How To Use A Curling Wand If Your Hair Is Already Curly

Because too many tutorials start with straightening your hair, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Publish date:
December 18, 2014
curly hair, styling curly hair, curling wands, ghd, naturally curly hair

I never, ever heat-style my hair. Since I first embraced my curls in college, I ditched all the hot tools and let the curls fly. For the past five years I've only used heat three or four times a year, when I get my hair cut. And my wedding. I made an exception for my wedding. But other than that, no heat ever, until now.

When I went naturally curly I associated heat tools with impossible beauty standards and self-loathing. My awesome loops and waves became part of my identity and I didn’t want to flatten them out. And even if I wanted to style my hair curly, all the tutorials seem to start with first straightening your hair to erase the natural curl to then put a sleeker, smoother curl in its place. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

So I love my curls, I really do. But when the temperature drops, my hair starts to go limp and frizzy. I’ve been searching for a way to give my curly hair a little more oomph, especially with holiday shindigs that I want to look fancy for. In the process, I got to try out a heat styling tool that has totally changed my tune. Here’s how you can use a curling wand to enhance the curls you already have, 'cause they’re awesome.

What You Will Need

  • Clips to section off your hair
  • A detangling brush (I used my trusty Tangle Teezer)
  • A curling wand that tapers toward the end

I used the GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand. Which, by the way, heats up in seconds, gives me really natural looking curls, and looks like a weapon out of a sci-fi dystopian future movie.


To achieve this look, you won’t be curling your whole head, just adding strategically placed chunks to enhance your natural curl pattern.

Start by dividing the hair into four sections.

I start with air-dried hair in its crazy, curly glory. Working from front to back, locate sections of hair that look a little flat or frizzy. For me, this is often the under layers of my hair, and in the back near my crown. I separate a chunk of my hair, and use my Tangle Teezer to remove any knots before I curl it.

Then I hold the wand vertically, with the tip pointing down, and wrap the section around the wand (as you do).

I alternate wrapping the sections in different directions, both away from my face and towards it, to mimic the natural variations in my curl pattern.

I move through my whole head, switching up the size of the sections I curl--anywhere from a quarter of inch to two inches, again to blend in better with the natural variance in my hair. When I come across a curl that’s already well formed, I leave it alone.

Using this technique, doing my whole head only takes me five to 10 minutes, compared to the 20 to 30 minutes it would take me to curl my whole head from blown-out hair. The best part: The curls are nothing like the barrel-shaped, prom-y curls of my youth. They look polished, but still effortless and totally “me.”

  • Curly girls: do you avoid heat-styling your hair?
  • What is your favorite way to style your curls for special events?
  • What's your current or HG curling wand?