How I curl my hair! (with a video tutorial!)

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The vast majority of days I curl my hair, rather than leaving it straight or smoothing it out with a straightener. I feel more polished and my hair is more comfortable during the day with some curl to it since it stays out my face more easily! Another benefit of taking a few minutes to curl it is that it looks cuter if I pull it back in a pony tail during the day, and if I lift weights, I can just do a low bun and it still looks fine post-workout or even on day two. (But if I do cardio, I have to wash my hair – I get too sweaty!)

I’ve attempted to curl my hair with a flat iron and it’s just a total disaster. But I find it super easy to use a curling iron (here’s my review of my curling iron and a quick Instagram Reel tutorial!) so I stick with that method (or I use my Dyson AirWrap). Plus, it gives a more polished look vs. beachy waves, which I generally prefer. After all, we all want Victoria Secret Angel curls, right?

Here is a quick video showing you how and there are more detailed tips below!

How to Curl Hair

How To Curl Short Hair With Curling Iron

I use the same method no matter how long my hair is – the only thing that changes is the size of the curling iron.

For longer hair, I use a 1.25″ barrel. For shoulder length or shorter, I use a 1″ barrel. Barrel size really makes a difference with each hair type!

Hair Curling Products

In the video, I show a few products I use to prep my hair, and I also linked them below. Some of the hair products that I use have changed since I filmed the first video when my hair is shorter so the below list is the most current.

Hair Curling Products

Beautycounter Shampoo & Conditioner or Colleen Rothschild Shampoo/Conditioner

I use a tiny amount (Dime sized for shampoo. Nickel sized for conditioner) so my hair isn’t weighed down with too much product.

And I don’t currently use those but I have in the past and they work great. Beautycounter is the “cleanest” of the two brands, but I feel good about both of them. (I have another blog post about what ingredients to avoid in your shampoo.)

Colleen Rothschild Hair Mask

I use this weekly and it’s SO hydrating. It gives my hair shine and volume, without weighing it down. It contains a blend of Kokum, Shea Butter, Capuacu and Bacuri Butters, which all help nourish your hair.

If you have super dry hair, you could also try a hair oil a few times a week. This OUAI hair oil contains coconut oil and is SUPER hydrating.

Divi Scalp Serum

I use a dropper of this after washing my hair and massage it into my scalp. I let it absorb before I add anything else. It helps a LOT with postpartum hair loss.

Innersense I Create Lift Volumizing Foam

Right after I get out of the shower, I use the Innersense I Create Lift Volumizing Foam on wet hair. I love this because it gives me great lift and volume without any crunchy feeling. It also smells amazing on wet hair. I love this because it gives me great lift and volume without any crunchy feeling. It also smells amazing.

Cult and King Tonik light hold leave in conditioner

After the volumizing foam, I spray this Cult and King Tonik light hold leave in conditioner on my damp hair (just a light mist). It improves hair health, gives it very light hold, shine and just makes my hair look amazing without any frizz. The stylist at my hair salon has used this on me for a few years and I finally broke down and bought my own since my hair always looks SO much better when she uses it! It also contains menthol to help stimulate hair growth, which I’m all about in my postpartum phase! (I’m still recovering from major hair loss!). It leaves my hair feeling smooth.

Styling Cream by Cult + King

This is a styling cream by Cult + King. I use just 1-2 pumps and apply only to the bottom half of my hair. It doesn’t go near the roots or else it can weigh hair down (especially for fine hair). It has heat protection in it and a light hold. And it works great whether I’m using a round brush to blow dry and smooth my hair or a curling iron to create nice waves. I don’t use this if I’m allowing my hair to air dry.

I don’t use hair gels or curl cream since I don’t have naturally curly hair! If you have super curly hair, you may want to look into curly hair products since those will help with natural curl defining.

Innersense I Create Finish Spray

I love the Innersense I Create Finish Spray for any leftover flyaways on dry hair. It’s the best finishing touch for all of my hairstyles, but I only use a tiny bit! It does leave a slight crunchiness which I don’t love but I can run my fingers through it to soften it.

  • Blowdryer.
    • My previous blowdryer died after using it for 4 years and I got the Dyson Hair Dryer and I LOVE IT. It dries my thick hair in 7 minutes! So if you’re looking to splurge, go that route. It would make a great gift too ;).
  • T3 Curling iron
    • I upgraded to this one after the spring broke on my Hot Tools curling iron. I LOVE it and it holds my curls longer. And I also like the heat settings, and I feel like I’m protecting my hair better. I do not use a curling wand because I like the clamp! If you use a wand, wrap your hair but not at the ends. If you want tighter curls, wrap small sections of hair in each section. I typically do larger sections for looser curls. I’ve found that this curling iron helps me set the curl much better.
  • Alligator clips. I’ve since ordered these since filming to help pin up my hair as I do the layers and they’re great. I don’t need these as much when my hair is shorter but depending on my hair length, clipping it up is super helpful! When my hair starts getting super long, these are SO necessary.

