August 16, 2022 9 min read
Whether you are creating your curls from scratch or playing up your natural curls, the goal is the same, keep those curls in place. Have you ever created your ideal mane of voluminous curls only to catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror a few hours later and they’re just… blah? Yes, we know the feeling. Stay tuned for 11 tips and tricks to style snatched, bouncy curls and make them stay put.
If your hair usually has a hard time holding curls, using too much conditioner in the shower may be the culprit. When you need your curls to last, DO NOT use conditioner when you wash your hair the day before. The oils may be weighing your hair down.
In the 90’s there was a reason hairstyles had so much volume. The shampoo was very alkaline. It did strip color but produced major volume. The opposite of alkaline is acidic. Our bodies, including the scalp are slightly acidic at 5-6 pH.
Then in early 2004 a low pH shampoo formula was created. It still cleansed hair well, while adding moisture without weighing hair and curls down or making your roots flat. Most clients wonder how they can keep hair clean and moisturized without conditioner. Which shampoo does both?
The answer is, a skin care formulated low acidic shampoo with a pH of 5-6 to mimic your own body's pH. Low acidic pH shampoos with amino acids are very common in South Korea and Japan. However there are a few companies who have made this technology available to people in the US.
Can excess moisture flatten and weigh down your curls? YES and NO. There are different types of moisturizers in hair care products. Moisturizing alcohols soften the hair. Classic alcohols neutralize oils and add volume.
Mouses, volumizers, volume sprays etc… contain alcohols and moisture replenishing properties. Choose the right products for your hair type.
If your hair is naturally dry at the scalp, you should try products with moisturizing alcohols like conditioners and hair masks. These soften your hair and add slip to brittle strands.
If your hair is oily at the scalp, classic alcohols can give your curls the boost they need. Haircare like gel, mouse, and hairspray have the type of alcohols that neutralize oil. If you have oil prone hair, these products may keep your curls bouncy while drawing out excess heavy moisture.
Whether you are using hair care with moisturizing or classic alcohols, the best time to apply them is when hair is damp! Especially for naturally curly hair. Adding your volumizers to damp hair allows them to distribute evenly and not weigh curls down.
If you’ve skipped conditioner in favor of longer lasting curly hair, your strands can get a bit dry. This is where a great heat protectant comes in.
Heat protectant creates a barrier around each strand of hair to combat against heat damage from using a straightener, hair dryer or curling iron. It can also act as a leave in conditioner to add healthy moisture back into your hair before you style.
If you've just showered, your hair may be a little too slick to get the most out of your curling efforts. A grittier texture helps hold curls in place.
Use a medium hold hairspray to add some hold for your curls after hair is dry but before styling. When you spray, hold it at least 2 feet away from your hair.
Always layer your product in even strokes. Start your spray around mid ear height and avoid your roots. Once you’ve layered your spray, take a wide tooth comb and evenly distribute your product all the way to the ends. Allow it to dry for a few minutes before using your straightener or curling iron.
High quality straighteners and curling irons may seem more expensive but it’s easy to see how well it pays off to buy quality tools.
Great tools have a long life. If you have a cheap flat iron, it’s not unusual for it to simply not turn on one day after only 6 months of use. Instead of buying the same, low price point option over and over again, get a tool that will endure. You’ll save money in the long run when your tools last through the years.
Do you travel? Europe, Asia, maybe Mexico for the weekend? You want a tool that is engineered to be world voltage friendly. Cheap tools have cheap motherboards that will wear out when used at varying voltages. When you have a high quality tool, you can expect it to be compatible with voltage changes when using it abroad.
High quality tools simply curl better! They are likely to have floating plates which create a consistent slide on the hair and tighter curls with less breakage. Quality tools heat evenly, so you won’t have to worry about sparsely curled styles. They also heat up quickly. Who wants to wait 5 minutes for their curling wand to be at the optimum temperature? If your tool takes 3-4 minutes to heat up, it’s time to invest in a better tool.
True temperature is a big deal. A quality iron will maintain the temperature setting. If it’s engineered correctly, your flat iron or curling iron will perform perfectly with one pass. It won’t lose heat on even the thickest of hair textures.
Good tools are made of professional quality materials. Low quality tools are cheaply painted with less than 1% of ceramic coating. Look for tools made of pure Tourmaline Ceramic or Titanium for thick and coarse hair. These are much higher quality than tools that are only coated. Tourmaline ceramic is proven to cause less heat damage to the hair than regular metals while keeping hair healthier. Make sure not to be fooled by brands promoting false advertising.
Tip: For optimum curling action, set your iron to 350 degrees. GO SLOW with your movement. Let the heat pass slowly through your hair and allow the technology to work for you. If you are curling extensions, turn the heat down to 250 degrees.
