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How To Curl Your Hair With A Curling Iron Like A Pro Stylist

by Jordan Kramer March 27, 2019 6 min read

How To Curl Your Hair With A Curling Iron Like A Pro Stylist

Your curls are supposed to last. Whether you’re going for beachy waves, loose romantic curls, tight ringlets, or any curl in between, how you prep, prime and style your hair lends a huge impact to your curl game.

Here’s how to curl your hair with a curling iron like a pro stylist with tips from Sean James and Matthew Preece of Matthew Preece Salon in Santa Monica, CA.


Prep + Prime

Always start with a heat protectant and blow dry throughout the hair. Remember the horrific video of the poor woman burning her curl off with a curling iron? Yeah. Dry your hair completely....always….before using hot tools.

Be Protected thermal protecting foam is a great base to protect your hair and to create texture. Depending on your hair type, ensure that the foam is worked through hair to the tips and dry hair completely using a professional, salon-quality hair dryer.

Run your fingers throughout your hair while blow drying to start and finish off with a round brush to smooth. This creates a base for your curling iron to create smooth curls and waves. For more textured and true beachy waves, other products can be used in conjunction with air drying and diffusing.



Once your hair is dry and ready for heat, use sectioning clips to secure top half of hair. Using a curling iron in the size of your choice, gently wrap pieces of hair around the curling iron and release once the hair is heated throughout.

FHI Heat’s innovative hair styling tools use far infrared heat which dives deep into the hair cuticle to heat from the inside out resulting in a longer lasting curl. For a tighter curl that is meant to last for hours, hold the curl in your hand once releasing the curler barrel and let go once the hair is cooled for a few seconds. This allows the curl to “set” and retain longer.


How To Curl Your Hair With A Curling Iron: Loose Waves

Here’s how to curl your hair with a curling iron with celebrity hair stylist and owner of his namesake salon Matthew Preece. These long loose waves were created using the 1” tourmaline ceramic curling iron and then kept in place with a light-hold hairspray.

How To Curl Your Hair With a Curling Iron: Beachy Venice Waves

Check out how to achieve Venice Waves with FHI Heat Artistic Director Sean James on model Katrina Hunter. This beachy inspired look was created with a 1” tourmaline ceramic curling iron and is perfect for your summer nights.  


Using a Curling Iron

Not all curling irons are created equal. How do you properly use a curling iron in the first place? First you need to select your temperature depending on your hair type. Your curling iron temperature should range from at least 250 degrees to 450 degrees if it is a professional curler. Fine hair types will lean towards the lower end of the temperature spectrum while coarser, thick hair will need a higher heat to achieve certain styles.

Most curling irons feature a cool touch tip that you can grab to control the barrel through your hair. A curling iron should grip hair tightly enough to remain wrapped around the barrel, but with enough glide to pull hair effortlessly through the clip. No snagging or pulling should happen - that is a sign that it’s time to replace your curler.


Features That Matter On a Curling Iron

Face it, we all have needs. You don’t have to be a stylist to want your curling iron to heat up quickly, evenly, and continuously.

FHI Heat’s tourmaline ceramic curling irons use an edge-to-edge ceramic heater that offers even heat distribution and high speed heat recovery. This ensures that your curler gets hot across the entire barrel, and stays hot throughout an entire style’s worth of curling.

Our custom blend of tourmaline infused into three layers of baked ceramic plates creates smoother hair by locking in moisture and sealing off the hair. Frizzy strands fade away and smooth, shiny curls are created.

No need to worry if you turned your tools off with our auto shut-off feature. One hour after the last time you set your curling iron down, your tool will automatically turn off. Rest assured that your tools have your back.

You need length to create styles - and to reach across your bathroom. A professional tool will typically have a 12 foot cord so that the curler can be used in a variety of settings. You also need a swivel cord. This ensures that your cord never turns into a rubber-band-like ball and always stays tangle-free.

Caring For Your Curling Iron

It is important to keep your curler clean so that each and every hair strand gets the professional treatment. Product buildup and daily use can create a filmy layer on your curler that creates stickiness and inefficient curls. Using a warm cloth and our Stylus Tool Cleaning Solution, you can keep your tools as shiny as your curls.

About Matthew Preece:

Leading fashion and celebrity hairstylist, Matthew Preece is at the forefront of amazing hair. As owner of the Fred Segal Salon, which is now the flagship, Matthew Preece Salon, he has spent his life cultivating beauty in women through extraordinary hair. Matthew believes in his soul that people need an oasis of comfort in beauty, a break from the hectic pace of the world, so they can feel pampered and rejuvenated. His signature style is one of holistic beauty inside and out. Once a fashion photographer, he started out earning his cosmetology license to work with the Rizzo Group in Central London. He soon became the hairstylist of note for many famous artists and rock stars, including members of the popular bands Duran Duran and Spandau. When he moved to Los Angles, he quickly rose to the top of the most sought after hair artists of all time. He successfully launched two salons before taking on the re-branding of the Fred Segal salon, to much acclaim. As a creative person and management professional, his salons flourished under his watchful eye.  The Matthew Preece Salon has a roster of fabulous celebrity clients. Along with his new flagship store, he is also developing its own beauty brand and hair products that are poised to make their mark in the industry. With a vibe that mixes “rock and roll with spirituality”, Matthew’s essence is one that helps all people reveal the full potential of their beauty.

Instagram: @MatthewPreeceSalon

About Sean James:

Celebrity Hairstylist/Makeup, Mens Groomer LOCAL 706 Union Makeup artist, and currently working with Chris Hardwick on "@Midnight" on Comedy Central, “Talking Dead” "Talking Bad "  "Talking Saul “ "Fear of the walking deads" and “Talking Preacher" on AMC and with the cast and creators of the “Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad”. Most recently he is working on, “THE WALL “  on NBC. Sean first came to America via Australia because of his talents as a wig maker. He has since become an educator in cutting and color for L'Oreal, Redken, and Phyto Universe; styled numerous fashion shows during fashion weeks in Los Angeles, Paris, and New York including: Balmain, Gucci, Vivienne Westwood, Dolce and Gabanna, Valentino, and Burberry; has worked on Oscar nominated films and is a two time local 706 award nominee.  He is an expert panelist trusted in reviewing products and can be seen on Style Network’s “How Do I Look?”. Sean is also involved heavily in giving back and donating his time for worthy causes putting together hair and make up teams, Most recently for “Women in film Prop 8 " the play, and Rufus Wainwrights "Christmas 101” for sarcoma research. Sean's accomplishments and celebrity clientele reach far but don't detour him from sharing his passion for hair with his regular salon clientele. As he says, "Living the Dream!"  

List of regular clients include Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Hardwick, Al Yankovich, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Phil Keoghan, Eugene Levy, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Teddy Thompson,  Rufus Wainwright, Chris Stills, and many others.

Instagram: @SeanJamesHair

Jordan Kramer
Jordan Kramer

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