Get Loose and Luscious Waves with a Curling Iron


(Top by Free People.)

Several of you have asked me to show you how to style your hair with soft, loose waves, so today I’ll show you how to get the look.

My hair is naturally wavy – or, more specifically, it’s curly underneath, in the lowest layers, but the topmost layers at my crown are almost completely straight – so going au naturel is not a great look for me (unless I’m at the beach or on vacation in which case, it probably still looks bad; I just don’t care.)

Over the years, after trying 1,000 products that promised to turn my “neither straight, nor curly” hair into something beautiful, I finally gave up on finding a prettier version of my waves in a bottle. Instead, I found it in a curling iron.

Watch this video to see how it’s done or skip ahead to a step-by-step guide to getting luscious waves with a curling iron:

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What You’ll Need: A one inch diameter curling iron like this one from Hot Tools and a basic jaw-style clip. (NOTE: If your hair is well past shoulder length, you can experiment with 1-1/4 inch curling iron or 1-1/2 inch curling iron for a slightly looser curl.)

Step One: Start with clean (cleanish is okay, too), dry hair. I’m obsessed with Color WOW Coconut Cocktail Bionic Tonic, which bonds to the hair and lubricates each strand for smooth, silky texture. Best of all, heat styling actually amplifies the outcomes, so I don’t have to worry about damaging my hair. This stuff is so fabulous. I definitely recommend giving this a try. (Hint, hint: I may or may not be giving away a bottle on Instagram this week….)


Step Two: Section off the hair, starting at the hair at the base, nearest to your neck. (I curl four total sections: one at the base, two in the middle, and one at the crown on either side of my part.) Curl one inch locks of hair by wrapping the hair around the barrel of the curling iron and holding the hair in place for 10-20 seconds, depending on how tight you want the curl to be. Alternate the direction of the curls, first clockwise, then counter-clockwise, so that the curls aren’t all turning in the same direction. This will give you a more natural look.

Repeat this step on each horizontal section of hair until you reach the final section of hair at the crown.

Step Three: The final section should be about two inches wide – roughly one inch on either side of your part. Take this section out of the clip and allow it to fall along your natural part line. Start by curling the hair at the back of the part, closest to the crown, then curl the sections on either side of your part, being sure to alternate the direction of each curl. I like to curl these sections more loosely than the others in order to give it the most natural-looking wave.


Step Four: For a tousled, effortless look, shake the curls out with your fingers. If you want a more polished, elegant look, brush the curls gently with a paddle brush.

That’s it! It’s surprisingly easy and only take 10-15 minutes.

Thanks for reading Present Perfect and be sure to watch my Instagram feed this week to get your FREE bottle of Color WOW hair tonic.


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