How to Curl Your Hair | Get Fabulous Spiral, Ringlet or Loose Curls

Curling your hair is possibly one of the best ways to change up your look. It doesn’t matter whether you have short or long locks, adding some waves and ringlets to your tresses can give you a nice makeover. If you don’t know how to curl your hair, don’t fret. There are quite a few easy ways to do this.

In this guide, we’ll tell you ten different ways how you can get the curls you want. Stick around and you might just find the most effective curling method for your locks.

How to Curl Your Hair: 8 Different Ways to Style Your Hair with Curls

Generally speaking, there are 3 ways to curl your hair. One would be with the use of heat styling tools. This is deemed as one of the most effective techniques as it alters the shape of your strand from the inside. The heat affects how the protein bonds work in your hair strands which explains why heat can easily curl or straighten people’s tresses.

The second way would be the no-heat method. In this technique, time is the main element you need in curling your locks. Most cases will require you to leave the curling tools or keep the hair in a certain shape for long periods to change the shape of your hair strands.

The third way to curl your hair offers somewhat permanent curled hair. This uses a special solution to change the shape of your locks.

How exactly do you use these three methods to get curly hair? We’ll break them down below.

Curling Your Hair With Heat

A lot of people prefer to use heat in curling their hair for its efficiency and fast results. Some actually believe that it’s the best way to curl hair. With the best tools and the right skills, you can be sure to whip up various curly hairdos within minutes. The best blow dryer for curly hair will add the final touch!

A lot of experts will agree but with some reservations because heat, when used in excess, can be damaging to your locks. With the right hair care tips, however, you will be able to use heat to create curled hairstyles safely.

The most important thing to know about curling your hair using heat styling tools is that there are quite a few different devices that you can use to get the job done. Here are three of the most popular options and how you can use them to get the best results:

Curling Irons and Wands

Curling irons and wands are arguably some of the most popular heat styling tools today for creating hair curls. Thanks to their ability to produce quick results, they’re practically the go-to tools by many who love to curl their hair.

Curling irons and wands are your best options if you want to create tight curls. Depending on the barrel size, you can also create loose curls, natural-looking, and ringlet curls with their help.

Wands and irons are largely similar in many aspects, so how you use them is generally the same.

The answer to the questions ‘how to curl hair with a curling iron?’ and ‘how to curl your hair with a wand?’ would be the following steps:

  1. Brush out your dry hair to remove tangles then apply some heat protectant.

  2. Divide it into two sections, separating the hair on top of your head from those near your nape. Put up the hair on top of your with a clip then start curling your locks from the bottom.

  3. Grab a small section of your locks then wrap them around the barrel. Repeat this process until all of your hair is curled.

However, there’s one little difference in the use of these two tools. The presence of the hair clasp in hair curling irons will need some skilled maneuvering while you wrap sections of your hair around its barrel.

The clasp will nicely hold your hair in place while you wait for it to curl, though, so it’s still a convenient feature to have.

Curling wands don’t have a clasp, on the other hand, so you will have an easier time wrapping your hair around their barrel. However, you will also need to manually hold them in place because of this design. So if you opt for this tool, it’s best to use a heat-resistant glove to keep your fingers from getting burned. Wand curls can get really tight and defined, though, so you might find the hassle well worth the results.

To achieve the best results, you should also only opt for first-rate heat styling tools. Opting for the best curling irons for any hair type and the most popular curling wands can help you style your locks beautifully.

Hot Rollers

The best hot rollers are an excellent option if you want hair curls. Like curling irons and wands, they are also available in various sizes so they can help you create anything from large curls to ringlets in your hair.

Here are the very simple steps in using hot rollers:

  1. Brush out your dry hair to remove tangles and apply a heat protectant.
  2. Plug in the hot rollers to start heating them up. This can take up to 20 minutes, depending on your set.
  3. Divide them into small sections, separating the hair on top and bottom of your head. Proceed to put half of your hair up so you can start curling the hair near your nape.
  4. Pick up one heated roller and then grab a small portion of your hair. Wrap your hair around the roller then secure it in place with whatever accessory your set comes with. Repeat with the other rollers and until all of your hair is wrapped with a heated roller.
  5. Wait for about 10 to 15 minutes before removing the rollers.
  6. Spritz on some hair setting spray to set your curls’ shape.

An important thing that you should remember when using hot rollers is that you should choose the right size of barrels for the curls you want to achieve and your hair length. The bigger the barrels are, the bigger the curls they’ll create.

However, if you have short hair, it might not look like a curl if you use a large barrel roller. If your locks need some lift and body, it’s a great tool to use. But if you want short curled hair, you should opt for small diameter barrels instead.


Curling long hair? Wavers can be the best heat styling tools that you can opt for. These devices are basically modified curling irons, designed to help create uniform sized curls and waves.

Most wavers look like they’re made of two to three curling irons that are fused together. Others have more unique designs but heated barrels are common elements in all of them.

Using these tools largely depends on its design. However, the most basic steps in operating them are the following:

  1. With your dry hair prepared and primed for heat styling, plug in your waver. Select the right temperature that suits your hair type and wait for it to heat it up.
  2. Grab a 1” section of your hair, starting at the bottom then clamp it down on your hair. If you want more volume, start near the roots.
  3. Hold the waver in place for four to five seconds then move down the length of your locks.
  4. Repeat until you’ve curled all of your hair then spritz on some setting spray to help keep the style in place.

Using wavers can be tricky for first timers but once you’ve gotten the hang of its operation, it can certainly give you some easy curls. Some folks actually find it easier to use after mastering the handling of the tool. As they also offer beautiful results, they prove to be indispensable tools for those who love to create long curls.

