When you think of those luscious, bouncy curls that celebrities sport on the red carpet, there’s a good chance they’ve been crafted using a classic tool: a curling iron with a clamp. But if you’ve ever held one in your hands and wondered how to achieve those same red-carpet curls, you’re not alone. The key phrase on every beauty enthusiast’s lips is: “how to use a curling iron with a clamp.” So, let’s break it down step-by-step.

Quick Curling Iron Tips

There are many quick curling Iron tips that will make hair curling easier and more creative. Everything from alternating the curls, to elongating them, to placing the iron in the right place… Down below I’m going to dive into a few tips using an iron with a clamp. Plus I do have an article(s) with many of these tips and more.

Also see which type of curling iron is the best.

BTW here is the Short Curling Iron mentioned in the graphic.

Why Use a Clamp?

Before we dive into the ‘how,’ let’s address the ‘why.’ A curling iron with a clamp offers a level of control that wand-style irons might not. The clamp holds the hair in place, ensuring an even heat distribution and a smoother curling process. It also allows for various curl styles, from tight ringlets to flowing beach waves.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Use a Curling Iron with a Clamp

  1. Preparation is Key:
    • Dry and Detangled: For optimal results, ensure your hair is fully dry and free from tangles. This will prevent any unnecessary damage and create smoother curls.
    • Protection First: Before applying direct heat to your hair, spray a heat protectant evenly. Research has shown that this protects the hair cuticles, reducing the risk of damage and breakage.
    • Section it Out: Divide your hair into sections, usually starting from the bottom and working your way up. The thickness and volume of your hair will determine how many sections you need.
  2. Choose the Right Temperature:
    • Different hair types require different heat settings. Thin or fine hair typically needs a lower setting, while coarse or thick hair might require higher heat. Always start at a lower temperature and increase as needed to prevent overheating.
  3. The Curling Process:
    • Positioning: Hold the curling iron vertically with the clamp facing forward. This position offers the best angle for wrapping your hair around the barrel.
    • Clamping: Place a small section of your hair between the clamp and the iron, starting near the end of the hair (starting point matters for different types of hair and different types of curls). Ensure that the ends are secured beneath the clamp.
    • Twist and Turn: Gently rotate the curling iron away from your face (or toward the face its your preference) until you are at the root.
    • Release: After holding for a few seconds (usually 5-10, depending on hair type and desired curl tightness), release the clamp and gently slide the iron out.
  4. Repeat and Set:
    • Follow the above process for each hair section, ensuring consistent curl direction for a polished look.
    • Once all sections are curled, let them cool to set. If do not let the hair curls set the curls shape will be deformed or more loose. For added hold and definition, consider using a light-hold hairspray.

Video Tutorial

Tips for Perfect Curls Using a Curling Iron with a Clamp:

  • Avoid Overcrowding: Using smaller hair sections will ensure even heat distribution and better-formed curls that will last longer.
  • Avoid damaging the hair: Overcrowding the hair or taking big sections of hair increases the risk of heat damage. The more layers on the iron, the more heat is needed to style the hair. This means that the layer that is touching the hot iron has a much higher risk of damage. Please use smaller section to distribute heat evenly avoiding heat damage.
  • Variety is the Spice of Life: For a more natural look, alternate the curl direction between sections.
  • Maintenance: Keep your curling iron clean by wiping it down after each use. Buildup from hair products can affect its performance and potentially damage your hair. Oils can heat up parts of the iron.

How to Use a Curling Iron on Long Hair

Long hair can sometimes be a challenge when it comes to using a curling iron with a clamp, but with the right technique, you can achieve beautiful, cascading curls.

  1. Midway Clamping: Due to the length of the hair, starting at the very ends can be impractical. Instead, clamp your hair midway down its length. This allows the top portion of the hair to be curled first. Wait for 5-10 second. Slightly unclamp the hair and glide the iron down to the ends and curls the lower section of hair.
  2. Sectioning is Vital: Longer hair means more volume. Sectioning becomes even more critical. Divide the hair into more sections, ensuring that you’re curling manageable amounts at a time. This ensures even heat distribution and prevents the hair from becoming tangled in the iron, and it prevent risk of heat damage.
  3. Time Matters: With more hair to work on, you might need to hold the curling iron a bit longer than you would for shorter hair lengths. However, always be cautious not to overexpose your hair to heat. Using midway clamping technique will help. Also, you don’t need to go all the way up to the roots which will create a gradient effect..

How to Use a Curling Iron on Short Hair

Short hair presents its own unique set of challenges and advantages when using a curling iron with a clamp. The hair is not as heavy, it can be styled quicker, but it’s harder to use most of the hair tools. Here are a few tips to help you learn How to Use a Curling Iron on Short Hair.

Close to the Root: Unlike long hair, you can start closer to the ends when curling short hair. If you want volume and lift, especially at the crown, curl all the way up to the roots.

Right Hold: Since the hair might be too short, you might want to hold the iron horizontally instead of vertically to get closer to the hair roots.

Choose a shorter iron: If your hair is too short you might want to try shorter curling irons – there are a few on the market.

Choose a Smaller Barrel: Short hair means less space for large curls to form. Consider using a curling iron with a smaller barrel to achieve more defined and structured curls.

Directional Variety: To give short hair a fuller, more textured appearance, alternate the direction of your curls. Curl one section away from the face, and the next section towards the face.

Light Styling Products: After curling, use light styling products to define and hold the curls without weighing the hair down.

Final Thoughts

Mastering “how to use a curling iron with a clamp” can initially seem daunting. However, with practice and patience, it becomes an easy and efficient way to achieve those dreamy curls. Remember always to prioritize the health of your hair, invest in good-quality tools, and practice, practice, practice!

With these steps in mind, you’re well on your way to becoming a curling pro. Embrace the beauty of curly hairstyles and enjoy the versatility that a curling iron with a clamp brings to your beauty arsenal.

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