Whether hair is long or short, thick or thin, you could spend hours with a curling iron and only to be devastated when the beautiful, bouncy curls that were a result of your hard-work fall out by day’s end, leaving your hair flat and you frustrated and feeling no clue about how to make curls last. Don’t give up on your dream to have a head of beautiful curls. Instead, use these tips and tricks to get the movie-star worthy curls to stay throughout the day and long into the night.
How to Make Curls Last
Play Around for the Best Curling Method
The first trick about how to make curls last is find the best curling method. Use pin curls, sock curls, flat irons and curling irons to curl your hair. Some may not work, but don’t be discouraged. There are multiple ways to curl your hair, and some will work better on certain textures than others. Play around with multiple methods of curling your hair. There may be lots of bad hair days, but eventually you will stumble on the one that works best for you.
Try a Flat or Curling Iron
Flat irons hold curl better than curling irons, making them a go-to on your quest for long-lasting curls. The best ones to use are thin with rounded edges and should get hot on the outside as well. While you are curling, keep an eye on the hair; if your curled hair has kinks in it, then you are holding the iron too tight. However, if you are having problems pulling the hair through the flat iron, brush through the section to make sure it is smooth.
If you are using a curling iron, first prep the hair with some hairspray and wait a few seconds for the hairspray to dry so that your hair won’t sizzle. After curling, brush through your hair to avoid crispiness that comes from using hairspray. By doing this, you will have long-lasting holds from the hairspray and soft hair from brushing it out.
Prepare Your Hair
Don't wash your hair the day that you plan to curl it. Tresses covered by a thin layer of natural scalp oils will hold the curl more effectively.
Also, skip the deep conditioner when you wash your hair the day before curling your hair, as this weighs it down making it more difficult to hold curls. Instead, use a lightweight conditioner.
A great way to prepare your hair the day before curling it is to sleep with it in one or two braids, depending on how thick your hair is. The next day, when you take out the braids you will have textured waves which are the perfect canvas for your curls.
Apply Anti-Frizz Serum
Many people make the mistake of piling on products after curling and using nothing before. But stiff, crunchy curls are not the goal here so you need to apply hairspray and anti-frizz serum. Use a dime or quarter sized amount of serum depending on the length of your hair. Serum helps eliminate frizz and fly-aways, which keeps your hair from turning into a frizzy mess before the end of the day. If you don’t have frizz serum on hand, use a light coating of leave-in conditioner and then combed through with a wide-toothed comb.
Keep It in Shape
After curling each section of hair, clip the curl in place to allow it to cool. This gives the hair’s cuticle a chance to close which, in the end, keeps the curls in place for a longer time. After every section of your hair is curled, spray it once more with hairspray and then blow dry it on low heat for a few seconds. The combination of heat and hairspray glues the curls in and makes them stay longer.
Leave Your Hair Alone
While it is tempting to play with your new curls, don’t. Both finger styling and touching your curls makes them go flat faster than leaving them alone. So no matter how tempting it is to play with your beautiful curls, don’t unless you want to be stuck with flat pancake hair by the end of the day.
Trim Your Hair
The weight of thick, long hair makes it hard to properly curl the hair, as the weight will pull out the curl, leaving ends frizzy and curly while the lengths flat. The best way to get curl to stay in thick, long hair is to cut it, leaving the curl with more bounce.
Layers: Ask your hairstylist to cut layers into your hair, especially around the front by your face. This reduces the weight of your hair while giving the ends some bounce. Layers bring the added benefit of shorter sections being easier to curl.
Go for a chop: This gives the added benefit of getting rid of damaged and split ends, which can also make curls harder to keep in. Just like with layers, this also takes some of the weight off of long hair, which makes it easier to curl and more likely to keep it in shape for a long time.
A Demonstration Video
If you still feel a little bit confused or if you want to know how to do this in practice, watch the following video that demonstrates how to make curls and how to make curls last step by step: