3 Different Types of Curls You Can Get With a Curling Iron

Lauren Keller

Curly Brown Hair


If you’re like us, curling your hair is your go-to for a quick and easy way to style your hair and still look great. Even if it’s not freshly washed, taking a curling iron to your strands can liven up any look. But, the same look over and over again can start to get boring, especially if you stick to your standard curl. Luckily, you can gets tons of different styles using the same tool – it’s all in how you wrap your hair!

Flat Wrap

For typical, every day curls use the Flat Wrap technique.  When wrapping your hair around the wand, make sure all of the hair stays flat and smooth against it. Keep your wrist steady and don’t let any of the hair twist as you’re wrapping it around the barrel. You should end up with a loose spiral that will resemble the type of curl you would have gotten if you had been using the clamp. Make sure to curl from root to tip for a fuller, voluminous look and only hold for about 5-10 seconds. Since the hair is flat against the barrel, it won’t take long for the heat to absorb. If you’re going for classic and polished, this is the technique for you!

Curling Iron

Spiral Wrap

For a tighter, bouncier curl (think pre-popstar Taylor Swift when she was still a country darling), you’ll need to twist your hair into a spiral before you start wrapping it around the barrel. Take about a 1-inch section of your hair and twist it away from your face, holding it tight at the end once you’re done so the spiral doesn’t slip out.  Then start wrapping the twisted hair around the curling iron as you normally would. The twist makes it harder for your hair to absorb the heat, so hold it for 10-15 seconds. A good test is to place your fingertip on one of the wrapped strands (without touching the barrel, of course) and once the hair is warm to the touch, you can release it.

Curling Iron

Combo Wrap

This technique is a little tricky and takes some practice, but is also the best way to get those Victoria’s Secret Angel waves you’ve always wanted.  Start by using the Flat Wrap near the top of your roots, wrapping once or twice around the barrel depending on how long your hair is. Then as you start to get towards the middle and ends of your strands, begin to Spiral Wrap the hair by twisting your wrist as you go. Hold for 10 seconds.  This’ll leave you with flatter waves near the top that fade into curls. Run your fingers through your hair to create a more beachy, messy look.

Curling Iron