7 Curling Iron Tricks To Master Now

Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
In the world of hot tools, the flat iron has always seemed like the workhorse of the bunch. Thanks to Pinterest, we're now privy to a million and one styles that we can craft with it — everything from beach waves to cute crimps. Our curling irons, on the other hand, stay tucked away under our sinks, only to be pulled out when we want, well, curls.
But, it turns out we've been all wrong about our curling irons' capabilities. The barrels of these tools can create a multitude of different styles — you just have to know how to use 'em. Ahead, find seven types of styles you can achieve with a curling iron, plus the specific gadgets that work best for each. It's time to give your flat friend a break and see what this bad boy can do.
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Photo: Nick Harvey/Rex/REX USA.
Victoria's Secret Curls
Those big, bodacious waves the ladies of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show are known for are beyond easy to whip up. Edward Tricomi, cofounder of the Warren Tricomi salons, says the trick to mastering them is all about how you section your hair.
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"Divide your hair into four sections, one on either side, and then two down the back of your head, on top of each other," Tricomi says. Then, place the iron at the bottom of your hair and curl upward, section by section. Pin each section at the top, and allow your hair to cool. Once your entire set is no longer warm, let down your strands and shake. You'll have huge, blended waves that are big on volume.

Tricomi suggests a 1.5-inch curling iron with a clip, like this one from Hot Tools, for maximum oomph. The clip will ensure your curls stay neat, making it easy to pin them into place.

Hot Tools Gold Curling Iron with 1.5 Inch Barrel, $29.99, available at Ulta.
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Photo: David Fisher/Rex/REX USA.
Cool-Girl Waves
Who says short-haired ladies can't rock curls? For Emma Stone's pretty Golden Globes style, celebrity stylist Mara Roszak went for an undone look. "The whole point of that hairstyle and look is that you don't want it to look too styled – ever," she says.
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Instead of a barrel, she went for this oblong wand from GHD. "It's shorter and wider, which makes it easier for you to wrap shorter hair around," Roszak says. "When you wrap your hair around it, it automatically gives it a less barrel-like shape, and more of a messy wave."

Aside from using the right tool, Roszak says that the trick to those #WokeUpLikeThis waves is to switch up the direction of the curls. "Curl a few pieces around the face, and then style a few toward the face," she says. "This gives it a more broken-up, kind of effortless look automatically."

GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand, $245, available at Sephora.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Undone Waves
To get the waves of Alexa Chung, you have to leave part of your style (shocker) undone. Roszak says the ends are the way to go: You'll easily get that couldn't-care-less look.
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The easiest way to leave out your ends? Reach for a curling wand. "Since there's no clip, and you don't want to burn your fingers, it automatically forces you to keep the ends of your hair out," Roszak says. "It gives you that piece-y, wavy look." For a less-than-perfect wave, she also suggests holding the wand vertically. "Start at the root, and wrap your hair down."

José Eber 19mm Clipless Curling Iron, $125, available at José Eber.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Smooth Curls
Sure, Gina Rodriguez's shiny, blown-out curls are gorgeous. But, if you aren't one for a blowout, followed by a tango with your curling iron, Tricomi has good news. "All you have to do is pull your hair into a ponytail," he says. Confused? Read on.
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Once your hair is dried and fairly straight, pull it into a ponytail on top of your head. "Divide the loose hair into four sections and curl, just like you did for the Victoria's Secret curls," Tricomi says. Pin the sections in a circle around the hair elastic. Once they're cooled, let them out, and then let your hair down. "It will give you those big, effortless waves that everyone loves," he says. Try a one-inch curling wand for big-time waves like these.

Sultra The Bombshell 1 Inch Curling Wand, $130, available at Sephora.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Loose, Breezy Bends
So, you finished curling your entire head, and think you did pretty well. But, when you look in the mirror, your curls are a little too tight — nothing like the loose, easy waves on Taylor Swift here. Should you wait for them to fall limp or wet your head and start over? Neither, says Roszak.
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Grab a section of hair and place it into the clip of your curling iron, closer to the root. Drag the tool straight down the section. "This will help release the wave and break it up," says Roszak. For an even more undone look, don't do this to every curl. Leaving a few tight will make your style more natural.

T3 SinglePass Twirl 1.25" Curling Iron, $99, available at T3.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Next-Level Crimps
That's right: You can achieve your favorite middle-school hairstyle sans crimper. In fact, crimps created with a curling iron tend to look more cool-girl and less '80s throwback. Just ask Naya Rivera. Be warned: In our experience, the technique takes some practice.
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Take your first section of hair at the root, and then wrap it once away from your face. Move the curling iron down the hair, just below the indent you've created. Then, wrap it again in the opposite direction — toward the face. Repeat this process until you've reached the bottom. "It's definitely a little tricky and requires some practice," Roszak says. But, if you don't want to invest in a crimping iron, this may be a good option. She suggests a 1.5-inch curling iron for maximum hold.

Remington CI5238 Instant Curls 1.5 Inch Curling Iron, $13.24, available at Walmart.
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Photo: Evan Agostini/BEImages.
Baroque Curls
Tight, springy curls — like the ones Sarah Jessica Parker sported during her Carrie Bradshaw days — are totally within reach for those of us not naturally blessed with them. You just have to find the right tool and technique.
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"Don't be afraid of a smaller curling iron," Tricomi says. For these types of curls, he suggests wrapping the hair flat against the tool, not leaving any space between strands and iron. "Instead of untwisting the hair from the iron, just try pulling the iron from the hair," he instructs. "It will leave the tight coil intact."

Conair Infiniti Pro "You Curl" Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron, $24.99, available at Drugstore.com.
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