Knowing how to curl long hair isn’t difficult if you know the basics. First of all, you have to start fresh and wash off any hairspray, gel, mousse or other hair styling products from your hair. Curling unclean hair will only make it dry, limp, and sticky later on.
Use a shampoo that labels itself as “clarifying” to remove unwanted particles that have built up over time in your hair. Rinse your hair thoroughly after shampooing and apply a moisturizing conditioner to add not only moisture to your hair but also to replenish lost nutrients and vitamins.
Use Styling Products and Detangle Hair
Hair styling products typically soften or condition long hair strands further, but remember not to go overboard and put too much of these products in your hair. Excessive amounts can actually weigh down your hair and also increase the amount of time for your hair to dry.
The best way to curl long hair is to detangle it first. Removing all the tangles, and even the knots, before curling your hair will produce shapelier and smoother curls from your curling iron later on. Using wide teeth-combs to detangle hair will prevent frizzy hair and strand breakage.
The Process of Curling Long Hair
Start with hair that has been dried completely. Curling irons should never be used on partially dry or wet hair. That’s because curling wet hair will take a longer period of time to complete as well increase the risk of damage to your hair by the additional heat. Set your blow dryer between low and medium setting and dry each section thoroughly before you move on to another section.
You have to start backwards when curling your hair, not forward, by sectioning your hair at the back of your head. Get small pieces of your long hair when sectioning and start rolling it from its tip to wrap around the curling iron’s barrel until it’s close to your scalp.
Wait between eight and ten seconds for the heat to curl your hair and then release the curl gently as you open the curling iron’s barrel; slide your hair slowly away from it.
Styling Your Hair
When your curls are loosened, let them remain untouched between 15 and 20 minutes before you start styling your hair. The “rest period” gives your curls the chance to cool down as well as hold their shape. Spray a mist lightly over your curls with a mild hairspray.
Wait for it to settle for a few seconds and then comb through curls with your fingers. Why not use a comb or brush through your curls? Doing this will make your curls very puffy and extremely frizzy. Instead of neat-looking curls, you will have a head of messy curls that look unkempt.
Get a Curling Iron with Several Settings
Knowing how to curl long hair with curling iron tools is important. A good curling iron will have several settings for heat temperatures. If your hair is normal to thin, a curling iron that has a temperature range of between 280°F and 300°F will be suitable. Coarse long hair needs a higher setting by as much as 400°F for ideal curls.
Curling irons can create excellent curls; when they are used improperly, however, your hair can cause burns on your scalp, fingers, and hands and do damage to your hair. Choose the right type of curling iron to get the kind of curls that your want. Long hair would require top rated curling irons with high performance ratings. Here are some tips on how to choose curling irons for long hair:
Sizes of Curling Irons
- Springy and small curls: Curling irons with a .75 size barrels do the job for these kinds of curls and are especially recommended to give an illusion of full volume for fine or short hair.
- Natural and basic curls: Get a curling iron with a barrel which measures just an inch or 1½ inches. This type of curling iron can give your hair just the right amount of heat between medium to moderately high for curls that are just a little on the wavy side.
- Voluminous curls: If you want cascading waves short of a beauty pageant contestant’s, a curling iron with a barrel measuring between 1.5 and two inches would work best for you.
The Effects of Curling Irons on Your Hair
Curling irons are made from different kinds of materials such as metal plates, ceramic, and tourmaline ceramic and can have different effects on your hair:
- Metal plates: Some curling irons are plated with metal which can actually “fry” your hair because of the excessive amount of generated heat from the positive ions it emits. Frequent use of curling irons that are metal plated will leave your hair brittle, dry, and split.
- Ceramic: This type produces a more controlled heat and is usually gentler on hair. Ceramic produces radiant heat from their negative ions temperatures rise. Ceramic is able to trap moisture by sealing your hair shaft against the curling iron’s excessive heat.
- Tourmaline ceramic: This is the best kind of material for curling irons. Tourmaline is actually a gemstone and its crystals are infused into ceramic to emit far levels of infrared heat constantly. Tourmaline produces negative ions naturally and balances ionic charge to prevent static electricity.
Other Features to Watch Out For
Be on the lookout for other features that go with quality curling irons such as:
- Specialized swivel cord, handle or rolling barrel: these may be considered “extra” in some curling irons but in a top notch curling iron, these features are part and parcel of the product itself.
- Quick heat up: this feature is probably less important for those who have enough time to spend curling their hair, but if you, like so many others, have tight schedules, curling irons which heat up quickly to save time are your best choices.
Highly Recommended Curling Irons
1. Conair’s Infiniti Professional Nano Tourmaline Ceramic 1¼” Curling Iron
The majority of the 480 customers who reviewed this curling iron had nothing except praises for it. Its cutting edge technology uses tourmaline ceramic material not only to emit negative ions naturally to give hair healthy-looking curls sans the frizz but provides a smooth surface for your hair to glide on.
Here are its highly-rated features:
- High heat temperature of up to 395°F for faster and quicker curling time.
- Instant heat up capacity in 30 seconds (that’s half a minute).
- The infrared energy emitted by this curling iron gives your hair not only longer-lasting curls but luster as well.
- With an aesthetical look.
- The degree of heat is monitored efficiently by LED settings to maintain your desired temperature throughout the hair curling process.
- With automatic shut off mechanism as a safety precaution measure.
- Comes with a protective shield against heat for easy and safe storage after use.
- Tangle-free swivel cord gives you flexibility to curl your hair while sitting down or standing up.
- Comes with a five year limited warranty.
- No burnt fingers with its protective covered tip.
- Very affordable price.
- Has an easy but firm grip.
2. Remington Curl Perfect Style Solutions Curling Iron
If you want to create curls for your long hair effortlessly, the Remington Curl Perfect Style Solutions Curling Iron is perfect for you. This particular Remington model has “special” curl “guides” that are positioned strategically at half an inch over its barrel to ensure that hair is directly set on it. This unique feature gives a smooth, spiral shape to each curl that you can create easily.
Here are some of its innovative features:
- Barrel is made from high grade ceramic material.
- Comes with a two year warranty.
- Heat is evenly distributed.
- No hot spots from excessive heat that can cause damage to hair cuticles.
- High heat temperature of 340°F.
- Exclusive hair curling “guides” your long hair to achieve perfect curls all the time.
- Variable settings for heat temperature.
- No snagging of hair.
- Hair will not “fry.”
- No need for multiple passes to create set longer-lasting curls.
- With a quick heat up mechanism of 30 seconds.
- Leaves no crease marks in curls.
- Simple to use: just clip it in your hair’s end and twist.
- Hair is protected from excessive by the ceramic barrel while being curled.
Remember the Basics
There is no “perfect” curling iron and even those we recommended may have a few disadvantages to them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get curls worthy of second glances or long stares.
If you have long hair, it will be more challenging to have a curling iron that can give you curls which look like they were created at a salon by a professional hairstylist. Just remember the basics when looking for the best curling iron for long hair namely: materials, size, heat settings and price. Other features are just “extras” but if you find a curling iron that has them and they fall within your budget, it won’t hurt to buy it.