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Using a spiral curling wand can be the quickest and most effective way to achieve tight, beach-style curls that last all day. A spiral curling iron is similar to other curlers that use a thicker barrel. But you may be asking, how do I use a spiral curling iron? In this article we will take you through a step by step process on how to use spiral curling iron tools easily.

How to Use a Spiral Curling Iron

A spiral curling iron has a very different look to a normal curling iron. So you might find yourself wondering, how do you curl your hair with a spiral curling iron?

A spiral curling iron is actually pretty simple to use. It requires you sectioning pieces of your hair and then placing each section one by one, to the spiral curler. When applying the hair to the curling wand, it’s best to follow the twisting pattern to best achieve the spiral curl look.

The spiral curling iron is very easy to use to achieve great results if you have naturally wavy hair that is of a long length. If your hair is thicker, It may take longer to curl, as you will have to section so much hair into smaller parts.

Here are some great tips to get you started:

  • Wash and prepare your hair: For best results, before using your spiral hair curlers, wash your hair and either towel dry or blow dry it. Apply a heat protectant spray and make sure your hair is completely dry before applying any heat to the hair to avoid damage.  If you’re looking for a good heat protectant spray, we recommend the Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray.
  • Section the hair: It’s easier to use the spiral curling iron and make sure you get even curls by sectioning your hair into smaller parts. The density and tightness of the curls will depend on how big your sections are. If your sections are small, you will create tiny curls. If your sections are large, you will create softer curls. 
  • Do a temperature test: The temperature of your spiral curling iron will also affect your curls. If you are curling at a low heat then your curls will be softer. If you are curling at a high heat then your curls will be more defined and set for longer. Make sure your spiral curling iron heat isn’t too high to cause damage to your hair. Before applying your hair sections, choose your desired temperature.
  • Work section by section: Insert a section of your hair at the bottom of the barrel and then twist the spiral curling iron towards the roots, following the helix shape. You can also use some spiral curling irons by wrapping the hair in a spiral but starting at the root. Hold the hair in place for up to 10 seconds. Repeat with every section. 
  • Style your curls: Once you have curled your hair, there are different ways to style. You can run your fingers through the curls to give ’em a “messy look”. Or you can set your hair with hairspray to make sure your curls last all day. 
beachy waves due to spiral iron

How to Use a Spiral Curling Iron on Short Hair

A spiral curling iron can create a very distinct look and add volume to many hairstyles.

You may be wondering, how do you use a spiral curling iron on short hair?

If your hair is shorter than your chin, the typical spiral curling iron may not be for you. Using hair styling tools can be very tricky when your hair is shorter than a certain length, because your hair may not be long enough to wrap around the barrel. With shorter hair you may end up with a messier, less-tight curl due to the difficulty in using the barrel.

We recommended using a regular spiral curling iron if your hair is chin length or longer.

Is your hair not quite short, but not quite long? We’ve compiled some great styles for medium length hair to check out!

But if you really want to give spiral curling a go even if your hair is on the shorter side, there are many curling irons available for short hair. We recommend the Hoson Small Barrel Ceramic Curling Wand for Long & Short Hair

9mm Thin Curling Iron Ceramic, 3/8 Inch Small Barrel Curling Wand for Long & Short Hair, LCD Display with 9 Heat Setting Include Glove(Golden)
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How to Use Spiral Curling Iron with a Clamp

How do you use a spiral curling iron without a clamp?

Spiral curling irons can come with a clamp. This can make application slightly harder but it still easy to use with practice.

When inserting your section of hair, it’s best to use your one hand to hold the clamp up. Use your other hand to wrap your section of hair at the bottom of the barrel and then twist towards your roots.  

Check out this video by Marisa Kay showing a great demonstration on how to get a softer spiral curl look in less than 20 minutes:

Best Spiral Curling Irons

No matter what your hair type and what kind of spiral curl look you would like yo achieve, we have found some of the best spiral curling irons for you:

Conair Instant Heat Spiral 3/4-Inch Curling Iron
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The Conair Spiral Curling Iron is ideal for very long hair as its barrel is 25% longer than most. It also has 25 different heat settings which means you can customize to the ideal heat for your hair.

