Woman with loose wavy hair wearing red hat, red lipstick, and floral top.
Time30 mins
Difficulty LevelEasy

Tools for Tutorial

towel icon


tail comb

Loose Comb

hair ironer

Hair Ironer

Products used in Tutorial

When it comes to heat-styling tools, a flat iron is as multipurpose as a Swiss army knife. You can use it to straighten your hair (obviously), smooth wrinkles out of your clothes in a pinch, and – surprise, surprise – create the most natural-looking curls and waves you’ve ever seen. Below, we’ll guide you on how to curl hair using a flat iron and tips to master the techniques.

Different Ways to Curl Your Hair with a Straightener

Before we dive into the step-by-step details on how to curl hair using a flat iron, there are various techniques you can employ to achieve different . That’s right – one tool can get you a bunch of hairstyles, from beachy waves to loose Jessica Rabbit-esque retro curls.

The slide curl

It’s the easiest technique to nail down and will give you bouncy curls like when you would use a . To do it, hold your flat iron vertically and clamp your hair between the plates. Twist the iron 180 degrees away from your face as you glide it down your lengths.

The C-curl

For those carefree waves à la Serena van der Woodsen’s, position your straightener horizontally and clamp a few strands of hair. Create a C-shape bend by twisting your wrist, as if you’re turning a doorknob, and pulling the iron downward. Stop, and rotate your wrist in the opposite direction. Keep repeating the process until you reach the tips.

The S-curl

Using your free hand, pinch each section of hair to make an S shape. Hold it in place, then stamp it with your flat iron repeatedly. Move down and begin again, but bend the hair in the opposite direction to form a reversed S. This method results in vintage, Hollywood finger waves that give off an elegant vibe.

The crimped curl

Want to recreate ? First, braid your hair in tiny sections. Take your flat iron and slowly slide it down each braid. Once done, unravel the braid. As simple as that!

How to Curl Hair Using a Flat Iron: A Full Guide

Now that you’ve decided which type of curl you want, it’s time to get busy with your trusty straightener.