Articles > Styling > 6 Tips For Soft Marcel Waves on Any Length
Last updated: September 30, 2021

6 Tips For Soft Marcel Waves on Any Length

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Instagram via @chrisjones_hair

Marcel Waves: 6 Styling Tips + Fast Styling Tutorials For Every Client

Are you ready to master the Marcel iron to give clients the soft, effortless waves they’re requesting? We’re here to tell you: “Don’t overthink it!” and BTC Team Members Chris Jones (@chrisjones_hair) and Mickey Colon Jr. (@mickeycolonjr) are here to SHOW you! Keep scrolling for all of the tips and vids you need to achieve the naturally texturized waves clients love to see.


Click here to shop Hot Tools® Professional Marcel & Curling Irons and SAVE!


Tip #1: Use a twist + pull technique for easy waves

Chris shared his go-to technique for creating his signature wavy bobs, check out the steps below!


  • Chris starts with the 1.25-inch Hot Tools® Professional Black Gold™ Marcel Curling Iron in the middle of the section.
  • Then, he gently opens and closes the iron while pulling in the ends.
  • When the ends are about an inch or two from the iron, he rotates the tip of the iron in a circle, releasing the hair in a twist as he pulls the ends through. 


Chris demonstrates the technique below!

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A post shared by Chris Jones (@chrisjones_hair)


Tip #2: Secret to soft waves? It’s ALL about direction

Do fancy styling videos make you overwhelmed? Chris’s advice: Don’t believe the hype. “The direction of your sectioning, how you hold the iron and your curls are all that matters. Keep it simple with a 1.25 inch Marcel iron and texture spray, it’s all you need.” He shared his direction roadmap below: 


  • Sections: Horizontal. This allows curls to fall in the direction they grow.
  • Iron: Vertical. This avoids wrapping the hair too tight around the iron and maintains soft tension when working down the section.
  • Curls: Alternate. Switching up the direction of each curl allows them to fall into each other, creating a soft, lived-in texture. 


Ready to try Chris’s technique? Click here to purchase the Hot Tools Black Gold™ Marcel Iron and SAVE!


Tip #3: Use tension on longer locks for boho curls 

Mickey likes to gently pull the hair down when releasing from the iron so curls cool already elongated. He also suggests only looping the hair twice around the barrel before slowly releasing. 


Check out the video for Mickey’s technique!

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A post shared by Balayage/ #handtouchbalayage (@mickeycolonjr)


Tip #4: Create a soft bend to enhance movement

Bobs don’t always need picture-perfect curls. By curling a wave around the face and taking larger sections throughout the sides and crown, Chris can add movement and enhance texture without going overboard. “The focus is really on the face-frame, but the soft bend really brings it all together,” he explains. 


Tip #5: Grab a smaller barrel iron for soft, mermaid waves

Mickey recommends leaving the ends out of his 3/4-inch Hot Tools® Professional Marcel Iron to soften the waves and create movement but still achieving maximum texture. 


Watch the video for a full tutorial!

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A post shared by Balayage/ #handtouchbalayage (@mickeycolonjr)


Tip #6: Two techniques for combing curls that don’t fall flat

In the words of Chris Jones, “Don’t walk away without combing curls!” But if your curls fall flat, the fear is real! So, Chris recommends trying these two methods: 


  • Comb Technique: After the hair has cooled, gently run a wide tooth comb throughout all of the curls and apply a texturizing product to set the lived-in texture.


  • Finger Technique: Finer curls need a bit more support for long-lasting hold, so make sure to prep with a volumizing mousse to create a foundation. Then, only lightly rake your fingers through to soften the curls and finish with a texture spray to build memory.


Click here for more tips and tricks for achieving soft waves on every length! 

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