Beauty/ Recent

How I curl my hair! (with a video tutorial!)

I’ll teach you how to curl your hair with a curling iron in 10 minutes. This video tutorial shows you how and what products I use so my curls last all day (or multiple days)! A curling iron is easier than a flat iron and you don’t have to spend a ton of money to find a good one.

The vast majority of days I curl my hair, rather than leaving it straight or smoothing it out with a straightener. I feel more polished and my hair is more comfortable during the day with some curl to it since it stays out my face more easily! Another benefit of taking a few minutes to curl it is that it looks cuter if I pull it back in a pony tail during the day, and if I lift weights, I can just do a low bun and it still looks fine post-workout or even on day two. (But if I do cardio, I have to wash my hair – I get too sweaty!)

I’ve attempted to curl my hair with a flat iron and it’s just a total disaster. But I find it super easy to use a curling iron so I stick with that method. Plus, it gives a more polished look vs. beachy waves, which I generally prefer. After all, we all want Victoria Secret Angel curls, right?

How to use a curling iron

There are two videos – one with short hair and one with medium length or longer hair. I use the same method no matter how long my hair is – the only thing that changes is the size of the curling iron.

For longer hair, I use a 1.25″ barrel. For shoulder length or shorter, I use a 1″ barrel. Barrel size really makes a difference with each hair type!

How I curl my hair! (with a video tutorial!)

How to curl your hair with a curling iron Wavy hair video tutorial

How to curl your hair with a curling iron in 10 minutes!

You can see my IGTV video hair tutorial with a sped-up tutorial here.


My hair products

I show in the video a few products I use, and I also linked them below. Some of the hair products that I use have changed since I filmed the first video when my hair is shorter so the below list is the most current.

hair products - how to curl your hair with a curling iron

They’re listed in the order that I apply them. Hair care is everything.

Beautycounter Shampoo & Conditioner.

I use a tiny amount (Dime sized for shampoo. Nickel sized for conditioner) so my hair isn’t weighed down with too much product.

L’Oreal Series Expert Volumetry Root Spray

I spray on my roots before I dry it.

KMS THERMASHAPE Straightening Creme

This is a heat protectant that smooths hair and helps hold the curls. (It doesn’t straighten it, contrary to what the name implies!)

After applying the root spray and straightening cream,  I blow dry my hair and curl it. Then, I apply the following.

Kerastase volume in powder spray

I spray this at the roots and then use fingers to massage into hair to help lift at the roots

Innersense I Create Lift Volumizing Foam

I’ve been using this instead of the Keratase spray every few days and I’m LOVING it. I like alternating what I use to keep my hair feeling fresh.

Davines “This is a Dry Texturizer”

This texture spray adds a little bit of hold and separation to the curls (I don’t typically use a hairspray, so this is how I get more hold). It also smooths the end and cuts any frizz or wispys. If I’m out of the Dry Texturizer spray, I use Primally Pure Dry Shampoo.

  • Blowdryer.
    • UPDATE: My previous blowdryer died after using it for 4 years and I got the Dyson Hair Dryer and I LOVE IT. It dries my thick, long hair in 7 minutes! So if you’re looking to splurge, go that route. It would make a great gift too 😉
  • T3 Curling iron
    • I just upgraded to this one after the spring broke on my Hot Tools curling iron. I LOVE it and it holds my curls longer. And I also like the heat settings, and I feel like I’m protecting my hair better. I do not use a curling wand because I like the clamp! If you use a wand, wrap your hair but not at the ends. If you want tighter curls, wrap small sections of hair in each section. I’ve found that this curling iron helps me set the curl much better.
  • Alligator clips. I’ve since ordered these since filming to help pin up my hair as I do the layers and they’re great. I don’t need these as much when my hair is shorter but depending on my hair length, clipping it up is super helpful! When my hair starts getting super long, these are SO necessary.

A few pointers when curling your hair

I prefer curled hair with loose ends and curls not too close to the root, which is why I clasp it with the curling iron near the root and never curl from the bottom. There are lots of methods for curling hair, but this is my tried and trusted method.

