How I Get My Curls

I’ve been promising this tutorial on How to Curl Shoulder Length Hair with a Curling Wand for ages, and we finally got around to filming and editing and uploading this video to YouTube.

How to Curl Shoulder Length Hair with a Curling Wand

I wanted to learn how to curl my hair like this for ages and didn’t really know how, so one day I asked my hairdresser to teach me. It took some practice, but I finally got the hang of it, and now it only takes about 10 minutes to curl it after it’s dry.

I like having the option of wearing my hair straight or curly, especially since it’s so thin. The curls give it so much more volume.

The Products I Use:

T3 Whirl Interchangeable Styling Wand // This is pricey, but it does an amazing job, and my hair holds a curl for 2 or 3 days. I tried a few drugstore versions first, but the curl wouldn’t hold for long. I also like that you can adjust the heat setting on the T3. My hair is super thin and rather fragile, so I set it on the 3rd setting (the 5th is the hottest) and it works fine. If your hair is thick or coarse and you want to curl bigger sections, you may need it hotter.

Rusk W8less Strong Hold Shaping and Control Hairspray // I bought this at my hairdresser’s recommendation. I spray it on each section of hair before I curl it, and then I spray the section again after it’s curled and before I go on to the next one. I give it another good spray at the end to hold it. This hair spray has a strong hold while still allowing your hair to move, and it doesn’t make it stiff or crunchy.

Monat Blow Out Cream // I use this every time I wash my hair, whether I dry my hair straight or curl it.

The Process:

I just blow-dry my hair as normal, and I like to brush my hair towards my face, especially the top layers. This helps it lay right when it’s curled.

Once it’s dry, I start the curling process.

  1. Always curl away from your face. This is the conventional wisdom of the day when creating loose curls like are popular right now. However, I just this morning watched a YouTube video where she alternates going towards and away from the face on the under layers. She does curl all of the top layer away from the face, and she always curls the pieces in front away from the face, but she says alternating the curls underneath help add volume and prevent all the hair from forming one big curl. It makes sense, but I’ve tried it and I still prefer to curl all of my hair away from my face.
  2. I use a curling wand with a 1″ barrel. You can use a curling iron or even a flat iron with a rounded edge, but I’ve tried all three, and I think the curling wand is easiest to use.
  3. If you want smaller, tighter curls, curl smaller sections of hair; and if you want looser, wavy curls, curl larger sections of hair.
  4. Leave the ends of the hair are straight, for a look that’s more modern, and slightly undone.
  5. Spray each section with hairspray to help your hair hold the curl.
  6. You don’t have to curl the very bottom layer of your hair. If it’s super short and hard to get round the barrel of the curling wand, just let it go. It actually looks more natural if you let it stay straight. Sometimes I often go in at the end and slip the curling wand underneath that very bottom layer and hold the hair lightly over the barrel so it curls under and doesn’t sit in my neck. I’ve also seen people on YouTube use a flat iron to straighten that bottom portion.
  7. Allow your hair to cool completely before touching it. Then finger-comb it lightly and piece it out to get it the way you want it. You can back comb portions around the crown if you want more body. (I don’t bother with that.)

And that’s it! Here it is in action. I hope it’s helpful.

How to Curl Shoulder Length Hair with a Curling Wand


If you like my video, please give it a thumbs-up!! And if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Did you like this post? 

Subscribe to get email updates! In addition to my most recent blog posts, you’ll receive exclusive newsletter content like special sales, my newest favorite finds, and an occasional peek behind the scenes — all delivered right to your inbox. PLUS you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card each month!

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

Join The Conversation

67 Responses

  1. As a curly haired girl, I always want to keep my hair straight when I finally take the time to straighten it. But this might be a fabulous options—especially since I have more time now that I’m retired!!
    Great tips, Jo-Lynne!! Thanks so much for doing this!
    ps…as a future idea, you could teach us oldies how to create a video—adding the music, any editing, etc!! I need to do one, but just haven’t gotten brave enough!

  2. Great video! I have hair shorter than yours (a bob cut) and have tried to curl it. Standing in front of a mirror I still manage to mess it up or burn myself and lose patience. Maybe I should play the soothing music in your video and try again! Very pretty look on you! Thanks for the tutorial 🙂

  3. Great video! I have hair a bit shorter than yours (a bob cut) and have tried to curl it. Even standing in front of a mirror I manage to mess it up, burn myself and lose patience. Maybe I should play the soothing music in your video and try again. This look is so pretty on you! Thanks for the tutorial and the encouragement to attempt this a second time 🙂

  4. Great video! I try curling my hair every once in a while, but I usually end up having my 16 yo daughter help me finish it, lol. I’ll definitely have to try the tips about tugging the curls, having looser ones around the face and letting them cool for a while before finger combing. Thanks for all of your work with putting together this video 🙂

  5. I love hearing your voice! It is very sweet! Also love the purple sweater. Can you give info on that? I find it difficult to find sweaters in pretty colors…so many drab colors this time of year.!

  6. I love this video! I’ve been wanting to learn how to curl my hair for awhile now, and have watched other videos that make it seem complicated. Your video makes it look pretty easy with great results! Thanks for sharing!

  7. You did a great job! This look is very flattering on you. It’s so hard doing a hair tutorial with good lighting and the curling iron where you can reach it.

