Home Salon: 4 Different Ways to Curl Your Hair
There's nothing wrong with spaghetti, but sometimes spiral macaroni just looks more fun on a plate. It's the same story with hair. Having very fine and straight hair myself, sometimes it just bores me out of my mind. It's nice to see some curls, kinks, or waves on my boring head every once in a while. I believe many straight-haired women feel the same way.
Some of you might wish to have sexy, voluminous, curly hair like Kate Hudson in My Best Friend's Girl. Some might envy Keira Knightley's neat vintage curls in Atonement. Many others might adore Meg Ryan's short funky waves in Addicted to Love.
Guess what? You can achieve all those hairstyles without paying a visit to your hairdresser. Just do it right at your own "home salon" using some simple tricks and tools. There are many different ways to curl straight hair, though, so it's wise to understand the pros and cons of each method before attempting it.
4 At-Home Hair-Curling Methods
- Pin Curling
- Using Foam Rollers
- Using a Curling Iron or Flat Iron
1. Pin Curling
Pin curling is a perfect technique for those who love the glamourous Hollywood look of the 50s. If done right, it would seem as though you just had your hair curled and styled by a pro.
- First, apply some hair styling lotion or mousse to your hair, then separate it into small sections of about 1–2 inches thick.
- With your fingers, curl each section into a pretty tight coil all the way from the tips to the roots, then secure it to your scalp with a couple of bobby pins or a hair clipper. Repeat the process with the rest of your hair.
- Once you finish pin curling, wrap your head with a scarf and leave your hair like that for at least 6 hours. (If you don't mind sleeping with all those bobby pins on your head, you might just do this at night and take the pins off in the morning.)
- Remove the pins and style your hair with your fingers. Don't use a comb or brush because you might lose your curls.
Pin curling doesn't involve any pricey equipment, and the curls usually turn out very lovely. Also, it doesn't require the use of heat to curl the hair, so you won't have to risk drying or damaging your hair in any way.
It takes several hours to see the result. Moreover, although bobby pins and hair clippers are not really sharp, they can still irritate your scalp if you sleep with them all night. This technique is more appropriate to do early in the morning.
Unlike pin curling, braiding gives your hair a more natural and somewhat unintentional look. It's a curling technique most people either love or hate.
- Apply some hair styling product to your hair, then comb and separate your hair into small sections.
- Braid each section, then secure each braid with a rubber band.
- Leave braids on overnight. To achieve funky and frizzy kinks, make each braid very tiny and tight. For large curls or beach-hair waves, make the braids bigger and a bit looser.
- Once you remove all the rubber bands in the morning, carefully untangle and style your hair with your fingers.
Braiding doesn't require special tools, so it's a very economical method. You only have to rely on the dexterity of your fingers and some rubber bands. Like pin curling, it's an effective way to curl your hair without using heat, which is good for your hair health in the long run. Plus, it's not too uncomfortable to sleep with your braids overnight.
The curls tend to be quite unpredictable and not very neat. Sometimes your curls might turn out just as you want them, and some other times it might look as though you just survived an electrical shock. Moreover, braiding your whole head is by all means laborious, especially if you want to make very small and tight curls. Here's an easy way out: invite a few girlfriends for a sleepover, ask them to braid your hair for you while enjoying your girly chitchat of all imaginable topics, from guys and chick flicks to your gynaecological exam and politics. It's called a "slumber party salon."
3. Using Foam Rollers
Like the two previous methods, you also have to work on a small section of hair at a time in order to curl your hair with foam rollers. The size of the rollers determine the size of your curls, so choose them carefully. For example, if you want to create big spiral waves, you shouldn't use foam rollers that are too small.
- Start with applying some styling lotion to your hair.
- Separate your hair into small sections.
- Hold a roller near the end of a hair section, twist the hair around the roller, roll it all the way down to the scalp and snap the roller clasp to hold it in place.
- Do the same with the rest of your hair, then go to bed and remove the rollers in the morning.
This hair curling method has a lot of upsides. First, it is quite a no-brainer. No braiding skills or meticulous curling are required. Second, it doesn't involve heat, which can harm your hair. And third, the rolling process is less time-consuming, compared to braiding and pin curling.
Just like braiding and pin curling, foam rollers can't grant you beautiful curls within minutes. Also, even though foam rollers are pretty soft, some people still find it very uncomfortable to sleep with them.
4. Using a Curling Iron or Flat Iron
Not everyone has time and patience to braid, pin curl, roll their hair and then wait several hours for the tricks to work. That's when curling irons and flat irons come in handy. They are nifty hair-curling devices used by pro hairstylists all over the world. The larger the iron, the bigger the curls. So once again, size does matter.
- To use a curling iron, grab a small section of hair and twist its tip around the iron.
- With your hair secured by the iron clamp, roll it down to about an inch from your scalp and hold it for 10–15 seconds.
- Repeat the process with the rest of your hair. Curling hair with a flat iron is pretty similar, but instead of rolling from the tip up to the scalp, you have to start a couple inches near the scalp, squeeze the hair with the iron, wrap the hair around it, then pull the iron all the way down.
These curling devices can give you lovely waves and curls within minutes. Curling irons, in particular, allow you to exercise a lot of playfulness and creativity. You can create tight spiral curls, natural cascading curls, high-volume waves or even super neat, vintage curls like Keira Knightley's in the movie, Atonement. It all depends on the size of the curler you choose and the way you roll it. It's the type of equipment that makes you feel like a pro.
The heat from these curling devices can make your hair become dry and brittle, so be kind to your own hair and try not to use them more than twice a week. If possible, buy a curling or flat iron with adjustable heat setting. Start with the lowest setting and keep adjusting until you find the temperature that is right for your hair. Moreover, if you're an absent-minded or uncoordinated type of person, try to be extremely attentive whenever you use an iron curler, or else it's quite possible you might burn your ear with it someday. I once heard about some unfortunate woman who got high on prescription drugs and passed out on her hot curling iron. It not only burned her neck but also her windpipe. Once someone finally found her, it was already too late. Yes, my dear reader, hair curlers can kill!
© 2011 Om Paramapoonya