Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter

Hair Tutorial | Creating curls with ghd flat irons

GHD curls tutorial: how to create curls with a straightener
My ‘Messy Bunhead’ tutorial has been one of the most popular posts on this site for a couple of years now, so naturally I haven’t attempted to do any more of those posts. Because why give people what they want, when you can just keep waffling on about a stupid skirt for days, huh?

Actually, the reason I don’t do tutorials is because me and hair just don’t mix. I get a lot of questions about how I create the curls I sometimes wear, though, and my answer is normally “Hot rollers and a lot of luck”, so when ghd asked if I’d take some photos of myself using the V Emerald Stylers they very kindly sent me, I was honestly a bit dubious.  As regular readers will know, I’m very much Not a Hair Person, and so, well, let’s just say I had my doubts.

Anyway, although I’m not remotely qualified to instruct people on how to do their hair, I thought I’d attempt to show you how I do my hair, so here’s a quick n’ easy retro(ish) updo, using the ghd V Emerald Styler. A quick word about the styler, first:


GHD Emerald Styler

I’ve been a fan of ghdfor a while now (My gym used to have them in their changing rooms. It was one of the main reasons I kept up my membership for such a long time), but I particularly like these ones because, well, they’re green. You know how I am with green.

I don’t generally use flat irons to straighten my hair, because my hair is already straighter than a very straight stick, so there’s just no need. I have my hair done by my lovely friend Caroline these days (Er, she is actually a stylist, by the way. She didn’t just randomly turn up and start hacking at my hair one day…), but when I used to go to a salon, they’d always insist on straightening it before I left, which I absolutely hated, because it would remove what little volume I had (Which was NO volume) and I’d come home with my hair plastered to my head, and looking like I’d lost 80% of it in some freak accident. I don’t straighten, then, but I do sometimes use flat irons to curl my hair, and these ones are particularly useful for that: they have a fairly small barrel, which creates nice, tight curls, and they also heat up in about five seconds flat, which means I don’t have time to get bored and wander off to do something else. Like you’re probably about to do when you realise how long this post is.

So! Curling hair with ghds!

Step one:

Take your straight, poker-straight, very straight hair, and also your ghds.

Step two:

Put the straighteners down, and go and pin up the top layer of your hair to keep it off your face. Feel stupid for not doing this first:

preparing to create curls using a GHD flat iron

Look quite awkward while you do this. It will help.

(No it won’t.)

Step 3: 

 Take a small lock of hair (the amount of hair you use will determine the size and type of the curl: small sections of hair will produce tight ringlets, larger ones will create looser waves) and clamp it with the flat iron like so: 

curling hair with GHD flat irons

Step 4: 

Rotate the flat iron 180 degrees, away from your head. You should now have a section of hair wrapped around the barrel of the straightener:

how to curl your hair with flat irons

Step 5: 

This was kinda hard to photograph, but what you’re basically going to do next is to slowly and gently pull the flat iron down the length of the hair until you reach the end:

how to curl hair with GHD

Again, try to look a bit awkward while you do this, and also, if you can try to maintain the same facial expression throughout, that’s a bonus.

Some tips for this stage of proceedings:

♥  The slower you pull the straightener down the hair, the better the results will be. I try to go as slowly as I can, and pause every couple of seconds, which helps the curl set.

♥  Try not to touch the plates, or they’ll burn you. I mean, so I’ve heard, anyway: you all know I would never be clumsy enough to burn myself with a heated implement, no way. Ahem.

♥ Also remember that you’re putting a lot of heat onto your hair, so it will get very, very hot. Try to avoid touching the curl for a few seconds after you’ve created it, or it can also burn you. Apparently.

Step 6:

Once you’ve reached the end of the strand of hair, all that’s left to do is unclamp the straightener to release the curl, which should look something like this:

how to create GHD curls

What you do after that is up to you: you can continue on and do the rest of your hair obviously, or, if you’re feeling lazy, and I normally am, you can simply curl the sections at the front, and throw the rest into a bun. Up to you.

For me, the advantage of this method of creating curls is that the results tend to last much longer than the curls I get from rollers, etc. I took these photos yesterday morning, and the curls were still there this morning (albeit a little flattened from me sleeping on them), which is really, really unusual for my hair. The disadvantage, however, is that if I’m doing my entire head, it’s a lot more time-consuming, so it’s something I’d normally only do for a special occasion, or if I had a bit of extra time to get ready.

