Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Barrel Curls & Spiral Curls

Curling Iron Styling Demonstation

There are two different types of curl that are most common in curling iron styling - barrel curls and spiral curls. Both are useful for adding volume and/or interest to various hairstyles. In addition, curling iron styling lets you target curls specifically where you want them with ease. In order to help you understand how to achieve the proper results with these curls, we performed a demonstration on a manikin.
We begin our demonstration using a manikin that has been shampooed, conditioned with a rinse-through conditioner, and treated with a leave-in conditioner to protect the hair from heat-styling damage. The manikin's hair was then thoroughly dried with a blow dryer, and brushed thoroughly to remove any tangles. Now, we can begin creating the curls.
Barrel Curls:
barrel curs picture Barrel curls are the type of curl you get from standard roller sets, but with a curling iron, you can get the same effect in a fraction of the time. To begin creating barrel curls, we divided our manikin's hair along the center parting, and sectioned off a panel of hair on the right side just before the ear. The panel was made to be just a little narrower than the length of our curling iron's barrel.
We then proceeded to divide the panel into segments about as thick as our curling iron and clip them up out of the way. Once this was completed, we began creating the curls. Starting with the bottom- most segment of the panel, we combed the hair to make sure it was free of tangles then lightly misted the hair with hairspray.
At this point we took the curling iron in hand and inserted the segment of hair between the clamp and barrel of the iron, sliding the iron down to the ends of the hair so that the clamp covered them. Then, we turned the iron to roll the hair onto the barrel, stopping just short of the scalp. You can use a comb laid flat against the head to prevent resting the iron on the scalp and accidentally burning yourself.
barrel curls graphic We held the iron in place for a few seconds, until the heat thoroughly penetrated the hair, then carefully unwound the iron in place and slid the iron from the curl.
Note: You should always test your curling iron before you place it against the hair, unless you are certain of the temperature of the iron. To test your iron, lightly moisten a piece of tissue paper with water (it should only be slightly damp, not wet) and place it between the clamp and barrel of the iron. A little steam is okay, but if there is any smoke, scorching or discoloration, your iron is too hot and the temperature should be adjusted downward to prevent burning your hair.
For our demonstration, we continued with the other segments of the panel, and also curled half of the bangs on the manikin with a barrel curl. You can see the results in the photo. After completing the curls, we made sure to allow them to cool completely to set the curls fully.
spiral curls photo Once cool, barrel curls can be combed or brushed out and styled as desired.
Spiral Curls:
After finishing the barrel curls, we turn to the left side of the manikin and prepare to create the spiral curls. Once again, we separated a panel of hair to work with, and further divide the panel into segments. For spiral curls, we continue by dividing the horizontal segments into slices of about one-half to three-quarters of an inch square.
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