Curling with a Flat Iron

This tutorial is not for everyone. BUT, I recommend giving it a try when you have time and patience. It may end up being a great way for you to curl your hair, or it may be a complete disaster. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 
With my texture and length, I prefer a curling iron. The reason why is because you can count on a consistent size curl around the barrel of the iron. If you pull a section through the flat iron at different speeds, you may get either a tighter or looser curl. And my hair curls easily–so the curling iron is my tool of choice! And you may notice, curling iron curls are not very different than flat iron curls. A flat iron can create a great curl on certain textures and lengths, so try it, but if it doesn’t work, stick with the curling iron.

I’m using a 1 inch Classic GHD flat iron. It’s my favorite. It’s smooth, heats up quickly, and much stronger than a Chi Flat Iron. If you have a Chi, and it works for you, great. If you are in the market for a flat iron, I recommend the GHD over the Chi. (neither of these companies know who I am, this is simply my opinion)

Refer to this post to see what’s in my hair. 

Refer to this post to see how my bangs are styled.

*Spray your hair with hairspray before you curl each section if you need extra hold!

**I’m using the Classic 1 inch GHD Flat Iron

(man I’m pale. If there were more Twilight movies being made, they could definitely cast me.)


  1. says

    Your hair always looks so pretty!!!! I bought a flat iron because my hair dresser uses one to curl my hair…it was a disaster so I returned it! She made it look so easy but it was not! LOL The curling iron works well for me.

  2. says

    This post makes my heart happy :) After reading and reviewing all your posts, I have tried and tried again to make my hair curl with a curling iron. Repeat FAIL after epic fail. I do, however, have curling my hair with a flat iron down to a science- thanks for confirming that it is coooooolll to curl my hair this way :) This morning my hair is curled up pretty with with handy flat iron! Looks great on you, too sweet girl!


  3. says

    It looks awesome on you! I have super fine hair but a TON of it, and I tried curling my hair with my flatiron once and turned the heat up too high, I ended up damaging my hair past repair and had to cut six inches off = ( I’m so jealous of the girls that can actually do this with their hair!


  4. Anonymous says

    This is the only way I curl my hair… for 3+ years! When I first discovered it (it was an accident) I showed my hairdresser how! =)

  5. says

    Adorable! I’m getting my hair cut like yours tomorrow morning. I have some pics from your “my haircut” post ready to take with me…but I wonder from looking at some of your more recent posts…is your hair a bit longer now? How far below your shoulders does it fall? Just curious so I can tell my hairdresser.

  6. says

    This looks great! it would be so nice to just take the flat iron with me when travelling instead of that and the curling iron. I would never have thought to try this. Sometimes when I use the flat iron I get those weird hair kinks, arghh!!
    I am Pinning this 😀

  7. says

    Ah, I can’t do it! It’s always an epic fail when I try. However, all of the methods I’ve found before are more complicated – one whole twist while holding horizontally and holding the end and turning at the last minute. This looks easy peasy.

  8. says

    i’ve been curling with a flat iron for years now, but it took me about a month to really learn how to do it. and i am horrible at doing hair. but once i figured it out, its super easy, and i can do my whole hair in about 10 minutes (depending on the length). i never thought to hold the end of the hair while im curling. thats a good idea!

  9. says

    You have beautiful hair! I tried your curling iron method. It worked very well except for MY problem area! Sadly, my curl never holds in high humidity which is most of the time in South Texas. I also made my first Sephora purchases.Our Penneys just remodeled and included a small Sephora! I bought the Bare Escentual Prime Time lid primer and Pretty Amazing Lip Gloss. LOVE them both.

  10. says

    I love curling my hair with a flat iron. I wish I had hair like yours that I could curl with just a curling iron… but mine would never stay pretty and would fall flat after a few hours. I started curling with a flat iron 6 months ago and I will never go back! My curls stay all day long and sometimes I will spray “dry shampoo” in the next day and do a cute up do with it since then the curls are a little looser. Great Post!!!

  11. says

    Thank thank you for posting all your tutorials. I never learned how to style my hair and I’m a wash and go type of girl. But your tutorials are easy to follow so I’m not too scared to try them.

