How to Get Loose Waves With Medium Length

Loose waves like Ashley Benson's can be created with a 1.5-inch curling iron.
... Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Loose waves are ultra flattering on medium-length hair. They add volume and shape without looking as formal as curls, and they don't fall flat as straight styles often do. It can be easy to give up on the tousled look if a spin of the curling iron only ever gets you tight ringlets that turn your look into a bob. The key to loosening up your strands is in tweaking the way that you use the iron. Master mid-length waves and never feel defeated by your curling iron again.

Plug in your curling iron and turn it on.

Place one thumb above each ear, and move the thumbs through your hair toward the back of your head until they meet. Take the hair that falls above your thumbs, and twist and clip it on top of your head. Start with dry hair that was washed one day before for added hold.

Hold a can of light hairspray 10 inches away from your head, and coat the bottom section evenly. This will set the waves as you work.

Pick up the 1-inch-wide section of hair that is closest to your face on your right side. Open the clamp of the 1.5-inch curling iron, and insert the section of the hair so that the clamp is holding it at the roots, with the barrel underneath. Be careful not to burn your scalp.

Pull the iron 2 inches down from the root the section of hair. Rotate the iron under and away from your face until you reach the root again. Hold the iron in your hair for ten seconds and open the clamp to release. Leaving the end uncurled will prevent your hair from becoming too curly, and it will create a natural-looking wave. Continue to curl 1-inch-wide sections on your right until you reach the back of your head.

Move to the left side, starting with the 1-inch-wide section closest to your face, clamping it at the root with the curling iron, pulling the iron through the hair 2 inches, and curling the hair back to the root and away from your face. Repeat until all of your hair in the bottom section has been curled.

Release the top section of hair from the clip. Pick up a 2-inch-wide section from the front, and grasp it at the root with the curling iron. Pull the iron straight up in the air until all the section's hair has passed through the clamps. This will add volume and seal the cuticle.

Grasp the section of hair at the root again, and curl using the same method as with the bottom section. Repeat on all remaining hair, first pulling the hair through the clamps, and then curling outwards away from the face as you did with all of the previous sections.

Rub a dime-sized amount of texturizing paste between your fingertips. Pull it through the ends of each wave to loosen and add definition.

  • Unplug the curling iron as soon as you have finished using it.

Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.