicker or coarse hair can withstand higher temperatures, between 350°F to 400°F. Adjusting the temperature accordingly will help protect your hair and ensure the best results. Wrap a section of hair around the barrel To create loose waves, take a small section of hair and wrap it around the barrel of the curling iron. Start by holding the curling iron vertically and wrapping the hair away from your face. Leave about an inch of the ends out for a more relaxed and natural effect. Hold the hair in place for a few seconds, giving the curling iron enough time to heat the hair. Hold for a few seconds and release After holding the hair around the curling iron for a few seconds, gently release the curl by unwinding the hair from the barrel. Be careful not to tug or pull on the curled hair, as this can cause the curl to loosen or become frizzy. Repeat this process for all the sections of hair until you have curled your entire head. Repeat the process for all sections To ensure that all sections of your hair are evenly curled, repeat the curling process for each section. Take small sections at a time, wrapping the hair around the barrel and holding for a few seconds before releasing. Working systematically through your hair will help you achieve a uniform and natural-looking wave pattern. Vary the direction of curls for a natural look To achieve a more natural look, it is important to vary the direction of your curls. For example, you can curl one section of hair away from your face, and the next section towards your face. This alternating curling technique creates dimension and movement in the hair, replicating the natural pattern of waves. Creating Loose Waves Use a larger barrel size To create loose waves, opt for a curling iron with a larger barrel size. The larger the barrel, the bigger and more relaxed the waves will be. A barrel size between 1.25 to 1.5 inches is perfect for achieving loose, tousled waves that are reminiscent of a beachy look. Wrap the hair around the barrel loosely When curling your hair for loose waves, it is important to wrap the hair around the barrel loosely. Avoid pulling the hair tightly or winding it tightly around the barrel, as this will result in tighter curls rather than loose waves. A loose wrap around the barrel will create a more casual and effortlessly chic wave. Leave the ends out for a relaxed effect To achieve loose waves, leave the ends of your hair out when wrapping it around the barrel. By leaving the ends untouched, you create a more relaxed and carefree effect. This technique adds to the natural look of the waves and prevents them from appearing too uniform or structured. Alternate curling towards and away from the face To achieve loose waves that frame your face beautifully, alternate curling towards and away from your face. This technique adds dimension and creates a more natural-looking wave pattern. Keep in mind that the sections nearest to your face should be curled away from your face for a flattering frame. Setting the Waves Allow the curls to cool completely Once you have curled all sections of your hair, allow the curls to cool completely before touching them. Allowing the curls to cool will help set the shape and ensure that they last longer throughout the day. Resist the temptation to touch or play with the curls until they have cooled down. Use your fingers to gently separate the curls After the curls have cooled, use your fingers to gently separate them and create a more relaxed wave. Do not use a brush or comb at this stage, as it can disrupt the shape of the waves and cause them to frizz. Gently run your fingers through your hair, separating the curls and creating a more tousled look. Apply a light-hold hairspray for long-lasting waves To ensure that your loose waves last all day, apply a light-hold hairspray to set the style. Hold the hairspray about 12 inches away from your head and lightly mist it over your hair. Be careful not to overdo it with the hairspray, as this can make your hair look stiff or crunchy. Avoiding Common Mistakes Don’t hold the hair on the iron for too long One common mistake when using a curling iron is to hold the hair on the iron for too long. This can lead to overheating and damage to your hair. Instead, hold the hair on the iron for a few seconds, depending on the thickness and texture of your hair. Always refer to the instructions provided with your curling iron for the recommended hold time. Avoid using excessive heat Using excessive heat on your hair can cause damage and result in dry, brittle strands. Adjust the heat settings on your curling iron according to your hair type and avoid using the highest temperature if it is not necessary. Remember, you can always increase the temperature if needed, but it is best to start with a lower setting to protect your hair. Don’t skip the heat protectant Using a heat protectant spray is crucial to protect your hair from the high heat of the curling iron. Skipping this step can lead to heat damage and leave your hair looking dull and lifeless. Invest in a good-quality heat protectant spray and apply it to your hair before using any heat styling tools. Don’t curl all sections in the same direction Curling all sections of your hair in the same direction can result in a uniform and unnatural look. To achieve loose waves that look effortless and natural, alternate the direction of your curls. Curl some sections towards your face and