  12. says

    Just bought my Hot Tools 1″ curling iron!! Can’t wait to watch the flat iron tutorial so I can hopefully use that technique as well! And then I’m sure I’ll be purchasing a GHD flat iron too (so glad I held off on a Chi that I “thought” I wanted so badly!). One question…my hair is getting long and I want to add a few layers…what should I “request” when getting my hair trimmed…to get the volume, and curl!!? Thanks for all your great tips — you have saved my “hairy” life!!! 😉

  13. says

    Do you find that color treated hair holds curl better? I have really fine hair and I really have to work it to make it curl. It takes me at least an hour to curl my hair. Do you have any tips for curling fine hair?

  14. Amy B says

    I actually like the way it looks on you better than the curling iron (which you are also a genius at!!!!). It’s beautiful!!!!

  15. says

    I’m SO HAPPY you did this tutorial! I literally just said to my sister the other day…”I wonder if she’ll ever do a flat iron curling tutorial”. I have hair that’s similar in texture to yours but the length is shorter so a flat iron works better for me than a curling iron right now. Love it. Love your hair color as well!

  16. says

    I seriously checked this blog Sunday morning to see if there was a tutorial before church on curling hair with a flat iron….but then you posted it today :) haha, I’ll use it next time for sure.

  17. Anonymous says

    I just love your blog! I am 39 and was in a total rut..doing my hair the same way everyday. I discovered your blog on Pinterest and have been wearing my hair a different way everyday!! These are the most comprehensive styling tutorials I have ever seen. My hair turns out exactly right every time! Thank you so much! Kristi

  18. says

    Yours is my new favorite blog! I found it last night through a link on Pinterest. You are a doll! And beautiful inside and out. I’m excited to get to know you through your blog!

  19. Anonymous says

    I love your blog and tutorials! I found you on Pinterest. I just received my GHD flatiron…(they should be paying you for your tutes…it made me order one…)

    Question: you say during the video that you can spray before you curl if you have difficult to curl hair…what are you suggesting to spray before applying the heat?

    Thanks so very much!

    –Deb Saaranen

  20. says

    Hey I have noticed in several places you say you use a paddle brush to blow dry your hair- can you share what brand/model paddle brush you use?

  21. says

    LOVE your blog! Just discovered it via pinterest! I have some great hair but never know what to do with or how to tame it! You break it down so easy and it’s fun! Thanks Kate! Look forward to more posts and getting to know you through your blog!!


  22. Anonymous says

    Always love your hair. I noticed you said you’d include a link about your bangs but I didn’t find it anywhere.

  23. says

    Hi Kate! Another great tutorial…I’m really excited because I’m asking for a GHD flat iron for Christmas, so I can’t wait to try this out! Two questions, 1) Is this the flat iron you’re suggesting: 2) My current flat iron (not GHD) is getting some product build up on it, do you have this problem, and if so, so you have any suggestions on how to clean it best? Thanks SO much for your blog – I’ve shared it with so many girls at work and they all love it too! (We all have been trying out your tutorials and come in everyday checking out each others’ hair!) You may not realize it, but you’re changing many lives! :)

  24. says

    Hey Kate!

    First of all, your hair is fabulous and I absolutely love this blog. If i could do half of the things you can with your hair, I’d be so happy. Secondly, I know you use the GHD flat iron but those are pretty expensive. Do you have any suggestions for other brands of flat irons that you believe give pretty good results? Thanks!


  25. says

    I am obviously going to have to try this again. I love how it turned out on you!!! I tried curling with a flat iron *ONCE* and it turned out really “fried” looking—but that was before my most recent haircut and treating my hair better and blah blah, so now my hair is much healthier. If it would look like yours does here, I would definitely do it!! It looks like maybe it has a little more volume than when you do it with the curling iron??

  26. says

    Hi kate, your hair looks AMAZING after you did that! maybe its because I have long hair but when I did it I burnt my hair so badly because it seemed like the flat iron was on there so long there was smoke coming from my hair! Any suggestions??? I may just need to stick with the curling Iron im thinking?

  27. Anonymous says

    I am having such a hard time curling my hair. When I do try and curl it it looks more like I did a terrible job straightening my hair. I has a kinky look to it. Any advice is appreciated!

