I enjoy writing articles that help women feel more comfortable in their own skin and clothing.
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
RTalloni on September 19, 2014:
Have been thinking about pin curling my hair...now I think I have to try it!
Penny Godfirnon from Southern Iowa on September 19, 2014:
I have naturally curly hair but sometimes I want a different look. Trying a different type of curl might be just what I need. Thanks for the tips.
torrilynn on December 20, 2013:
thanks for this hub on the different ways to curl your hair. voted up and pinned.
Fiona from South Africa on December 16, 2013:
Thanks - I don't like the effect of braiding my hair - for me it just turns my hair frizzy (But my hair does have a mind of its own.) I like the way the rollers worked out in your photo so I may give that a try - I am far too lazy to use a curling iron.
Randomovic from Egypt on August 15, 2013:
loved this article.
Om Paramapoonya (author) on November 06, 2012:
@Jamie Brock - Thanks so much for your feedback, Jamie. Glad you enjoyed this hub and found these hair curling tips helpful!
Jamie Brock from Texas on November 03, 2012:
I really have enjoyed this hub.. I love all the different ways to curl hair! I have always wanted to try the pin curls.. I often wondered how the movie stars got those beautiful, wavy curls. I enjoyed the video of the flat iron used for curling... that is amazing! Wonderful hub, thank you again for sharing.. voted up, useful & interesting :)
Om Paramapoonya (author) on January 14, 2012:
Yes, they do make spiral curling irons. I have never used one myself but I've heard about it.
katt on January 14, 2012:
I have EXTREMELY thick hair.. so the first two options are kinda out of reach, unless I wanna spend hours pinning and breaking! But I might try the curlers, but I was wondering if they made spiral curlers? That would be cool!
Om Paramapoonya (author) on November 13, 2011:
Hi, Lauren. Don't forget to apply some hair-styling product on your hair before pin curling it. That will make your hair stay curly longer. :)
Lauren97210 from Portland, Oregon on November 12, 2011:
It's so hard to get my hair to stay curled. I've tried using a curling iron and heated rollers. But I think I'm going to try the pin technique. Thanks for sharing!
Om Paramapoonya (author) on October 26, 2011:
Thank you. :)
fashion on October 24, 2011:
Om Paramapoonya (author) on October 22, 2011:
Yeah, I know why you want to go all natural. It does make your life much easier! haha.....Thanks for dropping by. :)
Fierce Manson from Atlanta on October 21, 2011:
I remember in the days when I pin curled my hair. What a neat hub article you have written here. It was like strolling down hair memory lane. I remember the sponge rollers also. These days I've gone all natural. Enjoyed your hub!
Om Paramapoonya (author) on October 08, 2011:
Thanks for the read and comment, Jean. Glad you'll give pin curling a try. :)
jean2011 from Canada on October 06, 2011:
I have never used pins to curl my hair. This technique looks stylish and easy. Looks like something I'll try. I have voted this hub intersting. Thank you for sharing!
Om Paramapoonya (author) on September 24, 2011:
DzyMsLizzy - French braids are very cool. I don't know how to do it, though. It might be harder to do it on my own head than others' anyway. Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing your hair curling experience.
@josheen - Thank you.
josheen1988 on September 24, 2011:
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on September 23, 2011:
Congratulations on Hub of the Day! Good job!
I remember my mother sitting and pin-curling her hair. In later years, she used foam rollers.
My daughter sometimes uses the braiding method on my granddaughter, but instead of doing all those time-consuming tiny braids, for which kids don't like to sit still, she just sections all of her hair into 3, and braids the whole head at once--only one elastic band needed. The result is very soft, gentle waves--very pretty. Sometimes, she'll French-braid, but that is more time-consuming, and the result is tighter waves, but at the end, still only a single elastic.
My hair is also arrow-straight and baby-fine. No matter what I do, it doesn't hold a curl, so I gave up years ago. I've got better things to do with my time than fiddle with my hair, only to have the results be short-lived. I hate hair spray, and I don't like the look of a perm...so too bad. I'm pretty much a tomboy anyhow, so I've just always gone with a short pixie-shag that doesn't need fussing with...wash & go--dries naturally in 5 minutes!
However, I know I'm an oddity, so your article has a lot of very good information for many women! Kudos!