Of course, this is just one of the effects you can get with these stylers, and there are lots of tutorials on the GHD website, so go and take a look and see what you fancy!

how to create curls with a straightener

Subscribe by email:

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • New blog post, in which I attempt to curl my hair with flat irons: http://t.co/YWW4YFiehX #ghd #hair

  • Annette
    January 28, 2014

    Amber, your posts are the best! You always make me laugh (gym membership!), your writing style is unique.
    I recently bought a thick curling iron but have never used a flat iron and would like to try that.
    Now off to your skirt-post, also just mentioned by Catherine 🙂

    Annette | Lady of Style
    2 x 60€ Valentine’s Legwear Giveaway

  • Erika
    January 28, 2014

    I have never even thought to try curling my hair with a flat iron. Great tutorial! I have used a curling iron for years and finally decided it was time to try a different approach, so I’m now using steam rollers. I’m gonna have to try this too. 🙂

  • Erika
    January 28, 2014

    I meant to add, great tutorial for NOT being a tutorial. 🙂

  • Kelly
    January 28, 2014

    I love my ghd straighteners; they changed my hair life as my hair is thick with a wave that’s hard to tackle. Ghds sort it right out. I’ve tried to do curls with them once in the past but got bored too quickly to finish, will have to give it a go again now I’ve grown my hair a bit.

  • Leigh
    January 29, 2014

    You should look for a tutorial for drop (sometimes called push) down curls, much quicker when you’re in a hurry and it brushes through to make a very glam retro wave….right up your street. Or, I’ll show you next time i see you. P.s i think this not a tutorial is in fact a very good tutorial for anyone who’s never tried it before. Kisses L x

  • Aline
    January 29, 2014

    I’ve been trying out the curling with the straighter technique for a couple of days and it’s kind of hit and miss. I appreciate the little tips, I shall try it out a bit slower tomorrow and see if it works out better 🙂
    Ps. your previous messy bun tutorial is one of my favorites, ever! I always wear my hair like that when I’m running late and the hair won’t cooperate.

  • Karlie
    January 29, 2014

    I have a short bob so I normally just wear it straight but I curled it using my flat iron this morning and it turn out great. Very retro looking, I’ve never thought about curling my hair using the flat iron but it was really quick and easy.

  • Niki
    January 30, 2014

    GHD’s are brilliant for curling hair! I’ve wasted so much money trying to find curlers that work but always end up going back to my straightners in the end.

  • Corinne
    January 30, 2014

    Wow, look at you lashes. What mascara do you use? I need to know. I must know. My horrible thin lashes are crying.

    I really struggle to do my hair curly. It’s kind of a 50-50 chance whether it will work with my GHDs. I have the type of hair that kind of does whatever the hell it wants. And it’s thick. Sometimes the curls just won’t hold or sometimes it just won’t curl or sometimes I just get bored and start trying to rush it because I am very distracted by everything in the world. Practice is needed, I guess. Patience also.

    I love the green ones. I had some fab bright pink ones, but they got stolen when my house got burgled so now I have the standard ones.

    Corinne x

    • Amber
      January 30, 2014

      It’s Too Faced Better Than False Lashes – I wrote about it here, if you happen to have a spare hour to read it! https://foreveramber.co.uk/2013/01/too-faced-better-than-false-lashes-nylon-lash-extension-system.html

      • Corinne
        January 31, 2014

        Oh doom, I looked on amazon and it was £75! I’ll have a look when I go to America as it seems more reasonably priced there.

        • Amber
          February 1, 2014

          Oh God, it shouldn’t cost that much! It’s £30 at ASOS, and I’m sure I’ve seen it at Boots for about £30 too… It is on the pricey side, but it’s really, really good. If you want something less expensive, though, I also really like Maybelline Illegal Length (got to be the waterproof version, though), which is excellent for the price: https://foreveramber.co.uk/2013/08/review-maybelline-illegal-length-fiber-extensions-waterproof-mascara.html

          • Corinne
            February 1, 2014

            Thanks, I’ll check out the Maybelline one before I go for the more expensive one, I’ve found one for £6, winner. I have really long lashes but they are just so thin! I was so disappointed when I tread the Benefit They’re Real mascara after seeing so many great reviews about it, it did nothing for them volume/length wise! I’m pretty sure people were just saying it was great because they like the Benefit brand in general. Doom.

            • Amber
              February 1, 2014

              I’ve never rated that one either… It only made my lashes darker, which is pretty pointless because I dye them anyway: I basically expect a mascara to make me look like I’m wearing falsies!

  • Stacey
    January 30, 2014

    Lovely curls! ^_^

  • wong helen
    January 31, 2014

    absolutely beautiful! blogspot.com

  • @BritBloggers
    January 31, 2014

    We loved this easy curls tutorial. Follow @foreveramber’s post with the @ghd Emerald Styler! http://t.co/7DpxTHUsVO

  • Melanie Stevens
    February 3, 2014

    I have the karmin g3 flat iron but I’m still trying this. Thanks, love your hair color!!!

  • Miranda
    February 17, 2014

    I always curl my hair with a straightener because I’ve also found that it lasts much longer! I never thought to just curl the front and put the rest back in a bun though – genius!

  • Mary
    December 26, 2014

    The best flat iron I have used is the Karmin.

  • Jessica losano.
    July 27, 2018

    Thanks for the tutorial, I currently have the Karmin iron and I make perfect curls I recommend 100%.