How To Curl Your Hair with a Flat Iron

By Dana Fox

I have a problem. Well, actually I have a few, but one that constantly nags at me is this useless thin and flat hair of mine. Volume is not a word it understands, and without sticking in a bunch of extensions, I’ve come to accept that it will always be this way. I boost it at the roots by teasing it daily, but for a little extra volume I sometimes like to make it a little wavy at the bottom too. I’m definitely not a girl who can spend hours on my hair and I like to use what I have to get a final result I like!

I’ve been curling my hair with a flat iron for quite some time now simply because i like the more random effect it gives hair as opposed to a barrel iron. It’s more carefree and uneven. Here is how I transform that ugly mop into something that actually looks presentable (read the steps below):

I’m using the Hana Professional 1″ flat iron that the people over at Misikko wanted me to try out. It heats up to 450 degrees and is safe on damp hair as well. It does a good job, definitely, the only thing I disliked about it was that the tip got so hot it was nearly impossible to touch with bare hands. I’m used to having that little bit of tip to hold onto with my fingers and with this one it just wasn’t happening.

1. Prep your hair with a light mist of product like hairspray before you start to help hold the curl. Grab your flat iron and let’s get to it!

2. Grab a section of hair. You’ll notice I’m starting with one of my longer layers instead of the front shorter pieces. I prefer to do it this way because if I curl the front pieces, the curl ends up being too high and too spiraly. If you don’t have layers you don’t need to worry. Also, don’t worry about sectioning off your hair and making it perfect, just grab chunks from the bottom and go!

3. Starting in line with your cheek bone, clasp the hair and bring it up behind the flat iron…

4. Bring the hair over the front of the flat iron. Try not to keep such a tight grip.

5. Slowly move the flat iron down the remaining hair while holding it horizontally, spinning it under as you go. Keep a loose grip while doing this so the iron moves freely. When you reach the bottom, flip the iron vertically and pull down to release the hair.

6. You can see the first two finished pieces here. Continue doing this all around your head.

7. With all of the hair done, you can move onto your front pieces. Start lower down and just curl them away from your face slightly.

8.  Separate your hair with your fingers to break up the curls and you’re done! That took only about 10 minutes to complete. Finish with hairspray to hold.

Hope you liked this tutorial! If you have thin hair like me, it’s a lifesaver when you have little time to mess with your hair. Try it and let me know what you think!

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Dana Fox
Dana Fox
About me

I am a country loving Canadian with a mind that never sleeps. When I'm not running the Wonder Forest blog ship, you can find me creating artwork for phone cases and home decor, whilst managing the daily tasks of Dana Fox Creative. Visit me at the links below if you wanna be friends!


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  • Amy

    Looks so great, and easy, I have to try!

  • Niamh Ellen

    These pictures are great! Really easy to follow! I need to try this xx

  • Teresa Sinaguglia
  • Conny

    Looks amazing! I have never managed to do it as nicely though, my curls always get some weird bend in them :(

  • Hanna Lei

    Looks really nice! I seem to have the flat hair problem too. Hanna Marie

  • Jess | Just Jesss

    Such a good tutorial and you look lovely! :) My hair also has some kind of grudge against volume…

    Jess xo

  • Rachael

    Thank you for this! I have fine hair too and I get so frustrated with it! This tutorial was easy to follow and I'll be trying it out for my bridal shower this weekend:)

  • Kara B

    I must try this!

  • Amy Kendall-Ball
  • Becca

    Awesome! I've been hit or miss on trying to curl my hair with a straightening iron and this tutorial was super helpful! I'll be sure to give it a try soon!

    Ladyface Blog

  • Rosie W

    This is exactly how I curl my hair, and I love the random effect it gives :)
    Rosie x Every Word Handwritten

  • Serena Aloserlikeme

    I love this hair look on you ^_^

    A loser like me

  • Manda Rave

    Looks good! If my hair was ever straight/flat when it dried after a shower I would try this but I have crazy little waves that make my hair look almost like I have been at the beach all day

  • Eeny

    looks great. love it.
    that's how i used to curl my hair too. but it's getting too long and heavy now.

  • Emy
  • Maria – Crafty Owl

    I love you hair in both pictures.
    I wish I had straight hair, or at least wavy. But my hair is really curly and has a lot of volume, so for me it's impossible to style it this way (or any other way) haha

    Maria x

  • Julie Claveau

    i didn't even think you could curl your hair using a flat iron. good to know! i might give it a shot. it looks simple enough… not to mention sexy. :)

  • lou

    Your hair looks amazing like that!

    Ps: i'm doing a fashion-related survey for my dissertation, 5 mins, much much help ♥

  • thesuckerforfashion

    Hi there Dana!
    I couldn't get your email to work so instead I'll have to write you here and see if you can help me out!
    – First I'd like to just tell you that I am a huge admirer of your work! You are so incredibly talented and I really have great respect for everything you do, now that I know how tricky various CSS and html codes can be!
    I'm currently fumbling with my own layout a bit and I was wondering if you could help me out with something! It is about the width of the text in all my blog posts.

    Here: you can see that the text doesn't really align with the width of the picture. I want the text to go to where the red lines are. Is there an easy way to, automatically, align the text with my pictures? or just the width of my pictures? I've searched EVERYWHERE to try and find out how to do this but nothing seems to work. I've tried finding the #main-wrapper in my blogger template but there is no such thing :O
    If you have the time to read and answer this message, please write back in an email or a comment on my blog or something! It would really help me out a lot! ^_^

    Have a lovely day,
    Maria x

  • BittenGlam

    That looks so easy to do. Even easier than using my curling iron. And it looks so pretty too! I should invest in a flat iron.

    Carol | Bitten Glam

  • Farah Zeezo

    Looks great! I also love your makeup :)

  • Anna @ IHOD

    Dana, gorgeous waves! I love this easy tutorial:)

  • Angela

    I'm going to have to try to follow it carefully because I've tried curling with a flat iron before and it never goes well! It either ends up straight or with a few kinks. I also have super flat, straight hair and it is (as far as I know) impossible to curl. So many dances in high school where I curled just to get to the picture and it looked awful, haha. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Amaris

    I can never use a curling iron to curl my hair, but a flat iron works wonders for me :)

  • Kael Ccs

    I must try this once my hair got longer! :)

    Life's A Beach

  • Hannah Bee

    This look is SO beautiful, BUT! There is an easier way to get volume into your hair! I know how you feel because my hair is naturally fine/thin, and any time I blow it dry while brushing it it just loses ALL volume and looks like it was plastered to my head, seriously. But recently I've discovered that if I only dry it about 80% of the way with my fingers, and then french twist it around a headband before bed, I wake up with beautful voluminous curls! And of course a little mousse at the roots helps. You can find a tutorial on youtube by searching no heat hair waves, good luck!

  • Deanna Martinez

    A lot of people have been doing this, lately. I actually first saw this technique in a hair salon and my first reaction was… "What is she… doing…?" Haha it's nice to see that more people are doing this now!

    Catching Stars

  • Life’s a shoe

    what a great post! this is such a gorgeous hairstyle!

  • Michelle

    I attempted this on the weekend but it didnt curl as much as yours. I got a bit confused about which way to twist it – do you think it matters if you twist one way or another? Anyways your hair looks gorgeous, great job :)

    • dana @ wonder forest

      You should curl it under, then flip the flat iron vertically and pull down on the ends as you release.

  • Chloee

    this looks so lovely
    and easy

  • Jasmine Brink-Li

    perfect! I've been wanting to try my flat iron out for curling 😀

  • Jemma x
  • Karo

    great, thnx for the tips, imma try that with my karmin g3. 😀