If you have limp or straight hair, you may be considering transforming your mane into a head full of curls. If you’re not born with naturally curly hair, there are many ways to curl your hair, depending on the style you’re going for. Here’s how to curl hair:
- With a perm. This is your only option if you want curly hair day after day. This chemical treatment molds the bonds in your hair so that your hair will be curly.
- Use the braid method. If you want to wake up to curly hair, wet your hair, making sure that water comes in contact with every strand. You may want to add a little mousse or light gel to help the curls keep their shape, but too much can make your hair feel sticky. Then, put your hair into a braid, and leave it there overnight. When you take the braid out in the morning, your hair will have loose curls.
- Use a curling iron. If you want to curl your hair with a curling iron, do it after your hair is dry, either air-dried or using a blow dryer. If your hair is still wet, the curling iron will probably burn your hair. Wrap your hair around the curling iron barrel, where the heat will re-form the bonds that make the hair curl. A skinny curling iron will make tighter curls, while a wide-barrel curling iron will make looser curls. Curling irons are often used when the goal is perfect spiral curls, but it can be time consuming and damaging for your hair.
- Put rollers in your hair. To use rollers, just roll your hair around the curlers and clip them into place. There are many kinds of rollers available, including foam rollers and hot rollers. Some are designed for wet hair, while for others, your hair must be dry. These can be a little hard to do without help, especially if your hair is long. Using different sized rollers affects how tight the curls will be.
- Bobby pins. These are used for “pin curls,” which were popular in the 1920s. Used instead of rollers on shorter hair styles, they result in well-defined curls worn close to the head.
- Let the curls set. No matter which method you choose, leave the curls alone once you’re done. As your hair dries and cools, the curls will keep their form. If you pull your hair out of its curled shape before the curl has set, it will not keep the curl. Avoid brushing, which can make the curls frizzy or take them right out. Spraying with hairspray can help to keep the curls in place. If it is humid, protect your hair with a humidity resistant hair spray to keep your curls from getting frizzy.
Some people’s hair takes a curl better than others. Generally, methods involving heat will work better, but they can also be more damaging to your hair. It can take much more time to curl long hair than it does for short hair, and curling the back of your hair is difficult because you can’t see what you’re doing.