You don't have to invest in multiple pricey styling tools. That flat iron you haven't used in months can easily double as the perfect curling tool, especially for elegant, beachy waves.
Perfectly imperfect beach waves continue to dominate runways across the globe. If you crave this perfectly undone look, there's no need to invest in pricey rollers or gimmicky sprays.
The same tool you use to get stick-straight locks can also serve as a curling iron. Straighteners can't produce bouncy, perfectly rounded ringlets, but they can add life, volume, and gentle waves to your tresses.
How to Use Your Straightener as a Curling Iron
A curling wand is the ideal tool for undone, beachy waves, because a wand applies heat only to one side of your hair. A straightener offers similar results in a different way. When you use a straightener as a curling iron, you're heating hair on both sides whilst applying heat only to some sections of hair. This produces a looser, wavier effect.
To get the look:
Separate your hair into 1-inch sections. For looser waves, work with larger sections. Begin with the hair closest to your face, and be sure to curl away from your face.
Open the flat iron and wrap your hair around one side, ensuring your hair is tight enough to make contact with the heat plate. For a loose wave, leave the flat iron open and hold your hair in place for 5 seconds. For tighter waves, clamp the straightener down for no longer than 3 seconds.
Continue working your way around your head. For the most natural look, remember to wrap your hair beginning about an inch above the ends, working all the way to your crown. This creates gentle, graduated waves that look like you've spent a day in the ocean breeze.
Troubleshooting Common Problems: Curling Your Hair With a Straight Iron
Using a flat iron to curl your hair is a lot like using any tool for the first time. So don't try this before a high-stakes event without practicing first, or you might be disappointed by the result. Here's how to prevent the most common problems.
Bumpy hair: The hard edges of a straightener can produce bumpy hair if you're not careful. For a more even look, wrap your hair loosely around the plate, and don't use sections smaller than 1 inch wide. A straightener with wider plates works best for creating waves, since narrow plates create more curves and more opportunity for bumps.
Uneven curls: A flat iron can't give you bouncy, perfectly proportioned ringlets. That's the entire point! But if the curls you get seem terribly uneven or oddly proportioned, the problem could be the way you're dividing your hair. Each section you wrap around the iron should be about the same size. Be sure also to wrap each section about as tightly as the next, or you'll end up with some very curly sections and some that are only loosely wavy.
Hair damage: Heated tools dry out your hair, potentially causing it to break. To reduce the risk of hair damage, don't use a straightener on already-damaged hair, and never apply heat for more than 5 seconds. Invest in a high-quality straightener that applies well-controlled heat, such as the Silver Bullet Keratin 230 Ceramic Wide Plate Straightener .
Protecting Your Hair from Heat Damage
Heated devices don't have to damage your hair. To reduce the risk of broken, split hair, always use a thermal protectant. Kérastase Résistance Ciment Thermique 150ml protects your hair from a range of styling tools, including straighteners and blow-dryers.
A proactive approach to hair health can further reduce the risk of damage. Try using a weekly hair masque, and don't forget to invest in a high-quality hair conditioner for daily use.
Use heated appliances sparingly. If you need to style your hair two days in a row, consider washing only on the first day. An occasional break from shampoo allows your hair's natural oils to keep your strands pliable and healthy.
Abstaining from shampoo also means you won't have to start styling from scratch the next day. Instead, just do spot touch-ups where necessary.