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How To Curl Long, Thick Hair (using 1 hair product)

21 January 2010

I love my long, straight, black hair. When I am out, I often get comments about how cool perfectly-straight-black-hair-that-goes-half-way-down-your-back is.

But a lot of hair equals a lot of work, and I have to iron it flat every couple of days. And sometimes, I dream about having naturally curly hair! Curls are much more forgiving, romantic and natural looking.

My hairdresser said if I wanted to get a digital perm it would cost me $500 and 5 hours in a chair. REALLY!? I wasn’t too keen, because I have issues with the money, time, chemicals used, the damage to my hair, and I’m at the wrong time in my life for those kinds of investments.

So I might get it done some time in the future, but at the moment I wanted to play with my hair – as it is – a bit more.

Right now, I’m experimenting with a method that only uses 1 styling product – styling wax.

This post is a bit long and has lots of pictures (of me doing my hair). I’ve suddenly gone all self conscious, sick of looking at pictures of myself, and scared of me coming across all vain!

So you’ll have to click “Read More” if you’re actually interested in curling long hair. Do you think you can handle more? You have been warned!


How to Curl Long, Thick HairI know there are several ways to curl long hair. Most ways include using hot curling tongs or a hair straightener, and using 5 DIFFERENT HAIR products (thermal protector, smoothing balm, forming cream, hair spray, shine serum.)

However, this method of curling hair is much cheaper, a bit friendlier to your hair, and faster (kind of, because requires to be left over night). So you have to do this in the evening.

This is my hair after it has been washed.

No hair products. No blow drying. Just towel dried, combed through with my fingers and left to air dry for a while. It’s still quite damp, moving towards fluffy.

How to Curl Long, Thick Hair1) Cut strips of cloth.

I used cleaning cloths. Make sure they are clean!

I cut them into wide strips and folded them length-wise to make them thin and for added strength.

2) Parted  hair into 6 sections. 3 on each side.

Smear and comb styling wax through the section of hair.

3) Roll hair tightly around the cloth.

How to Curl Long, Thick HairPut the cloth near your ears, or wherever you want the curls to start.

It helps to give the section of hair a little twist.

It’s like making little hair buns in your hair.

4) Tie the cloth into a tight knot.

5) Do it for the other sections.

I worked from the back sections to the front.

Make sure the cloth knots are tied tight!

How to Curl Long, Thick HairIt took me 15 minutes to do. Like I said, it’s pretty lazy.

It probably would have taken me 10 minutes.

But I was taking photos of the process, and cleaning my hands a lot, so that I wouldn’t get wax on my camera.

I went to sleep with it all tied up like that at 10pm. Hubby thinks it very, very funny.

The next morning.

At 8am, I took all the cloths out, separated the curls, and fluffed it up a bit.

Don’t separate them too much. If you separate them too much, the curls lose their shape and they go frizzy.

How to Curl Long, Thick Hair

So on the left, that’s what it looks like 10 minutes after taking the cloths out.

I went to a picnic by the river, paddled in the water, my kids threw sand in my hair, I sat in the shade with a big hat. It was a warm morning! We dropped in to see my mother, had lunch. Then we popped to the shops, where there was lots of air conditioning.

The curls stayed in quite well for the whole day!

At 6pm I had a shower without washing my hair (yes I still had sand in it – eeww!) and got dressed to go to a summer dinner party.

Pic on the right – my hair was still nicely wavy at 7pm. But obviously the weight of my hair and the styling wax couldn’t hold in the curls.

I think I used the wrong kind of styling wax. I used Loreal Playball Texturising Wax Paste. It said on the label – “For body, dramatic definition and a powerful hold, with a matt finish.” As I read that back now, it sounds more like poetry than a clear description of what it does. I thought I would need something really strong to hold the curls together. But it felt pretty heavy in my hair the moment I took out the cloths.

Next time I’ll try something lighter, like a strong forming cream?

Anybody have any tips?