How to Use a Curling Wand

If you’re tired of the kinks and lines that using a curling iron with a clamp produce, try using a curling wand. These heat tools work to curl your hair without clipping it in place, creating smooth, full, spirals. There are several different looks you can do with a curling wand, from basic curls to tight ringlets.


EditSetting a Solid Foundation

  1. Brush out your hair. Always start with neat, tangle-free hair when using a curling wand. Use your regular brush or comb to gently tug out any tangles so your hair is smooth going into the process.[1]
    Use a Curling Wand Step 1 Version 8.jpg
    • If you use any products, like a leave-in conditioner, apply them while brushing out your hair.
  2. Pick your heat setting. Curling wands usually provide several different settings, ranging from high to low. For the most part, start with the lowest heat setting possible as this provides the least amount of damage to your hair. If you find your hair is not curling at the lowest setting, increase the heat gradually as you curl.[2]
    Use a Curling Wand Step 2 Version 9.jpg
    • It can take some trial and error to find the right heat setting for your hair, so be patient. As you get used to using your wand, you should find a heat setting that works for you.
  3. Use a heat protectant. Never apply any type of heat treatment to your hair without using a heat protectant first. You can purchase a heat protectant spray or gel at a salon or department store. Apply it to your hair according to instructions, working it in from your roots to your tips to ensure full protection.[3]
    • If you also tend to use hairsprays or styling gels when styling your hair, apply these as well.

EditDoing Basic Curls

  1. Section your hair. To do a basic set of curls, section your hair first. Use hair clips or hair ties to section your hair into four different sections There should be one in front, one in back, and two on the sides of your head.[4]
    • Make sure the sections are roughly equal.
  2. Curl your hair for three to four seconds. Un-clip your hair from one of the sections. It does not matter which section you start with. Take a strand of hair about an inch wide and hold your curling wand vertically at the side of your head. Starting with the tips, wrap your hair around the wand. Hold the hair for three to four seconds before releasing your hair from the wand. You should be left with a long, wavy curl.[5]
    • If the curl is tighter than you want, run your fingers through it to loosen it.
  3. Curl each section. Keep curling your the section you started with strand by strand until it’s fully curled. Repeat this with each section of hair until you have a full head of curls.[6]
  4. Mist your hair with a light amount of hairspray. Take the hairspray you regularly use. Give your hair a gentle misting. This should help your look stay in place throughout the day.[7]

EditDoing Beach Waves

  1. Mist on a setting spray. You can buy a setting spray at a salon or buy it online. Mist your hair with a light amount of setting spray before you begin the curling process. This will help your hair mold more easily.[8]
  2. Curl your hair away from the face. Start towards the front of your head. For messy beach waves, work strand by strand. Using strands of about an inch wide, wrap your hair around the curling wand starting at the roots and moving down to the ends. In the front, curl your hair away from your face.[9]
  3. Leave two inches on the ends uncurled. As you wrap your hair around the wand, stop about two inches from the tips of your hair. Leave these last two inches uncurled for a loose, beach-like wave.[10]
  4. Curl towards your face in the back. As you finish curling the hair in front of your face, shake things up a little when you reach the back of your head. To create a messy appearance, curl your hair towards your face. Other than the direction you’re curling, curl using the same process as earlier. Remember to leave the last two inches of your hair uncurled.[11]
  5. Finish off the look. Continue curling until you have a full set of beach waves. When you’re done, run your fingers through your hair to loosen the curls to your liking. Then, apply a light layer of hairspray to set the look.[12]

EditCreating Tight Curls

  1. Apply a leave-in conditioner. Before doing tight curls, apply a leave-in conditioner from the roots to the tips. This will help you mold your curls, encouraging them to stay tight.[13]
    Use a Curling Wand Step 13 Version 3.jpg
  2. Scrunch the ends of your hair with gel. Apply a styling hair gel to your hair, working it in from the roots to the tips. As you apply your gel, scrunch up the ends of your hair using your hands. This should result in your hair taking on a curly appearance.[14]
  3. Blow dry the roots of your hair. Take a blow dryer and gently blow dry the tips of your hair, messing them slightly with your fingers as you go. This will encourage further curling, creating the appearance of small, tight curls.[15]
  4. Brush out your bangs with a round brush and blow dryer. Take a round brush and wrap it around the roots of your bangs. Then, pull the brush through your hair. As you pull the brush through, place your blow dryer just below your bangs. This will create a slight curved shape. Brush your bangs to either side, creating a part in the middle of your bangs.[16]
    • Keep in mind, if you have smaller bangs, this particular look may not work for you. Longer side bangs tend to work better here.
  5. Curl your bangs with your wand. Wrap your bangs around the curling wand, starting at the root. Hold your bangs for a few seconds and then release them. You should notice a slight curl forming.[17]
  6. Curl the tips of your hair. Examine the tips of your hair. If you notice any of your ends lack the nice, tight curl you want, wrap the ends around the curling wand. Hold for a few seconds and then release your hair. This should create tighter, firmer curls. Add curls throughout the tips of your hair to create a nice, tight look.[18]
  7. Set your look with hairspray. Take some hairspray and mist it gently over your hair. This will set your look for the day, keeping your tightly wound curls intact.[19]



  • Do not curl your hair when it is damp. That will damage it and it won’t curl right.


  • Using a curling wand every day can take its toll on your poor locks. Try not to make curling your hair an essential part of your routine. You may only want to curl your hair for nights out or a few times a week.

EditThings You’ll Need

  • Curling Wand
  • Hair Spray
  • Mousse (optional)
  • Curling Glove (optional)
  • Hair Heat Protectant or Leave-In Conditioner
  • Brush/Comb

EditRelated wikiHows

EditSources and Citations

Cite error: tags exist, but no tag was found

Posted in How

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *