We have all seen people who are not salon professionals with bouncy, beautiful curls. They claim that they used a flat iron to create them. It's hard to believe that someone who isn't a professional hairdresser can create curls with a flat iron. We wanted to put some truth to the claim that it really is possible for someone to create curls with a flat iron at home. We spoke with Richard BenBassett, a beauty industry veteran and flat iron aficionado from Exceon American Beauty Supply, the maker of Sedu and Solia flat irons, to explain if this is really true or just an urban beauty legend. BenBassett says that anyone can achieve that carefree curly look using a flat iron; all it takes is a little practice, patience, and the right tools.
BenBassett says the first step to creating a fantastic style with a flat iron is a good blowout. The hair is like a canvas, you must first have to have a smooth foundation to work with; it is essential for creating curls. A great blowout smoothes the cuticle of the hair, which creates an excellent base for creating long lasting curls that are frizz-free. BenBassett likes to use a Sedu Xti Ultrasilent Professional Ionic Hair Dryer because it utilizes tourmaline, a naturally found semi precious gemstone that takes on a negative charge when heated. These negative ions split large water droplets into smaller molecules that immediately evaporate, drying the hair quicker, sparing the cuticle from excessive heat exposure and locking in moisture and shine. Negative ions also smooth out and condition the cuticle on the outer layer, creating the perfect canvas to work with.
You will need to use a professional ceramic brush when you blow dry. A smooth style that is frizz free starts by using a quality ceramic brush. Ceramic smoothes down the hair's cuticle while you blow dry and makes it easier to style the hair afterwards. There is a vast array of ceramic brushes available. BenBassett likes to use ceramic brushes from Bio Ionic because they have a patented Natural Ion Complex molded right into the heat resistant bristles that provide natural ion therapy with every stroke.
Before you start styling, BenBassett recommends that the hair be coated with a thermal protectant to protect it from the high temperature of the iron. It will also add volume and shine. Protecting the hair from excessive heat is not only important; it can also add structure and support to the curls being created. BenBassett suggests using either Sedu Moisturizing Heat Protecting Boost or FHI Heat Hot Sauce; both are excellent products to eliminate heat damage and frizz.
The biggest thing to consider when choosing a flat iron is to bear in mind that irons today are versatile enough to create a variety of styles beyond just straightening. BenBassett says that when choosing a flat iron, it's always best to determine what the styling needs will be. If the user wants to create curls, an iron with curved edges is essential. Irons with curved edges will allow the hair to wrap around the iron easier and create beautiful bouncy curls. BenBassett says to also bear in mind that just because an iron has curved or beveled edges doesn't mean that it can't also straighten. Many irons on the market today with curved edges can straighten the hair just as well as they curl. BenBassett uses a 1 "iron from Solia because it's a versatile tool that can flip the ends out, curl and straighten even the curliest hair. He also prefers it because it heats up in less than a minute!
Before curling, the hair needs to be sectioned into manageable pieces. A 1 "flat iron works best for most users. The sections created should be easy to work with and small enough to fit into the flat iron that is being used. If an iron with a 1" plate is being used section the hair into ½ "to 1" sections. This will ensure that a section that is too large isn't being used. BenBassett says that as the home user becomes more comfortable in creating curls, they will be able to determine which size sections are best suited for them.
To start creating curls, begin with the first section of hair about 1 "wide, and hold it at the ends. Place the iron vertically over the section. Close the plates gently; lightly grip the hair while rotating the iron slowly as it is glided down toward the ends.To create bigger curls, take larger sections of hair and use the same rotating motion. Having an iron with plates that are beveled or curved is critical to create the perfect curl. will create unnatural dents in the hair. The curved plates are what give you the smooth, flowing curls.
BenBassett stresses that if you don't get the curl right on the first try do not give up. Just let the section being worked on cool down for a few minutes before trying again. Move on to the next section while waiting for the first piece to cool. It takes a little practice to get the hang of creating curls with a flat iron. After a few trys most home users get the hang of it and will be able to achieve perfect, bouncy, glamorous curls.
For the next section of hair, just repeat the same rotating motion as before, this time rotating the iron in the opposite direction to for a more natural look. Alternating the way the iron is rotated as the style is being created gives a natural carefree appearance that curls typically have. The back of the head will be the most challenging. If you have trouble here and cannot reach the roots, just try get as close to the roots as possible. Continue this process, moving throughout each section of hair, remembering to alternate rotations, until all of the hair has been curled.
BenBassett says that to create curls with extra bounce you should not start too close to the roots, this creates too much volume near the top of your head and the curls won't be soft and bouncy. Instead, place your iron in at the root and glide the iron gently down the first one to two inches of the hair before rotating the iron. A little root drag gives the style a more natural look.
To keep the curls long lasting BenBassett says to place a little curl cream on your fingertips and work through the hair to give each curl maximum hold, definition and shine. He recommends Redken Ringlet 07 Curl Perfector. The separation of each curl will give the style added depth, dimension and movement. A lightweight curl cream is best because anything to heavy will weigh the curls down.