How to curl your hair using a hair straightener
While it might seem counterintuitive, Celebrity Stylists Larry King, Kellon Deryck, and Jen Atkin have been using a hair straightener to curl hair for years.
A Global Hair Care Study conducted by Dyson in 2017, found that only 18 per cent or fewer of the participants that styled their hair in curls used a hair straightener to do so¹. Half a decade on and thousands of tutorial videos later, more and more owners appear to be embracing its multi-purpose abilities.
Even if you’re late to the party, you don’t have to be a stylist to master the art of curling with a straightener or to understand the benefits of investing in the right hair care technology. Whether you’re after soft, bouncy waves or relaxed, flowing curls, Dyson’s Global Style Ambassadors are here to share their expert advice.
A five-step guide to curling hair with a hair straightener
1. Prepare your canvas
When it comes to curling hair, the drying and styling process combined takes the majority of men and women between 11-30 minutes¹. While the initial effort might add time, “to truly lock in a great style, it’s important to invest in your prep. Lasting style is all about what you do before you do the do”, says TT Hart, Dyson GB Lead Stylist. To keep your curls and waves from dropping, add a generous amount of volumizing spray or mousse to damp or towel dried hair before blow-drying using a hair dryer with a Gentle air attachment.
2. Set the temperature
Heat is the key ingredient for styling hair, so it’s important to identify your hair type and set the temperature of your hair straightener accordingly, explains Celebrity Stylist, Larry King. “As stylists, we work with lots of different clients with many different hair types, and the temperature of the plates is really important to create that perfect style.”
A hair straightener that offers multiple, precise heat settings will allow you to tailor the temperature to not just your hair type, but the desired style too. For thick, coarse hair with a natural curl, set the temperature to 210˚C – the highest setting of the Dyson Corrale™ hair straightener. If you have Type 1 hair, which is typically finer or flatter, a lower temperature of 185˚C should suffice for curling. Whatever heat setting you opt for, intelligent heat control as found in the Dyson Corrale™, regulates temperature 100 times per second to ensure your selected temperature isn’t exceeded.
3. Opt for cordless versatility
Following Dyson’s Global Haircare Survey, most participants did not describe loose curls as an easy style to create². Whether your biggest obstacle is manoeuvring the straightener to create nicely defined curls or being able to style those hard-to-reach places like the back of the hair, a hair straightener with cordless versatility can really enable that free movement.
Celebrity Stylist, Kellon Deryk agrees, insisting that “not being tethered to a wall while on set is a life saver” and the optional cord-free mode is just one of the many reasons he uses the Dyson Corrale™. Cordless versatility is not just important to stylists who aren’t typically the ones attempting to create challenging styles on their own at home. According to the 2020 Corrale US Owner Study, the cordless design was the second most popular reason for purchase among Dyson Corrale™ owners³.
4. Work in sections
No matter what size curls or waves you’re hoping to create, working with smaller sections of hair at a time is only going to make the job more manageable. “Many are guilty of not sectioning the hair before styling in an effort to save time. However, this can be inefficient and also compromise the end style,” reveals Dyson Global Styling Ambassador, Guo Zijing.
Throughout the curling process, experiment with section size to see what works best for your hair type and helps create the look you’re trying to achieve. For thick, coarse or curly hair, try taking smaller sections, and for finer hair, try larger sections. In any case, the smaller the section, the tighter the curls will be.
Sectioning hair is also important for creating texture. To create a more natural and textured look with varied curls, Larry King suggests alternating the direction of curls between sections. Rotate the straightener towards your face on the sections between the front of the face and ear, and then in the opposite direction for the back sections of the hair.
5. Enjoy enhanced styling with half the damage
It’s no secret that regular use of heated styling technology leaves your hair more susceptible to heat damage. “I stake my reputation on caring for my client’s hair”, says Celebrity Stylist, Jen Atkins who uses the Dyson Corrale™ to create the same style at lower temperatures, resulting in less damage⁴.
Where hair straighteners are concerned, three in five British women with thick hair admit to leaving their straightener in much longer than they should to get the look they desire⁵. Unlike conventional flat iron straighteners with solid plates, a hair straightener with flexing plates that shape to gather hair reduces the need to do multiple passes on the same section of hair. The Dyson Corrale™ was engineered with manganese copper alloy plates that apply even heat and tension to hair strands in every pass, offering more control for enhanced styling while protecting against hair breakage⁴.
Tips and tricks for locking in style
Using a hair straightener is a good way to achieve a relaxed, beach wave look, explains Jen. Gather the hair at the top and then turn inwards, pull down and turn outwards, then pull down before releasing it. Continue with slow, even passes repeating throughout the hair.
For softer curls resulting in a more glamourous look, start at the top of a strand of hair and rotate the Corrale 360 degrees. Then slowly glide through the hair. Continue this throughout the hair. When approaching each curl, Larry suggests using the Dyson logo as a guide for the 360 degree turn, before gently gliding the straightener down through the hair. To further enhance each curl when released, “just twist it with your finger”.
With the right technology and technique, you don’t need to apply much pressure, nor should you need to spend time repeatedly attempting that same curl. “Instead of going through multiple passes on the same section of hair, just go through once in a slow and steady pace,” advises Kellon.
Try these curly and wavy styles at home
How to create beach waves with a hair straightener
How to C curl with a hair straightener
How to create true curls with a hair straightener
How to create soft waves with a hair straightener
¹ Dyson's Global Hair Care Study, 2017
² Dyson's Global Haircare Survey, 2017
³ Corrale Owner Study, 2020, US
⁴ Thermal damage measured by hair strength, when creating an equivalent hair style. Tested on Corrale with flexing plates vs Corrale with solid plates.
⁵ Straightener and hair appliance market insights, 2017, Great Britain
For voluminous blow-outs or smooth and straight styles, the key lies with the right hair dryer brush. Pair a paddle brush or round brush with your Dyson Supersonic hair dryer for carefree styling with no extreme heat.