Keystone Press Image by: Keystone Press
If building up texture sometimes feels like an extended game of whack-a-mole—where after curling one section of hair, you discover your last twisted tendril has fallen flat—it might be time to rethink your hair-curling routine. By adding a few steps to your tried-and-true regimen, you can extend the life of your curls and keep your hair from falling.
Step 1: Skip the shower
Avoid fresh-out-of-the-shower hair if you want your curls to stay put. “A day two feel is best,” says Joao, “because when natural oils coat the hair, you get a little bit more protection from heat, more shine and greater hold.”
Step 2: Prime with product
"To maximize a curl’s hold, look and durability," says Joao, "you need to apply product to give the hair memory.” If your hair is wet, select a volumizing mousse or setting lotion to amp up texture before blow-drying. If your hair is dry, opt for a heat protectant spray that shields hair from heat and locks curls in place. On second day hair, Redken’s Hot Sets 22 does a particularly good job at keeping curls in their place.
Step 3: Choose your weapon
To create and hold a textured style, straight hair demands a little heat. “When you get to a certain amount of heat, in tandem with the product, it becomes possible to break the hair’s current memory and establish a new one,” says Joao.
While hot rollers can hold heat for nearly an hour, curling irons can only be used on strands for about ten seconds at a time. “The important thing to keep in mind when using a curling iron is to keep consistent,” says Joao. “A lot of people begin with patience, but by the time they get to the second side of the head, they start to speed up the process.”
If you lack the stamina to use your curling iron consistently—from one side of your head to the other—stick to hot rollers for an all-over bouncy, blown-out look.
Step 4: Set it and forget it
“Hair is like glass,” says Joao, “so when it’s hot, you can mold it. But hair really gets its strength and shape once it cools down.” The cool down, in other words, is just as important as the heat up. To get a longer lasting curl when using a curling iron, don’t simply wrap the hair around the wand and let it drop, urges Joao. “You want to pin the hair in that circular shape and let it cool as much as possible before releasing the curl.” Spritz the hair all over with a strong-holding hairspray to keep curls intact, but if you prefer a wavier look, loosen your curls with fingers or a wide-tooth comb.
To refresh fallen curls halfway through the day, Joao suggests scrunching hair with a natural sea-salt spray. A quick spritz “instantly gives hair a beachy look,” says Joao, which helps to reignite the curls you worked so hard for.