  8. Very helpful!!!! Never knew to wrap hair … I would always try to clip in wand!
    I’m off to do my hair . Thanks for your blog and all the lovely pictures thru December

  9. That style is ADORABLE on you!!!!! AND.. that was so much fun to hear your VOICE 🙂 …. I really do feel like I could try this style now!!!! You did an awesome job explaining and showing us how to “make it happen 🙂 “… I’m an over 50 gal, so I feel like I get stuck in a rut with my hair… this is something I will definitely try,, ,THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! p.s… tell your hubby thanks for his work on making the video happen 🙂

  10. Great job! Your step by step is a wonderful visual. Your video helped me get a few ideas on how to keep the shape of the curl. Mine seem to fall quickly. Thank you.

  11. Super video — I love it when you and Cyndi do these types of videos. I’m looking forward to the eyeshadow video. Thank you for sharing these tips and techniques for those of us who are “fashion challenged”!! Blessings!

  12. Excellent and thorough job on the video. My hair is a little longer but also straight and fine. I’ve been wanting to try some loose curls, and your tutorial has definitely helped to teach me how to do so. Thank you!

  13. Good job on the video! I really enjoyed hearing your voice after just reading your words all these years. My hair is also thin but several inches longer than yours. I haven’t been combing each section before curling so that was a helpful tip. Also, like the idea of the Rusk hairspray while curling. Thanks again (and to your hubby, too).

  14. Thank you for the video, so helpful!! Could you share where you got your necklace you were wearing in the video? Thank again! ????

  15. Great job on this video, JoLynne! I also love the beach wave look. It took watching a few YouTube videos before I figured out how to best do this for my hair. I have curly hair, but beach waves makes me look more polished. It’s an especially fun look for the winter. Keep those videos coming. You’re doing great!

  16. I have curly hair so I didn’t watch the whole video but I did subscribe to your channel and made sure to give you a thumbs up! Great job!

  17. Question – do you have recommendation for a hairspray that holds, without having helmet hair, that is unscented? As a migraine person, scents trigger them immediately so I am unable to use ANY product that is scented (not a lot of fun, but you do what you must do). The one I used to use was discontinued and I’m not my last can….hoping you or some of your readers have suggestions!

    1. I think the Bumble & Bumble has heat protectant? I used to use a different B&B product that was definitely a protectant, and they discontinued it. I just started using this one.

  18. Hi Jo-Lynne! Great video! Thanks so much for sharing this. You should give Monat Refinish hairspray a try. It is naturally based like all our products but creates great hold without being too stiff.

  19. This was so helpful! It’s making me want to buy one of these irons. It was nice to hear your voice too 🙂 thank you for sharing ! 🙂

  20. Thank you. I’ve tried this style and it was a disaster, but your method looks do-able. I will try again!

  21. Loved the video – you did an excellent job. I’ve never tried a wand, but I’m planning to purchase one now. Thank you!

  22. Really enjoyed this video! I have thicker curly hair but I love the definition this wand gives. I appreciate that the video was just long enough, I won’t usually watch if they’re too long. Great editing job!

  23. It was nice to hear your voice. People always sound different than I imagine they will. 🙂 I must say that you looked gorgeous in this video. I have a curling wand and love the way it looks but I am such a perfectionist. I hate leaving the ends straight. I’m a 5-minute hair style girl. 15 minutes is FOREVER to curl it, and I have little kids so sometimes it’s impossible, but I feel inspired to try again!

    1. I hear ya. I avoid it MANY days b/c I don’t want to take the time. It really probably only takes me 10, and I take less time to dry it b/c I’m not styling it as I dry, so I don’t think it REALLY takes me THAT much longer overall, but it does seem like a hassle for everyday.

  24. Great video, thank you! My hair sounds really similar to yours..thinner, fine and never wants to hold a curl. I’m hoping I can find something to work without investing a ton in a wand. The only way I can get real curls right now is with my flat iron but that takes so long!

  25. I love this. I did it just like the video. I didn’t feel the video was long and I curled my hair in ten minutes or less. This is perfect Thank you so much ????

  26. Thanks Jo-Lynne this was very helpful. I got the same wand for Christmas and still find it awkward to do. Especially the back. I will use your tips the next time

      1. LOL, no worries! You can certainly use a curling iron for this – my hairdresser actually does when she does my hair like this. I find it easier to use the wand. Also, the wand naturally gives your hair those straight ends, whereas you have to intentionally leave some out with the curling iron. It’s really just preference, but I definitely find the wand easier.

        I’ve had this question a few times, so I decided to google it. LOL! Basically the waves the curling iron creates are more polished and bouncy, while the curling wand creates more relaxed, natural waves.

        Also, FYI for those trying this with a curling iron, you hold a curling iron differently than a curling wand. With a curling iron, the cord should be down, and with a curling wand, the cord should be up.

        Hope that helps! It really comes down to preference. 🙂

  27. This is amazing! Thank you so much for doing this. I’m a super curly hair girl who sometimes wants to loosen my curls by using a curling iron. I’ve never tried a wand. My 10 year old daughter has stick straight hair, so this will help me curl her hair for special occasions, which I’ve never seemed to get quite right!

  28. I already use this method with my growing longer than shoulder length hair (3/4″ curling iron) but wanted to see the wand in action. Happily you mentioned tugging on the curls, I can’t wait to try that!

    And as a regular reader it was fun to hear your sweet voice.

  29. I just recently got my hair cut to shoulder length and your style was what I was going for. I’ve only tried doing middle curls so far. Seemed like a lot of work for such an effortless look, lol! I’m going to try your tips–very helpful, especially pulling down on the curl. 

  30. I would love for you to do an update to both this post and your blowout post. I have similar hair (fine, thin, about shoulder length), so I’d love to know about your cut (e.g., do you have layers?), styling techniques, products, etc.

Leave a Reply

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

Close this search box.