Om Paramapoonya (author) on September 19, 2011:
@jenubouka - :-D
@frogyfish - Yep, mousse and hairspray really help!
@brihan, Carriethomson and Uniquevanities - Thanks so much for the read and sweet comments.
Heather from Ohio on September 19, 2011:
Love, love, love this hub! Hadn't thought about the bobby pin method in years! Gonna try it for my night out this weekend! Thanks! :) Up and interesting!
carriethomson from United Kingdom on September 18, 2011:
Hey om this is fab hub!! enjoyed very much!1m sure all the ladies must have had a great time reading this and also tried out some curling tips given here!
briharn from New Jersey on September 18, 2011:
nice tips! thanks!
frogyfish from Central United States of America on September 18, 2011:
I remember pin curling from wa-ay back, but I am thankful for mousse and hairspray! Thanks for a cute hub!
jenubouka on September 18, 2011:
My pleasure, up on your hub, and looking forward reading all of the others, awesome tips!!! I am inspired by you to try some new techniques, thanks
Om Paramapoonya (author) on September 18, 2011:
@mariefontaine - Thanks for sharing your insight!
@gagliano and Marlene - Thanks for your kind comments, guys. I'm glad you found this article interesting.
@cardisa - I braid my hair pretty often, too. Usually it doesn't make my hair really curly but frizzy and funky. I like that a lot.
@Sunshine - Yes!!! YAY for curls! =D
@K Kiss - That's nice! Thanks a lot for sharing your experience using foam rollers.
@JamaGenee - What? They think curl is a curse? Oh they're so wrong!!!
@mkvealsh and My Footprints - Thanks a lot for dropping by and commenting, guys. :)
@Carlon - I've tried pin curling only once myself. It was actually trickier than I thought it would be. The result was great, though.
@jenubouka - Hey, there's nothing wrong with being a ponytail girl. Thanks so much for dropping by.
Om Paramapoonya (author) on September 18, 2011:
@seyoni and Ddraigcoach - Thanks for the read, guys. I really appreciate your comments. :)
@Jayewisdom - Yep, I believe all old fashion trends make a comeback at some point. :)
@NMlady, Shea and Stacysmomtl - Thanks for the read and positive comment, guys. :)
jenubouka on September 18, 2011:
I am curling iron and pretty much hair style challenged. I regretfully admit, I am the pony tail girl.
Om Paramapoonya (author) on September 18, 2011:
@brsmom - How funny. My grandma used to pin curl pretty often, too. I guess it's really old school.
@Elizabeth - Not really. I have tried it a few times. Didn't really work for me. Plus, you also have to use a blow dryer with curling comb. It's just a bit too difficult for me I guess. lol
@the_idea_gal - Thanks. Hope the pin curls work for you! :)
@LAbrashear and wordscribe - That's cool. Hair styling is fun to do with girlie little girls. I think your girls will enjoy it. :)
@Jamie Brock - Yeah, it sounds incredible to curl hair with a flat iron, huh? When I first learned about it, I was pretty amazed, too. :)
@BusinessTime - Thanks for the read. Glad you'll try some of these techniques. :)
Om Paramapoonya (author) on September 18, 2011:
@alphagirl - hehehe yeah, I know what you're saying. I used to be a girl who couldn't even comb a knot out myself! :)
@medihelp - Thanks a lot! :)
@jenubouka - Hmmmm how did you curl your hair? Did you try a curling iron? It usually makes the curls last longer than the other curling techniques. :)
@lovesleftovers - Thanks! Glad you like this article. :)
@Just ask Susan - Yep, gel and hairspray really work wonders. :)
@Careerguide - Thanks so much for the read and your kind comment. :)
Om Paramapoonya (author) on September 18, 2011:
@ Simone and davenmidtown - Thanks a lot for the read, guys. Your comments made me smile. :)
@ dabneyleweis - Try applying some extra-strength hair styling product to your hair before curling it. It should help. :)
@houseseller - Hmmmm that's too bad. I think it also depends on what type of curls you get and how you style your hair, though. Short hair with tight curls (50s and 60s look), for example, tend to make some people look older but long wavy hair (beach hair) shouldn't affect how old you look....I think. :)
Carlon Michelle from USA on September 18, 2011:
I loved this article. I've used all of the methods effectively except the pin curl one as I never used it and the image you chose is what grabbed my attention. Thanks for adding the video as well. Smile!
