How to curl your hair with a curling iron

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For this style: 
How to curl your hair with a curling iron:
**the curling iron I’m using is actually a 1.5 inch.
(disclaimer: While I am a professional hairstylist, I am not a professional actress. Please forgive the amateur nature of this video, also the noise from the motorcycle that rides by near the end. I am going for the concept here, not an audition for Shear Genius. Thanks!)

In video: Kenra Volume 25 hairspray, Aquage Uplifting foam, Claw clip, Duckbill clips, comb, mirror, 1 inch Hot Tools spring curling iron with heat setting option.

Here is a link to YouTube in case you are having trouble: How to curl your hair with a curling iron

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Comments (95)

  1. Posted August 14, 2011

    Love your blog! My hair is about the same length as yours, maybe a tad longer. I always have so much trouble curling the very back of it. Any good tips??

  2. Posted August 18, 2011

    I’m working on an “entire head” tutorial for you!

  3. TeriK says
    Posted August 26, 2011

    Im a cosmetologist also and ive enjoyed reading your tips for others. Great idea!! keep up the awesome blogging!:)

  4. Posted August 29, 2011

    This is exactly how I do my hair! I have readers email me a lot about how I get my waves…would it be okay with you if I linked your tutorial? Shoot me an email when you get a moment.
    [email protected]

  5. Posted August 31, 2011

    Love this tutorial! πŸ™‚ I have long hair…and need some good hair tips! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Anonymous says
    Posted September 4, 2011

    I love your blog! I’ve been trying to get new inspiration for my hair, and you’ve been giving me lots! My one problem is that I’ve never figured out how to work a curling iron without burning myself. πŸ™ Do you think you could make a tutorial for curling your hair with a flat iron? I’ve tried to mimic what I’ve seen my stylists do, but I can’t get it right! Also, tips on what flat irons to use! Thanks!

  7. Posted September 6, 2011

    anonymous: I will do a “how to curl your hair with a flat iron” post in the next few weeks! πŸ™‚

  8. Jenn says
    Posted September 6, 2011

    I’ve watched numerous curling tutorial videos but still had yet to quite achieve the look I was going for….until seeing your tutorial. Thanks for the tips!

  9. Posted September 13, 2011

    I love, love, love this blog!! The how-to videos are the best!

  10. Heather says
    Posted September 14, 2011

    Your blog is great! I am looking forward to watching more of you tutorials and learning how to style my hair. I always love how it looks when styled by a professional, but can never do it at home. Thanks for all of your help!

  11. Posted September 15, 2011

    I just featured your blog on my facebook page, but had to tell you how AMAZING it is. I’m loving these hair tutorials! it’s hard to find good ones for shoulder length hair! thank you!

  12. Megan says
    Posted September 16, 2011

    Hi! Couple of questions. First off I noticed you don’t spray each section as you curl it? Is this a no-no? A friend taught me to do my hair and she always sprayed each section as she was putting it onto the curling iron. This leads to my second question which was noticing that you DIDN’T spray each and that your curling iron looks nice and shiny! πŸ˜€ How do you like to clean yours? What works best to get the hairspray off? Thanks ever so much, the tutorial was super helpful!!

  13. Posted September 16, 2011

    Megan: spraying each section will definitely help hold the curls if you have “hold” issues. And cleaning the curling iron? Go to sally’s beauty supply and buy some heavy duty product residue cleaner! That would be best!

  14. Megan says
    Posted September 16, 2011

    Super!! Thanks so much. I’m looking at all your posts going “wow I’m so inspired”. I think our hair must be a very similar texture and I’ve never been able to figure out how to make this super soft fine hair hold anything. Recently a friend (the one I mentioned) did my hair for me and I was so excited. It took the hairspray to get the curls to hold but I’m wondering if trying some of the products you mentioned won’t give me better results. I’m growing my hair out and I’ve been frustrated at this in between length but all your pictures of hairstyles are totally perfect for where I’m at right now. πŸ™‚ Love it and I’m totally going to be stalking your blog now!

  15. Posted September 24, 2011

    Just for the record, you have a beautiful profile! Thank you for all of your tips and tricks. If I would have known to just use your hands so much, man I would be in a lot less world of hurt. haha. Thanks hon!

  16. Anonymous says
    Posted October 3, 2011

    I am extremely tempted to buy the curling iron your using! But is it worth the money? I have a curling iron from Sally’s already. Will my results be any different if I use the curling iron you have?

  17. Posted October 3, 2011

    Anonymous: if you have a curling iron that works, stick with it. It’s more inportant to have a really high end flat iron (for particular hair textures) than curling iron. πŸ™‚

  18. CK says
    Posted October 4, 2011

    I love your blog! I’ve all but given up on styling my hair in anything but a typical ponytail…thank you for posting these tutorials! My husband will be so surprised when he comes home to see my hair styled and lookin’ cute. πŸ™‚

    I’m going to try the curled hair first, but I’m a little nervous because my hair always tends to friz the moment I put it in the curling iron. Is that normal? What can I do to fix it?

  19. Anonymous says
    Posted October 4, 2011

    Do you have any easy updo’s for long and really thick hair? It seems like every updo I try ends up with me putting a ton of pins in which never stay.

  20. Posted October 5, 2011

    Anonymous: Most the styles can be done on different textures, but thick hair can be a whole different ball game. Are you using good bobby pins? That makes a world of difference!

  21. Posted October 5, 2011

    CK: you hair shouldn’t friz when you put it in the curling iron. It might be too hot. Does it have a temperature setting?

  22. CK says
    Posted October 5, 2011

    It sure does. I always put it on the hottest setting since my curls fall out so quickly, but I can try bumping it down a notch or two. Thanks for the tip. πŸ™‚

  23. Anonymous says
    Posted October 6, 2011

    Kate, where can I find the Aquage uplifting foam? I’ve tried a few beauty supply stores (Ulta, Sephora) and haven’t had any luck.
    Love the blog! And thanks for doing this πŸ™‚ I’m one of those girls that could never figure out how to curl her own hair…until now.

  24. Posted October 6, 2011

    Anonymous: aqauge is only sold in private salons. Google salons in your area to see if they carry it!

  25. Stephanie says
    Posted October 9, 2011

    Found you on Pinterest and love your tutorials! Tried this today on me and my 14 year old. Not bad results for my first time! You have great hair…can’t wait for my next appointment w/my hairdresser. Thanks for some new ideas for my own hair!

  26. Anonymous says
    Posted October 11, 2011

    Great tutorial! What model number is your curling iron? I have a 1 inch and yours looks way bigger than mine!

  27. Erin says
    Posted October 12, 2011

    How does your hair stay all day? I have been curling my hair based on your tutorial for the past 2 weeks and use the same products. By the end of the day it is looking flat and most waves are almost straight.

    What am I doing wrong?

  28. Posted October 12, 2011

    Erin: Try Kenra Volume 25 Hairspray!

  29. Posted October 12, 2011

    Anonymous: my curling iron may be a 1 1/4 inch, but it’s not that much larger!

  30. Anonymous says
    Posted October 17, 2011

    So I just found your blog yesterday and I love it! I definitely agree with the above comment though, I’d love to see a video on how to curl with a straightener.. Thanks for doing these, it really helps girls like me! πŸ™‚

  31. S.L.S. says
    Posted October 24, 2011

    Thank you so much for posting! I recently had my hair massacred by a rogue stylist (what I wanted apparently went in ear and out the other). Anyway, I got it fixed up and now have some short layers on top that I’m not too happy with and this hairstyle works GREAT with them!

  32. Anonymous says
    Posted October 24, 2011

    Is there a reason when curling u leave ends out ?

  33. Natasha says
    Posted October 30, 2011

    I think your hair tutorials are great!!!!!! One question….do you wash your hair everyday?

  34. Posted October 30, 2011

    @Natasha: thanks for asking this–it reminded me that I needed to put an answer on my FAQ page! You can find it there! #13! http://www.thesmallthingsblog.com/p/faq.html

  35. MrsEggs says
    Posted November 1, 2011

    I tried this today…I think my hair is just a bit too short and too thick πŸ™ Also, I had a hard time getting the ends to stay on the bottom on the curling iron and not poke out the top. Any tips?

  36. Posted November 2, 2011

    @MrsEggs: Hang on to the ends of your hair until they naturally aim toward the bottom. If you need to, pull them down there!

  37. Anonymous says
    Posted November 7, 2011

    Thanks for the tutorials, they have inspired me to do more than a ponytail every day!

  38. Anonymous says
    Posted November 9, 2011

    Thank you so much for sharing. Your hair is absolutely amazing. I still can’t get mine to look as greaet as yours (granted it is long and very heavy), but I love visiting your blog!

