These 10 Curling Wand Tips Are So Good You Can Skip The Salon Appointment

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Written by Sophie Mara

Updated: April 14, 2024

Curling Wand In Content
image via @remingtonuk

Want to achieve salon-quality curling wand curls at home but don’t know where to start? You’re in the right place. We’ll show you how to hold your wand, recommend which temperature to set, and let you in on the products we know really help to make them last.

Get ready to finally achieve the professional curls of your dreams without stepping foot outside your own home.

#1. Treat Your Hair With A High-Quality Heat Protectant

    Freshly washed hair can be delicate since the natural oils haven’t yet replenished. With that in mind, we want to do all we can to protect our precious locks before curling. To do this, we need to bring the moisture back and create a protective layer.

    This will stop heat from frying our hair, resulting in healthier locks from within. And, when your hair is healthy on the inside, it certainly shows on the outside. 

    #2. Check Your Hair For Damp Spots

      If we could only give you one haircare tip for using a curling wand, it would be to make sure all of your hair is fully dry before applying heat. Holding a hot curling wand to wet, or even damp hair is the quickest route to heat damage, not to mention it’ll totally ruin your curls.

      Use your fingers to gently feel through the hair from root to tip and ensure there are absolutely no damp spots. If you miss one, start curling your hair and hear a little sizzle, remove the hair immediately and wait until it has dried.

      If not, you could damage the sensitive keratin bonds leading to dry, damaged ends, and even strands that fully snap off!

      #3. Be Mindful of The Temperature

        Curling Wand 2 In Content
        image via @lunatabeauty

        Speaking of sizzling strands, even completely dry hair will buckle under the pressure of extremely high heat. Be mindful of the temperature dial on your curling wand, and try to lower it if you can. If you try a curl and it doesn’t hold, you can always increase the heat and try again once it’s cooled.

        What you can’t do is bring damaged hair back to life! So, keep the heat low and see how well your hair responds, we think you’ll be surprised just how well your curls turn out even with the temperature on a lower setting than you; ‘re used to. 

        #4. Think About The Size Of The Barrel & Each Section Of Hair

          Base the size of each section you curl on the overall curly hairstyle you want to create. If you’re hoping to achieve big, bouncy curls with a nod to Old Hollywood glamour, curling larger sections of hair around a bigger barrel will help you get there.

          Anything between 1.5 and 2 inches should work great for this particular style. If it’s tighter, perm-inspired coils you’re looking for, make sure the sections you curl are much smaller. We recommend a half-inch barrel wand for this look, but anything one inch or smaller should do the trick. 

          #5. Get The Right Angle

            Did you know that the angle at which you hold your curling wand can drastically alter the final result of your curls? Hold the wand fully vertical and you’ll get lovely curls but, thanks to good old gravity, they’ll probably drop out pretty fast. 

            Equally, holding the wand fully horizontally can create a let’s say, interesting, curl pattern. Once you release the curl from this position, because of how the hair falls, you might find you’ve created some strange long straight gaps between each curl. 

            To combat this and create the best curls possible (with tons of staying power), we recommend gently angling your curling wand to roughly 45 degrees. This way you create a beautiful, consistent spiral with plenty of volume, without strange gaps or it falling out within a matter of minutes. 

            #6. Wrap The Hair In Different Directions

              So, you definitely want to start by wrapping the hair away from your face. This will open up your features and give your hairstyle the desired shape overall. However, doing this with every section of hair you curl will result in all your curls falling into one another.

              One big curl on each side of the head is not the look we’re going for so be sure to alternate between curling away from, and towards your face as you go. This will also give your curls more volume so they look and feel bouncier, shinier, and healthier. 

              #7. Don’t Hold The Hair On Your Wand For Too Long

                We’ve been there, you have an event and want to make sure your curls last all night long. Holding each curl on the wand for longer will make sure that happens, right? Unfortunately, all this will do is leave your hair feeling dry and frizzy.

                Why? After 8-10 seconds, the curl has formed. Holding the hair on longer will only burn it and lead to damage. So, stick to the 8-10 second rule, then follow our other steps so all your hard work actually lasts! 

                #8. Add Mousse Before You Dry Your Hair

                  Curling Wand 4 In Content
                  image via @a.linajana

                  Whether using a blowdryer or letting your locks air dry, running a little hair mousse through your lengths is a great way to make any style last longer. Adding product at this stage, when the hair is still wet will give you all the hold you need without creating a residue or making it obvious you have mousse in your hair.

                  We recommend adding this from the mid-lengths of your hair to the ends only, unless you plan on curling very close to the root. In this case, go ahead and smooth a little mousse through all of your hair.

                  Just be mindful of the hair closest to your scalp. When those oils start coming back and working their way back into your hair, you could be left with greasy-looking roots if you add too much. 

                  #9. Pin Your Curls

                    Curling Wand 5 In Content
                    image via @cloudninehair

                    Does this take a little time and effort? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely!

                    When you just can’t afford for your style to drop or fall out completely, get a few no-crease clips or booby pins at the ready. As you unwrap each section from the curling wand, use the palm of your hand to cradle the curl.

                    Push it gently towards your scalp until the curls lay flat in a circle, then gently secure them with one or two clips as needed. Allowing the curls to cool in place will make them last ten times longer.

                    #10. Don’t Forget The Hairspray

                      Some love it, some hate it, but the truth is hairspray really does do wonders. Especially for complex styles like all-over curling wand curls.

                      Even if you only indulge in a few light spritzes, this step is essential if you want to keep your style secure. Shield your eyes, and give a few lengthy sprays from a good distance away so you avoid the dreaded hairspray crunch.

                      Then marvel at your curls for days to come because they really will last that long.

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