My Footprints from MY on September 16, 2011:
I have soft and fine hair...kind of tough to style it anyhow. When its fine, it seems to have little volume. I love those thick lustrous hair. Pity, my daughter takes after me. Would love to know how to style and manage this type of hair. BTW, Great article...
mkvealsh on September 16, 2011:
What a fun hub! Great tips!
Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on September 16, 2011:
I just cut off about 8 inches (to shoulder length), but when it was almost down to my waist, I did something similar to suziecat7's method to put a bit of wave in my straight-as-a-string hair. While it was still damp after shampooing, I'd twist it into a coil on top of my head and secure it with a huge plastic spring clip thingie and leave it until the next day. (Yes, I could sleep with the clip.)
One daughter and a cousin were born with lightly-curly hair, and it pains me to watch the things they do to make it as straight as mine already is. They think curl is a curse - a curse I'd love to have!
I'll be soooo glad when longish straight hair goes out of fashion. Shorter, styled hair appropriate to one's facial shape and features is so much more attractive than long and straight on most women over the age of 20! Try to imagine the movie queens of the 30s, 40s and 50s with totally straight hair. How much less glamorous they would've looked! ;D
K Kiss from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK on September 16, 2011:
I find a little moose and some foam curlers the perfect combination to make my wavy hip length hair curl up to my shoulders. Nice hub.
Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on September 16, 2011:
I have naturally curly hair and consider myself blessed. I've tried to straighten it but felt completely out of my element. I received rave reviews but straight is not for me. Yay for curls! Fantastic hub!!!
Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on September 16, 2011:
I just love curly hair but too lazy to. I just braid and then I pull them our and they are all wavy.
Marlene Bertrand from USA on September 16, 2011:
Great hub! You did an excellent job of covering the many ways of curling your hair... all without using harsh chemicals that harm the hair.
gagliano33 from birmingham, alabama on September 16, 2011:
Great hub! I enjoyed and learned a few things. thanks.
mariefontaine from Indianapolis, Indiana on September 16, 2011:
Pin curls are the best bet for the hard to curl hair, put some product in the curl before you pin and curl it... and by the time you take it out... the curl is set. Your best bet is to hit it with a hair dryer... nice article.
stacysmomstl on September 16, 2011:
Oh my goodness. This takes me back to my teen years when I've tried all of these methods. LOL
shea duane from new jersey on September 16, 2011:
i agree with jaye and nmlady... way back when!
NMLady from New Mexico & Arizona on September 16, 2011:
I hadn't thought about pin curls for YEARS! intersting!
Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on September 16, 2011:
The photo of the pin curls with crossed bobbi pins takes me back in time--about 60 years, in fact. When I was eight years old, my mother pin-curled my thick straight hair for special occasions, and the pin curls looked just like that. What was old is new again.
Emma from UK on September 16, 2011:
My hair wouldn't hold a perm, so no chance of putting a temporary curl in. I loved reading this hub though.
seyoni on September 16, 2011:
Great advice. I've kinda run out of simple styling hair styles, and here's a great tip.
Thanx. wonderful hub - very informative.
Sarah Kolb-Williams from Twin Cities on September 16, 2011:
Amazing resource -- bookmarking and practicing tonight for my engagement photos tomorrow! I didn't think I was going curly, but now that I saw this, I'm pretty sure I have to... :)
Jamie Brock from Texas on September 16, 2011:
Great hub! I was amazed at the video with the girl curling her hair with a flat iron. I didn't know it was possible! It turned out so cute too.
Elsie Nelson from Pacific Northwest, USA on September 16, 2011:
Great hub! I have always wanted to try pin curling, but it looks like it would take forever. I appreciate the video on curling hair with a flat iron. I had someone teach me to do it once (in the mall, lol), but I've since forgotten. Think I'll try it on my girls' hair.
LABrashear from My Perfect Place, USA on September 16, 2011:
I have two very girlie little girls. Thanks for the information! I've always wondered how to do pin curls. Thanks for sharing. Great hub!
