Update: This tutorial now has a video!
I posted this tutorial over two years ago, and it’s been very popular on my site. But I’ve always thought it would be better if I could do a video to really show you the technique. Well, I’ve finally got my act together and started doing more YouTube videos, and now you can watch exactly how I achieve my soft, beachy waves! Check out the YouTube video below, and if you like it, consider subscribing to my channel!
I used to be awful at doing my hair. Really, really awful. I could find a way to mess up straightening it. When it was time to get ready for an event or a night out, I would constantly ask people to do my hair for me. Yeah, I was that annoying friend. However, after a lot of practice and trial and error, I’ve come up with a curling technique that works for me, and today I want to show you guys. I get asked about my hair when it’s curled a lot, so I figure it’s time to share!
Ok so first things first, the tools you will need. Personally, I don’t think you need to spend a load of money on a curler for it to be effective. I use an inexpensive Babyliss curler. My sister and I have had this curler for years, we both use it often and it’s still as good as new. I don’t use the clamp which is part of the curler, but it’s easy to create soft curls regardless. I think it’s more about the technique than the curler, which I will talk about more in a minute. I think it’s worth investing in a decent brush for blowdrying your hair, to minimise breakage and pulling on the root. I use a Denman Extra Large Ceramic Barrel curling brush on my hair. You can get smaller barrels if you have shorter hair or aren’t looking for too much volume. I also use a little John Frieda Volumising Spray when I blow dry my hair, just to give it an extra boost. I find Batiste gives my hair a little more definition and makes my hair look more lived in. I tend to do my hair the night before I’m going anywhere as it holds the curl well. I spray some Batiste in before bed so that as I sleep, it works into my hair. For hairspray I use Tresemme, but any flexi-hold hairspray will do.
Bear in mind that results for curling will vary from person to person. For example, my hair holds a curl well so it actually looks better the next day having slept on my hair. For others, their hair doesn’t hold the curl as well so sleeping on it will cause it to fall out. I’ll go through more differences as I go along so that you get the maximum results from this tutorial.
1. Wash and dry your hair. As you would have seen from the last haircare post I did, I’m a big advocate of letting my hair air dry as much as possible. I air dry it in this case about 80% of the way, before spraying with the volumising spray in the roots, and blowdrying the rest. This is minimising the heat damage to my hair, while also giving me a lift at my roots.
2. I don’t divide up my hair, the reason for this is that natural curls and waves aren’t uniform in reality, and I believe grabbing random chunks of hair makes it look more natural. I start by wrapping the hair around my head, always away from my face. As I wrap the hair, I twist it a bit so that the hair isn’t lying flat along the curler, it’s more twisted on itself and then wrapped around the curler. This creates more of a wave to the hair. The picture below with the three different techniques explains it best (thanks to The Beauty Snoop for saving my bad-at-describing-things-ass with this pic!). It’s the top one, VS Angel, which you should be aiming for technique wise.
3. As the hair is curling, gently touch your hair to see how warm it is. When the entire wave feels warm, release the curl. Be careful here as hair which is drier can’t take too much heat. Use a heat protection spray to keep your hair protected before curling. Release the curl and don’t touch it.
4. Continue around your head always curling away from your face. Once you finish, leave the curls to cool completely before you even think of touching them. This means that the curl sets. If you were to brush your curls when they are still warm, it wouldn’t hold as well. How gorgeous is this half curled, half straight look?! Definitely going to start a new trend… Kidding! This was one of those ridiculous photos I was talking about!
5. Once your hair is curled and completely cool you can do a number of different things. If you know that your hair falls out easily, mist hairspray all over your curls to set them. I would also do your hair on the day that you want your hair wavy in order to guarantee maximum waviness throughout the day. Generally I tend to run my fingers though my hair a bit and then sleep on my hair. The first picture below shows my curls before running my fingers through them, the second shows after. See how it’s more of a loose, natural wave? If you’re not sure whether or not your curls will fall out, try this step and see how well your curls held up the next day.
This technique is a bit of trial and error, figuring out what works best for you. Once you get it down though, I guarantee it will become your go to. I can do all the curls in ten minutes if I need too and even when I’m doing a crappy job, it still normally manages to turn out pretty ok! Let me know if you try the technique and how you get on – I’m nosy like that!
I hope you guys liked my first attempt at a tutorial. I’m pretty awful at describing things, as you can see from above, so I hope you guys can make out what I’m on about! Big thanks to my lovely sister Amy for getting photos of me awkwardly doing my hair. I won’t trade her in for a new sister just yet!