We Put 3 of the Most Popular Hair Curling Methods to the Test

We've been trying to achieve bouncy, defined curls since our first middle school dance. We remember wrestling with stubborn tangles, dividing our hair into tiny sections and reaching for Mom’s 15-pound curling iron. By the end of our experiment, our biceps ached and our bathroom resembled a smoky Vegas casino.

Since then, we’ve tried nearly every method to summon curls, from “plopping” our wet waves into a T-shirt to wrapping our strands around a ceramic wand. But after our many hair endeavors, which method produced the elusive “perfect curl"? In the latest episode of Three with Me, a YouTube series in which we show you the three smartest ways to do something, PureWow Creator Kate attempts to find out. She puts three of the most popular hair-curling techniques to the test: Roller curls, heatless wrap curls and flat iron curls.

Watch this video to see Kate’s fabulous results for yourself (and check out the step-by-step instructions below).

3 Ways to Get the Perfect Curl:

Method 1: Roller Curls

  1. Separate hair into two sections, one at the crown and another at the bottom.
  2. To ensure the hair is warm and the curls are able to set, curl each one-inch section of hair with a curling wand, then follow with a roller. Remember to curl away from your face.
  3. Place the roller at the bottom of each section of hair, then wind upward toward the root. Add bobby pins or clips as needed.
  4. To add volume, direct the rollers down the center of your head, like a mohawk.
  5. Once it's fully cooled after 10-15 minutes, unravel your hair from the rollers in the same direction in which they were rolled and brush through.

Method 2: Heatless Wrap Curls

  1. Place a heatless curling rod (you can also use a pair of tights or a bathrobe belt) along the front of your head, laying it like a headband. Use a claw clip to secure the top of the rod in place.
  2. Part your hair down the middle. At the top of one side, begin wrapping small sections of your hair all the way around the rod. Work your way down each side of your hair then secure with a scrunchie where the two end pieces meet.
  3. Go to bed with your hair wrapped, then take it out gently and brush through.

Method 3: Flat Iron Curls

  1. Part hair down the middle then divide into three or more sections, depending on thickness.
  2. Taking one-inch pieces, clamp the iron onto hair and twist 360 degrees away from your face. Pull the iron slowly down the hair. For short front pieces, try turning the iron 180 degrees away from the face for a looser curl.
  3. Brush out curls.

purewow author
Michaela Magliochetti

Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor

From 2017-2023 Michaela Magliochetti held the role of Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor covering wellness, horoscopes, trends and more.
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