They’re there one moment and then gone the next–curls can really be a fair weather friend. After toiling away to achieve a particular style our curls can literally disappear into thin air, or straight hair in this case, within a matter of an hour. Cherubic curls and soft waves are the envy of many women but few of us are naturally blessed with such perfect coils. To supplement for what our genes didn’t provide we’ve found some tricks to help keep our curls intact for longer and easier ways to achieve them.
1. Know Your Cut
The type of haircut we sport will affect what kind of curls we can more easily maintain. Thick, blunt end haircuts can be tricky for holding a curl because they’re heavier, but if you add in new layers it becomes easier to achieve waves. Depending on the type of curl you like the best talk to your hair stylist before your next trim to hear their suggestions on what will work best for you.
2. Skip The Shampoo & Conditioner
No matter what type of hair you have it’s easier to work with day-old hair (the day off between shampooing and conditioning) when you’re trying to achieve volume and curl. The natural oils of our hair will help keep a style intact, whereas freshly washed hair can tend to be frizzy and too soft to hold. Try a refreshing and degreasing spray like this Dry Shampoo during your off days to soak up any excess of visible oil while you can still play with highly styled curls.
3. Build Volume
Curls need something to hold onto and good volume is like their backbone. Before attempting any type of curl blast your roots with a volumizing spray that will help to define your strands so you can see how the curls will lay and also to give your hair some added texture if it’s very fine or thin. A little goes a long way with volumizers or mousse so apply the product in your hand and work it throughout hair evenly.
4. Switch Your Iron Size
Depending on the style you want like big beachy waves versus a corkscrew curl you’re definitely going to want a specifically-sized iron and often times a slightly different hot tool. For example, if you really like the look of soft romantic curls or gentle waves then a 1 inch curling iron like this 2-in-1 Rotating Hot Brush & Curling Iron by Martino Cartier will be the tool you want to achieve it. For bigger, voluminous curls you’ll want a slightly larger iron closer to 1 and ½ inches, and with a 2 inch iron you can build great volume and achieve a round-brushed look.
5. Reverse Your Direction
In addition to differen hot tools how you actually curl each strand will affect the final look. Rolling hair into the curler from bottom to top is the method most of us learned as girls but this puts the most heat on our ends which can easily fry and it doesn’t help support curls in long hair. Switch to this reverse method where you start your iron in the middle of a strand and work your way down the hair. This will put the most heat on your hair at midlength that will help to combat frizz and keep your curls from being bottom heavy that causes them to fall out fast. For an even more coiled look try twisting hair strands with your finger before rolling it up in the curler.
6. Pin It Up
The easiest way to help curls last longer is to pin them up after styling. Immediately after you release your hair from the curling iron wrap that curl up around your finger (be careful to keep the style of your curl intact) and bobby pin it to your head. Follow this up with setting spray like this Flexible Hold Hairspray. Allowing the curl to naturally cool and set in that coiled style will help the hair cuticle to absorb the shape for longer.
What’s one of your secrets for how to achieve the perfectly long-lasting curl?