Maybe it’s our inner Macgyver, but here at Slay, we’re avid fans of turning everyday fashion and beauty tools into multi-purpose wonders. Eight different ways to use concealer? Five ways to wear gingham? We’re into it. However, there is some DIY trickery that’s simply baffling—like those that require a certain level of skill, experience and possibly ambidextrous extremities. Such is the case with using a flat iron to curl hair.
We’ve seen hairstylists and YouTubers create beautiful bends and curls with a flick of their wrists, but doing it ourselves was a whole ‘nother story. Luckily, Glenn Nutley—hairstylist to stars like Britney Spears—shared a foolproof method that even this straightener-challenged editor could do.
“I like to use this [approach] for beach waves, because it’s a rougher curl; it’s not too precise,” Nutley noted. “It definitely doesn’t have to be perfect.”
Sounds much more our speed
Step 1: Begin with a one-inch section of your hair. It helps to separate the top layers of your hair with clips, and curl your bottom layers first, working your way up.
Step 2: Starting a few inches from the roots, curl the wand away from your face. (Ed. note: It helps to hold the wand with your wrist and fingers facing toward you and move away from the face in a clockwise motion.)
Step 3: Keep turning the iron as you approach the tip. “You need to keep it moving,” Glenn advised. “If you keep it still in one place, you’re going to create dents in the hair.”
Step 4: When turning the wand (use two hands if it’s more comfortable), angle it diagonally, downward and away from your face, as you move toward to the ends.
Step 5: Slowly release the clamp as you get close to the ends for a more modern look. “I like to keep the ends out so it doesn’t get too curly,” said the hair pro, who’s used this technique on Pretty Little Liars’ Janel Parrish.
Pro tip: Don’t tug or pull the section taut. “Hair takes the shape that it cools down in more than the shape in which it’s heated,” Glenn advised.
Optional: To get that perfectly imperfect beach wave, the hair guru suggested mixing these curls with bent sections.
In full disclosure, the hairstylist admitted that he prefers using curling irons to create waves—they were designed, well, to curl, after all. And while this editor achieved the look, she too felt curling irons are easier to use. However, for the savvy woman equipped with just a flat iron, this proves the tool is a tried-and-true dual-purpose weapon.
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