How to Use Curling Tongs – 9 Steps to Beautiful Curls


Whether your hair is naturally straight, curly, or wavy, there comes a time in all of our lives where we aspire to have some beautiful curls in our hair. If your hair is already curly on its own or not, it can be difficult to get the exact curls that we dream of. This is why it is important to know how to use curling tongs.

Curling tongs can give you gorgeous curls on your own, without the hassle and additional cost of getting them done at a salon or by a professional. Regardless if your goal is to have voluminous and bouncy curls, relaxed and boho waves, or tight ringlets, your curling tongs have got you covered.

The proper use of curling tongs allows you to turn your dream curls into a reality. Even though using a hot tool on your hair can be very pressuring, the use of it can lead to amazing results. Your hair can have voluminous curls that last for extended periods of time, while also looking entirely natural.

Trends within fashion and beauty come and go, but curls will always be in style. With the right knowledge, curling tongs, and hair styling products, you’ll have the ability to curl your hair with confidence and certainty.


9 Steps to Using Curling Tongs


Necessary Items for Curling Hair

Before you start using curling tongs on your hair, you need to be fully prepared for the process at hand. While there are some products that you can go with or without, there are others that are crucial to getting gorgeous curls. A few items to make sure that you have prior to curling your hair are:

  • Curling tongs
  • A brush or comb
  • Hair styling products based on your personal preference and hair type
  • Hair clips

Once you have all of these components set out, you are ready to begin curling. Let’s get started!


How to Use Curling Tongs

Step 1: Wash and condition your hair

When you are curling your hair, the first step is to make sure your hair is properly cleaned and moisturized. Depending on how well your hair holds curls, you can either wash it the night before you are curling your hair, or right before you are curling it. If you clean your hair right before you are curling it, make sure that your hair is fully dry (either by air-drying or blow-drying) before you use the curling tongs on it. Use your brush or comb to detangle it fully while drying and after.


Step 2: Apply heat protection to your hair

It is important to protect your hair from heat damage while using hot tools, such as curling tongs. Ensure that you cover every section of your hair with heat protectant to fully guard your hair from the high temperatures that your curling tongs will reach.


Step 3: Split your hair into sections

It is best to curl your hair in portions so that it is not too much at once, and so your hair looks fuller with all of the layers of your hair curled. Brush or comb through your hair, and then use hair clips to hold back the hair that you are not curling at the moment. Start curling your hair in sections that are closest to your head and neck, and then move upward toward to the top layers of your hair.


Step 4: Decide what size curls you want

The size of your curls and the size of your curling tong go hand in hand, so it is important to know how you want your curls to look. If you have multiple options of curling tongs, take advantage of that. If you want bigger curls choose bigger tongs, and if you want smaller curls use smaller tongs.


Step 5: Choose the type of curls you want

There are various types of curls that you can get from using curling tongs. If you want voluminous curls it is best to curl each section in different directions, and curl your hair all the way up to your roots. For relaxed waves, curl each section in the same direction, but do not go all the way up to your roots or all the way down to your ends. For tight curls, curl each section in the same direction, and go all the way up to your roots and all the way through your ends.


Step 6: Begin curling your hair

Pick up your curling tongs and hold it vertically, with the handle facing upward and the tongs downward. Take the first section of your hair and wrap it around your curling tongs away from your face. Start wrapping at your roots and twist all the way down to the bottom of your hair, and leave a little hair at your ends out.


Step 7: Unwind your hair from the curling tongs

Hold your hair wrapped around your curling tongs for about 10-15 seconds, so that the heat can work its magic to keep your curls in place. After that time passes, slowly unwind your hair from the curling tongs and pull the tongs away.


Step 8: Repeat the curling process

Once you complete curling your first section, gently place that portion away and start curling the next one. Wait out the 10-20 sections on each section depending on how thick or thin your hair is, and how large or small that particular section is. Be sure not to touch your curls right after they are taken out of the curling tongs, let them cool first so that they will stay intact and won’t fall out immediately.


Step 9: Complete the look

After you have curled each section of your hair with your curling tongs, it is time to finalize your hairstyle. If you want curls that are more loose and bouncy instead of tight and compact, you can lightly shake them out and gently run your fingers through your curls. It is beneficial to add hairspray, mousse, or another hair product of your choice to keep the curls intact for extended periods of time.



Tips for Using Curling Tongs

Now that you know how to use curling tongs, you can get the beautiful and bouncy curls that you have always wanted. There are multiple things to keep in my mind while using curling tongs as well, to make sure your curls are at their highest potential.

It is best to think of what size of curls you would like, so that you can adjust your steps accordingly. If you want bigger curls, it is best to use larger curling tongs and to fluff our your hair when you are finished curling so that the curls are not too taut. If you want smaller curls, use smaller curling tongs and spray hairspray on your hair instantly after curling each section so that the curls stay in place.

Using heat protectant on your hair is crucial before using any hot tool, including curling tongs. It helps to keep your hair soft and hydrated, for the short-term and long-term health of your hair. If you do not have heat protectant product to apply to your hair, you can alternatively use coconut oil, sunflower oil, or avocado oil to shield your hair from intense heat damage.

While it is important to protect your hair from heat damage, it is also imperative that you protect your hands from the heat as well. It is beneficial to use a heat protectant glove on your hands while using any hot tools on your hair, including curling tongs. You will have more control over the curling tongs with gloves on as well, and will be able to adjust accordingly, regardless of the heat, to create perfect curls.

Even though it may seem like an extremely simple step, separating your hair into sections is a vital part of the curling process. Small hair sections make for a better curl, and for ones that last for longer periods of time as well. If your sections are too large, the heat from the tongs will not reach all of your hair, causing some parts to curl better than others. The portion of hair you are curling should cover the tongs perfectly, with no pieces hanging off of it.


If using curling tongs is new for you, it is best to practice a few times before doing it for an event or outing, so that you can get the hang of it. It is also beneficial to test out various heat settings on your hair, to find the one that creates the best curls for your hair type. Start on the lowest heat setting and work your way up to higher heat settings, since less heat equals less damage.

Everyone’s hair is unique and different, so it is valuable to figure out what attributes work best for you and your hair. Knowing how to use curling tongs is important when you are trying to obtain luscious and beautiful curls, without the unnecessary frizz and fluff that often occurs. Grab your curling tongs, brush or comb, hair clips, and heat protectant, and lets get to curling!