  28. Anonymous says

    You have the BEST hair!! I wish my hair would do everything yours does… really I wish I could just get you to do my hair every day! haha 😉

  29. Anonymous says

    I attempted this today! It turned out great. I’ve been trying to master this technique for awhile now, and your tutorial helped me do it finally! I love how it give you more of a natural wave, I will definitely be doing it again :)

  30. Anonymous says

    Great, I just tried this morning and it worked. My curls are not as consistent as yours came up but it was my first try i guess it’ll improve over time. My bob haircut is also shorter than yours so it was pretty hard to do the back.All in all I am very happy with the result and cant wait to try other tutorials you post. I subscribed to your blog via email and I love it.
    Thanks for the great tips!

  31. Anonymous says

    I just tried this for my first Christmas party of the year and it totally worked! My hair doesn’t usually curl with curling iron but this worked wonders for me. Thank you so much!

  32. Anonymous says

    Wow this is amazing. I have been referring to this lately for inspiration since I am not very good at doing my hair.
    I have tried curling with the flat iron and its working well, but I was wondering if you have any tips about waving your hair with the flat iron?
    Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  33. says

    My hair is flat and fine and everytime I’ve ever curled it using a round iron, it comes out within an hour of me doing it.

    I tried this method and my hair stayed in curls ALL DAY! It looked AMAZING! It was pretty straight forward and simple, just took a bit of time. I’m going to do it again tomorrow!

    Thanks for the great video tutorial!


  34. Anonymous says

    Hey Kate! I tried this today and the curls would look great until it got to the very bottom and instead of laying pretty like yours do, they kinda flip and stick out funny?! Any ideas or suggestions on what I might be doing wrong? I’m going to go back and watch the video again and try again tomorrow but today I just kept getting the same result every time I tried. I have SUPER thick, coarse, wavy hair so if you have any tips on how to manage it, that would be great! I’ve always just styled it stick straight with a flat iron so it doesn’t look so huge but I’m going to keep playing with the curls because it looks so pretty on you! :) Thanks! –Lisa

  35. Anonymous says

    I have naturally curly hair already but I love the way your hair looks. My hair is only a little bit more curly than yours looks, but do I really need to straighten it out and then curl it back the way I want? Also any tips for teasing curly hair? I’m worried about doing it but I love the volume. Thanks!!

  36. Anonymous says

    I am obsessed with your blog!!! Discovered it via Pinterest (all hail that little gem of a site) and I can’t stop going back to it. You teach me how to do my stuck in a rut hair better then anyone and can I say my flat iron curls look so Texas I just looooove it! Being a west coast/ Midwest gal I long for Texas hair! Thank you for your sweet blog and all your amazing tips. Thanks to you I will have amazing hair in 2012. Bless you bless you!!!


  37. says

    Ok so I have to preface all comments from here on out with:
    I mastered the gym ponytail as my everyday look I font have a clue how to apply make up, don’t know how to tease without disastrous results and am too chicken to try amy color of any kind in my hair. I can get up, throw on yoga pants and a tank ,grab a ponytail holder and never once think about a mirror.(I have a 2yo that takes all my energy lol)
    Now after I found Pinterest, this blog and hair products. Wow. I think my hubby will fall over dead, or never let me leave the bedroom….
    😉 THANK YOU KATE! I wish you were closer to Houston :)

  38. says

    Thanks so much for a video tutorial!! I was always having a hard time doing it with a flat iron without kinks and now I realized I was wrapping it too many times and going too fast. These styles are gorgeous.

  39. Anonymous says

    i love that your hair styles are always full! whenever i get my hair done they always stick it straight down on my face! love your style!

  40. Anonymous says

    I love your hair, I was wondering, what brush were you using in this video? Also is the cortex international flat iron an ok flat iron? (it’s ceramic) My hair is thin, soft, and shiny, i don’t really know what texture it is but my hair doesn’t hold a curl from a curling iron very well, is it possible curling with a flat iron would be better for my hair? I don’t use any products other than shampoo and conditioner and an occasional spritz of hair spray in my hair.

  41. says

    I tried it out tonight.. never been able to use a curling iron before- always get a crimp in it. But this worked very well for me. I had to add a little more twisting action but my hair is much longer than hers, very thick, lots of hair, and naturally curly (or should I say frizzy). I was pretty happy with how it turned out and I can only imagine how good it will look with more practice.

  42. Megan says

    Love your blog, Kate! I am always on here looking up different tutorials to do! Do you straighten your hair before you do your different tutorials?

