Whenever I have a special occasion or big night out to get ready for, curls are my go-to look. Part of the reason I’m such a big fan is that they make my fine hair look thicker and give it more body – who doesn’t want that? But I also love how versatile they are. For a friend’s wedding, I can do smooth, cascading curls for a glamorous, retro look. For a night out with the girls, I can go for messy, loose curls for a sexy, sultry feel. And those are just the tip of the iceberg – you can rock curls in so many different ways. Best of all, curling your hair is pretty easy once you master the technique – and because you can choose from several different curling methods, there’s no limit to the amount of looks that you can create. If you aren’t aware of all the techniques for curling your hair, here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular so you can play around and find the method that suits you – and your hair – best.
A curling iron is probably the most common tool for adding va-va-voom curls to your hair. Curling irons come in a variety of sizes, but for traditional curls, choose one with at least a 1-inch barrel. If you’ve got thick hair, you’ll probably want to go even bigger.
Start with clean, dry hair and wrap your hair around the barrel, starting at the front and working backwards – and remember to curl your hair away from your face for the most flattering look. If you want big, loose curls, wrap large sections of hair around the curling iron. For tight ringlets, curl your hair in small sections.
When you’re finished, spray your curls with a flexible hold hairspray like the Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Flexible Hold Hairspray and let them cool completely. If you want more of a wavy look, you can use your fingers to gently separate and soften your curls.
Hot rollers are another classic tool for traditional curls. The sets usually contain rollers in several different sizes, so you can choose the right one depending on which section of your hair that you’re curling. While the rollers are heating, divide clean, dry hair into four sections – one on each side, one in the back, and one on the top. Separate the top into three smaller sections and use large rollers for those sections to add major volume. Medium size rollers work well for the rest of your hair, while small rollers are ideal for bangs for shorter layers. Remember clips to hold the rollers in place.
When you’re working on the sides of your head, curl your hair on the rollers away from your face just as you would with a curling iron. Let the rollers sit in your hair for about 20 minutes. When you unroll them, do one at a time, starting at the back of your head and moving forward. Let your hair cool for a few minutes before running your fingers through them to loosen them a bit. Spray your hair with a light hairspray like the TRESemme Tres Two Ulra Fine Mist Hair Spray to lock the waves in place.
You might think your flat iron is only good for smoothing your locks for a pin straight look, but you can actually give your hair a nice curl with it – once you get the hang of it. As with a curling iron or hot rollers, you want to start with clean, dry hair. Make sure your flat iron is between 1 and 2 inches wide – larger, paddle style straighteners won’t curl your hair effectively. Let your flat iron heat and separate your hair into several sections.
Take a piece of hair from the section you’re curling and close the flat iron at the top, fairly close to your scalp. Turn the iron back on itself about one half turn and then run it down your hair. If you want a loose curl, move the iron quickly. For tighter curls, go slow. When you’ve finished your entire head, let your hair cool for several minutes before running your fingers through it and spritzing it with a medium hold hairspray like the Aveda Brilliant Medium Hold Hair Spray.
Lazy, No-Heat Curls
Using a curling iron, hot rollers, or flat iron to curl your hair isn’t difficult once you get the hang of it – but it can be time-consuming, especially if you’ve got a lot of hair. The heat from these styling tools can also damage your hair (which is why you should always use a heat protectant like the John Frieda Frizz-Ease Heat Defeat Protective Styling Spray before curling with heat.).
So when I don’t have a lot of time to do my hair in the morning and want to give my locks a break from heat styling, I go the lazy route and start my curling routine the night before. Make sure your hair is clean and damp, and divide it into several sections, braiding each. The smaller the braid, the tighter your finished curls. Allow your braids to dry overnight as you sleep and when you wake in the morning, spray them with a curl activating spray like the AG Curl Trigger Curl Defining Spray before undoing the braids. Use your fingers to tousle your curls and spritz with your favorite hairspray to keep them in place all day.
Do you have any tips on getting the perfect curls? We would LOVE to hear them! Please share them below.