How to Create Spiral Curls With a Curling Iron

You don't need to visit a salon to style your hair in perfect spiral curls. Whether your hair is naturally curly, wavy or straight, you can achieve the look at home using a curling iron and practicing a few techniques. Curly hair is the easiest to style, while straight hair takes more time and practice. Wear spiral curls for a casual look or add polish to an elegant style for formal occasions.

The back of a young woman's head with spiral curls. (Image: tatianatatiana/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Wash your hair and comb it to eliminate tangles.

Step 2

Apply styling gel to your damp hair. Begin at the roots and smooth the gel to the ends of the hair.

Step 3

Dry your hair completely with a hairdryer. Use a diffuser attachment for curly hair.

Step 4

Place most of your hair in a ponytail, but leave the bottom layer loose and free.

Step 5

Take a piece of free hair, approximately 1 to 2 inches in width, and place the end in the curling iron clamp. Twist the curling iron around the hair until the whole strand of hair wraps around the outside barrel of the curling iron, over the clamp itself.

Step 6

Hold the curling iron vertically for about 30 seconds. Straight hair or difficult-to-curl hair may require additional time.

Step 7

Release the hair from around the curling iron and continue to hold the iron vertically. Allow the curl to fall away from the curling iron.

Step 8

Spray the spiral curl lightly with hairspray. Gather the curl and pin it to your scalp with a hairpin. Put the hairpin through the center of the curl to avoid crushing it.

Step 9

Repeat the process until all of your loose hair is curled, then release more hair from the ponytail. Repeat curling and pinning all of your hair.

Step 10

Apply hairspray lightly all over your head to set the curls.

Step 11

Wait an hour before removing the pins, then allow the curls to bounce free. Do not brush or comb the curls. Arrange them with your fingers.

Things You'll Need

  • Comb

  • Styling gel

  • Hairdryer

  • Curling iron

  • Hairpins

  • Hairspray


The smaller the barrel of the curling iron, the tighter the spirals.

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