Curling irons come in various barrel sizes. Small barrels will give you a tight curl, while bigger barrels will give you loose, wavy curls. Many women want loose, sexy curls, so they use the bigger barrel. Sometimes, even though your loose curl looks fabulous before you leave the house, it’s too loose for all day.
Tighter curls will loosen throughout the day to give you the wavy sexy effect you want. Tighter curls will be nice and bouncy, but maybe less flowing than you want at the beginning. Instead of falling flat, your tighter curls will end up being just right.
If you are using a larger barrel curling iron or wand, and your waves fall flat by mid day, switch to a smaller barrel. A 1 inch 0r 1.5 inch is best for tighter curls.
Different techniques you use when curling your hair can create different styles. The way you section your hair, and the direction you curl your hair will create different styles of curls. There are many resources online that show step by step how to get the look you want.
Make sure to cool your curls by clipping each section, or using the pin curl method above. You want to let your hair cool down while in the tight coils and give a light mist of finishing spray before releasing. They will be more defined and last much longer than using a larger barrel in the beginning.
After you unclip your hair, let it rest for a few minutes before combing or separating curls.
Tip: use the cool setting on your hair dryer to help your curls set. Once hair is curled and clipped or pinned, use the cool setting of your hair dryer at a distance from your curls for about 1-2 minutes. Your style will set much quicker instead of waiting 15-30 minutes to set your curls.
Cool set your natural curls instead of blow drying
Natural curls fall flat just like hot tool curls. This technique is for loose natural waves, all the way to defined ringlet curl types. Comb through your hair before washing, while hair is dry to detangle. Then shampoo as usual but skip the conditioner.
Use a t-shirt or microfiber towel first to start your scrunch. Flip hair upside down and gather sections with your hand in the t-shirt. Gather your hair up to the scalp and squeeze 3 times per scrunch section until dry.
If your curls tend to fall after a few hours, create tighter curls in the beginning. This is a great method for long wavy hair curls. Long hair is heavy. Curls loosen faster in long hair than in short hair.
To make curls stay put, use a smaller barrel size of curling iron or curling wand. Try a 1 inch barrel size. This will give you tight curls that have room to loosen a little and still give you big wavy curls throughout the day.
You can choose between tighter curls, or loose soft curls. For tighter big curls, wrap your section of hair around the curling iron or wand 3 to 5 times. For loose soft curls, wrap the hair 1 to 3 times. Don’t try to brush them out, allow curls to loosen over time.
For us girls who don't have natural curls, this tip is gold. Get yourself a whole pile of bobby pins ready before curling your hair. Section hair into 3 layers, bottom, middle, and top of the head. Start curling where your hair loses curl first.
Use your curling iron, wand, or flat iron to create a nice bouncy curl. Give each section a light layer of hair spray before curling Don't let your curl fall when removing your hot tool. Catch the curl and keep it coiled. Pin the curl at your scalp to cool. Work all the way up to the crown until all of your curls are pinned. Next, hold your arm out wide and give your pinned curls a light layer of medium hold hairspray.
Allow your pin curls to cool and set for about 20 minutes. When you take your pin curls out, start where your curls hold the best, and release the area that loses curl fastest last. Using a curl comb, lightly separate your curls to give your hair a full, natural look.
Texturizing spray is a lighter version of hairspray. It will add movement to your hair and keep curls in place. It won’t weigh them down or cause them to be crunchy. It can work like dry shampoo by soaking up excess oil and add some bounce and volume. Check out some of our favorite NuMe Dry Shampoos & Texturizing Sprays.
Most of us wash our hair 2-3 times a week. We want to make sure our curls survive the night and look fabulous the next day.
This works for naturally curly hair as well as hot tool curls. Get a bonnet that is satin inside and out. Make sure it is the right size for your hair. Very long hair will require a larger bonnet. Shorter hair works best with a tighter fit. Open the bonnet behind your head and scoop your curls inside. Scoop all of your hair up and secure the bonnet around your forehead. This will keep your curls set while you sleep.
This works best for hot tool curls or naturally wavy hair. At the end of the day, flip your head upside down and gather hair into a ponytail. Begin twisting and coiling your hair into a bun on top of your head. Secure your bun with a satin scrunchie or a hair screw. When you wake up, you will still have some amazing beach waves once you let your hair down.
Just like the satin bonnet, a satin pillowcase reduces friction on your hair. Fan your hair out above your head when you lay down on the pillow. The smooth fabric will help keep your curls intact while you sleep.
If your hair still isn’t holding curls, your hair may be too damaged to keep them intact. Dry, brittle, damaged hair may not have the amount of moisture it needs to hold curls well. To make your hair healthier, get haircuts regularly and treat yourself to deep conditioning treatments. Masks are also a great way to boost hair health.
Do you have a curly girl tip you swear by? Drop a comment below and let us know how you make your curls stay all day.
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