others away from your face, creating a more dimensional and textured wave. Tips for Better Results Experiment with different curling techniques While using a curling iron is a popular method for achieving loose waves, don’t be afraid to experiment with different curling techniques. You can try using a curling wand, which does not have a clamp, to create looser and more relaxed waves. Additionally, you can experiment with different wrapping techniques or try curling only the mid-lengths and ends of your hair for a more undone look. Apply a volumizing mousse before curling If you want to add extra body and volume to your loose waves, consider applying a volumizing mousse before curling. This product will help plump up your hair and create a fuller, more textured wave. Apply the mousse to damp hair, focusing on the roots, and then blow dry your hair before curling. Use a texturizing spray for added definition To enhance the definition of your loose waves, use a texturizing spray. This product adds texture and grip to your hair, making it easier to create and hold waves. Lightly spritz the texturizing spray over your curled hair and use your fingers to scrunch and tousle the waves for a more lived-in and effortless look. Consider using a curling wand instead of an iron If you find that using a curling iron does not give you the loose waves you desire, consider using a curling wand instead. A curling wand does not have a clamp, allowing you to wrap your hair around the barrel freely. This can create looser and more relaxed waves that mimic the look of beachy waves. Maintaining the Waves Sleep with loose braids or buns to preserve waves To maintain your loose waves overnight, consider sleeping with loose braids or buns. Secure your hair in a loose braid or bun before going to bed, and in the morning, you will wake up with beautifully tousled waves. This method helps prevent the waves from getting flattened or frizzy while you sleep. Avoid excessive brushing or combing To keep your loose waves looking their best, avoid excessive brushing or combing. Over-brushing can disrupt the waves and cause them to fall out or frizz. Instead, gently run your fingers through your hair to separate the waves and remove any tangles or knots. Touch-up curls using a curling wand if needed Throughout the day, you may find that your loose waves start to lose their shape. To touch up your curls, use a curling wand on the sections that need a little extra oomph. Wrap a small section of hair around the wand, hold for a few seconds, and release. This will revive your waves and give them a fresh and polished look. Styling Options with Loose Waves Half-up half-down hairstyle One stylish option for showcasing your loose waves is to create a half-up half-down hairstyle. Gather the top section of your hair, starting from your temples, and secure it with a hair tie or bobby pins. This hairstyle allows you to show off your waves while keeping your hair out of your face for a trendy and effortless look. Messy bun with face-framing curls Another option for styling your loose waves is to create a messy bun with face-framing curls. Rake your fingers through your hair to gather it into a high or low bun, leaving a small section on each side to be curled. Use a curling iron or wand to curl those face-framing sections, creating soft and romantic curls that frame your face beautifully. Add a hair accessory for an extra flair To elevate your loose waves, consider adding a hair accessory for an extra touch of flair. Whether it’s a sparkly hairpin, a boho-inspired headband, or a colorful scarf, a well-chosen accessory can instantly elevate your hairstyle and make it more unique and eye-catching. Conclusion Using a curling iron to achieve loose waves requires the right technique and tools. By considering your hair type and length, selecting the appropriate barrel size, and choosing a curling iron with adjustable heat settings, you can start your journey to beautiful loose waves. Remember to prepare your hair by starting with clean, dry hair, applying heat protectant spray, detangling, and dividing your hair into sections. When using the curling iron, plug it in and adjust the temperature, wrap a section of hair around the barrel, hold for a few seconds, and release. Repeat this process for all sections, varying the direction of curls for a natural look. To create loose waves, use a larger barrel size, wrap the hair around the barrel loosely, leave the ends out, and alternate curling towards and away from the face. Once your waves are set, allow them to cool completely before separating them with your fingers and applying a light-hold hairspray. Remember to avoid common mistakes such as holding the hair on the iron for too long, using excessive heat, skipping the heat protectant, and curling all sections in the same direction. To achieve better results, experiment with different curling techniques, apply a volumizing mousse, use a texturizing spray, and consider using a curling wand instead of an iron. When maintaining the waves, sleep with loose braids or buns, avoid excessive brushing or combing, and touch-up curls using a curling wand if needed. You can also explore various styling options with loose waves, such as a half-up half-down hairstyle or a messy bun with face-framing curls. Remember to have fun and experiment with your new hairstyle, showcasing your beautiful loose waves with confidence!