What I Do: How I Curl My Hair


I’ve had a couple friends ask me how I curl my hair. When I was a kid, and basically up until my senior year in college, I was pretty clueless about how to style my hair. When I finally attempted to curl my hair, I’m confident that the finished style was tight ringlets that channeled 90s prom or a 90s perm. Fun times. I can’t explain why I sucked so bad at hair, but I did. I sucked equally as bad with makeup.

Fast forward to today, where we have the gift of YouTube tutorials to help those of us who are beauty-clueless learn how to properly use everything from curling irons to undereye concealers.

My favorite hair-styling YouTube channel (and blog) is Kate Bryan’s All the Small Things. She is an amazing hair stylist, but she also has the most soothing voice. Back when I used to spend my Friday nights watching hours of YouTube videos, hers were always my favorite because I not only learned how to style my hair, but I also felt super relaxed after watching them.

Anyway. Kate has a great tutorial for how to curl your hair, especially if your hair is closer to shoulder length. I do almost everything she does, other than I section my hair a little differently (use whatever works best for your hair type) and I use a 1.25-inch barrel instead of a 1.75-inch barrel.

I haven’t done the teasing step of her tutorial, but I want to try it, only because it seems like whatever volume I have in the morning is gone before lunch. Teasing makes me nervous though….so we’ll see.

Products I use:

Now, some of these products are more expensive…most of them I either got for free or at a steep discount. Both the Tresemme and Not Your Mother’s products are available at Target and Walmart, so I would recommend those for anyone on a budget. As for the Big Sexy Hair volumizing mousse…I’m not a hair expert, so I’m probably using it incorrectly and that’s why I haven’t been amazed with this product. I’ve tried a couple cheaper alternatives and I don’t notice a HUGE difference in the performance. I still prefer the Big Sexy Hair volumizer over the other products I own (something from Matrix and something from Aussie), but once it’s empty, I’ll explore a different product. I love my Hot Tools curling iron, but I’ve had good luck with mega-cheap curling irons from Walmart and Target too, so do what you want. The Sebastian Shaper hairspray is decent, but I don’t want to spend the money to replace it once this bottle is gone.

My curls don’t stay the same as the day progresses — they definitely loosen up, but I’ve been lucky enough to usually like them in every stage (my hair is just a little longer than my shoulders). When my hair is on the shorter side, I’ve noticed the curl doesn’t hold at all and it looks odd all day. When my hair is longer, the curl is usually great, even after I’ve slept on it. You would think that would encourage me to grow my hair out longer and keep it that way, but I keep thinking, “This time will be different!” and my shorter hair will work with me or I’ll magically figure out the trick. No such luck.

Do you have a holy grail volumizer? Tell me what it is! I’ve heard good things about Redken Guts (and I know I’ve used it in the past and thought I really liked it, but it’s been a long time).


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