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How to curl long thick hair

Posted on Published: March 29, 2017 – Last updated: June 24, 2021

Inside: This step-by-step tutorial shows the fastest way to curl hair that’s thick and long! Learn all my tips and tricks to achieve quick, soft waves that last!

When it comes to my hair, I usually wear it in a ponytail, up in a top knot, or down and curled.

I’ve seen so many hair curling tutorials, but the girls usually have very thin, fine hair and can curl their whole head in 5 minutes.

But, I have thick hair ( . . . a LOT of thick hair!) so it took me a while to figure out how to get loose curly hair when I’m short on time.

I’ve finally perfected my technique and can now curl my long, thick hair in just 10 minutes! So, today I’m sharing my best tips and tricks for how to curl long hair, fast!

(And if you’re interested in heatless hairstyles, I have a tutorial at the bottom of the post on how to curl your hair with a bathrobe tie!)

RELATED: The Ultimate List Of Beauty Tips for Busy Moms

1. Start with freshly washed and dried hair.

To start this tutorial on how to curl long hair, you’ll want freshly washed and dried hair. I’ve found my hair curls best right after I wash it.

I can usually touch up the curls a few days later, but they never stay as well as the first-day curls. I always spray a heat shield product on before I dry or curl my hair. I love the way this Not Your Mother’s one smells!

2. Use a 1″ curling iron. Curling irons this size are usually recommended to girls with short-medium hair, but I got a blow-out last year and the stylist used a 1″ barrel on my hair and the curls were amazing! Just trust me on this one.

3. Part your hair down the middle in the back and grab a 1″ section of hair. Sometimes the section is bigger when you get to the back, but around your face, use small pieces so the curls are more defined.

4. P ut the iron about halfway down and twirl the iron once around the piece.

5. Then open the clamp, slide the iron down a few more inches, and twirl the iron back to the original spot.

6. Slide the iron all the way to the end and then twirl the iron to the top of your head. Let it sit for 3-5 seconds and release.

The curl should look like this.

When you’re done, you’ll have lots of tight ringlets.

7. Let each side cool for several minutes and then run a brush through your hair for a softer look.

I personally don’t like the way my hair looks when it’s just in ringlets (although it turned out better than it normally does for these pictures!) so brushing out the curls gives it a more wavy look.

Alternatively, you can use some hair oil on your fingertips and gently run your hands through the curls to loosen them.

I add a little volume around the crown of my head with my teasing comb and then spray down any flyaways with my favorite hair spray. In 10 minutes I’m ready to go with some fabulous curls! It’s quick and easy, which is perfect for any busy mom.

RELATED: This Is The Best Root Cover Up For Brunettes

Which way do you curl your hair with a curling iron?

Like I mentioned above, I always curl my hair away from my face.

Doing it this way is the most flattering, in my opinion. It takes me about 10 minutes. I move quickly and don’t worry too much about making each piece perfect.

If you want to try adding a different look to the hairstyle, you can section your hair and curl each layer a different direction. I usually don’t have time to do that, so that’s why I always curl all of my hair away from my face.

Want More?

If you liked this post, check out my video tutorial for heatless curls using a bathrobe tie!

Your Turn

If you enjoyed this tutorial for the fastest way to curl hair (that’s thick and long), let me know in the comments! What are your go-to hairstyles? Any products you’ve loved for curling your hair?

And, if you liked this post, please pin it below!

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  4. How to Use Hot Rollers on a Wig
  5. Instructions to Use a Chi Flat Iron

Women with thick, straight hair may have a hard time curling it in less than 10 minutes, but it’s not impossible. Curled hair helps give you a classic look that works for a romantic evening out or a casual night with friends. Curls can be loose and wavy or tight and springy. You can choose among various hairstyling tools to help you create the curls — such as curling wands and hot rollers. If you have thick hair, it may take a long time to put curlers in, but there’s a way to curl your hair in under 10 minutes and look flawless. It all depends on the technique and the tool you use.