How to use the Conair Spiral Curling Iron

  • Wrap a small section of your hair around the spiral shape, following the barrel exactly.
  • Select your desired heat setting.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds
  • Remove the section of hair from the spiral and allow it to cool.

Bed Head Clamp-Free Spiral Curling Wand

Bed Head Curlipops Clamp-Free Spiral Curling Wand, 1 inch
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The Bed Head Spiral Curling Iron is the ideal choice for those new to curling hair. This clamp-free barrel allows easy access to the ridges on the barrel where the hair is meant to be placed. The Bed Head Spiral Curling Iron also comes with a heat-resistant glove, meaning burns will be less likely when placing the hair to the barrel. The barrel of this spiral curling iron will create a softer, longer curl rather than a tight curl due to its 1 inch length between each whorl on the barrel.

How to use the Bed Head Spiral Curling Iron

  • Wear the heat resistant glove on the hand you will be using to place the hair on the spiral curling iron.
  • Wrap a small section of your hair around the spiral shape, following the barrel ridges exactly.
  • Hold the hair there for 5-10 seconds.
  • Remove the section of hair from the spiral and allow it to cool.
Interchangeable Wand Curling Iron - 5 Barrel Curling Wand Set, Ceramic Hair Wand Curler for Women Hairstyle, Instant Heat Up
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The BESTOPE Interchangeable Curling Wand allows for any beginner user to play around with five different barrels. One of these barrels is called the bubble wand which is clamp-free and will create the spiral curl look.

How to use the BESTOPE Interchangeable Wand Curling Iron

  • Wear the heat resistant glove on the hand you will be using to place the hair on the spiral curling iron.
  • Select the bubble barrel.
  • Wrap a small section of your hair around the bubble shape, placing the hair in the bubble dips.
  • Hold the hair there for 5-10 seconds.
  • Remove the section of hair from the spiral and allow it to cool.
spiral curly hair


How Does a Spiral Curling Iron Work?

When you first purchase a spiral curling iron, you will notice when unboxing that the average spiral curling iron will come with either one curved barrel or one barrel with a built-in corkscrew shape. This will of course depend on which product you buy. The curved and spiral shapes on these barrels will show you where you need to place the section of hair, to achieve an even and defined curl. 

Just like other curlers, spiral wands come in various sizes allowing for you to pick the best one for your hair type.

We found a great demonstration video using the conair spiral curling wand:

What is the Best Way to get Spiral Curls?

The best way of getting spiral curls depends on your hair type! But we believe it’s all in the sectioning and which spiral curling iron you choose.

Here are some great tips specific to your hair type and desired look:

  • Fine Hair: When you have fine hair, the temperature on your curling iron will matter! It’s best to experiment and see what exact temperature works for you. A higher heat will cause your hair to damage very quickly. Therefore, we recommend going for a spiral curling iron with a varied amount of temperature settings. 
  • Thick Hair: When you have thick hair, long or short, it’s best to section your hair evenly and thoroughly. Sectioning the hair will make it easy to manage and is the key to curling your hair in the best way possible. 
  • Beach Waves: To achieve beachy, loose style curls, use a spiral curling iron with a slightly bigger barrel like a 1.25 inch. The Tomorotec Professional Ceramic Spiral Styler has a 1.57″ spiral diameter if you want big waves. Use a medium/low heat to achieve that soft look. Make sure the curl is larger at the root than the ends.
  • Tight Spiral Curls: For tight spiral curls it’s best to use a smaller barrel, like a 1 inch. The SexyBeauty Professional Portable Ceramic Curling Iron has a pipe diameter of 0.8″. Use a fairly high heat and make sure that your spiral is wrapped closely together. When styling your curls make sure to set them.

How do you Spiral Curl your Hair?

A great tip when learning how to spiral curl your hair is to practice the angle you’re holding your curling iron while curling your hair! 

To achieve beach waves, it’s best to hold the curling iron straight in order to heat the section of hair all at once.

For volume, try holding your curling iron at a right angle to heat the roots before the ends

The Spiral Curling Wand: The Easiest Method to Gorgeous Curls!

A spiral curling wand is a great styling tool that can easily achieve your desired curls. The spiral curling want is great for beginners and a good alternative to a regular curling wand.

Have you tried this type of curling tool? What are your best tips for creating spiral curls?