Easy Hair Curling Tips

Tip #1

I prefer curled hair with loose ends and curls not too close to the root, which is why I clasp it with the curling iron barrel near the root and never curl from the bottom. There are lots of methods for curling hair, but this is my tried and trusted method.

You’ll notice how the ends of my hair stick out just a little after I wrap my hair around the barrel. That gives it a little more natural look by not tucking the ends into the iron.

Tip #2

Always twist your wrist to turn the barrel away from your face so it curls away, which helps open up the hair for a fresher look. When you’re curling the back, curl a few pieces in the alternate direction so they don’t all clump together.

Tip #3

I grab somewhat large sections of hair to make it go quickly and so it’s not overly curled (the more hair you use, the closer you’ll get to loose beach waves, and if you use smaller section, you’ll get more defined curls). Then, I go back and get pieces that are too straight and curl them separately. That also helps keep it natural-looking so all the curls aren’t exactly the same size and/or perfectly curled. I prefer looser curls, so that’s why I use large sections of hair.

Tip #4

After I curl, I let the curls sit for a few minutes to cool (usually I do my makeup at this point). Leave your hair alone while the curls are still warm – letting them cool while more tightly curled helps them hold longer. This helps make them bouncy curls.

Tip #5

I don’t brush it out. When I apply texturizer, I use my fingers at that point to break up the curls a bit. If you’re left with tight curls and want to loosen them, use a wide tooth comb to run through your hair. Over time, you should also see the curls fall a tad. I don’t add anything usually (no bobby pins or clips), I just let it fall naturally.

Here are a few pics of how it looks finished!

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    16 responses to “How I curl my hair! (with a video tutorial!)”

    1. I will definitely be trying this asap, thank you so much for sharing! your hair always looks great! 🙂

    2. Thanks!!! I think my problem has been clamping at the bottom. Also, you mention a paddle brush, I can’t find a good one. Which do you use? My hair was just like yours, straight (and mine’s fine, not sure if yours is) until a few years ago, and now it’s curly – I’m 46 so I’m guessing hormones are playing a part???? I’ve been looking for a good paddle brush since my hair went through “the change”, lol – it’s going through before I do apparently 🙂

      • Oh, and have you tried Pureology? I really like their hydrating shampoo and conditioner.

    3. Cute video! My hair is wavy and can definitely be on the frizzy side so if I just did a rough blow dry my hair would be a crazy mess lol. In fact my biggest curling challenge is to make it look sleek and not frizzly. Sometimes if I curl my hair on day 2, I get a nicer result since the hair is a little more oily and less frizzy. Also my hair is thick and long so it definitely takes me more than 10 minutes! This makes me want to curl my hair tomorrow 😀

    4. This is very similar to how I curl my hair too. 🙂 I love my Hot Tools curling iron and swear by it! You should try the Colorproof shampoo and conditioner!

    5. Love the video! Does your curling iron have different heat settings? If so, what temp do you use?

    6. Love the video! I’m going to try this today! And thanks for linking all the products!

    7. Thanks so much for the video! You make it look so easy and it really was with your tips. Just finished curling my hair and love how it turned out 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    8. You are the CUTEST!! This makes me miss you, and makes me want to curl my hair (haven’t in like a year, so that’s saying something).

    9. Hi! Your post says you use a 1.25 barrel curling iron but your link goes to a 1.5 barrel. Can you tell me which one is right so I can be sure to get the same one? Thanks!

      • Hi! When my hair is short, I use a 1.25″ barrel. When it’s very long , I use a 1.5″. The 1.25″ works when it’s long as well but if you want looser curls, go for the larger one!

    10. Amazing tutorial!! I have short hair that led me to just give up in curling it but now I’ve seen your tutorial I think I can do it now! Btw anyone told you you have some resemblance of Kristen Bell? 🙂

    11. This is more or less how I curl my hair too! Almost every stylist recommends that I alternate directions when I curl my hair, but I prefer to just curl away from my face (I think that also has to do with my texture – it’s on the silkier side and my curls tend to crash together). Glad I’m not the only one breaking the rules!

    12. Awesome video, thank you! Been considering
      the T3. I think I’ll get it now.

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