My hair doesn’t like to curl. It’s never holds a curl with hot rollers, sponge rollers, or a curling iron. I once came close to making it through an entire night by curling with a flat iron, but this process is very dicey; it’s easy to burn off—literally burn off—the hair in mid-curl.
The most disheartening aspect to taking the time to curl ones’ hair is when the curl falls before you even leave the mirror. This all changed for me when I was recently introduced to the Curly-Q Tapered Iron. This iron is literally made of gold. The golden plates are gorgeous, but they more importantly offer even heat distribution; they also work to smooth surface frizz, which almost always occurs during the curling process.
48 HOURS PRIOR TO STYLING
Sleep in a thick conditioner (I recommend Biolage’s Conditioning Balm), or at least apply it to hair and hang out at the house for a couple of hours. This acts as armor, or hair insurance, against styling damage. However, generally, curly styles and up-dos work better on dirty hair. “Dirty” doesn’t mean filthy. I like to wash my hair, the night before curling, with TIGI’s Style Shots: Epic Volume Shampoo. This gives my fine tresses the boost they need to create a textured look.
JUST BEFORE STYLING/ PREPARATION
Prior to styling, I like to use CHI Iron Guard on my ends and work the product upward (apply only the residue to hair closest to the root to avoid a greasy effect). Smooth & Seal, by Sexy Hair, is a finishing spray which doubles nicely as a pre-styling mist. I like to use this from ends to the mid-way point of my hair. Brush your hair well and remove all knots and tangles to create smooth, silky curls. This step also distributes product evenly throughout the hair.
Because my hair is fine, I set the temperature at about 350 degrees. If you’re unsure how to classify your hair type, the Curly-Q package includes a descriptive chart with correlating heat settings. Place the protective heat glove, included with purchase, on the hand that matches the side you’re working on. That is to say, if you begin with your left side, put the glove on your left hand. Total, you’ll separate the hair into 5 layers, beginning with the bottom layer and ending at the top of your head. Within each layer, separate your hair into 1-inch sections for best results.
- Place your thumbs behind your ears and move straight back, until your fingers meet, to separate the first/bottom section. Clip the other hair atop your head. Isolate a 1-inch section of hair. Reach your right arm over your head, to the left side, and point the tip of the wand downward. With your gloved, left hand, wind hair from the broadest part of the barrel down to the tapered end. For loose curls, maximize the thicker end of the wand. For tighter curls, wrap hair mid-way around the wand and down. Hold, for no longer than 10 seconds, and release. Continue this process until you reach the mid-point. Switch sides.
- Next, separate Hair just above the ears, at the temples— divide the top layer into 2 sections and save the very front of the hair for last— and continue the 1-inch curling process.
- Once complete, rake your fingers through the curls to give a more tussled look. Finish with a healthy coat (or two) of TIGI’s Hard Head Hairspray.
- Enjoy bouncy, sexy curls throughout the night and into the morning!