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How I Curl my Hair

I was asked to share hair curling routine and tips a while ago and even though I don't do anything revolutionary and most probably won't find anything new, I've been itching to write another hair post, since they are my favourite to write. You may have noticed that I like to have my hair curled, actually when it was shorter, it was naturally quite curly/wavy, but in a very messy way. Now it's has only a bit of a wave due to the length, as the weight of the hair is straightening it. Since I was twelve my hair has been dry, frizzy, messy-curly and unmanageable, but I only started using curlers about six years ago (before I was trying to define my natural curls), anyway I use them just because I like more polished hair styles than the air-dry texture. Aside from that, if I curl my hair, I don't have to do anything to it for almost a week, while if I leave it natural, it feels dry and so bland that I constantly need to apply product to keep it in check (I tend to wear it braided when I'm giving my hair a break from the heat). My hair is thick and has natural texture to it (it's never soft), so it holds curl well, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to make it last longer. I'm a hair junkie so I have a lot of products and I included them here to maybe help you with possible product recommendations, but of course you don't need anything more than a heat protectant and a curler as the basics. 

Starting with the most important thing - the curler. I've tried a few in my many years of curling, but the two that made the cut are Remington Ci6325 Pro Soft Curl (bought in Interspar) and Sapphire 8 in 1 Wand (got it from Irresistible Me). I've tried many types of barrels and the 2.5 cm/1 inch is by far my favourite. I know a lot of people use 3.2 cm (1 1/4 ”), but honestly, I'm certain their curls last no longer than a day just like at me and that's a waste of time and effort. Still if you wish to see how those types of curls look, I have a picture in the review of Sapphire. I've used the Remington one for years and it's excellent for the price, but I'm currently using Sapphire a lot more because it's lighter, it doesn't have the annoying clamp, heats up a lot faster and I can see how it's heating up on the screen. Curling with a straightener is a massive waste of time at my hair as it lasts an hour or two (and ironically almost all hairdressers use this method. That's why I prefer to do my own hair). 

I always wash my hair at night because it weird to me to do it in the morning. I blow-dry it straight using medium heat and a round brush from Ebeline to reduce frizz and then pin it up in a high, very tight twisted bun, with which I go to sleep. This gives the hair volume, texture and a natural wave which is an excellent base to work on. If I blow-dry the hair when it's still damp and put in in a bun while it's still hot/warm, I get lovely natural waves in the morning, but if I don't want to torture my hair too much and let it air-dry till it's about 90% dry before I make it sleek with a hair-dryer and a round brush, I only get some volume and a messier texture. Both cases are fine. I'm currently doing the latter version and that's also why my hair looks more straight than curly, but here is how it looks if I do it in the first way.

I apply a heat protectant before I start doing anything. My favourites for dry hair are Kérastase Nectar Thermique and Tigi S Factor Flat Iron Spray.
I also love:

Others I have are:

I also have a sample of L'Oreal's Elnett Heat Protect Spray - Straight, which is very lovely and affordable, probably my top recommendation for a budget friendly heat protectant.

I set the temperature to 200°C. I've tried curling with lower temperatures, but then the curls last a day at most. However, I have thick hair that need more heat for an actually effect and if your hair is thin, don't mess with high temperatures. I curl my hair in two sections. I pin the top part away and curl the bottom half first, then I curl the top part. I don't really take care of how big the sections are, but they are about 2-3 cm wide and I wrap them flat against the barrel so I get ribbon curls. That's just the way I like it, but if you twist the strand before, you'll get more messy, beachy waves. I start wrapping in the middle of the strand and leave the ends out.

After I finish doing the lower half, I pin the curls into a loose bun while it's still hot, only then do I start curling the top half, which I also pin in a bun after I'm done. Sometimes I then merge both parts into one bun, it really doesn't matter much, but what does matter is that you're gentle at pinning and keeping it very loose. I use regular bobby pins for the job as I find that hair ties don't affect the curls well. I'm sure you know this, but only when the hair is cool, it sets into shape. If you leave hot curls just down, they will straighten to a degree or even completely. I used to pin every curl individually, but now I can't be bothered to do that any more. I release the buns only after they are completely cool. Even if they feel cool on the outside, they may be warm inside, so to be safe I leave it for at least 10-20 minutes, but the longer the better if you have time.

I then release the buns and I have these defined curls, which some may even like it like that already, so you can just add some hair spray and be done with it and by the way, if you do it like that, also maybe just comb the hair a bit with fingers, the curls will last the longest this way and will look its best on the second day. I gently brush out the curls with a Tangle Teezer(-like brush), so I get nicer waves. Brushing doesn't destroy the curls if you're gentle.

I then shape the waves/curls with my fingers and some hair serum. Mostly it's Orofluido, but I also use Kérastase Elixir Ultime or Avon's Advanced Techniques Moroccan and lately I've been really loving Dove's Advanced Hair Series Quench Absolute Supreme Crème Serum because it makes the hair look so healthy, tamed and shiny. I keep another oil in the bathroom and that is Aussie's 3 Miracle Oil Reconstructor. It's very light, so similar to the Kérastase one and I tend to use it when I want my hair to smell like vanilla-strawberry ice cream and bubble gum.

For hold I mostly rely on three products or two sets of products. Charles Worthington Texturizing spray creates a more lived-in effect, the curls look more messy and it also adds texture plus hold. It's a product that will make your hair more stiff and matte, so if you don't like that I'll tell you about an alternative later. I've tried a few texturizing sprays and this one and the VO5 Give Me Texture are my favourite, but both aren't sold here. I haven't found a decent one in Slovenia yet (I'm not a fan of the most popular one, L'Oreal's TXT Excess Volume), but you can use a dry shampoo to add texture. To seal all in place I use my all-time favourite hair spray Lee Stafford Hold Tight, which provides good hold, but feels like nothing on the hair. Unfortunately someone decided to stop selling this in Slovenia and has therefore gained my eternal wrath. I have tried a few others since and hated them, but before I was using Tigi's Mastermind, which I like and I had a small size of L'Oreal's Elnett, which is decent too.

When I want my curls to look more polished and put together, I use a hair wax and my favourite at the moment is Got2b Rise 'n Shine Soufflé. It's has a very light, almost airy texture and apart from hold, it also helps define the waves. Used it on the picture bellow (don't mind the frizz, it was my 4548th picture of the day and it's from my "work blog post"), above it's Charles Worthington plus Lee Stafford.

And it's done. I make it seem like it's a long task, but it's 10 minutes of curling or even less, pin the hair up and after it cools, I use a brush (or fingers) and hair oil to break up the tight curls, then add a product(s) with hold and it's done. Nothing new, nothing exciting, but that's how I do it, that's what I learned over the years from my experience and tips from other places. I do curls on other people and some report it lasts days like on me and on some they drop at the end of the day, but those are the ones with thin hair. As I said before, when don't brush out the curls, but only break them apart with fingers, they last the longest.

I hope this was helpful and have a great day!

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