How to curl thick Asian hair with a hair straightener

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How to cite: Wong M. How to curl thick Asian hair with a hair straightener. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. December 17, 2012. Accessed July 21, 2024.

I love romantic curly hair, but I’m scared of my curling iron – too much exposed metal! I recently discovered that you can curl hair quite well using a hair straightener, which is a lot less scary for a butterfingers like me to use on the back of my head where I can’t quite see it (I’ve also been thinking about investing in some heated rollers, but I haven’t gotten around to finding some yet).

I’ve been using a pimpin’ ghd gold V classic styler in a limited edition sahara gold metallic finish. I’ve heard a lot about ghds, but never tried one properly until now, and I’m impressed! For my stiff Asian hair it’s a godsend – it’s so much faster than any other styler I’ve tried, and my hair stays straight until I wash it (longest so far is two days). It’s lightweight, the cord is generously long (2.7 m), and the on/off button sits cleverly between the arms, so you don’t turn it off by accident. It’s on the expensive side though, and doesn’t have temperature control settings. It heats super quick – 15 seconds is all it takes until it beeps and is ready to use.

Here’s a fun, casual evening look I did on my sister, who has the same thick, coarse, stiff hair as me, but chemically straightened. For my massively thick hair, I’ve found that doing the thing where you pin the top layers up and work on the bottom layers first is usually a fail, and I end up with an out-of-control, clownish afro.

On the left is how her hair naturally dries – I’m definitely getting mine permanently straightened soon!

1. Lightly mist hair with hairspray (and heat protectant if you want).

2. Take a thin section of hair from the top of the head (about an inch wide, depending on how thick you want your curls). Grab it crosswise about 1.5 inches from the roots with the heated straightening iron. Twist it up and sideways so you have hair wrapped around one arm of the straightener (which should be pointing straight up). It should look a bit like this:

Pull gently away from the head and glide the iron down the length of the hair. Ta-da – a curl!

3. Curl all of the top layer, then mist it lightly with hairspray again.

4. You should now have a bunch of curls, with weird straight hair poking out at the bottom from underneath. Curl the straight bits that stick out – this prevents you from becoming a massive boofhead. Mist the bits you just did, stand back, admire! The curls will fall out a bit after a while, so if you overdid it and look like a poodle, don’t panic.

For a curlier look, you can hold the hot curls together with a bobby pin, mist with hairspray then undo them when they’re cool to set the curl better.

What’s your best tip for curling your hair?

ghd limited edition stylers also come in red and silver, and retail for $279 – see here for more info.

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12 thoughts on “How to curl thick Asian hair with a hair straightener”

  1. This is how I curl my hair too 🙂 It’s just less of a hassle to have millions of tools crowding my vanity! Plus I’m pretty sure my straightening iron was made to curl hair as well because it gets hot all over the barrel, not just on the plates.

  2. I love curling my hair like this, but I fear my arms get tired after a while because it seems to require a lot of tension to curl my limp hair, hah! I would mention that heat protection should not be an optional step- flat irons, particularly great quality ones like ghds can get crazy hot! I love Kenra’s Hot Spray- like a 2in1 product that adds hold and acts as a heat protectant at the same time ^_^

  3. Oooh shiny! I just realised I’ve had my ghd for 7 years and it’s still going!
    Wish I could do curls – my hair is too thick and heavy, so they fall out after about ten minutes.

    • Really? Poo. I’ve found that hairspray works, but to make it last a whole day I need approximately half a bottle. Have you tried sleeping in hot rollers? I’ve heard good things…


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