Saturday, June 8, 2013

Curly hair, 4 ways! (plus links to more!)

My camera is still broken, so many apologies for the quality of some of these pictures, especially the ones I had to take myself!
I've been wanting to do this for awhile because I get a lot of questions about how my hair got a certain curl in emails and comments. I use a lot of different curling methods and will include links for more at the end, but here are my four favorite. I wanted to keep the results as accurate as possible, so I didn't use ANY PRODUCT for the process. None. No hairspray, no teasing, no mousse... nothing. Everything is based on my hair (just above my chest in length, thin), so results will vary depending on your length and texture. 
First we have the standard hot rollers. I've had these Conair rollers for nearly 10 years! These aren't my exact set, because mine aren't in production now but these are really close. Depending on your hair length, choose the roller size. I recommend either a multi-set or one that has only jumbo and extra large sized rollers, especially if you have really long hair. 
I like to roll my hair up and then do my makeup while the curls set. I start with the littlest rollers on top and then mix the medium and large sizes up around the rest of my head. The less hair you wrap around the roller, the more tight and long lasting your curl will be. If you use only 8 jumbo large rollers on your whole head, your waves will be much more relaxed than my final version, which used all 20 rollers in the kit.
Lots of big, bouncy curls! I like to tease my hair first and put spray in before rolling, then you would get awesome volume in addition to the curls, but again., there was no product or teasing involved in any pics!
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes, 10 minutes to roll the hair and 35 to heat and cool. It's important to allow the curl to cool and set before removing the rollers, however that last 35 minutes is hands free.
HOLD TIME: 1 day at the most, even when sprayed. The next day my hair will have volume and body, but not have any real curl.
My friend, Claire, introduced me to the power of a a curling wand. I had seen them in stores, but wasn't sold on them until she showed up with GORGEOUS waves one night and cited the wand as the source. She said that she had actually done her hair the day before and they were still that awesome the next day. She was really into the wand because her hair had a hard time holding curls, and this worked so well. I love the wand, this is my favorite way to curl hair and the most in-depth in this post. However, it's the most time consuming at about 30 minutes for my hair length, so I don't do it often. Remember, if you curl larger sections than 1 inch and have shorter hair, your time will change.
Start by sectioning off all of your hair, leaving only a small amount down. Grab 1 inch sections (more or less depending on how curly you want your hair) and wrapping them around the wand. Hold for 10-15 seconds and release.
Continue to curl the bottom section. 
Once the bottom section is done, release another section from one side of the head. I release the hair and then flip it back over my part, pulling down 1 inch sections as I'm ready to curl them so that straight hair doesn't mix in with already curled hair.
Here's a fresh finished curl.
One side nearly done! It doesn't matter too much if you roll the hair toward or away from you, but when I get close to my face, I prefer to roll hair away so that it stays out of my face.
One side done, getting ready to release the other side and finish!
I took some up close and far away shots so you could see just how curly this is. The curls are tight and go from the crown to tip. 
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
HOLD TIME: 2 days if you use hair spray, the next day they'll be more beachy and relaxed. 
I also really love the 3 barrel irons on the market today. These create actual waves vs. curls from the start. The results are akin to the love child of a crimper and traditional curling iron.
Using a 3 barrel, you'll follow the exact same process as the wand, only you want a thinner section that is wider. My section may be 4 inches long, but it will be thinner than the 1 inch sections I wrap around my wand.
Start at the top and clamp. I hold for about 20 seconds.
Release the hair and move your barrels down to the uncurled section, repeat as necessary until the length is completed.
There it is! I started a little too low. My iron should have been closer to the base of my neck, which made that little kink there. 
Final product! Much more messy and less defined than the wand, it's also much quicker.
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
HOLD TIME: 1-2 days, when sprayed. The second day will be more relaxed. 
The last method is a simple no heat strategy, used for ages. Every night, I braid pigtails in before bed. I can't stand my hair in my face at night and one big braid down the back of my head is also annoying. On nights where I go to bed with wet hair, it results in light, beachy waves that last all day. I didn't bother with pictures, but I did have two of the finished project that I forgot to upload, so I'll update with them in an hour or so. You can see one finished picture in the collage below.
TOTAL TIME: 8 hours, or however long you sleep. It takes less than 2 minutes to braid. 
HOLD TIME: All day. The results will be much better if you put in a mousse before and spray with a curling/sculpting gel in the morning. 
Ta da!
And as promised, here's a method for EASY PIN CURLS that I used when my hair was super short. I also have one here for NO-HEAT DOWNTON HAIR. Also, I used both my wand and 3 barrel iron when I had a short stacked bob, so I recommend them for varying hair lengths.
What's your favorite way to curl hair?
All the best, and as always, thanks for reading! 


  1. I really like the 3 barrel look.. I've seen them before but for some reason I always thought they gave a more crimped look but that's not the case at all! I think I'm going to have to get one of those.. Thanks!

    1. Yeah! I really loved it when I had short hair. The good news is they have gone way down in price while you've been debating, so that's a plus!


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