How to Curl Your Hair with the InStyler Rotating Iron

It's pretty much a given in the beauty world that “the grass is always greener on the other side.” If you're thin, you want curves; if you're curvy, you wish for a willowy figure. Those blessed with an ample bosom long for a juicier derriere, and vice versa. It's no different with hair. Brunettes want to be blonde and blondes want to be redheads.

Curly-headed girls long for straight locks and straight-haired girls look for any way to give their hair some bounce and life. Well, we can't help much with those first few examples, but we've got a solution for anyone looking to add some “oomph” to their straight, limp strands.


InStyler created the original rotating iron and touts its products as “accessible and totally genius tools to help deliver amazing style while still keeping hair at its healthiest.” What more could you want? 

Nowadays they offer several types of rotating curling irons to choose from, depending on your needs. All work in the same general way, though. One side of the tool is a bristle brush to keep your hair from tangling or falling away mid-use and the other side has the magical heated rotating barrel from which your glamorous, effortless curls will soon come.

How to Use

  1. Plug in and turn on the iron. (Always make sure that it is completely dry before turning on.)
  2. Choose the best heat setting for your hair type and give it a few seconds to warm up. Fine hair tolerates medium heat best, while normal hair can usually handle either medium or high heat settings. Thick or coarse hairs will need the highest heat setting possible.
  3. Pin the majority of your hair on top of your head, away from your eyes. Leave a few bottom sections down and begin with those. Continue working upward and outward, section by section.
  4. Check to make sure that the direction that the barrel is rotating goes away from your face. If it is turning the wrong way, tap the bristle part of the tool to the barrel twice to change the rotation direction. Note: once you complete one side of your hair, you will need to change the rotation direction again to ensure that the curls on both sides of your face turn outward.
  5. For loose curls concentrated at the tip of your hair, place a section of hair in between the two arms of the tool as close to the roots of your hair as possible without burning your skin. Close the tool onto the hair and begin to pull away from your head at an angle slowly.
  6. For tighter curls, hold the iron open and wrap the section of hair around the barrel as many times as it will go. Gently close the brush over the barrel and rotate your wrist slightly to incorporate the extreme ends of your hair if they are sticking out from the barrel. Leave the hair in place and allow the barrel to rotate for 5-10 seconds, depending on how tight you want your curls. The longer you leave it, the tighter the curl will be.
  7. For either type of curl, allow hair to cool completely before touching it or brushing it to adjust anything.
  8. Finish by fluffing out your curls and spraying some light hairspray throughout (but concentrating on the curled parts) to set your style.
  9. If you need to add some volume to the top of your head after you've completed the rest of your style, simply grab a section in the middle of the top of your head, right behind where any bangs or fine face-framing strands would be and pull them up and back with the iron. This will give an added layer of bounce that will frame the rest of your work very nicely.
  10. Get creative! YouTube has a multitude of videos demonstrating different ways to use the rotating iron and all of the many, beautiful styles you can create. 

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Start with dry hair. Unless you are using the 'wet to dry” version of the rotating iron, you want to make sure that your hair is completely dry throughout before starting for optimal curling results.
  • Go slowly! It's natural to want to finish your hair styling as quickly as possible so that you can get out the door and show off your waves, but trust us, a little patience during the curling process will result in much better results than a quick run through.
  • Never use with synthetic hair extensions. Extensions made from natural hair are acceptable, but never use this tool with any hair that did not come from a human head.
  • Avoid curling large sections of hair at a time. The tool works best with smaller sections of hair. When there is too much hair, the heat cannot sufficiently penetrate all the strands.
  • Avoid using oil-based hair products, if possible.
  • Don't section your hair with your fingers; use a comb instead for more precise lines.
  • Make sure that the iron is always rotating away from your face. Your hair will look strange if both sides are turning in the same direction.
  • For best results, place the iron behind the strand that you wish to curl. This is generally an easier position from which to operate the iron and helps remind you that your curls should be turning away from your face. 

Related Questions

How do I clean it?

Once it's cool, wipe the barrel down with a wet cloth. That's all you need. The brush can be cleaned like any other bristle brush. A light scrubbing should be sufficient to remove any residual styling product that might accumulate.

Are curls the only type of hairstyle possible?

No, you can also use this tool to straighten your hair or flip it under or over at the ends. In other words, this does it all!

Do I have to straighten my curly hair before using this product?

No. If your hair is naturally curly at the beginning of the process, you can use the outside of the barrel as a straightener before making curls. To do this, simply hold your hair at the tips and run the heated barrel along one side of the section to flatten it out. 

Then proceed as described above. If your hair is naturally wavy, you may be able to get away with using the iron as normal as it inherently straightens as you pull it through your hair to the ends.

What, if any, styling products should I use to optimize my look?

This depends on your personal preferences and your particular hair composition. The iron will work on dry hair without any styling product. If you so choose, you can apply a thermal lotion beforehand to help protect your strands. Some people like to use a styling spray to help hold their curls in place. This can be especially helpful for people with fine/thin hair. Lastly, it never hurts to add a bit of hairspray to lock in all of your hard work.

How is this product different than a flat iron?

While the InStyler rotating iron does have the ability to straighten hair, it functions quite differently than a flat iron. Flat irons utilize two extremely hot plates to compress and bake your hair into submission. (Hence the frequent frizz and flyaways.

This rotating iron uses only one side of the device as a heat source and utilizes much lower temperatures to achieve even better effects than flat irons. Plus, it’s inherently more versatile and can provide extra volume at the roots if you so choose, whereas flat irons mostly just leave you...flat.

Will this work on me if I have short hair?

Yes! Depending on just how short your hair actually is, the outcome will be different. Shoulder-length hair and long bobs generally still have enough length to them to allow you to achieve at least soft curls at the ends, if not throughout the strands. If your hair is either very short or has a lot of layering, you can still benefit from using the iron, but you might not get curls. Instead, you can use this device to add beautiful volume and movement to short hair.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *