How to Curl Your Hair at Home: A Beginner’s Guide for Women

How to Curl Your Hair

When you go out there in the world, the first thing people notice about you is your appearance. Your appearance says a lot about your personality. The clothes that you are wearing, how much makeup you are wearing, and how do you carry yourself overall. Your hair plays a very important role in defining your personality. It’s like an unsaid statement you are making everywhere you go, whether it’s your workplace, a party or a wedding. Even choosing not to have hair is as much of a choice as having them is. How you style your hair is your right. You can wear them long or short, color them, straighten them, curl them or chop them. So if you have straight hair and you feel like curling them, you must know how to curl your hair.

You can keep switching between heat-based and natural ways to curl your hair. Of course, it depends upon the time you have at hand and the results you are expecting. We have got your covered for both!

Curling your Hair by Application of Heat

When you know how to curl your hair at home, you can save yourself a trip to the parlour. Once you have your own curling tool, it even helps you save money in the long run.

There are different kinds of tools that you can use to curl your hair. Most curling tools are based on application of heat to the hair to curl them. Curling irons or flat irons help in curling the hair fast and with great results. If you have medium length hair, it will probably take you 30-40 minutes to curl your hair with a curling iron. It could take you about 90 minutes to curl your hair with a curling iron if you have waist length air. Flat irons take a little more time than curling irons.

Heat-based curling tools can make your hair rough and dry by sapping out the moisture from them. Therefore, you should not use heat-based curling tools on a regular basis. But if you have to rush for a party and you have to get ready in a jiffy, you can definitely use a curling iron or straightener.

How to Curl Your Hair with a Curling Iron or Curling Wand

You can use curling irons, also known as curling wands, if you are aiming for loose curls or wavy curls.

  1. The first thing you need to do is heat up the curling iron. Choose a temperature setting depending on the texture of your hair. Thin hair can be curled at a lower temperature like around 160 degree Celsius. Thick or coarse hair requires a higher temperature setting like around 220 degree Celsius. Meanwhile, make sure that your hair is completely dry.
  2. De-tangle your hair with a hair brush. Start at the bottom of your hair and work yourself up to reduce fallout or breakage.
  3. You can apply a heat protection spray if you frequently curl your hair. It can be easily brought from any pharmacy or cosmetics store.
  4. Split your hair into small sections if you want smaller and tighter curls. Or, you can split them into large sections if you are aiming for loose wavy curls.
  5. Open the clamp of the curling iron and wrap one section of your hair around the iron from top to bottom. Leave some hair at the top so that you don’t burn your scalp by any chance. Hold it for about 10 seconds. After that, open the clamp to release your hair.
  6. If you are using a curling wand, there will not be a clamp to hold the hair in place. So once you roll your hair around the wand, keep holding it at the end. Release your hair after 10-12 seconds.
  7. Repeat these steps till the whole of your hair are curled. You can loosen the curls with your fingers, if you wish. You can apply a hairspray at the end to keep the curls in place but don’t apply too much.
  8. How to Curl Your Hair with a Flat Iron/Straightener

Flat irons are generally used to achieve tight curls. If you are curling your hair with a flat iron, use a narrow one with round edges. Paddle-style flat irons are not a good option for curling hair.

  1. You must heat up the flat iron first to a setting that will suit your hair. An ideal setting could be 160 degree Celsius for thin hair and 220 degree Celsius for thick hair. Meanwhile dry your hair in case they are wet and de-tangle them of any knots.
  2. You can also apply a heat protection spray on your hair to protect them from damage.
  3. Split your hair in multiple small or large sections and clip them over your head. It also depends upon the time you have at hand as it will take more time to curl small sections.
  4. Thereafter, you can pick one section at a time and start curling. If you want your hair to be curled from root to tip, position the flat iron close to the scalp. If you want to curl only the bottom part of your hair, position it halfway down the hair. Once you have positioned the flat iron, start moving it downwards. Move it slowly if you want tight curls and move it quickly if you want loose curls.
  5. Once you have covered all the sections of the hair, you can loosen the curls with your fingers. After that, you can even spray your hair with some hairspray to keep the curls stay for longer duration.
  6. Curl Your Hair Using a Blow Dryer and a Round Brush
  7. You should first divide your slightly wet hair into multiple sections.
  8. Take each section of hair and twist the hair around the round brush. Start at the root of the hair and continue twisting till you get to the end of the hair strands.
  9. Then blow dry your hair while twisting your hair around the brush. You should blow dry each section for 10-15 seconds. Repeat this for all the sections till you cover all the hair.