  39. jenn says
    Posted November 20, 2011

    Hi! I just found your site and I love your toutorails! I have a hard time doing the back of my own hair any tips?

  40. Nicole says
    Posted November 24, 2011

    I just discovered your blog tonight and am anxious to get started!! I have had surgery twice within the last 12 weeks and a lot of hormone changes! My hair has totally changed too! It’s falling out and it’s so dry and frizzy. Could this be related to anesthesia or hormones? Also, do you have any suggestions for the frizz and dryness? Thank you!!!

  41. Posted November 24, 2011

    @nicole: the anesthesia definitely could be the factor that affects your hair loss and changes. Try a smoothing serum like Redken Slim Supreme to help with fizziness!

  42. Posted November 27, 2011

    LOVE your blog. I have a 1″ Hot Tools, but yours looks bigger than mine. I think you say yours is a 1″ in the video, is that right??

    • Kayla says
      Posted August 1, 2012

      hers is a 1.5

  43. Kacee says
    Posted December 1, 2011

    I found you on Pinterest and I love your hair tutorials! I had no idea you should twist from the scalp to get the hair on the curling iron. I always roll from the bottom. And I am a nerd that never uses product and my hair never holds. DUH!

  44. Anonymous says
    Posted December 2, 2011

    Hi Kate!

    I have a little curling issue. I’m right handed and can curl the left side of the hair perfect (going away from my face) but can’t get the right side for the life of me!!!! It’s like my hands don’t want to work the curling iron going the opposite way. Does this make any sense? I always end up having one side of my hair perfect and the other side just falls out and looks like crap. Call me crazy but it really bothers me! Any tips?

    • Anonymous says
      Posted July 19, 2012

      Did you ever figure this out? I’m having the same problem. I can do it if I hold the iron so the clamp side is underneath and then curl away from my face…but not so it’s upright and facing forward like Kate does. :/ What worked? Help!!! So frustrating. It’s like when I go to put the curling iron around the hair..the black tip splits the section I’m trying to grab. I have found it helps if I turn the clamp towards my head a bit before I clamp it down. Fill me in please!! Frustrated!!! -Erin

  45. Posted December 2, 2011

    @Anonymous: practice makes perfect. Try taking smaller sections when you do the right side. That will help to begin with!

  46. Anonymous says
    Posted December 11, 2011

    Hi Kate,

    Thanks for your tutorials! I feel like i am finally getting the hang of this curling business!

    My problem is that a lot of my shorter layers fall out whilst curling. Do you have any tips for this? Maybe a flat iron would be better than the curling iron for me?

    Thanks,
    Kylie

  47. Laura says
    Posted December 12, 2011

    Hi Kate! Thanks so much for the tutorial. My hair does not hold curl for long… Do you have any tips or great products that will help the curl stay?

  48. Anonymous says
    Posted December 14, 2011

    Hi Kate! I was wondering what order do you put in your hair products. Do you put the hair spray on before you blow dry? I never use products but I want my hair to have better lift and stay curly when I curl it but I havent figured out when to put the products in my hair to achieve the best results. Please let me know.

    Thanks!

    Sam

  49. Anonymous says
    Posted December 18, 2011

    I came across your blog from pinterest! Thanks so much for all the hair tips! I was curling my hair wrong all along! I will look forward to future posts. You really should have a tv show. =)
    ~Kelly~ from Michigan

  50. Katy says
    Posted December 20, 2011

    I have similiar hairstyle to yours… it may be a little shorter though. When I’ve tried curling my hair I find that it seems to be more curly (instead of soft waves like yours) and the curls don’t want to separate. I find that each side tries to go into one big curl. I think I am using a 1 inch curling iron. Could that be the problem? Or would it be the way that I am putting my hair through the curling iron? Thanks!!!

  51. Posted December 20, 2011

    I have long hair, and I just tried this today. I LOVE how it turned out! Thanks for these fabulous tutorials! XOXO

  52. Shyanne says
    Posted December 22, 2011

    This is absolutely awesome!!! I love all your great ideas! The girls at work and I seem to have your page pulled up at every other computer! πŸ™‚

  53. Anonymous says
    Posted December 29, 2011

    Found you on Pinterest – love your blog!! Thanks for all the great tips!
    Kathi

  54. Posted January 4, 2012

    I just saw this tutorial and going to give it a try tomorrow morning.