  43. says

    OK, I’ve always wanted to curl my hair, but I SUCK with a curling iron, so when I watched this tutorial and realized that one can curl their hair with a flat iron, I decided to try it today. My hair is probably a very similar texture to yours and almost the same cut. It was actually fairly easy, and oh my goodness, my hair is beautiful!! The curls are still intact almost 11 hours later too. Everyone at work has been commenting about my hair (I put it in the messy bun/explosion yesterday), and I have been directing everyone to your blog. Thank you for your help! You are so adorable!

  44. Anonymous says

    Hello. First, may I start off by saying, I love your blog! I found it via pinterest and cannot stop looking through everything! I just have a quick explanation and question for you. I have not tried the flat iron curls as of yet, but I know for a fact my hair does not hold curl from a curling iron at all. I have very fine hair and a TON of it! It’s also pretty long, to the middle of my back. I watched your video on how to use styling powder, and I was wondering, if I use the styling powder prior to curling my hair with the flat iron, do you think it would help to hold the curl better? Thank you so much for putting these videos up. Coming from a person that lacks hair styling know how, they are extremely helpful! Take care, and may God bless you!

  45. says

    My hair never holds a curl for more than an hour or two…and that is when I have sprayed each curl with spray before curling it. I had seen another clip of curling your hair with a flat iron but it was done differently and it left my hair looking unkempt and kinky! I tried this technique today, before going to have family pictures taken, and 8 hours later my hair is still as curly as when I started! It was so easy and I loved how my hair looked afterwards! Thanks so much for sharing and I look forward to trying out some more of your techniques! Keep them comin’!

  46. says

    WOOOHOOOO! I threw out my curling iron (it was from 5th grade and I’m almost 27. It was time!) and have been dying to try for some curly locks! I have a TON of superfine aka non curlable hair and curling with a flat iron was what I’ve been looking for. After a few tries, I have a head full of pretty curls that have lasted ALL day without any product! Incredible. You’re a genius, Kate!

  47. says

    Im having a major issue… the first few times i was able to get a curl but now that im trying to curl hair with flat iron again i cant get it to curl it wants to go straight do you have any idea why?

  48. says

    After getting married 9 months ago, i have so unfortunately gained 20 pounds (and am doing my hardest to work it off). this has made my self confidence go down and me not to care that i look clean and polished. Along with this, i wear my hair straight and down all the time because of my lack of self confidence. I was ready to cut my hair from shoulder length to a short chin length bob so i wouldnt have to deal with it nor the boring straightness all the time when i discovered your blog. I cannot wait to try the curls with my flat iron!!!! I have been told my whole life that i have beautiful hair(thick & naturally shiny, brunette with many natural red tones)and many people i know hate to see me cut it! And I believe all of your ideas on here i know will help me to bring out the beauty of my hair (and me) 😀 Thank you so much!

  49. Tatum Young says

    have you ever tried using a curling wand?! I got one for christmas but I would love to see a tutorial from you about using one!

  50. Anonymous says

    As a hairstylist myself and someone with fine, hard to curl hair I love these cute tutorials! However, spraying your hair with hairspray is a bad idea as hairspray has plastic particles in it and when they heat you get melted plastic in your hair. Not easy to get out and not at all good for your hair. Use a strong heat styling spray (such as Redken Hot Sets) instead of hairspray. Hairspray over styled hair is good, styling over hairspray is bad.

  51. Danniwyse says

    I absolutely love all your tutorials!! You make it look so easy and I love all the different styles! How do you get more volume? My hair is pretty thick but I cant get volume around the crown of my head like you have. I’ve tried teasing it, but it doesn’t seem to work. After I have tried teasing it, it has some volume but as soon as I lightly comb through it, it just goes back to being flat on my head.

  52. says

    I curl my hair with a flatiron all the time! It took my a while to figure it out. I had to keep experimenting, but since I know how to do it now and can work kind of backwards using a mirror (and without buning my fingers) it has cut my curling time almost in half!!! My hair is thick and long so the extra hot curling iron (ALWAYS ceramic plates, not just plating!, that heats up to 450 degrees or higher)and the smooth surface helps me do a large amount of curling in a small amount of time and the curls stay in even when it’s muggy! I can also sleep on my hair and still wake up with it being curly!!! If you’ve got the persistance and the skill to use a flat iron, go for it!

