Getting extra curl mileage. . .
Curls from a good rollerset will go for miles, up to a week. They may take longer to put in (several minutes) and to set (several hours, without the use of heat) but it's all worth it in the end. What they cost in time, they give back in time, since they last so long.
Curls from a curling iron, on the other hand, are relatively quick to create, but the results often don't last more than hours. As soon as the curls are in, water molecules in the air get set on disrupting those temporary hydrogen bonds, taking your hair back to its natural alpha state.
Why does it happen so soon? For one, curling irons typically don't get as hot as flat irons, and less tension is used to get the hair to curl.
These factors taken together mean that usually not enough energy has gone in to lock the curl in place for longer. All the same, with some savvy styling secrets, you can extend the life of your curls, making sure they don't drop before the end of the day – and even stick around for a few days after that.
To get these extra-mileage curls, you will need a few good tools:
Large bobby pins
Thick, soft, clean cotton cloth
Start with a head of clean hair, with leave in and silicone applied well in advance, so that the hair is fully dry. Begin by turning on the curling iron and allow it to heat up. Take a section of your hair which is the size of the curls you desire. Clip the rest of your hair out of the way.
Then, holding the can of hair spray 6 inches away from your hair, spray the section from just beyond the roots right down to the tips. That's right – spray before you apply heat. Comb or brush it through quickly to make sure the lacquer hits every strand. Then, wrap the hair around the curling iron, hold it for 3 seconds and release. Spritz it again with the hairspray, this time from further back, 10-12 inches – you want to get as much of the hold with as little of the water as possible to avoid reversion.
Repeat this process all over your hair until it's all done, wiping the iron with the cloth periodically so residue from the spray doesn’t accumulate – this could leave flakes in your hair later. Remember to watch your fingers!
Why it works
Spraying the hair spray on first allows it to become molten and then get set at the same time your hair gets set, giving you extra hold. The last spritz serves as a glaze to lock in the curl, but the real work is done with the heated hair spray while the iron is still in your hair.
To keep these curls in overnight, take each of them separately and pincurl them in place. You can see pincurl instructions, including a video tutorial, here.
The main difference in the method you use on curls that have already been formed is that you don't need to apply any more product. The product you already have in, and the holding action of the pincurl will ensure your curls don't get mussed as you sleep, as well as helping give your hair the necessary style memory.
Getting the order of your product application right, and wrapping your pincurled ringlets with the right kind of headscarf at night means you can stretch your heat-curled spirals for three days, and even beyond.
DHA Hair Care Experts
Dominican Hair Alliance