Marcel Curling Iron Tutorial




Introduction: Marcel Curling Iron Tutorial

Making curls last all day can be quite a challenge! Using the right tools and knowing HOW to use them safely is the most important step. While there are all kinds of new gadgets on the market to curl hair, one of the best methods is very old and dependable when all other methods come and go.

Marcel Grateau created the Marcel curling iron around 1875! In professional salons today, you can still find hairdressers using this method to create perfect, long lasting curls in all sizes.

The marcel must be demonstrated when taking some state board of Cosmetology exams to become a licensed hairdresser.

This instructable will build your skill and confidence by following all safety procedures suggested.

Step 1: Supplies

You will need all of the following items:

A marcel curling iron (Available at a beauty supply store such as Sally Beauty Supply)

A styling comb

White tissue


Step 2: Unplug First

STOP! Before you begin, it is important to practice handling the iron. For safety, practice WITHOUT plugging in the iron. These irons can get extremely hot so it is necessary to learn to safely handle it first!

Disclaimer: It is extremely important that you practice and become proficient with this iron before using it on yourself or anyone else. The author of this instructable cannot be held liable for injury caused by improper use or accident. When following this tutorial, you assume full responsiblity for any accident or injury caused by using a marcel.

Step 3: Practice Before Plugging

With the iron unplugged, roll the iron in your dominate hand. It is important to remember not to touch the end of it because it does not have a cap to protect your fingers! If necessary, wear a cotton glove on your other hand as you get used to handling it. But remember, practice with it unplugged first!!

Step 4: Test the Iron, Then Turn on Low

Before you use an iron that is heated, test it by placing a peice of white tissue between the clamp for 10 seconds. If the tissue stays white, it is not too hot. If it turns brown, lower the temperature and wait for it to cool down. Test again before using. Some marcels can get hot enough to singe hair.

Once you have practiced this with a cold iron to the point that you can SAFELY handle the iron, turn in on LOW!! This is not the kind of tool to practice hot your first time!! You must become proficient at the steps above before you perform this on yourself or someone else. The hair must be completely dry. Never perform this on damp hair. Water and electric don't mix! When you finally start curling, section hair as described above. Use clips to section hair out of the way as necessary.

Step 5: Section

Once you feel comfortable rolling the iron in your dominate hand, create a section of hair that is about 2-3 inches long by approximately 1 inch. This is a rectangle shaped section.

Step 6: Warm the Hair, Roll and Click

Practice sliding the iron down the strand of hair about 2-3 times. Once you actually turn the iron on, this will "warm" the hair.

As you roll, you will slide the iron toward you and away from the scalp. Now, we will add "clicking". Clicking is a method to allow the hair to slide without falling off of the iron.

Now you will return to rolling. The method will be roll and click, roll and click until all of the ends are fed through. Starting in the middle of the strand, roll the iron with your knuckles moving upward towards you. A common mistake is to accidently crimp the ends by rolling in the direction that you would normally roll a curling iron with a spring clamp. Watch the direction the hair is moving around the barrel of the iron in the video.

Step 7: Protect the Scalp

As you get close to the scalp, it is necessary to protect the scalp with a comb. Always place a comb between the iron and the scalp. This will keep the iron away from the scalp.

Complete the curl.

Step 8: Complete Curls

Once you have practiced SAFELY using the marcel iron and become proficient at it, the sky is the limit! You can create curls of all sizes! This is useful for special occasions such as weddings, proms and dressing up!

Enjoy the old yet "new" method of creating curls unlike any other iron!

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    1 year ago

    I think it is a good move to your hands.


    Reply 5 years ago



    6 years ago

    A good hair tutorial is always appreciated! :)


    Reply 6 years ago

    Thank you! I will work on making more!!


    6 years ago

    Try using gel and a thermal styling spray first. That might help set the curl! It's possible that your hair is too healthy believe it or not!

    Good luck!


    6 years ago

    Wow, those are beautiful curls! I wonder if this would work for me, my hair is almost impossible to curl.