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How to Use a Curling Iron on Short Hair, Part 1

Learn to curl short hair with a curling iron using the tonging technique from Joy La Rosa in this Howcast hair tutorial, part 1 of a 2-part series.


I'm going to show you today how to curl short hair using a curling iron. It's one of the biggest trends right now is kind of a shorter style with a little bit more wave or texture. We do see styles moving from being so straight and so sleek, as far as short hair is concerned, moving into a more tousled or curled way.

With my model today, in her haircut she actually has lots of layers. So I'm going to style it kind of a softer, more wave. And one thing we notice a lot in these styles is it is smoother from the root, kind of, down. We don't start see the waves come till kind of midway down, which is great for short hair because it's always hard to curl the top and not look like it's too curled.

So what we're going to do, because she has these layers, is I'm going to section her hair off into two sections. If you had a haircut that was more one length, then you would just take big sections straight out to the side. So you would do the same thing I'm about to do to this first section, only you would do it to the whole section.

So I'm just going to take a top section here. The top of her ear is about right here, so it's a pretty big section. And I'm going to curl them moving straight out from the head. I think a lot of times with curls, our instinct is to always curl under. So we're doing the exact opposite. We're keeping it straight out, and then we're going to curl it.

There's a couple of different techniques you could do. For her hair, what I'd really like to do is a tonging technique. So what you're going to do is you're going to take your curling iron, and you're going to point it straight down. And you are just going to wrap the hair around your curling iron, holding the end in your hand. Hold it a couple of seconds, and then release it. And you get just a very soft little curl. I'll show you that again.

Again, take a pretty long section. Pull it straight out from the head. Point your curling iron down, and then wrap. This is such a great technique for shorter hair, because you have to do so many little sections, and it's a little bit easier, I think, to curl your hair, tonging it, with the short hair.

So I'm going to continue doing that all the way around to probably the middle of the back of the head. All the sections that I've done so far have been curled away from her face, and I'll continue to do the same thing on the other side.

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