So you have visions of big bouncy curls? Time not on your side for a visit to the salon? Well fear not, here are my tips to help you curl like a professional and keep the look.

Preparation is key. Equipment wise you will need, a ghd/curling wand/curling irons, depending on your preferred curl result. Sectioning grips, to keep unworked hair out of your way, double pronged hair clips (the silver ones) to secure curled hair in place while cooling down. A wide tooth comb and a bristle/paddle brush.

Product wise you will need, a heat protective spray, curl setting spray/hairspray. Choose either ceramic or tourmaline irons for the job, these are better than chrome as you will get even heat distribution, frizz control and a tool that is healthier for your hair. Chrome will be less expensive, but are not recommended. You may notice your curls fall, frizz, and you may notice your hair becomes fragile after using a chrome tool.

Choose the right size tool for the job. The barrel size on your curling iron will make a big difference to the result. Smaller diameter curling irons (1″ or smaller) create smaller curls. Larger curling irons (1.5″ or larger) will create larger curls/waves. Try getting an iron with interchangeable heads ie. differing diameters.
The length of your hair in relation to the size of the curling iron will make a huge difference in the amount/size curl you will achieve. The more times you can wrap your hair around the barrel, the more curl you will achieve.

Prepare your hair properly. For those that can’t get your curls to hold, this is usually the step that’s often neglected/missed. If you are intending to curl you hair immediately after shampooing and drying your hair it is important that you choose the right products, use a mousse, gel or curl enhancing cream prior to drying your hair as these products will ensure you get more hold from your curls. Use a heat protector, curl setting spray/hairspray on each section before curling to help set your curls and to protect from the heat of the irons.

How to curl loose waves
I recommend clipping all of your dried hair except for a 2″ section at the nape of your neck. This will allow you to curl small sections, working your way up the head. Comb through each small section of hair, mist with a setting spray/hairspray and then wrap the hair around the barrel of a large curling iron. Hold the curl for 10-20 seconds, release the curl and then clip the curl in place with a double pronged clip. Continue until your entire head is curled. Allow the curls to cool completely before un clipping them, this may take between 10-20 minutes. For that beachy look use your fingers to style and for a more romantic look brush curls through gently.

How to curl smaller bouncier curls
The technique for smaller bouncier curls is much the same as curling soft waves except you will want to use a smaller curling iron. Remember, smaller sections will create more curls. Follow the same directions as above making sure you don’t un clip your curls until the hair has cooled. Style by separating the curls with your fingers, a brush, or a wide tooth comb.

Summary tips
Make sure your hair is 100% dry before curling. Wet or damp hair should never be curled with a hot tool. Wet/damp hair wont hold a curl well and it can cause damage to your hair. Clip formed curls into place with your double pronged clips. I highly recommend getting the double pronged clips. They are very versatile, inexpensive and easy to use. Allow curls to fully cool before styling. Style with the right tools to achieve your desired result. Finger styling and using a wide tooth comb will result in a piecey textured look, while brushing your curls out will give you softer curls and waves. Try alternating the way you wrap your curls on the curling iron. Wrapping the curls forward or backwards can give you a completely different look. Experiment with the way you wrap your curls to achieve the result you are looking for.
Practice makes perfect. If you don’t get the exact look you were looking for, don’t give up. It can take a bit of practice to get beautiful curls. Even the professionals practise a lot before getting it right.