Curl your Hair Naturally, Minus the Heat

You must know how to curl your hair without causing it much damage. Prolonged use of heat to curl, straighten or blow dry the hair has its adverse effects in the long run. This could lead to hair damage by damaging the cuticle layer of your hair. So if you are not in a rush, you can use the following ways to curl your hair. They also come handy if you do not wish to invest in an expensive hair curling tool. Also, as it’s a beginner’s guide, these techniques will get you nice curls naturally even if you don’t have experience with curling.

1. With Rollers

Velcro rollers have probably been the oldest tool used to curl hair. Simple to use, all you need is a few rollers and some bobby pins in case the rollers don’t hold up on their own.

  1. Dampen your hair with water and in case you just took a shower, squeeze out the extra moisture with a towel.
  2. Split your hair into multiple sections. Take each section of hair and start rolling your hair against the rollers in the upward direction. Keep rolling till the rollers sit snug on your scalp. In case it doesn’t, you can clip it with a few bobby pins.
  3. Roll all the sections of your hair in the same manner. Once you are done, leave the rollers on till your hair is completely dry. Meanwhile, you can do your makeup or even take a nap.
  4. After a couple of hours, undo the curls and then finger comb your hair. You can even apply a hairspray to hold the curls.
  5. How to Curl Your Hair by Using the Braiding Technique

You can use the braiding technique to curl your hair without a curler, if you have ample amount of time. It’s actually the easiest way to curl your hair and it requires no extra tools other than a few hair-ties. But your hair must be wet for this technique to work effectively.

  1. De-tangle your wet hair first. Then if you want thick curls, part your hair into two equal halves and braid them separately. In case you want thin curls, you can make multiple braids. Keep the braids till your hair get dry. If you have to attend an event the next day, keep the braids intact overnight.
  2. After you have left the braids intact for a good 4-6 hours, untie them and finger comb them. You would see that your straight hair have turned into beachy wavy curls.
  3. You can finish them with a hairspray to hold the curls in place for a longer time.

Avoid Making these Curling Mistakes

Even when you know how to curl your hair, it is possible that you still might be making some mistakes. This may even hinder you from getting the desired results. Read on to find out the curling mistakes people make and how to avoid them.

Setting the curling iron/ flat iron on the wrong temperature.

This is a mistake people make very often when they try to curl their hair, without even realizing it. You might be trying to curl your hair with the wrong temperature setting and it will not work. If you have thin and fragile hair, or coloured hair, use a low temperature setting, somewhere below 200 degree Celsius. If your hair is already curly, thick or coarse, use a temperature setting between 200-300 degree Celsius.

Using curling iron/flat iron on damp hair.

Using a curling iron or flat iron on wet hair could do great damage to your hair. Not only will it take away all the moisture from your hair, it will make your hair dry and frizzy. Therefore, dry your hair properly, with a dryer or otherwise, before you use any heat-based curling tool on them.

Using a curling iron with the wrong barrel size

People often don’t pay heed to the size of the barrel of the curling iron they opt for. As it all looks the same, they think it will give the same result. Not true. If you want loose wavy curls, you should buy a curling iron whose barrel size is 1-2 inch in diameter. But if you want tight ringlets, then go for a curling iron that is .75-1 inch in diameter.

Holding the curling iron on your hair for a long time

You must not make the mistake of holding the curling tool on your hair for more than 10-12 seconds. You can hold it for a bit longer if your hair is resistant to curls. Also, hold each section of hair for a uniform time. Holding each section of hair for a different amount of time could give your curls an uneven look. Plus, you should apply the curling iron after it’s hot enough.

Investing in cheap curling tools

Buying a good quality curling iron or flat iron is a one-time investment. Don’t go for cheap alternatives and buy a curling iron that has the option of changing temperature settings.


There is such diversity among women when it comes to hair colour, texture and length. Curls, tight or loose, look great on all kinds of hair. So now that you know how to curl your hair, you can give it a try for yourself. You can opt for tight ringlets for a party or wedding look. Or you can choose loose wavy curls for a dreamy look perfect for a date. Now you can achieve both in the comfort of your home. But be careful so that you don’t burn your scalp, hand, face or ears.


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