Burnsville, MN

My Volumized Waves Curl Tutorial


I’m going to start by saying this tutorial is long overdue. This is easily the most requested post I get asked to do.

If you have been reading for a while, you might know that my waves are how I wear my hair 99% of the time. I get asked constantly, “how can you curl your hair everyday?” The reason is because I don’t. I naturally have very thick hair that has a natural waves and holds curl well. I can go 3-6 days without washing my hair and I simply brush it and use a bit of dry shampoo if needed. The curl loosens a bit, but I think that looks pretty and effortless – not to mention it’s super easy.

I recently got this ghd wave wand and LOVE the curls it gives me. The waves have more volume thanks to the shape of the wand and it heats up in a matter of seconds! This iron is an investment but you will literally use it all the time and it’s a great quality one that will last.

How you see my hair below is my natural texture (I let it dry overnight). I swear by this shampoo if you have any type of blonde in your hair and this all-natural conditioner (that is top-rated on Amazon). The shampoo is purple and will keep your blonde from getting brassy looking. The conditioner does a fantastic job of making your hair soft and getting rid of frizz (and it smells amazing!) I absolutely swear by this Olaplex treatment (per recommendation of my hairstylist, Monika). It takes damaged hair and revives it and actually repairs strands. My hair is a little crazy because I’m way overdue for a trim.

Now for the tutorial

If you have any kind of texture in your hair (like me), the first step is to straighten the first few inches of your hair. If you want a looser curl, straighten until your jawline. If you want a more full looking curl, straighten until the top of your cheekbone.

For my bangs, I use a technique that keeps your hair out of your face and gives a really pretty, flowing effect. I start by taking the very top section of my bangs (closest to the part) and straightening it down and away from your face, using a slight curl under angle. I then put it behind the next chunk of hair (as seen in the right image below).

PicMonkey Collage7

Once you have straightened the roots (or have naturally straight hair) you can start to curl. I always go outward from my face and meet in the back. Using the ghd wave wand, start with the chunk of hair that is closest to your roots, surrounding your face. You will then work you way back until you are done with that half and repeat it on the other side.

My trick to getting fuller, thicker and longer looking hair is to take smaller chunks on the top of your hair and the pieces surrounding your face and take larger chunks that are curled more loosely on the bottom.

I curl each chunk for about five seconds. This iron does get very hot and it doesn’t take long. For thicker sections of hair, I curl it for about ten seconds.


Here is where a bit of technique comes in. When you let go of the curl and the hair is cooling down, this is where you can get staying power with your curls.

Let go of the selection of hair and cup the hair in your hand as it falls off the iron. Then hold the curl (as seen in the second image below) for a few seconds. Then release and pull lightly. repeat until your entire head is curled.

PicMonkey Collage1

One note about how I hold this wand in particular. I hold the iron with the top facing down towards the ends of your hair. Wrap the hair around the iron facing away from your face. Start the curl at your jawline and wrap around leaving a few inches left that is not curled. Also, hold this iron with the thin side facing forward towards the mirror so the thick side is parallel to your ear.IMG_6910

Here’s another view of that “cupping” technique I was talking about. When you release the curl, cup it in your hand to cool and then pull lightly to give it a more natural look.PicMonkey Collage2

Repeat on the other half of your head. I like to keep the pieces I’ve curled in front of my shoulder and the sections I haven’t behind my shoulder.PicMonkey Collage4

Once you are done, comb out the underneath sections of hair. This will give a softer appearance to your hair and make it look longer.

IMG_6954 I’ve been using this $4 hairspray for a decade and absolutely love it, it gives you hold but your hair is touchable and still moves. I like to spray my hair while spraying hairspray to give it natural looking volume and lift.IMG_6960

I like to finish off with a shine serum that I apply to the ends. This gives you shine and a healthier look to your hair in general.PicMonkey Collage5

And voila! That is how I curl my hair. Start to finish, this takes me 25-30 minutes on day one and then no time for the rest of the week! I let the waves below “mellow out” on their own, but you can brush them out if you want a softer look.IMG_6967

Shop the products I use


A big thanks to ghd for sponsoring this post and to you all for supporting the brands I love.

As always, thank you for reading.

ghd Wave Wand

$4 Go-To Hairspray



  1. Helen Wrote:

    Your hair is so beautiful! So jealous that it can last all week!

    XO Helen | http://www.kaleidoscopeSpinning.com

    • Brenna Wrote:

      Oh thank you! It was a curse dealing with waves in a time where pin-straight hair was the thing, but I learned to embrace and love it!