Whether you're going for beachy waves or bouncy curls, there is nothing more frustrating than spending hours primping those curls only to have them go limp and flat after a few hours. With the right products and tools, you can kiss curls that fall apart good-bye and say hello to curls that stand the test of time!
When you want to wear curls or waves, a heavy shampoo and conditioner will weigh your hair down! Try a volumizing shampoo and conditioner that will leave your hair lighter and ready to take on the curls. Pravana's Sulfate Free Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner is one of my favorites! The sulfate free formula is perfect for colored hair and the smell is heavenly!
Prep your hair with a curl enhancing gel before you blow dry. A curl enhancing gel will typically bring out your natural curl and body, help hold the curl, add shine, and give those curls holding power! I absolutely love TIGI's Curls Rock in the spray pump bottle or aerosol can. It smells great, it's light weight, and the spray is easy to apply evenly to your hair.
Drying your hair with a diffuser will help enhance the natural body in your hair (you may discover you have more than you ever thought) and it will help reduce frizz. For extra volume, dip you head upside down while you blow those locks dry. It's also a good idea to scrunch your hair as you dry. Most hair driers come with a diffuser these days, but if not, you can purchase a diffuser to fit your hair drier. Of course, if you're in the market for a new hair drier, be sure to check out my article of the best on the market before you buy.
I'm a big advocate of heat protection when flat ironing your hair, and using a curling iron is no exception. A thermal protecting setting spray is key for really long lasting curls with minimal heat related damage. Setting spray will really help lock in those curls. Biolage's Thermal Active Setting Spray by Matrix is my long time favorite for curls that go the distance. Simply spray on your hair before you curl or set in hot rollers.
If you're still using that old curling iron circa 1991, it may be time to upgrade to ceramic! Ceramic curling irons deliver effective, consistent heat that will curl your hair from the inside out. The result: beautiful, long lasting curls and less heat damage than that ancient metal curling iron! When curling your hair, take your time. Curl your hair in small sections, starting at the nape of your neck, and pin the rest of your hair up with a clip on the top of your head. Take small sections down as you work your way to the the top of your head. One more curling tip: use a slightly smaller curling iron than you usually do for a longer lasting curl.
If your hair is fine, limp, or otherwise refuses to hold a curl, hot rollers may be a better option than a curling iron. You will likely want to practice setting your hair in hot rollers before any big event to make sure you get those rollers set so your hair is beautiful after. Let the hot rollers sit in your hair for a minimum for 10 minutes. I like to let them sit for even longer if I have extra time. And hey, while your hot rollers are sitting, its a perfect time to apply your makeup!
So, I understand that soft, touchable curls are ideal, but if you have trouble getting curls to hold and you want them to last all day, you are probably going to have to forgo the touchable light finishing spray, for a hairspray that will work hard to keep those curls in place. This doesn't mean that you have to have a helmet head of hard curls, but finishing off your style with a firm hair spray can mean the difference between two hour curls and night of long lasting curls. My favorite finishing spray is CHI's Enviro Flex Firm Hold Hair Spray by Farouk, and if you really want to scare the limp out of your curls, check out CHI's Helmet Head. I love the hold, the smell, and most important, the shine delivered by CHI's hair spray!