Do you ever find yourself staring with envy at pictures of celebs with their sexy, beach waves, and wishing you knew how to curl your hair and make it last more than 30 minutes?
In fact, since researching for my 8 beauty tricks to make your face look thinner post and discovering that sleek, straight hair makes your face look fatter (for lack of a better term), I have been obsessed with figuring out how to transform my dull, boring locks into beautiful, face-framing curls.
The good news is, with a little research and practice (okay, a lot of research and practice), I’ve finally figured it out, and today I’m going to teach YOU how to curl your hair and make it last. I’ve made a few product recommendations throughout this post, and in case you prefer to shop online like I do, I’ve put them all into a Look Book below. I’ve also added affiliate links throughout the post so you can have the products delivered straight to your home!
(If you don’t have time to read the entire post, skip ahead to tip #9 as it has been the biggest game-changer for me!)
1. IT ALL STARTS WITH YOUR HAIR CUT
I’ve always known thick, blunt ends won’t hold a curl, and that long layers work best for beach waves, but it wasn’t until I read how to make your curls stay by Hair and Make-up by Steph that I realized the health of your hair plays an important role, too. In fact, the more damaged and split the ends of your locks are, the harder it will be to curl your hair. So if you want perfect curls, treat yourself to a good hair trim and then check out some of our tips on how to prevent split ends and how to repair damaged hair so you can continue to maintain a beautiful head of hair!
2. CUT BACK ON THE SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
We all know that unwashed hair holds a style better than freshly washed hair (right?), but did you know that cutting back on the hair conditioner can also help your hair hold a curl better? It can also help you prolong a hair wash, so the next time you’re lathering up in the shower, use a very small amount of conditioner and only apply it to the ends of your hair!
3. INVEST IN A GOOD DRY SHAMPOO
Dry shampoo is fabulous for days when you don’t have time to wash your hair, but it also helps add volume and texture to hair that is difficult to style. I’ve tried many different products over the last couple of years, and really love Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo, but if you’re looking for something a little less expensive you can pickup at your local drugstore, I highly recommend Dry Shampoo. It’s my go-to product when we’re traveling, and at less than $5 on Amazon, you really can’t go wrong!
4. ADD SOME TEXTURE TO YOUR HAIR
While dry shampoo is a great way to add texture to your hair, I find it a bit drying, so when my hair is freshly washed and I want to add some texture so it will hold a curl, I typically reach for my beloved Moroccan Oil Volumizing Mousse instead. My hairdresser got me hooked on the Moroccan Oil line of products a few years ago and I love them, and while a little goes a long way, they are pretty pricey, so I tend to reserve them for special occasions. For everyday use, I typically use Tresemme products and love love love the Tresemme Thermal Creations Volumising Mousse. It gets the job done and smells great, all for less than $10!
5. PROTECT YOUR LOCKS
I learned the hard way that hot tools can be VERY damaging to your hair, so before you bust out the curling iron, make sure to LIBERALLY apply a heat protector to your locks. I alternate between CHI 44 Iron Guard (about $12) and TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray (about $7.50) depending on what’s available and how much I want to spend, and have been happy with both. I buy a couple of bottles at a time so I don’t run out as I still have nightmares about the damage I did to my hair in my early 20s!
6. USE THE RIGHT CURLING WAND
For years, I always thought a 32MM barrel was the secret to sexy, curly hair, but after doing some research, I decided to give a 25MM (one-inch) Hot Tools Flipperless Curling Wand a try, and it made all the difference in the world. Not only do my curls look better, but when I use the techniques I share in the remainder of this post, they last longer too!
7. LEARN THE RIGHT TECHNIQUE
I don’t know about you, but I need to see something in action if I have any hope in heck of figuring out how to do it. And that’s why I love Beauty High. They compiled this awesome list of the best YouTube curling hair tutorials, which are full of awesome tips and tricks to teach you how to curl your hair and make it last.
8. START FROM THE TOP
In the past, I always thought it made sense to clip my hair into different layers and start curling it from the bottom up. That’s what I do when I straighten my hair, so it just seemed like the natural thing to do. But when I told my hairdresser this, he almost died of laughter before showing me how much easier (and quicker!) it is if you start from the top and work your way down. Live and learn, I say!
9. CRACK OUT THE BOBBY PINS
If I could only give you ONE piece of advice about how to get your curls to last, it’s this: roll each fresh curl around your finger, fasten it to your head with a bobby pin, and then, when all of your hair has been curled and pinned, spray with hair spray, leave for 10 minutes, and remove the curls one by one. I learned this trick after reading an AWESOME hair curling tutorial on Cosmopolitan (GAH! I can’t find the link to it!!!), and it has been a life-changer for me. It takes me LESS time to curl my hair with this method, and the end result is always bouncier curls that last all day long.
10. NEVER FORGET THE HAIR SPRAY
Always lock in your look with hair spray. I prefer Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray because it gives a more natural hold and smells fabulous – I told you I love the Morrocanoil products! – but you’ll find heaps of fantastic options at your local drugstore. And don’t forget to grab a small bottle for your purse – you’d be amazed at what a little spray can do to revitalize your curls at the end of the day!