Boho Beach Waves or Ultra Glam Curls - The Choice is Yours

Written by Advice Team on November 4, 2015

You always want what you don’t have and none more so than girls and curls. Luckily, there are now multiple techniques and tools you can use to create a perfect head of bouncy, glossy curls.

From old fashioned rollers, wet braiding and diffuser scrunching, to curling tongs, straighteners (yes really - these curl as well as straighten) and airstylers, there is a method to create any style with varying amounts of effort and fuss.

For casual boho waves any beach babe would be proud of, or glamorous fully defined curls worthy of the red carpet, hair curlers win for versatility and virtually guaranteed results. And they’re not just for girls with medium and long hair, curlers can make even the shortest hair style super-slick in a matter of minutes.

Curlers need to be very very hot (a minimum of 160ºC) to properly set the curl so give them time to heat up before you start or you’ll just end up doing the first few sections twice. Most modern curlers come with a selection of temperature settings for you to choose from depending on your hair type. As a general rule, the thicker your hair the higher the temperature should be, so have a play and go for the lowest setting you can in order to minimise heat damage. And don’t forget, never touch the tongs to your skin as it will hurt - a lot.

While your curlers are heating up, use the time to prepare your hair. If your hair is freshly washed, ensure it is completely dry before you start curling as hot tongs will literally scald the damp hair. Once your hair is completely dry brush it through to remove any tangles. If your hair is particularly knotted, use a comb to brush out the hair in sections from the bottom up to reduce breakage and snapping.

Any kind of exposure to heat causes damage to your hair but you can minimise this by working as quickly as possible to reduce the time your hair is in contact with the hot element. Ensure you use a heat protection product (a spray or serum) every time you curl and use liberally to cover all of your hair.

The best way to curl your hair neatly and evenly is to work in sections. Section size will be dependent on the look you are going for (the bigger the section the bigger and looser the curl) but ensure they are uniform, equal in size and neatly distributed. It’s easiest to start at the bottom and work up so clip everything above your ears up on the top of your head and start with the bottom layers first. When the bottom section of hair is finished, unclip your hair and let out a little more, clipping up the higher layers again. Continue working this way until all your hair is curled.

How you curl will depend on the type of curling tongs you choose; curling tongs or wands. With curling tongs you start at the bottom of the hair, clamping the end and then rolling up towards the roots until the entire section is wrapped around the barrel. Ensure you stop rolling when you get about an inch away from the roots, otherwise you will burn your scalp. Wands are the exact opposite; with wands you start near the top of your hair and use your hand to wrap the sections of hair around the iron and then hold in place while it curls, always being careful not to touch the barrel with your hand. If you want your curls to look neat and uniform, wrap every section of hair around the tongs in the same direction so the hair all curls the same way. If you’re after a more casual look then work in a random pattern.

When curling, hold each section of hair wrapped around the curler for a few seconds. Check your own curling tongs instructions for the time it recommends, though this will vary slightly depending on your hair thickness and texture, so experiment until you find the ideal time for your hair and the look you’re going for. After the designated amount of time, let go of your hair to release the curl. Some girls find it easier to pin each curl up until the whole head is complete to keep them out of the way.

Depending on the style you’re going for you might want to loosen the finished curls a little so that they are not fully formed ringlets. Simply run your fingers through the curls a few times or turn your head upside down and shake out. Unless you have hair that falls in natural waves don’t brush your hair as the curls will either fall out completely or go frizzy.

Finish off with a spritz of hairspray to set and hold your curls. For tighter curls, spray each section individually for optimal hold. For looser, more relaxed styles, simply mist your entire head once you’ve loosened the curls. Ensure you choose a loose hold hair spray so you hair isn’t stiff and crunchy - you are trying to achieve a glossy bouncy curl not a solid, non moving spiral. As many women have learnt from bitter experience, never ever spray hairspray on hair wrapped around the hot curling tong. Even if you are in a rush it’s just not worth it - the heat and spray together will totally fry your hair.

Follow these tips and even the straightest of hair can be worn in beautiful, natural looking curls - who said you can’t have everything!