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How to Curl Even the Straightest Hair


It's true: We all want what we don't have. And when we've got pin-straight locks, all we want is a bouncy, voluminous curl to our hair.

Goal in life: Get Gigi Hadid's hair.

If you have stick straight hair and find yourself reach for the curling iron trying to achieve bouncy, bombshell curls, you're not alone. If your curls end up limp within the hour, you're still not alone. We're not saying we can make your hair woes vanish (we would if we could!), but we do have some tricks up our sleeves to help you achieve voluminous, long-lasting curls. No one will ever know you started out with straight hair!

Curl Enhancing Mousse

L'Oréal Everstyle Curl Activating Mousse, $6.99, ulta.com

Do not jump the gun and fire up your curling iron before you get product into your hair! Many girls make the mistake of piling on the product after curling, which actually weighs down your fresh curls. Instead, make sure you have a curl activing mousse, which works for two reasons. First, a mousse does not weigh down your hair. Two, curl activating and curl enhancing are two different ball games. Curl enhancing is for people with naturally curly hair, so definitely skip that—it just becomes excess product.

Volume Mousse/Foam/Spray

Redken Body Full Instant Bodifier Volumizing Foam, $18, ulta.com

The same idea applies to a volumizing hair product. Reap the benefits by putting it on before you curl your hair instead of after. If you rely on things like hairspray to achieve volume, you'll end up with crinkly, hard-to-the-touch strands. Again, a lightweight product will help achieve more volume than a heavy cream, and let's be real, we all want Gigi Hadid-status hair.


Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Hairspray, $3.99, drugstore.com

While you shouldn't rely on hairspray alone to hold curls, it's still an important step to making them last. The key is to know when your curls are ready to be set. Some people like to spray their hair as soon as the curling iron is removed, and that kind of works. What's even better is to pin your curls up (yep, like the Victoria's Secret models do backstage), and once they have cooled completely, spray your whole head with hairspray. Allowing your hair to cool first sets the curl, while letting it hang while it's still warm lets gravity drag your curls down.

Overnight Curling

Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer, $27, sephora.com

Letting your hair set into a curl overnight after washing your hair is one of the gentlest methods that pretty much guarantees a long-lasting curl. As your hair transitions from wet to dry, it sets itself up in whatever style you have it. To achieve curly hair, you can make individual small, twisted buns (think Miley Cyrus!). A braid will help achieve waves rather than curls, so the motion of twisting sections of your hair is the best option. Of coursing, adding a hair primer will only help the style hold. In the morning, release your curls, gently fingercomb, and set with hairspray.

Hot Rollers

Naomi Campbell showing us how it's done.

Hot rollers aren't the most popular option among our generation, and we get why. They take a long time, and we like instant gratification. However, they pretty much guarantee you bouncy and glossy curls that last and last. Make it easier on yourself by popping your hot rollers in the first thing in the morning. Skincare, makeup, breakfast (and yes, even coffee!) can all come after while you wait for your hot rollers to work their magic. The number one tip to remember is to let the rollers cool all the way before taking them out!

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