It's wild to think there was a time where dead-straight hair was what we all aspired to. Scroll through Instagram, and if you look at hair as much as we do, you'll notice soft, blown out curls are everywhere. Understandably too because of one word: VOLUME.
Especially true for those of us with fine hair, adding a curl or wave gives your hair volume tenfold because you add structural definition outwards. Plus with halo hair extensions, it’s even more billowy if hair requires density.
And if there's one thing we've learned from hours of hair tutorials and curl DIYs: it's that there are many different ways to curl your hair: tight curls, tousled beachy waves, heatless curls, blowouts, and the list goes on. So if you're finding yourself in a hairstyle rut, change up how you curl your hair.
What To Do Before You Start Curling Your Hair
Before you start applying any heat styling tools, there’s a couple things that’ll make your curl better with less damage and lots more hold.
Firstly, no matter the heat setting, always apply heat protectant from root to end with special attention to ends. If you’ve just washed your hair (and hair is still wet) opt for a cream heat protectant and if hair is dry and ready to style, use an oil or spray. You *will* notice a difference in your hair’s health when using heat protectant. Trust us.
Aside from how you curl your hair, one great base rule is to curl on dirty or lightly unwashed hair. If hair is freshly washed it won’t hold a curl as well–given you’re styling straight onto dry hair.
Read Next: 10 Perfect Hairstyles For Fine Hair Types
Types of Curls to Try
A loose braid used to be the method of choice when trying to achieve wavy hair, but if you want less of a beach wave and more of a Kardashian dinner party wave, opt for the heat styler. You’ve likely seen them around—looking like an XL size hair crimper—and they’re definitely worth the space in your bathroom.
To get a uniform wave, you just need to press and hold the wave styler to your hair and slowly work your way down ends where waves are desired (we hope all over!)
Read Next: 8 Ribbon Hairstyles to Try With a Halo
Likely the hairstyle you’re most trying to learn how to do right now—if you haven’t already mastered it—is this It-Girl blowout hairstyle. It’s been around forever, but curled ends and swooped bangs are having a serious moment thanks to to popularity of blowout bars and practically everyone on your FYP.
To learn how to curl hair in this way, you can use velcro rollers, a tool like a Dyson AirWrap, or for a quick fix, just a straightener to ends. Watch below to get the blowout curl on your ends without spending hours on it.
The biggest hack to getting beach waves is bringing to actual beach to your hair (sort of). A great texture builder and volume enhancer for fine hair, sea salt sprays should be at the ready whenever you want a free-flowing beach wave. They act as a light hairspray, but also give that bit of grittiness that anomaly sea salt can give to a wave.
To get these cool, surfer girl waves, throw away any of those strict curling techniques: these are meant to be super natural and a bit messy. You can pop hair in a protective sleep style like loose braids or twists before bed so you’ll have the body to build your waves in the morning. Or, if you’re going straight into beach waves with dry hair, wet hair a bit and scrunch with fingers. If hair is dead straight and needs a bit of heat to get there, just use different curling directions to create a less uniform curl.
Read Next: 12 Hairstyles To Transform Thin Hair
Among the different ways to curl your hair is curling while you sleep! Secretly a great styling tool that’ll definitely cut your GRWM time in half, using a silk rope or socks to achieve an even curl is one of our favourite methods.
This method of curling is also one of the best ways to get volume for those of us with fine hair because it won’t add any heat to already delicate strand. Plus, if you use a silk fabric, it’s even more protective for hair.
Read Next: The Ponytail Volume Tools Your Hair Needs
Soft, Brushed Out Curls
These dreamy soft curls take a little longer to do, but are perfect for an occasion where you wanna get a little glam'd up. Truth be told, learning how to curl your hair like this can take a bit of practice if you aren’t used to a barrel curler. That’s because you need the curls to be the same thickness and going in the same direction. But, fret not! There are hacks.
One saviour in the soft brushed out curl is a curling wand. They’ll make the curls tighter on the ends so it’ll hold much better and be more uniform. Not to mention, so much quicker than handling a barreled curler! We suggest a smaller curling wand at about 25mm barrel.
To achieve these, divide your hair into a left and right section. You want to direct the curls away from your face so that when you look at the back of your hair, the curls from the left and right sections are facing towards each other. As well, start your curls from the midsection of your hair so that curls graduate from soft to super curly at the ends of your hair. Once achieved all around, use a wide tooth comb to separate curls. While these are brushed out curls, using a hair brush that’s too dense can ruin the work.
Tight, Natural Curls
This is the kind of curl that makes it seem like curly hair is in your genes. It requires a skinny curling barrel (we suggest around 16-19mm) and of course texture spray. The key to these natural looking curls is to curl super small sections of hair and alternate the direction of the curl each time so as to not look too perfect or uniform.
Make sure you curl the hair quite tight while in in the curling process—your hair should channel Shirley Temple as you curl it. Once you've finished curling, spray some texture spray and use your hands to lightly scrunch the product into the curls. This will add texture to the curls and create a more natural messiness.