Use the Right Products

Healthy hair is always easiest to curl, so be sure to shampoo and condition your hair with the right products. Avoid volumizing shampoo and conditioner because these will only weigh your hair down. Don’t use shampoos that contain shea butter or sodium laureth sulfate — these only make your hair even heavier. Conditioners that have protein may work best, because these can help reduce frizz.

Use the Right Curling Iron

The curling iron you use has a large impact on the amount of time it takes to curl your hair and on how long the curls will last. Use a ceramic curling iron, because these get hotter than other versions. Your thick, straight hair calls for a hot tool that heats up quickly and works fast. Ceramic curling irons take about a minute to heat up, which is convenient if you want to curl your hair in 10 minutes. Stay away from hot rollers when you’re in a hurry; they take much longer to heat up. It’s also more time consuming to put them in your hair and take them out.

Clip vs. Clipless

There are two kinds of curling irons: clip irons and clipless irons, or wands. Clip irons tend to leave creases in the hair and flatten it, resulting in flat curls. A clip iron doesn’t leave creases and creates soft, bouncy waves. Women with thick hair should use a clipless iron, because it’s more convenient to wrap sections around it and style your hair as quickly as possible. Consider the size of the barrel, as well, and use a thick barrel size to curl hair quicker. A smaller barrel size creates tight curls, and will be more time consuming.

Use the Right Technique

There are several ways to go about curling your long locks.

Start from the bottom and Work your way up. This ensures that you curl each and every section.

Grab thicker strands. By wrapping thick strands around a ceramic curling wand you can finish quickly.

Curl your hair while it’s in a high ponytail. You can place your hair in a high ponytail and secure it with an elastic. Then bend over and bring your hair to the front to curl the hair in the ponytail. When you finish curling your hair, stand up straight and remove the elastic from your hair. Once you let your curls down, spritz them with some lightweight hairspray to help them stay in shape.

I’ve been a die hard curling iron fan for years. It’s usually how I curly my hair as you’ve seen here with my short hair and here with my long hair! Typically, I use a 1inch GHD curling iron. And on occasion for a more wide curl or “the wave”, my 1 1/4 inch. Many of my friends have a wand and I’ve tried them while on vacation together. To be honest, I hated them. I have very thick hair and unless I was doing teeny tiny sections, it did nothing for me.

Until I finally found THE wand. Then it was game over.

Let’s Talk Wands

The look you achieve with a wand curl versus a standard curling iron curl is definitely slightly different. Curling irons tend to be a bit more defined, more “curly” and feel more proper. When you use the wand it’s definitely less curly and has more of a tight wave to it.

So to get the look, I sometimes would use my curling iron like a wand. Due to my hair being SO thick, this was the best way for me to get the look. I’d wrap it around the open clamped curling iron, then clamp down and hold it for a few seconds. This way I got heat all around the hair, but still used the wrap technique to get that wand look vs curl look.

Then I was introduced to the L’Ange wand and my wand views have totally changed.

I hated them all up until now. This one gets HOT and only needs to be on your hair for 5-7 seconds max. You can see in the video at the bottom how quick it is. There are also a few options to choose from but if you have heavy, long or hard to curl hair, definitely choose the titanium (it’s a more consistent heat versus ceramic). When choosing a collection at L’Ange, I do the Titanium Lustre since it gets a little hotter, has temperature control and auto shut off. I do the 25mm which usually gives a tighter curl, but you can always make it looser by wrapping larger sections. I personally set mine to 370 or 390 degrees, no need to go higher in my opinion! It’s only $59 too, you can shop it right here.

Tip For Shorter Hair

PS this tutorial is also how I’ve been curling my new short bob as well. I so much prefer the look of this on my bob now than the curling iron. It gives it a more effortless wavy look than a curl. The only thing I do differently than today’s tutorial on medium to longer length hair, is I ditch the very bottom layers of my hair. Pretty much from behind the ear down, I just leave straight. No one sees it, and no one will notice.

