Loose Waves Tutorial (1 Curling Iron, 2 Ways)

loose waves video tutorial

Rumor has it some mighty fine individuals have tried my curling iron tutorial with success. (Can we call it the Whoorl Curl? Oh, come on…please? Humor me.) Take a gander at these hot mamas.

Three favorite ladies – Mandy, Rita, and Molly.

LOVE IT. Keep sending pics! (This reminds me of my Blunt Bang Brigade from a couple years ago. Remember these photos?) (Also, my bangs are down to my chin. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?! Must remedy pronto.)

Besides photos of gorgeous ladies donning shiny waves, I have also received this particular question many, many times.


Okay, maybe not phrased exactly like that. More like:

Can I achieve soft, loose waves with a traditional clamp curling iron?

The answer is a resounding YES, ladies. You can rock some really lovely waves by using a traditional curling iron with a clamp, and I’m going to show you how. In this video, I used a Sedu Revolution clipless curling iron on one side of my hair and a Hot Tools traditional clamp curling iron on the other side. Also, I spent more time demonstrating the technique this time around, so hopefully it will be helpful to those who need a a little more practice. Either way, your curls will look really lovely. Let clipless and traditional curling irons live in harmony! Peace be with you.

Enzo Milano vs. Sedu Revolution review here.

No-Clamp tutorial here.

  1. Kristen

    February 2, 2012 at 8:02 am

    LOVE this — you’ve almost got me wishing I had long hair!

    I’m styling a friend’s hair for her wedding in a month, and now I feel the need to do another run-through with her using your clamp method. It’s a beach wedding, and I just KNOW I can get her waves a little beachier than they were on the last try.

  2. SFDC

    February 2, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Excellent tutorial. It would be so great to see another on how you do your blow out!

  3. anne

    February 2, 2012 at 8:46 am

    You wanna know what is funny? I grew my hair out with the hopes that one day, I could have hair that looks like what you have done… last week, I watched your video… tried it… it sucked with my length, so I got my hair chopped. That’s the way I roll… hahaha…

  4. Seriously Sassy Mama

    February 2, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I am a failure as a woman with hair. I do not own a curling iron, or any hair products besides shampoo and conditioner. I would love those waves, so I guess I better by one.

  5. Siera

    February 2, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Once I saw your tutorial a few years ago, I finally tried using a curling iron for the first tine since high school. Why I never did before? Because I was scared! I was used to the clamp from the skinny curling iron, and it would take me 2 hours to curl a ponytail. Now I rock your no clamp technique. Now if only my curling iron would turn up cuz its been MIA for awhile. Ladies, go forth and try the no clamp!

  6. Katherine

    February 2, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I’ve been using a clamp curling iron, but curling clampless for a number of years. I tried to macgyver the clamp off but gave up after too many tries and too many finger stabs.

    Next go around I’ll be purchasing the wand for sure. Wrap curls for the win!

    ? Katherine

  7. Isabel

    February 2, 2012 at 11:13 am

    You know I’ve rocked the Whoorl Curl for a long time. While my hair doesn’t stay as curly for very long, it still looks nice throughout the day.

    I honestly came here specifically to look at your recent pictures and see if I should cut my bangs again! Are you saying that your chin length bangs are too long and you’re going to cut them? I loved my blunt bangs. My husband did not. I want to cut them again. He says blunt bangs are out. What to do, what to do?!

    So, how are you going to cut your bangs, oh Goddess of the Whoorl Curl?

    • whoorl

      February 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Yes, I’m cutting them shorter again, but just sideswept. I think I’m done with the blunt action. :)

  8. Kristyn

    February 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Okay…so I have naturally curly hair…do I shampoo, apply a product and then do the same….or do I straighten it first or??? Help me !! Also …what product was that again and do you recommend any others?? I is clueless I tell you! Thank you.

    • whoorl

      February 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm


      I would shower, towel dry, apply a styling cream or lotion (the one I talked about in the video is awesome – Alterna Caviar Styling Tonic), blow dry your hair with a round or paddle brush to smooth in out (even the night before if you want), and then start with the curling iron.

      If you want to add another step, you could always use a heat-protectant spray before you use the curling iron, but the above mentioned product is fine by itself. Good luck!

      • Kristyn

        February 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm

        Thank you so much! You wouldn’t believe how much my hair needs help right now…

        • Kate

          February 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

          Hey Kristyn, I have very wavy/curly hair as well, and I often use the clampless curl method to tame the frizzy sections. I blowdry with styling cream and a diffuser as usual (don’t straighten). The finished curls don’t look as polished or even as whoorl’s, but I find that it’s the least time-consuming and most effective way to tame my hair!

  9. mandy

    February 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I know I’ve said this at least 6 times now, but I love the clampless curls so much it hurts. I refuse to go back to using my clamp. Thank you for helping me see the light. Whoorl Curl – could it be any more perfect? No. The answer is no.

  10. Jessica

    February 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I love this. I have straight hair and I’ve always wanted curly hair. I just can’t get the curls to stay. I’ll have to give this a shot. Hopefully it will work for me.

    Oh, and I definitely can’t tell the difference between the two.

    • whoorl

      February 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      You definitely need to apply a product with some hold before your curl with the iron. I love the product I mentioned above, but you could anything that is designed to give your hair some hold.

  11. linette

    February 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    THANK YOU because now I can finally dust off the hot tools iron that’s been gathering dust under my bathroom sink! Can’t wait to try this tomorrow, just hope my super fine straight hair will cooperate and hold the curl for more than an hour. Unrelated: may I ask what nail polish color you were wearing in the video – love it.

    • whoorl

      February 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

      Let me know how it goes! As for the polish, Essie Ballet Slippers.

  12. narmalie

    February 3, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Love this! Now, if I only had the PATIENCE to do it… :)

    • whoorl

      February 4, 2012 at 8:47 am

      Once you get used to it, it flies by! I can do my entire head in 5-7 minutes.

    • Molly

      February 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Yes, you get good at it quickly and it takes no time at all.

  13. Haley

    February 3, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I did the clamp curl this morning and I LOVE IT! My husband did too. He’s really funny about my hair and said this was his favorite curl I have done so far! THANKS! I’ll send a pic if I take one of myself I like :)

  14. Torrie @ a place to share...

    February 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    first of all… this video was extremely well done. just perfect in terms of amount of detail/instruction/etc. my question is in terms of product. i ordered the oribe spray (like i mentioned on twitter to use as a dry shampoo/volumizer. i purchased the tonic that you mentioned here as well. so… if *don’t blow dry on a particular day, would you recommend spraying the tonic prior to curling… or another product… or just using the tonic if i blow dry my hair?

    again… thank you so much for your videos/advice/product research/recommendations… if there’s a link where you’ve already talked about this, please feel free to share instead of “re-explaining”!

    • whoorl

      February 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

      Hey, Torrie! I usually just use the tonic when I blow dry, whether or not I curl the day of washing or the following. However, if you hair is dry or delicate, you might want to spray a heat protectant on your dry hair right before curling, if you haven’t washed and used the tonic on that particular day. Love this one by Redken:


      • Torrie @ a place to share...

        February 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm

        thank you so much… i had to purchase a clarifying shampoo today, so i purchased this spray as well! looks like i’m pretty much set in terms of products (thanks to you)… now i need to actually DO my hair! :)

  15. April

    February 3, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve long wished for these results with my curling iron and wondered why I couldn’t achieve them. Watching this video, it dawned on me that it is because I have been DOING IT TOTALLY WRONG. So, thank you so much for showing the correct way achieve those waves. I can’t wait to try.

    I would love a video tutorial on your blow dry technique(s). I have similar length, texture and thickness to yours, but can never quite achieve that smooth look (typically have a decent bit of frizz).

    Thanks again, I love your videos!

    • whoorl

      February 4, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Hi April! I have put that on my list, but I did make a blow dry video eons ago. (It’s really crappy quality, and I use a different dryer with a nozzle attachment, but might give you an idea before I film a new one.)