  55. Anonymous says
    Posted January 9, 2012

    i love your hairstyles so much! im 14 and i think im gonna get my hair cut like yours!

  56. Tisha says
    Posted January 11, 2012

    Which hot tools curling iron do you use? Spring Curling iron or pink titanium? There’s more than one to choose from.

  57. Posted January 17, 2012

    I was so excited to find your blog. I bought the Aquage (hard to find in Nashville area) and LOVE it. I have very fine thin hair and was always told I shouldn’t grow my hair out because it would be flat. The Aquage is proving them all wrong. Oh, and the Hot Tools 1 1/4 inch curling iron made all the difference in the world. My hubby is buying a GHD flat iron for Valentine’s Day because he trusts your suggestions now!! πŸ™‚ Thanks – keep sharing the great info!

  58. RMorgan says
    Posted January 19, 2012

    I love your hair tutorials! Another thing I like to do to change it up is curl my hair or one of my clients’ hair, and instead of using duckbill clips, let it cool on velcro rollers. It gives lots of volume and bounce without the curls looking so “set” and defined. I have been a hair stylist for over 18 years and I get bored so easy and just changing up little things like the brush I use, the product, or technique helps me to keep it all fresh and interesting. Keep up the videos! We love them and thanks for all the time and energy that go in to them.

    p.s. I saw that your husband led worship, my husband used to as well. πŸ™‚

  59. Posted January 21, 2012

    Fantastic tutorial. Love the video and the list of tools used. Found you via pinterest.

  60. Sydni says
    Posted January 24, 2012

    Kate! Thank you so much for posting these tutorials! I thought I was the only one who didn’t know how to curl my own hair at age 23! Now I can style it myself for weddings, etc. πŸ™‚

    Could you maybe post something for people with longer hair? I followed your tutorial and ended up with bigger curls that start about halfway down my head. I think the weight of my hair makes it so the top of my head won’t get curly… Any suggestions?? (I have medium hair that comes just above my bust)

  61. Anonymous says
    Posted January 28, 2012

    Hi Kate! Absolutely love your blog, and it makes me want to put effort back into my hair again! I am in the market for a new curling iron, and my hair is around your length or a little shorter. What size do you recommend?
    Thanks! Katie

  62. Anonymous says
    Posted January 30, 2012

    O.M.G. Thank you soooo much for finally showing me how to do my hair! I have been running around with cute haircuts pulled into ponytails for 15 years bc i don’t know how to do my own hair! You rock!
    Chelsea

  63. Anonymous says
    Posted February 1, 2012

    I am looking forward to learning how to do my hair finally after 29 years! LOL I just told my husband the other day i feel like i look like a 13 year old girl because i have been doing my hair the same way since then! i cant wait to give the half up do a try! my only problem is im normally in a hurry so i want the fast thing done πŸ™ Also could you show how to curl your hair with those new curling irons that do not have a clamp?! So glad i came upon your blog!!

  64. Anonymous says
    Posted February 10, 2012

    hey kate your blog is the best thing since mint choc chip icecream!!!! just wondering i dont have a curling iron i have a curling wand how do i get the same look xx

  65. Anonymous says
    Posted February 12, 2012

    I wish you were my hair stylist! Great blog!

  66. Anonymous says
    Posted February 26, 2012

    Please post how to wrap your hair around the curling iron to avoid kinks. I am having a terrible time getting my curls to turn out. Love, love your blog!

  67. Posted February 27, 2012

    Where do can I purchase the products you’ve mentioned?

  68. Anonymous says
    Posted February 28, 2012

    Hi Kate,
    I have never been “into” styling my hair, but your blog has really inspired me. In just a few extra minutes in the morning my hair looks soooo much better. Love your blog!! Thanks!

  69. Anonymous says
    Posted March 2, 2012

    Anyone notice Kate hasn’t been on since Dec. 2, 2011?

    • Mbizzy74 says
      Posted March 29, 2012

      I have! I’m curious about her current hair length…where are you Kate????

  70. Posted March 12, 2012

    Your tutorial on curling hair has just changed my life! After 20 years of just thinking my hair would not curl…I just realized I was doing it all wrong! I just tried your tips and they worked great!! Thanks!!!

  71. Posted March 16, 2012

    I just got short hair and wasn’t too sure how to style it. Reading this blog has been a huge help. How you do your hair is amazing, and I love all the styles. Your blog is awsome!! Thanks!

