3 Easy Steps to Curling Your Hair With a Straightener

Beachy waves have become the hairstyle of a generation. They're as iconic as the '80s perm, the '90s Rachel and the pin-straight hair of the '00s. But creating the undone, textured style isn't always as easy as it looks. Sure, you can use a curling tong to create curls, but the easiest way to create flowing waves is actually with an old-fashioned straightener. Whether you've struggled and failed or never quite perfected the technique, we've compiled a completely foolproof guide on how to curl your hair with a straightener that (in our experience) has a 100% success rate. Keep scrolling to discover the easiest way to curl your hair with a straightener.

Step One

Starting with a small section of hair, clamp down your straightener (genty) towards the top of the hair section.

Step Two

Pull the straightener down the hair shaft as if you were going to straighten your hair as normal. But when you get to the part of your hair where you'd like the curl to begin (middle-to-end of the section for a natural, beachy look) stop and proceed to step three. You want to move seamlessly from step two to step three while moving your straightener continuously, which might take a little practice.

Step Three

Pivot the straightener 180 degrees (a half-turn) away from your face and gently pull the straightener down straight through the rest of your hair. Repeat for each section of hair.

Once you've curled your entire hair, use your fingers to massage the roots, which will help to break up the curls and give you that beachy, undone look.

Must-Have Products for Beachy Waves

As a final step, you might find that you enjoy the defined curls you've created, or you might want to shake them out (or run a brush through them) to get more textured, perfectly undone waves. Ahead, our favorite products for perfecting the look.

Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray
Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray $69

Prep hair before heat styling with a protection spray. This luxurious mist not only protects hair from heat damage, but it also nourishes strands and seals split ends, leaving your hair super soft with a mirror-like shine.

GHD Platinum+ Styler
GHD Platinum+ Styler $200

With clever predictive plates, the GHD Platinum+ styler reacts to your hair's unique texture and adjusts the temperature accordingly. Plus, with ultra-smooth ceramic plates, they make gliding through your hair soft and gentle—perfect for creating curls.

Ouai Wave Spray
Ouai Wave Spray $26

If your hair is on the fine side, boost volume with Jen Atkin's cult Ouai Wave Spray. Spritz it onto hair when damp, or after heat styling to give a beachy texture to the hair.

how to curl hair with straighteners: Kristin Ess Hair Refine Signature Finishing Spray
Kristin Ess Hair Refine Signature Finishing Spray $14

For invisible hold (that doesn't feel crunchy), mist Kristen Ess's Signature Finishing Spray all over the hair. It also smells amazing.

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