How To Curl Your Hair With A Wand

Tip One

I break my hair up into small sections and pin the rest up with a clip. Taking 1 inch’ish sections I always wrap the hair downard with the wand also pointing down. It allows you to let go of the hair and let it just fall.

Tip Two

I try to wrap as much as the hair as possible before my finger touches the wand at the end. You can use a glove (it comes with the wand) but I prefer not to. The more you can wrap, the better. That little bit left over will still be a touch straight giving a beachy look. But if you leave out too much, it’ll look undone.

Tip Three

Always finish with my go to Kristin Ess Working Texture Spray. I also usually use the Kristin Ess Beach Wave Spray to give my hair a bit more definition in the wave. Lastly, always tousle your waves and break them up so things are perfectly imperfect.

Sometimes our hair seems to have a mind of its own and forgets who’s in charge. For many of us, the biggest hair battle we face is trying to get our hair to hold a curl that lasts longer than an hour (let alone 20 minutes!). But, before you ditch your curling iron, try these expert tips to make your curls last all day.

The Heavier the Hair, the Harder to Curl

There are a few reasons why your hair won’t hold its curls. One explanation: It’s too heavy. “This can happen with long, straight, thick hair that is bluntly cut,” says Nicholas Penna, Jr., owner and lead stylist at SalonCapri in Newton and Dedham, MA. His fix? Try adding subtle layers to lighten the heaviness. Another reason could be that you’re due for a trim. Hair is less likely to hold a curl when it’s damaged and has split ends. That’s why regular trims are a must. Overly conditioned hair or hair that lacks moisture can also be difficult to curl, and it can be especially tough after certain chemical treatments.

Don’t Overload Your Hair With Product

Your hair texture could also be the source of your problems. Fine hair doesn’t hold curls very well because it has a slippery texture. “This hair texture is very sensitive to products and the amount you use,” says Angela Kalinowski, hairstylist at Warren Tricomi Salon in Los Angeles. “Too much product can weigh it down, and not enough product can create flyaways.”

Dirty Hair Holds Curls Better

Healthy medium to thick hair holds curls the best because it has an even balance of protein and moisture that’s perfect for styling. What’s more, “second day” hair, or hair that was washed and blown out the previous day, is ideal. “It’s easier to style hair the next day once the hair’s natural oils and texture have had time to equilibrate,” says Penna.

Prep With Volumizing Products

Maintaining your curls is all in the preparation. Start by using a lightweight volumizing shampoo and conditioner. Kalinowski loves using VoCé Lift It Volumizing Shampoo ($23) and Conditioner ($25). If you have thicker hair, use a volumizing mousse to help lighten up your hair and hold the curl.

Always Protect Your Locks

Next, spray your hair with a heat-activated hairspray and let it sit for about a minute before you curl it. Penna recommends L’Oreal Professionnel Texture Expert Infinium 3 Strong Hold Working Spray ($24) or Kérastase Double Force Controle Ultime ($38). Then, curl your hair in small sections and clip each one up to let it set. “This will allow the cuticle to cool and close while it’s in the curl shape, making it last a lot longer once you take the clips out,” adds Penna.

Pick The Right Curling Tool

As for the best tool to use, Penna says that almost any ceramic curling iron will work for thick hair—it’s thinner hair that is a bit trickier. “Overnight sponge curlers or hot rollers will produce a better curling outcome than a typical regular curler.”

We all love the look of loose beach curls, but it can be quite the challenge to create curls that will last all day. Many of us spend hours trying to perfect the technique of curling our hair at home but still struggle to achieve long lasting effect.

If you find yourself in the never-ending battle of getting your hair to hold a curl, keep reading to learn more about why this may be a problem and what 3 simple things may just do the trick!

