How to CURL HAIR with a curling wand!

how to curl hair with a curling with by Abby from

How to Curl Your Hair with a Curling Wand

You could say I’m a tiny bit passionate about hair.  Ha, understatement of the year.  But beautiful curls?  They’re literally the gateway to my happiness.  Okay okay maybe I’m being slightly dramatic but NONETHELESS learning how to curl hair with a curling wand is an important skill that you NEED to learn!

how to curl long hair with a curling wand by Abby from

Curls are everything.  Having beautiful curls gives your hair movement and texture and it’ll help your braids look prettier and your ponytails look intentional.  Having curls in the hair will make those rushed morning styles look fabulous and don’t even get me started on wedding hairstyles.  CURLS ARE EVERYTHING!  So today, I’m rolling up my figurative sleeves and we’re getting down to business. 

Learn how to curl hair with a curling wand!

curling wand curls

what's a good curling wand

First off, you need a wand. 

I prefer interchangeable wands because they give me a little bit more flexibility in styling.  If I want looser waves, I just lock in a different sized barrel than the one I was using to give me more defined curls and I’m set.  If I cut my hair or am now wearing extensions, the same curling wand can give me what I need if it has different barrel sizes.

bloggers favorite curling wand flourish by

This is my favorite wand – The Flourish Trio.  You could say I’m biased — I mean, I did create this one to have all you could ever want or need.  This is my own brand of tools and, trust me when I say, it’s the best of the best.  I won’t rattle off the specs because you can find them on the website here but there are a few things you need to consider before you start curling.

how to curl long hair with a curling wand by flourish

 1.  What size barrel do you want? 

There are three standard sizes among curling wands, a 32mm barrel, a 25mm barrel and a 19mm barrel.  I believe there are reasons to own all three because they each give such different looks!  The 32mm barrel is great if you have long or medium length hair and want those big loose or voluminous curls.  The 25mm is the most versatile size and it works for all hair lengths.  It does create a more defined curl but the beauty in that size is that those curls will relax as time goes on and you can wear them day after day.  It’s glorious!  The last size is the 19mm which is SO CUTE on short hair.  I have examples here of what some of the sizes look like on a few different models with different lengths and textures of hair.

how to curl hair with a wand for beginners for flourish by

2.  What temperature should I have my iron set to? 

It’s safer on your hair if you can leave your hair on a warmer barrel than if you put it as hot as it can go and quickly rush through it.  Keep that in mind when you’re selecting your temperature but I typically recommend everyone starts at 350.  You can go up to 450 if you have extremely coarse hair but if you do not have coarse hair this will cause damage.  If you have very fine hair, start a 300 and then just play it by ear from there!  Ditch your curling wand or iron that has only an on/off switch.  It’s wrecking your hair!

interchangeable curling wand


3.  What should my irons be made of? 

There are a lot of materials out there, titanium, tourmaline and ceramic to name a few!  I prefer titanium and believe it’s for every hair type and texture — your heat settings will determine how safe it’s going to be for your hair.  Titanium is a more expensive metal.  It has even heat distribution so it’s going to give consistent curls + it emits negative ions that will reduce frizz and seal in the cuticle on the hair for shiner and prettier curls that will last longer.

Now that those three things are out of the way we’re ready to learn how to curl our hair with a curling wand!    

how to curl hair with a curling wand

Gather a 1″ section of hair

This section shouldn’t be too big or the curl isn’t going to be uniform.  If you want larger waves, use a larger barrel.  Don’t use a smaller barrel and take larger sections because you’re going to get inconsistent curls that will fall out throughout the day and no one wants that!  

how to curl hair with a curling wand, how to curl hair

Pinch the hair a couple of inches down from the scalp

how to curl hair with a curling wand flourish curling wand

Wrap the hair around the barrel maintaining the pinch in the hair 

You’re going to bring your iron up and over so that the barrel is facing down.  This is very important and learning to hold your iron this way will make things easier down the road when I teach you different curling techniques!  You’re going to maintain that pinch in the hair while you’re wrapping the iron away from your face.  I don’t typically alternate curls but a lot of people like to do it that way!  My only suggestion is to make sure all the sections near your face are being curled away fro you face.

how to curl hair with a curling wand with flourish by

Leave the last inch off the barrel

I like to leave the last inch of hair off the barrel because it gives a more effortless and lived in look.  It will also help the waves lay nicely on your shoulder.   

Four different looks with a wand:

When you’ve reached this point there are three ways to drop the curl and whichever one you choose will determine the curl you’re going to get.

1. Tilt the iron and let go of the curl

Simply tilt the iron so the barrel drops and simply let go of the curl.  This will give you the most neutral curl, not too tight, not too lose!

how to set curls with a curling wand

2. Tilt the iron and let the curl coil in your palm

The second way is tilting the iron and letting the curl coil up in your palm.  You’re going to let that curl sit there for a few seconds until it’s no longer hot.  What we’re doing here is setting the curl.  I like to do this with the 32mm barrel because it takes those large waves and sets in the curl pattern so they don’t loosen and relax too quickly!

how to loosen curls with a curling wand by flourish by

3. Immediately stretch the curl to loosen it up

The third way is tilting the iron so that the curl begins to fall off the iron but then you’re going to take the ends where you are holding and stretch the curl out.  This is going to break up that curl pattern a bit and make your curl much looser.  I like to do this with the 25mm and 19mm!

Can you see the difference?

How to create different curls with a curling wand by

There are so many ways to curl your hair with a curling wand — you can achieve whatever look and style you’re wanting!  Did you know you can even get a curling iron look with a wand?

4. Curling iron curl using a curling wand

Instead of pinching the hair and wrapping it around the barrel, you’re going to flatten the hair in-between your fingers so that it’s laying flat against the barrel as you’re wrapping it.  Can you see the difference?!

how to curl hair with a curling wand with flourish by

Which way do you prefer curling?  What size barrel is your favorite?  Do you have a hard time keeping the curls in your hair?  I’d love to know how you curl your hair and what you have found that works for you or maybe an aha moment you had while reading this post!!  

Don’t forget to watch the video in case you need a little extra help.  You can subscribe to my YouTube Channel HERE and don’t forget you can buy this wand at (you can watch the video on my new brand HERE).

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Wand curls step by step by

in depth guide to curling your hair with a wand by Abby Smith

Abby Smith

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One thought on “How to CURL HAIR with a curling wand!

  1. I have never been good at curling my hair. Whether I use a curling iron or a flat iron I usually end up looking like I’m going to prom in the 90s. Today I curled my hair using the instructions from this blog post and my hair actually looks good!! I found your blog about a week ago and it has already helped me step up my hair game. Thank you so much! Now if I can just figure out how to french braid my own hair.