You’ll notice how the ends of my hair stick out just a little after I wrap it around the barrel. That gives it a little more natural look by not tucking the ends into the iron.

Always twist your wrist to turn the barrel away from your face so it curls away, which helps open up the hair for a fresher look. When you’re curling the back, curl a few pieces in the alternate direction so they don’t all clump together.

I grab somewhat large sections of hair to make it go quickly and so it’s not overly curled (the more hair you use, the closer you’ll get to loose waves). Then, I go back and get pieces that are too straight and curl them separately. That also helps keep it natural-looking so all the curls aren’t exactly the same size and/or perfectly curled. I prefer looser curls, so that’s why I use large sections of hair.

After I curl, I let the curls sit for a few minutes to cool (usually I do my makeup at this point). Leave your hair alone while the curls are still warm – letting them cool while more tightly curled helps them hold longer. This helps make them bouncy curls.

I don’t brush it out. When I apply the Davines texturizer, I use my fingers at that point to break up the curls a bit. If you’re left with tight curls and want to loosen them, use a wide tooth comb to run through your hair. Over time, you should also see the curls fall a tad. 

Here are a few pics of how it looks finished!

How to curl medium length hair

a foodie stays fit hair curling tutorial


Beautycounter Countertime

My skincare and makeup routine are both listed in detail here.

beautycounter makeup

mid-length curly hair

How to curl short hair


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  • Reply

    I will definitely be trying this asap, thank you so much for sharing! your hair always looks great! 🙂

  • Reply

    Thanks!!! I think my problem has been clamping at the bottom. Also, you mention a paddle brush, I can’t find a good one. Which do you use? My hair was just like yours, straight (and mine’s fine, not sure if yours is) until a few years ago, and now it’s curly – I’m 46 so I’m guessing hormones are playing a part???? I’ve been looking for a good paddle brush since my hair went through “the change”, lol – it’s going through before I do apparently 🙂

    • Reply

      Oh, and have you tried Pureology? I really like their hydrating shampoo and conditioner.

  • Reply

    Cute video! My hair is wavy and can definitely be on the frizzy side so if I just did a rough blow dry my hair would be a crazy mess lol. In fact my biggest curling challenge is to make it look sleek and not frizzly. Sometimes if I curl my hair on day 2, I get a nicer result since the hair is a little more oily and less frizzy. Also my hair is thick and long so it definitely takes me more than 10 minutes! This makes me want to curl my hair tomorrow 😀

  • Reply

    This is very similar to how I curl my hair too. 🙂 I love my Hot Tools curling iron and swear by it! You should try the Colorproof shampoo and conditioner!

  • Reply
    Kelley Cox

    Love the video! Does your curling iron have different heat settings? If so, what temp do you use?

  • Reply

    Love the video! I’m going to try this today! And thanks for linking all the products!

  • Reply

    Thanks so much for the video! You make it look so easy and it really was with your tips. Just finished curling my hair and love how it turned out 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Courtney McNaught

    You are the CUTEST!! This makes me miss you, and makes me want to curl my hair (haven’t in like a year, so that’s saying something).

  • Reply

    Hi! Your post says you use a 1.25 barrel curling iron but your link goes to a 1.5 barrel. Can you tell me which one is right so I can be sure to get the same one? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      Hi! When my hair is short, I use a 1.25″ barrel. When it’s very long , I use a 1.5″. The 1.25″ works when it’s long as well but if you want looser curls, go for the larger one!

  • Reply

    Amazing tutorial!! I have short hair that led me to just give up in curling it but now I’ve seen your tutorial I think I can do it now! Btw anyone told you you have some resemblance of Kristen Bell? 🙂

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Alyssa | wayward

    This is more or less how I curl my hair too! Almost every stylist recommends that I alternate directions when I curl my hair, but I prefer to just curl away from my face (I think that also has to do with my texture – it’s on the silkier side and my curls tend to crash together). Glad I’m not the only one breaking the rules!

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