  72. Posted March 22, 2012

    this is awesome do you plan on doing tutorials with curling wands???

  73. Eleanor says
    Posted March 29, 2012

    My hair is about touching my shoulders and is at that awkward growing out length. Using my flat iron just isn’t working for curling it these days. What size and brand of curling iron would you suggest? Great tutorial?

  74. Eleanor says
    Posted March 29, 2012

    oops i meant to type great tutorial! πŸ™‚

  75. Anonymous says
    Posted April 2, 2012

    I loved how you curled your hair! I would like to know how you could do that with long hair? I’ve tried many ways on curling my hair and they all work but I like that natural look. Your pretty too so I want to make my long hair curl like that.

  76. Posted April 18, 2012

    I did this and have received many compliments! Thanks for the tips!

  77. Anonymous says
    Posted April 29, 2012

    Love your tutorials! Keep up the great work!!!

  78. Posted May 3, 2012

    You make it look so easy! I’ve always been afraid to try anything like this because my hair is naturally curly, super thick, and currently goes more than halfway down my back. My curls are usually unruly and I’d love to have big curls or waves like yours (your hair is gorgeous, btw). I’m not quite as daunted now that I’ve watched you do it, so I’m going to give it a shot. Thanks for the great tutorial! πŸ™‚

  79. Anonymous says
    Posted May 4, 2012

    I love your blog! Could you do a tutorial on how to scrunch your hair? That’d be awesome πŸ™‚

  80. Alana says
    Posted May 19, 2012

    bahahaha i would LOVE to see this chick try and curl my hair. my hair would undo the curls in one minute πŸ˜›

  81. Anonymous says
    Posted June 4, 2012

    hi, what is your natural hair color tone and level?

  82. Jessica Marie says
    Posted June 4, 2012

    Just bought the Hot Tools curling iron, Aquage Uplifting Foam, and Kenra hairspray off of Amazon.com! Excited to get them and try out your hairstyle. I have med-thin hair and about an inch longer than yours in this video. I hope everything turns out well!! Thanks for your tutorials. πŸ™‚

  83. Anonymous says
    Posted June 15, 2012

    I see all this tutorials on how to curl hair and it looks good but when i actually go try it never works! my hair looks good when someone else does it but when i try it always comes out horrible so i always just end up straighting my hair all the time which gets boring. What could i be doing wrong??

  84. Hailey says
    Posted June 22, 2012

    Where do you buy the Aquage Uplifting Foam and the Kenra hairspray?

  85. Anonymous says
    Posted June 25, 2012

    Did you put anything on your hair before your curled it? I have long hair at the moment but I’m thinking about cutting it short and your blog is helping me see if I can style short hair. Your tutorials are awesome!

  86. Anonymous says
    Posted July 29, 2012

    Hi, I was wondering what your main hairspray is, I use Pantene, and my hair always clumps up or hardens. My hair texture is a little thick and I have really long hair.

    • Bridgette Acker says
      Posted August 3, 2012

      She uses kenra volume 25

  87. Anonymous says
    Posted August 14, 2012

    where did you get your 1.5 curling iron?

  88. Jax says
    Posted August 21, 2012

    I LOVE your tutorials! I was debating about buying a 1.5 inch curling iron b/c I currently have 1 inch, but I feel like it gets it REALLY curly. Loving the hot tools though b/c it actually curls my super straight hair. Our hair is the same length so I thought I’d come over and low and behold, you’re using a 1.5 inch! I totally clicked over to amazon and purchased! Thanks, girl! You rock! Keep up the tutorials!

  89. Melissa says
    Posted October 22, 2012

    Love your blog and tutorials, thank you! Could you post a picture of your haircut? I’d love to see if you have layers, etc.

  90. Anonymous says
    Posted November 14, 2012

    Hi Kate! How do you clean your curling iron? I have super-fine hair that won’t hold curl unless I doing a light hairspray mist before curling, which means my curling iron becomes a mess quickly. Recommendations for caring for it?

  91. Posted September 7, 2013

    THANK YOU for this! I’d never sectioned off my hair before and it helps tremendously. I’ve found with my hair, it’s better to section it vertically, and then when I release each section, I take the top third and curl it, and work my way down. I start in the back and move to the front. This has been GENIUS and a huge turning point in styling my hair. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!