  53. Anonymous says


    I have a couple of questions about curlingwith a flat iron. First, Do you recommend using a 1 inch flat iron for this method of curling, or would a 2 inch flat iron work just as well? Second, My hair is just a few inches past my collar bone, and very curly and frizzy, but not as neat as I’d like it to be. Do you think straightening my hair before trying to curl it with the flat iron would make it a bit simpler to curl?

  54. Anonymous says

    I wish I had your hair!!! I have tried to do some of your styles you post, but it never looks as good as yours:( Im just not good at it….

  55. says

    OMG, I totally understand the way that you feel about the CHI. Mine broke after 2 years of use and it over time it was not giving me the results that I wanted. I have not read any reviews on the GHD flat irons but by the looks of your hair it must be great.I recently switched to the Paul Mitchell straightener.I have my experience at my website.

    I have been curling my hair with a flatiron for years so its cool to see someone else doing it. Keep posting we love it!!

  56. Anonymous says

    Your hair looks so gorgeous! I don’t know if you have heard of the Heat Cap or not, but I started using it and it curls my hair in only a few minutes. I really love mine! I’m trying to spread the word to others girls. It’s good to share beauty tips :o) If any of you want to check out the video on their website it’s

    The video is just a few minutes long and the results are amazing. I couldn’t believe how beautiful all the girls hair turned out!

  57. says

    I LOVE THIS!! I have naturally wavy hair and for some reason it never holds a curl when I use a curling iron. I tried this and I love it! It was so easy and fast and my hair is still curly and cute :) thanks so much for the video!

  58. says

    I love this video… I tried it and it started to work and then fizzled out. I have naturally curly hair that’s unpredictable and pretty thin. When trying this, I straightened my hair the night before (it’s how I usually wear it anyways) and then just tried it now and the curls would just not really form. I have the same flat iron, same amount of layers as you… Any suggestions on how to get the curls to hold like yours or should I stick with another method… Never been good with a curling iron either… I think because my hair is just very thin but your straightening video was a definite hit, now I just want a good way to curl my hair too… Do you suggest hair spraying beforehand to help them hold?? THANKS!

  59. Anonymous says

    I just had my hair cut a lot like yours. I’m looking forward to trying each of the different ways of styling on your tutorials.

  60. says

    I watched this I don’t know 6 months ago and everytime I curl my hair this way I get compliments! I still need practice though, and a new flat iron I think. I have a croc flat iron, which is pretty good but it doesn’t have the temp control. I should have paid the extra $ for the one with temp control, darnit! I’ve tried using hair spray before curling, but I find that it’s harder to pull the hair through the iron. Am I damaging my hair by using hairspray first? hmmm…

  61. says

    Thank you for this tutorial, it was very useful! I have been looking for a really nice tutorial like this. I have loved all of your videos and was delighted to find one on curling hair with a flat iron.
    I had never thought or read of using hairspray before styling hair, so this was an extra plus to the tutorial for the nice information.

  62. says

    Using a curling iron does take practice but is definitely worth it. It gives you volume and in my opinion gives an elegant beauty that can not be beat. We sell a lot of flatirons on our website and is a must for every woman.

  63. says

    Hi! I totally love your blog. But like they’ve mentioned before you make this looks so easy. I would have to take off my head to create anything you do, LOL! I also love your hair color. Do you do that on your own too?

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  65. says

    Thank you so much for the tutorial! I gota layered cut this week and the stylist made it curly so I was determined to recreate it! It turned out great! I don’t have a curling iron but might have to invest in one to try, the latest thing in the uk seems to be the ceramic curling wand so not sure if that would be easier to use still! Would be lovely to know what you think! Many thanks again and merry christmas when it comes! x

  66. Sena Steele says

    I just watched your hair videos on how to do
    Beach Curls . And I’m in loveeee your hair is so pretty curly
    I just ordered a new flat iron and waiting for it to come in a few days
    Can’t wait to try it out myself and see if it works on mine
    So thank you very much for taking your time out to do a turorial
    I got a lot from it . Via Pinterest

  67. says

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    and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  68. says

    I’ll try this Tonight!! I have baby thin hair i’ve tried using a curl iron and the curls wouldn’t stay in my hair even with hairspray! I tried hot roles where they are the little curlers and it wouldn’t wanna stay in…

  69. says

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  73. Zeljka says

    Curls won’t stay. I’m so sad. My hair is fine, I used hot tools 1 1/4 inch curling iron. It curs nicely, but after 10 minutes, all the work falls flat.

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