How To Tong Your Hair At Home Like A Pro |

How To Tong Your Hair At Home Like A Pro

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From bombshell curls to undone waves, hair tongs are one of the most versatile styling tools out there. But if you haven’t got the knack of them, don’t stress – we grilled Sam Burnett, Owner & Creative Director of London salon Hare & Bone, to find out everything you need to know.

How should you prep the hair?

If you’re applying heated styling tools to the hair you should always begin by using a heat protectant spray. Run it through the hair evenly with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb.

Where do you start?

I always recommend tonging your hair in sections starting with the bottom layer of hair. This way you’re less likely to miss any strands.

How thick should the sections be?

The smaller the section, the tighter and more defined the curls will be. In the same way, the bigger the section, the softer the curls or waves will be.

Which way should you work around the head?

If you start at the front of the face or hairline and work your way back around the head it is much easier to assess if you are happy with the wave. After all, the most important waves are those that frame the face.

Any tips for making the front look good?

The direction of the curls or waves around the front of the face should vary depending on the face shape of the individual. Oval and heart face shapes are versatile and suit curls that are tonged away, or towards, the face. For long face shapes, tong away from the face. Square and round face shapes should tong towards the face to flatter the shape.

How can you make fine hair look better?

Consider your hair length: longer hair is heavier and can be harder for a curl to hold its shape. Incorporate layers around the face to add thickness and body. Also, finer hair requires more product to help keep the curl in place. Prep the hair with a curl-boosting spray for longer lasting hold and structure.

And what about thick hair?

Thick hair can have too much body so to create the illusion of sleeker hair, smooth out the hair as much as possible in the blow-drying process by using a paddle brush. This is called the ‘wrap technique’, and creates a head-hugging, smoother look.

How can those of us with shorter hair try the look?

If you have a bob and want to create movement and texture, begin at the front of your face or hairline and curl away from your face, then curl the next section towards your face, alternating all the way round. The end result is a more textured, casual wave.

And what about long hair, any tips for keeping the movement in place?

Long hair is heavier than short hair which means that the curls can drop out quicker. By creating tighter curls, you can allow them to relax and drop throughout the day. You can also change the direction and thickness of the sections to keep the movement throughout the hair.

Is just-washed hair best, or day-old?

For the most natural waves, wash the day of styling. If you want a grittier, more textured finish tong your hair the day after you have washed it.

Is there a golden rule to getting waves to look natural?

Always hold your tongs at a 90-degree angle to avoid kinks. If you’re not happy with a section you’ve tonged, wait until it is completely cool before re-styling.

How can you make it look cool and undone?

Allow your hair to dry naturally then plait sections of the hair at random. Take different sections of the hair and tong in various directions throughout, leaving some of the hair with its natural texture.

Do different tongs give you a different look? Which should you choose for what?

Wider barrel tongs create a more natural wave whereas smaller, narrower tongs create a tighter curl. However, if you have short hair you should opt for a smaller barrel because your hair may not be long enough to reach around a wide tong.

Any celebs you think wear the look well?

Margot Robbie is owning effortless, natural waves at the moment.


Curve Classic Wave Wand, £120 | ghd

Salon Soft Waves Hair Styler, £32 | BaByliss

Curve Soft Curl Tong, £120 | ghd

Original Wand, £125 | Cloud Nine

Gas Hair Styler, £24.99 | BaByliss

Waving Wand, £89.50 | Cloud Nine

Curve Classic Curl Tong, £120 | ghd

Curling Wand, £99.95 | Cloud Nine

Curve Creative Curl Wand, £120 | ghd


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