If you weren’t born with naturally curly hair, you’ve most likely found yourself longing over a stranger’s voluptuous tresses more than once. You daydream about what the volume would be like, the bounce, the incredible texture – and then you twist a lock of your own straight hair around your finger, and sigh.
The easiest and most common way to get curly hair relatively quickly is to use a curling wand, or curling iron. Both tools differ in how they are used and what the outcomes are, but they both rely on heat to achieve assorted styles. Wands and irons heat up to 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit, and long-term use can damage and weaken hair.
The cost of a haircut these days can be pretty outrageous; on top of that, paying to get your hair styled the way you want can turn into a weekly expense that most people can’t realistically afford.
Luckily, there are natural ways to get the curly hair you want. Some tricks were probably used by our great-great grandmothers; others are the results of modern science and health discoveries. Either way, trying any of these techniques can get you curls that will be the envy of others.
1. Towels, rags, socks.
Wash hair and dry lightly; while hair is still damp, use strips of cloth (this can be cut up towels, rags, or even socks!) to roll sections of hair around and up until you reach your scalp.
Bring the ends of the strips together and secure to scalp either by tying the ends or using pins or clips. Let hair dry completely – this method can be used overnight. When dry, unroll each section for loose curls.
This is one of the most common techniques used by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, and no doubt they looked great in those photos, without the capability of airbrushing or filters!
Braiding hair while wet or damp will result in curls! For smaller, tighter curls, braid multiple sections; for more wavy, loose curls, make one braid. Let dry, possibly overnight, and undo the braid. Experiment with types of braids, including French and fishtail, to find the curls you want – loose, wavy, small, etc.
3. All-natural curling cream.
Many companies, including big-name brands, have been making the transition to all-natural and organic products. Find a curling cream in this niche and make use of it! If you already have naturally wavy hair, curling cream helps manage the frizz and highlight your natural features.
4. Sea salt spray.
Sea salt sprays are an alternative to curling creams. One of the common descriptions for hair treated with these sprays is “beachy.” Most of these products actually use Epsom salt, which helps create waves in all types of hair. Usually curling creams are best used in hair that already had a level of natural curls – sea salt sprays can be used on any hair type!
To use sea salt sprays, spritz on damp hair or after taking a shower. Comb through once and let dry!
There is one downside to this product- long-term, frequent use will dry your hair out.
Like braids, buns can be an easy way to get your hair to curl or wave. Depending on the look you’re going for you can create either one or multiple buns when hair is wet or damp, secure, and let dry. The more buns, the smaller and more numerous the curls.
Go to any big chain department store or pharmacy and you can find hair rollers. Think “I Love Lucy”: the stereotypical, thick rollers that were usually secured with a towel around the forehead. It’s a distinctly feminine look, but it actually works.
You have the option of buying heated roller sets, or just sets that will work with wet and damp hair. As with many of our other methods, once hair has been wrapped around the roller and secured, you can sleep with them on and wake up to beautiful curls! Keep in mind that these curls are often high and tight, but endlessly varying sizes allow you to manipulate your outcome.
The above methods are a DIY for at home styling when you can’t afford that expensive trip to the salon. Keep in mind that most hair products aren’t all-natural or organic; you’ll want to do your homework before choosing a (preferably) chemical-free product.
These are also safe alternatives for taking a break from your curling iron or wand. Don’t forget that long-term heat exposure can permanently damage hair and dry it out.
No matter what kind of curls you’re going for, you have endless options! Whether you choose the salon or do it yourself tips and tricks, you’re bound to get the bounce and body you’re looking for to fit any occasion from formal to every-day.