Why Your Hair Won’t Hold a Curl

There are potentially many reasons why your hair won’t stay curled and addressing them is going half the way to success (or, often, the all of it). Let’s look at them in more detail:

You Don’t Use the Right Products

If this has been a continuing struggle for you, consider what products you are using and how much of them you are using. One of the key factors in making straight strands curly is to properly prep your hair. You need to start with a generous amount of mousse and a heat protectant before you blow-dry your hair to give it more hold. A mousse is an alcohol-based product that makes hair easier to style by removing the moisture and drying your locks a bit, that’s why it is best not to use it too often.

If you plan to curl your hair, skipping a conditioner or using less of it will be a smart move, too. The latter makes hair very smooth, so it’s more difficult to add texture to your strands. If your hair is naturally straight and smooth, shower it with dry shampoo or a texturizing spray to add some grip before curling.

If you’re searching for a way to make your curls stay in fine hair, remember, less is more is guiding rule for fine hair styling. Use products that are light and airy and avoid heavier moisturizing products before curling. If your hair has too much product in it or products that are too heavy, they will weigh your hair down and the curls will fall flat a lot easier. A John Frieda Volume Lift foam for lightweight fullness would be a great option to go for.

Your Heat Tool is Failing You

The tools you use also play a big part in the longevity of your style. That’s why it is so important to make sure you’re using the right one for your hair type. Heat styling tools come in either ceramic or titanium and they both work in different ways. Ceramic styling tools heat up the hair from the inside out and is great on fine hair because it produces a gentler heat. Whereas the titanium styling tools heat the hair on the surface first creating a more aggressive heat, making it better for thick hair.

The right size of the curling iron is another important aspect. Curling iron with a large barrel size will create looser curls, which shape will be barely visible on thick, stubborn hair after a while. If you are having a hard time getting your hair to curl, try going down a barrel size and create tighter curls in the first place.

Most curling irons are available in increments of ¼”. Irons that are approximately 1” work best on most hair types. The longer your hair is, the smaller the iron you may want. Long hair will weigh itself down causing the curls to stretch more and will result in flattened curls sooner rather than later.

Also, it is important to select a tool where you’ll be in control of a temperature. It is not necessary to fry your hair to get bouncy curls. In fact, a lower temperate of 300-350 degrees create longer-lasting results. However, the too low heat may be another reason why you fail to add waves to your hair. If the curl doesn’t form within one or two minutes, your hot tool needs to be more – well – hot.

You Skip Sectioning

Another reason why you can’t make your hair curly may be improper sectioning of the hair. This is especially important in thick hair. However, you should be taking both sections and subsections to achieve curls that last all day, no matter what your hair length or thickness is.

Begin curling your hair from the bottom. Take a section starting at the top of your ears and clip up the rest so it’s not in your way. Gather subsections that are no bigger than 1” thick and work around your head. Once the entire section is curled, you can take your next section beginning at the top of your eyebrow. Repeat taking sections and subsections until the entire head is complete. Take a look at this tutorial on how to curl hair for visuals on sectioning and curling techniques.

How to Make Curls Stay

Now, if you have been doing all of the things listed above correctly and you are still struggling to get your hair to hold a curl, your hair may just be hard to curl and require you to go the extra mile for it to hold. Read on to learn 3 new tricks that just may do the trick to getting curls to last in your stubborn hair.

#1: Let the Curls Cool

You might feel the urge to run your fingers or your brush through your hair to separate uniform curled clumps, but you need to resist it as long as possible and wait until curls have cooled down completely. The natural oils on your skin can be too much for your freshly curled locks and can cause them to become loose and flat quickly. For better results, wait at least until you have curled the entire head to run your fingers through the hair.

#2: Pin Your Curls

If letting the curls cool down in place just doesn’t do enough for your stubborn hair, try pinning the curls at the base, close to the roots after each one is complete. This can be easily done with duckbill clips, or if you’re in a pinch, bobby pins can work! Doing this allows your curls to cool down in a tighter position and really helps to seal the curl.

#3: Spray Your Curls

Knowing how to properly use a hair spray is another hack for getting curls that last. It should only be used after your hair is curled to prevent burning the hair spray and your hair. You can spray each individual curl with a touchable hold hair spray after it is complete and after pinning it in place. Once your look is complete, you can finish it off by using a finishing hair spray or one with a stronger hold.

