Curling your hair isn’t always a seamless experience. From choosing a hot tool to figuring out how to hold it and what temperature to use, there's always a learning curve. A flat iron can create some seriously beachy waves, but so can a curling iron. So which tool is better for faking curly hair? We’re telling you how to curl your hair with a flat iron vs curling iron and breaking down the pros and cons of each. Plus, giving you the best tips for flat iron curls vs curling iron ahead!
A curling iron is sometimes used interchangeably with a curling wand, but they’re not the same hot tool. They both feature a heated rod that hair is wrapped around to form the curl. But the most obvious difference between the two is that a curling iron has a clamp, while a wand doesn’t. Curling wands are generally harder to master compared to curling irons and have higher burn risks. If you’re wondering how to get big curls, choose the curling iron for more definition and control.
Despite its name, a flat iron is not just for keeping hair straight. So why use a flat iron instead of a curling iron to curl your hair? A flat iron is one of the easiest ways to produce a number of different kinds of coils. Beachy waves, voluminous curls, even smaller, tighter bends all can be done with a flat iron, so there's no need to change barrel sizes or tools. Plus, the plates of a flat iron heat evenly, and this is the key to achieving curls that last. And once you have the technique down, a flat iron can be quicker than using a curling iron. It’s important to work in small sections with a flat iron. If you try working with too large of a section, the hair will slip out and create a funky crease in your hair. Holding the hair in the flat iron will also cause a crease, so don’t stop moving it. Simply glide the hair through and keep it moving. And just like when using a curling iron, make sure to prep with a heat protection spray, only use thermal styling on dry hair.
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by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor