How To Curl Your Hair With A Flat Iron, According To A Celebrity Hairstylist

Learning to curl your hair at home > baking banana bread.

Nicole Saunders |

Whether you don’t have a curling iron, forgot your curling iron, or are simply intimidated by a curling iron, it’s a good time to let you know that you can actually curl your hair with a flat iron. Yes, really! A hair straightener can get you some seriously bouncy curls — if you know the right techniques.

Harry Josh, the celebrity hairstylist to stars like Priyanka Chopra, Gisele Bundchen, and Karlie Kloss, is known for creating super sexy-yet-relaxed curls. Here, he breaks down exactly how to curl your hair with a straightener in seven easy steps:

Step 1: Eliminate any knots

Start with dry hair and brush out all tangles and knots with a paddle brush.

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Step 2: Tame frizz and flyaways

Apply a frizz-taming and heat protectant primer such as ghd heat protect spray, from the mid-shaft to ends of your hair. The silicone-free liquid has castor oil to keep strands hydrated and reduce flyaways.

“If you have really fine hair that does not hold a curl, coat your sections in hairspray before curling, allow it to dry, and then brush out,” says Josh. “This way, it will have some memory before curling to hold the curl.”

READ MORE: This Heatless Hack Gave Me The Curl Texture Of My Dreams

Step 3: Section your hair

“Divide your hair into two sections: front and back. Twist the back section of your hair and secure with a clip,” says Josh.

Step 4: Work with five-centimetre sections of your hair

“Grab the first section and place the flatiron vertically onto your hair, a couple of centimetres away from the roots. Close the iron tightly and glide it while you twist it toward your face. Hold it for a few seconds,” he explains. You’ll want to hold it tightly when you’re twisting the iron to make the curl, but when you’re sliding down the hair to make another curl, you’re opening the iron.

Step 5: Alternate directions

“On the same section, open the iron and slide it a couple of centimetres down. Close the iron and twist it in the opposite direction. Alternate the direction of the twist until you’ve reached the ends of your hair,” says Josh. Alternating directions makes for a more lived-in, natural finish.

Step 6: Repeat

Repeat this step until all sections of your hair, front and back, have been curled. “Start each section going in a different direction to ensure a natural result,” Josh says.

Step 7: Lock it in place

“Finish with a few spritzes of anti-humidity hairspray to hold your style in place,” says Josh.

And before you grab the same flatiron that you’ve had since high school, you might want to upgrade your old straightener. When selecting a flat iron, you’ll need to consider a few factors: your hair texture, temperature, and size of your iron. If you’re a naturalista, you can get away with setting the heat between 200 to 230 degrees on your flatiron. Anyone with a looser curl pattern or straight hair can lower the temperature down to 120 to 170 degrees. The size of your straightener’s plates will also make a difference in your final result. If you have long hair or prefer a looser curl, opt for larger flatiron plates. For tighter curls, go for smaller plates. Now that you know what to look for in a straightener, let’s discuss a few flatirons loved by the pros and yours truly:

ghd platinum+ black styler

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ghd platinum+ black styler

R 3 300

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This smart styler recognises each section of hair and adapts the temperature to ensure the optimum temperature of 185 degrees is consistent across the two plates. One pass with this iron should smooth frizz and add extra shine to your hair.

Veaudry myStyler Colossal

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Veaudry myStyler Colossal

R 2 399

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The tourmaline ceramic plates heat up almost instantly and the wide plates will guarantee faster styling time for longer and thicker hair.

Paul Mitchell Neuro Style Flat Iron

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Paul Mitchell Neuro Style Flat Iron

R 1 599

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Programmable temperature settings allow stylists to customize for different hair types and styles while providing fast, even heat with IsoTherm titanium plates.

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