Making your curls last can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! Next time you curl your hair, pay attention to how much of the products you are using, the way you’re sectioning your hair, and give these simple tricks a try. It’s guaranteed that you will experience longer-lasting curls.

The best thing about having long hair? You’re basically a full time mermaid. The worst thing about having long hair? How long it takes to style (hint: it takes forever). But today we’ve got an easy hair hack that will teach you how to curl long hair quickly so you can create an easy, effortless wavy hairstyle faster than ever.

STEP ONE: TIE YOUR HAIR INTO TWO HIGH PIGTAILS
Why the old school hairstyle? Well when it comes to curling hair, especially long hair, we spend a long time wrangling the sections and deal with curling hair up to the root. But to create natural looking wavy hair, you don’t need to curl from root to ends. Creating pigtails makes it easier to reach all sections of the hair. No more reaching to the back of your head with a curling wand and potentially scalding the back of your neck. Plus, you get a looser more natural looking wave when you only curl from mid length down to the ends.This technique makes sectioning a breeze.

STEP TWO: SELECT YOUR TOOL
The key to learning how to curl long hair? Selecting a tool that makes the process easy and simple. Our pick for this Wow-To wavy hairstyle is a wand. It’s the quickest curling tool because you don’t have to worry about working with a clamp – or dealing with where to place it and how to minimize creases. Another pro tip? Create a more natural look by alternating the direction you wrap your hair around the barrel of the curling wand.

STEP THREE: PREP YOUR HAIR FOR HEAT AND GIVE IT HOLD
When it comes to learning how to curl long hair, rule number one is to make sure you protect your strands from heat. You also want to help strands hold their style. Our go-to pick? Style on Steroids. This texturizing spray has heat protection and helps with hold. The formula also has moisturizing and elasticizing ingredients to make sure hair is silky, has bouncy texture, and style memory. It also makes sure that strands don’t get glued together. An even bigger bonus? It’s completely translucent, which means it won’t dull color.
Before curling each section, use a spritz of texturizing spray with heat protectant to ensure best results.

Luscious curly hair is always in fashion but it’s a difficult ideal for many to achieve. Curling long thick hair, in particular, can often feel like an impossibility. For one, curling long hair is very time-consuming. And to make matters worse, the thickness of the hair makes it extra heavy which tends to straighten any curls very quickly.

Still, there has to be a way for how to curl long layered hair easily enough. So, what is the fastest way to curl long thick hair and how can you make it last as long as possible?

How to curl long layered hair with a curling iron?

If your hair is healthy enough for you to safely use a heated curling iron you can use this method. Still, beware that heat can be damaging to your hair so you should be very careful when using a curling iron. Use the lowest possible heat setting, at least at first, keep the curling iron for no more than 3 seconds per strand, and make sure your hair is well-nourished and moisturized at all times.

So, here’s a quick step-by-step for curling long and thick hair with a curling iron.

  1. Wash your hair and let it dry off completely. Your hair should be clean before you start but it should also be dry. Wet hair straightens out when it dries off so if you curl wet hair your efforts will very quickly go in vain. So, wash, shampoo, and condition your hair properly but then let it dry off before you start.
  2. Apply some heat protection. Even if your hair is well-nourished and conditioned, the heat from the curling iron can still damage it. Spraying some heat-protecting serum to your hair before you start is a good idea.
  3. Heat up the heating iron before you start. If you want a hotter curling iron for more effective curls (and if you’re sure that your hair can take it), go with a ceramic curling iron. If you want big and loose curls, use a curling iron with a bigger barrel. If you prefer tighter curls, go with a smaller barrel curling iron.
  4. Start wrapping your hair on the curling iron one strand at a time and then pin them in place. You can start with a strand from the lower back of your hair if this is your first time. This way, if an accident happens on your first try, it won’t be too visible. Or, you can start from the front of your hair where you’ll have better visibility.
    Either way, