How to Avoid Kinking With Hot Tools Like a Curling Iron

Using the right tools and techniques can help prevent kinks while curling.

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Hot tools can change your look in an instant, but if you aren't careful you can end up with unsightly kinks and crimps that break up the profile of your wavy ‘do. However, with a little pretreatment, the right tools and some savvy curling tricks, you can get a sultry head of curly locks that's free of unnatural-looking kinks.


What you do to your hair before using your hot styling tools makes a big difference in how your curls look when you're done. Start with an anti-frizz leave-in conditioner that you apply after your shower. A thermal protector, such as a spray or serum, applied just before styling can keep your hair in top shape while you curl, so it doesn't become damaged and develop kinks.

The Right Tools

Choosing the right tools helps prevent kinks from forming by making it easier to create pretty curls without damage. The best option for kinkless curling is a clampless curling iron. These hot tools don't have a clip, so you eliminate those clamp-induced kinks that often appear at the ends of your hair. Instead of clamping and curling, simply twirl your hair around the barrel, which results in a more natural-looking wave. If you use a curling iron with a clamp or curl your hair with a flat iron, choose one with a variable heat setting and place a paper towel between your hair and the hot surface to minimize crimping.

Techniques and Tips

Start with dry hair when you curl to avoid damaging your hair's cuticles because damage can make your hair more likely to kink and break. Spread out your hair on the curling iron barrel to avoid uneven heating. When you start curling, begin with the iron as close to your scalp as possible and don't leave little bits of hair sticking out at the end. Set your curling iron to the lowest setting to start. If your hair isn't holding its curl, you can raise the temperature, but a lower setting keeps your hair softer and more supple, making kinks less likely.

Smoothing Out Problems

If your hair kinks and crimps despite your best efforts, the best solution may be to spritz the bent end with water, give it a gentle blow-dry and restyle. Don't try to rush things and re-curl the end while it's still wet or you'll just end up scorching your hair.

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