How to Curl Your Hair Without a Curling Iron

Those who don’t want to put their locks in danger of heat damage can still effectively curl straight hair without the help of an electronic hair tool. There are actually a few good ways how to curl your hair naturally, including the following:


If you already have somewhat curly hair, scrunching would be the best way to define your curls. It’s very easy to do and won’t require much of your time since you already have curly locks to work with. Some folks even consider this as the best way to curl hair without heat in 5 minutes.

So how do you curl your hair by scrunching? Here are the steps:

  1. Start in the shower by washing your locks with a volumizing shampoo.
  2. Apply conditioner only at the ends of your locks so as not to weigh down your hair too much. Run a wide tooth comb through your locks to better distribute the product. Rinse thoroughly.
  3. Squeeze out the excess water with your hand then pat dry your locks with a towel. Do not rub your locks with the towel as this can cause frizzing and breakage. Do not try to completely dry your hair.
  4. With your locks still damp, get a handful of mousse or hair gel made specifically for curly hair.
  5. Flip your hair while bending on your waist then apply the product on your hair. Scrunch your locks from the tips then work your way up. Don’t get too close to the roots, though.
  6. Let your hair air dry and you’ll soon enjoy beautiful and defined natural curls.

Pin Up Method

Another way to whip up some of the prettiest light curls hairstyles would be through the pin-up method. This won’t require much skill but it can take quite some time and a lot of bobby pins to accomplish, however. Here’s how to perform this method:

  1. Starting with damp hair, apply some hair product that will give your locks some hold. Gels and waxes are good options for this.
  2. Divide your hair into sections and put up the upper half in a bun.
  3. Grab a small section of hair then roll it up in a loop. Continue rolling until you reach the roots then secure it with a hairpin.
  4. Repeat with the rest of your hair.
  5. Wrap your head with a silk scarf if you wish to set the curls overnight.

No-heat Hair Rollers

No-heat curling tools can also come in handy for a lot of people. They can give you uniform-sized curls so they’re great options no matter what your hair length is. So whether you want a ringlet hairstyle or big bouncy curls, these tools can help you out.

Using hair rollers is also very easy to do. You just need to wrap your hair around the barrel,  and secure them in place. Depending on the type of hair rollers you’re using, you might even be able to go to bed with them.


If you want a more comfortable way to set in your curls overnight, braiding your hair will be a good option. All you really need is to braid your hair before going to bed and that’s it. You can even control how big or small your curls are, depending on how you braid your hair.

Bun It Up

Did you know that tying your hair up in a bun can also help curl your locks? What’s even better is that you have two ways to go about it. These two techniques will give you beautiful loose curls the next day:

Two-bun technique

Tie your damp hair up in two buns then blow dry each until they’re nearly dry. The tighter the bun is, the more defined the waves will be, so you can still further customize your hairstyle. This method is a very popular lazy girl styling hack because it can help dry and style your tresses within ten minutes.

One-bun technique

The other is to wear your slightly damp hair in a bun to bed. There’s no need to use a blow dryer in this method as you’ll be drying your hair overnight. However, it’s recommended that you pair it with a silk or satin pillowcase so your strands won’t get tugged as you toss and turn in the night.

Flat Iron Curls

While this technique will still require a heat styling tool, we’re counting it as an alternative to curling irons since it will use a very basic device that most folks already have at home. Here’s how you can get beautiful waves using a flat iron:

  1. Prepare and prime your hair for heat styling. Plug in the flat iron and select the necessary temperature for your hair type.
  2. Divide your locks into sections and put up the top portion on top of your head.
  3. Starting with the hair at the bottom of your head, grab a 1” section of your locks then slide it into the flat iron.
  4. Position the flat iron as near to your roots as you possibly can then wrap the rest of the length of your hair around the top or bottom prong of the styling tool.
  5. Clamp down on your hair for 7 to 10 seconds then release the hair.
  6. Repeat steps 3 to 5 until you’ve curled all of your locks.

Hair Perming

Willing to commit to curly tresses for a couple of months? You can also get your hair permed and transform into a curly-haired beauty for quite some time.

This method involves seeing your hairstylist and getting the treatment at the salon if you want the best results. However, if you’re skilled enough and have access to the necessary tools to get the job done, you can also perform an at-home procedure.

The method in itself can take a few hours and will use a special chemical solution to change the shape of your hair strands. While the most commonly used perming solutions are often deemed safe and effective, there are also those cases where folks experience an adverse reaction against it. So if you have sensitive skin or scalp, you might need to take this into close consideration.

Curling Hair of Different Lengths

Another important point to keep in mind is that your hair length also plays a huge role in how your curls can turn out. Curls require a certain amount of hair for them to look defined so your hair length can limit the styles you can sport.

So if you want big curls, you will need longer hair to achieve them. Tight curls are more versatile and can be achieved with any hair length with the help of the right tools or techniques.

The hair curling techniques you’ll use can also depend on your hair length. The tricks in how to curl short hair will certainly be different if you have to curl long hair. The techniques in curling medium hair are also slightly different from the two, so it’s best to pay close attention to such details.

Lastly, there are also some tools that you can’t use when curling short hair. Wavers, for example, are generally used for long hair due to their design. Other tools are more flexible, however, as they can come with barrels in smaller diameters. But if you want loose curls on short hair, it would be best to pay attention to your chosen tool first as not all of them can work on your locks.


With so many different ways how to curl your hair, you really shouldn’t shy away from this hairstyle even if you have pin straight locks. While some hair types can prove to be tricky to curl, there are also lots of very effective curling hair tips that you can find online that will make the task easier for you.

The eight techniques we’ve shared above are just some of the simplest hair curling methods out there. Give them a shot and you might just give yourself a nice makeover without breaking a sweat.

We also recommend reading how to get beach waves hair!