The_Idea_Gal on September 16, 2011:
I love curling my hair at home and I like changing it from straight to curly on any given day. I've used curling irons and sponge curlers, which work really well. Now I'll have to try pin curls. Nice hub!
elizabeth21 on September 16, 2011:
Great hub... will the curling comb do some help?
Diane Ziomek from Alberta, Canada on September 16, 2011:
Congratulations on Hub of the Day! This is perfect timing, as my daughter has very straight, fine hair. We have put the small braids in and ended up with frizz, but bigger braids don't curl it much. I forgot about pin curls; my great-grandma used to put her hair in pin curls all the time. Thank you for the reminder! Voted up! Bookmarked as well.
Career-Guide from Mars on September 16, 2011:
First of congratulation for being HUB of the Day, i don't need to say anything because the consistent feedback is showing your greatness of your writing
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on September 16, 2011:
Great hub as I am always trying to get my hair to do something other than having it just hanging straight. Whenever I curl it though within an hour it is back to being straight again. The only way I find I can keep any body in my hair whatsoever is to use gel and hairspray.
lovesleftovers from Texas on September 16, 2011:
Great, thorough article! I have very long, straight hair and love curls. I used to braid my hair almost every night, but, as you've said, it takes forever! I like the pin curling idea. Too bad perms went out of fashion :-)
jenubouka on September 16, 2011:
Awesome info. I have really long hair, very straight hair. here lies the problem... it will curl but about 2 hours later no matter how much product I use it goes flat. how can I avoid this?
Mae Williams from USA on September 16, 2011:
This idea of self curling works if you are adept at even simple blow drying. having been a stylist myself, I have met so many that can't even comb a knot out. I do agree you can do many things at home to save on the budget. Great HUb for those who can manipulate an iron, brush or blow dryer.
HouseSeller from Glasgow on September 16, 2011:
congrats for being hub of the day! As much as I love curls but I look ten times my age when I curl my hair. I've been told I look older with curled hair and younger with straight hair. I enjoyed reading the hub, good pointers. Might give it another go.
dabneylewis from Boston on September 16, 2011:
I’ve long straight hair... But they're very silky. I tried to curl them many times but they never last for more than an hour.. :( I love curly hairs…
But you’ve written a great hub !!!!
David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on September 16, 2011:
Om Paramapoonya: great hub and congrats on hub of the day. Thank you... you've added beauty and style to the world with this hub. It is very well written and the video and pictures are inspiring. well done!
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on September 14, 2011:
I'm growing out my hair and wondered just yesterday what I should be doing if I want to curl my hair. How convenient this Hub is! Thanks for the helpful overview!
Om Paramapoonya (author) on September 12, 2011:
@randomcreative - Experimenting with different hairstyles is fun indeed. When I was a teenager, I changed my hairstyle and color every month or so. Now I'm much lazier but still like to try new looks every once in a while.
@anglnwu - Right! You have no more excuses. Next time I visit your Facebook page, I expect to see you with an afro!
@suziecat - Ah, that sounds pretty easy. Thanks for sharing your tip.
@Eiddwen - Thanks a lot. So glad you stopped by.
@dallas - Thank you so much!
Dallas W Thompson from Bakersfield, CA on September 12, 2011:
Flag up! Great article!
Eiddwen from Wales on September 12, 2011:
A brillantly useful and interesting hub.Thanks for sharing and I vote up.
suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on September 11, 2011:
When my hair is wet, I twist it and keep twisting until it becomes a knot on my head. Then I pin it in. The next morning (or when it dries) - voila - great volume and body and waves. Of course my hair is long. Great Hub - rated up!
anglnwu on September 11, 2011:
I've always been too lazy to try to curl my hair. Now, with your many ways of curling hair, I've no more excuses. Great tips and even greater hub. Rated up.
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 11, 2011:
I also have straight hair and have only curled or had it curled a handful of times in my life. I know that flat irons can actually be a wonderful way to curl hair, too. I am actually really happy with my straight hair most of the time, but it can be fun to experiment with different looks sometimes, too.
Om Paramapoonya (author) on September 10, 2011:
Hi! Thanks for stopping by, writer20. A curling iron can actually work with short hair just fine. I have successfully used it to curl my hair many times when it was just about shoulder-length. :)
Joyce Haragsim from Southern Nevada on September 10, 2011:
Even with curlings irons you still need longer hair for the weight to pull the curls down