Despite the many "easy" and "fast" hair curling tutorials on YouTube, figuring out how to actually use a curling iron can be difficult and time-consuming in the beginning. Even after you get the hang of working a curling iron, there's still learning which tool you need for the type of curl you want to create, and which iron will work better for your hair type. Finding the best curling iron for long, thick hair can be a struggle, whether you're just learning to curl your hair or you're a seasoned pro. That's why it never hurts to check in with an actual professional, like Kérastase consulting hairstylist Jennifer Yepez, who regularly creates an array of beachy waves and volumized curls on long-haired models like Gigi Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and Winnie Harlow.
"I like curling irons that are ceramic because it has a protective layer against the heat," Yepez notes of her own preference when she's curling long, thick hair types. "They really allow you to get more shine and are less harsh on the hair," she adds. Yepez also explains that for thicker hair types, it's okay to crank the heat up to 400 degrees. "I'll use the highest temperature setting because I don't want to leave the hair on the iron for long and I want to make sure the style stays put."
When using the higher heat setting, Yepez notes that it's important to use a heat protectant spray or cream on your hair before you start curling to help further shield it from any damage. "I love Kérastase L'incroyable Lotion because it helps protect the hair while also maintaining the style," Yepez recommends. "Prepping the hair is the most important part of making a style last, so I also like to mix theMousse Bouffante and Densifique Densimorphose to give volume and some hold."
For your best tousled curls, Yepez shares that she likes to "start close to the root and then wrap the hair around flat over the barrel and continue to twist." To give the curls a more natural and less prom-like finish, Yepez says to leave the ends out — something that's especially important if you're going for beachy waves.