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How to Make Stick-Straight Hair Hold a Curl

Hair Style Tips - The Moxie on Maple Ave, Salon, Saratoga, NY

Straight hair has many of its own perks, but when it comes to holding a curl, it often lets us down. This article that we found on Byrdie discusses how to hold a curl if you have stick-straight hair.

How to Make Stick-Straight Hair Hold a Curl

If your hair texture is fine and straight, it’s likely you’ve tried (and, ultimately, failed) to keep curls full and voluminous throughout the day. It’s happened to the best of us, but there are ways to help.

1. Try a Styling Clay

With clays, the texture is key, as these formulas are slightly heavier and give more muscles to the style you’re trying to achieve – in this case, curls that stay put. A light-hold clay or wax will act as a forming cream, allowing your hair to set in any direction you want. Start with a little bit and add more if necessary.

2. Use a Lighter Conditioner

It’s true that the products we use have so much to do with the way our hair turns out – texture, lift, smoothness, everything. While a lot of it has to do with natural texture, products are paramount when you’re trying to manipulate your hairstyle. Try using a very light conditioner in the shower. If you’re using a conditioner that is too heavy, it’s going to contribute to your hair falling flat after it’s been curled. Instead, choose a lighter formula, only apply it to the ends rather than from the roots down.

3. Avoid Washing Your Hair the Day You’d Like to Curl It

The rumors are true: Dirty hair holds shape better. If you think about it, the logic is sound. When your hair is clean, it has more slip, allowing for that smooth, soft, shiny texture. If your hair has some trouble holding a curl, though, you’ll be more successful with the strands roughed up a bit. The natural oils in your hair will act as the product, allowing your hair to be molded more easily. Help with the next-day hair oil by giving your roots and ends a spritz of volumizing or texturizing dry shampoo.

4. Use a Smaller Iron

The size of your iron matters when it comes to getting a tighter curl. The more tightly you curl your hair the more likely it is to stay put for your desired amount of time. Don’t worry – this doesn’t have to be a Shirley Temple situation. By the time you finish your hair, each wave will have relaxed to the size you’re looking for. Make sure the barrel of the curling iron is a touch smaller than the size you’d like to achieve. For example, if you want a loose wave with a bend of about one and a half inches, go with a one-inch curling iron, and so on.

5. Cool the Curl

When your hair is still hot from your styling tools, the texture will stretch out and fall much easier because it has yet to set. That’s why you see hairstylists using their fingers to brush out clients’ curls for a looser, more lived-in look. If your hair frequently falls, opt out of that technique. Cool the curl by cuddling your hair in your hands for 10 seconds after each curl. By allowing them to cool off, you are preventing your hard work from relaxing and loosening too quickly.

6. Shake the Curls. Don’t Brush Them

Shaking out the curls rather than taking a brush to them allows the shape to straighten out more quickly. Just gently run your fingers around the curls without going entirely through them, and flip your hair over once or twice. This will help loosen the curls so they look the way you want them to without activating the falling process you know all too well.

7. Don’t Overload on Hair Spray

Once you are finished styling, use a very light hair spray to lock in the look. However, heavy-hold products may weigh down your hair and ultimately work against you. Tilt your head forward and spray your hair, but make sure to do it from at least 10 inches away, or an arm’s distance. That way, you won’t soak your curls up with the product, and they’ll hold for longer.

8. Look Into Other Options

At the end of the day, sometimes it’s not the technique; it’s your hair. Some types of hair just won’t hold a curl or wave. What you can do for something a bit more permanent is try an in-salon texturizing treatment like a digital or body wave. Fortunately, today’s perms are nothing like those of the ’80s that were really damaging and created very tight waves. You can get softer results using thick curlers, so it’s more about adding body. Digital waves use a special curling iron to create beachy waves that can air dry. Just make sure to add a hydrating shampoo and conditioner to your routine afterward to keep your hair healthy.

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