You can easily achieve the perfect curls at home, as long as you’re patient and you know how to treat your hair for the best results. By avoiding the common curling mistakes, you’ll increase your chances of getting the perfect look.

Find out more about the hair curling mistakes that might be keeping you from achieving the hairstyle that you love. Make sure you don’t make any of these errors, and your hair will look and feel better for it.

Forgetting Protection

If you plan on using a curling iron, then you absolutely have to use a heat protectant on your hair before you start. Even if you only use it as a low heat setting, your hair can still get damaged. You should also make sure your hair is fully dry before you start. 

Blow-Drying the Wrong Way

One of the biggest hair curling mistakes can ruin your chances for perfect curls even before you reach for the curling iron. When you’re blow drying your hair, avoid keeping it in tension with a round brush. By keeping it taut while drying, you’re already pushing your hair too far, and it won’t be able to hold curls or waves as well.

Brushed Out Glossy Curls

Choosing the Wrong Curling Iron Size

If you only want big curls, go for a large curling iron barrel. However, for waves a one-inch barrel is the better choice. It’s more versatile, and it can help you achieve loose waves easily, simply by using larger sections of your hair. A bigger barrel can be more difficult to use when you want more than big curls, and the smaller sized one can help you achieve more bounce.

Curling Sections That Are Too Big

Unless you just want loose waves, one of the biggest hair curling mistakes is using hair sections that are too big. When you’re in a hurry and you try to do too much hair at a time, you won’t get an even heat distribution, which means your curls or waves will last a lot less. If you’re looking for a natural look, you should also make sure that smaller sections aren’t identical in size.

Curling From Ends to Roots

Even though most curling irons look like they’re supposed to be used by clipping the ends in place and then twirling towards the roots, that’s not the way professionals use them. If you want longer lasting curls that last for longer, you should actually start close to the roots, then wrap your hair around the curling iron towards the ends, while holding it in a vertical position.

Loose Beach Curls

You’re Curling the Ends

One of the major hair curling mistakes is curling your ends completely. It doesn’t just increase the risk of split ends, no matter how much heat protectant you use, but it can also make your hairstyle look less natural. Spare the ends, particularly if you’re going for a beachy waves look.

You’re Not Cleaning Your Curling Iron

The more product buildup there is on your curling iron, the less effective it will be. Residue that’s covering the barrel can affect the proper heat distribution and that’s not good new for your curls or waves. Use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or try a toothbrush for more difficult spots.

Not Setting It (Enough)

When your hair doesn’t really hold curls the way you’d like to, avoid one of the big hair curling mistakes by letting it set properly. After each section goes off the barrel, wrap it around your fingers and clip it in place. Avoid the effect gravity has on hot curls will help you achieve the hairstyle you want.

Touching Your Hair Right Away

Unless you’re trying to clip your curls in place, you absolutely shouldn’t touch them. Running your fingers through your curls right away is a big mistake. Touching your curls before they cool off can also lead to more frizz.

Long Loose Curls

Not Letting Them Cool Off

Whether you use a curling iron or hot curls, the most lasting effect is achieved when you only let gravity hit your curls once they’re completely cool. You can still avoid one of the big hair curling mistakes if you’re in a hurry. Simply use the cool setting on your blow dryer until they’ve cooled off before releasing them.

Photos: Joey Scandizzo for ELEVEN Australia, photographer: Andrew O’Toole, makeup: Kylie O’Toole, styling: Elaine Marshall.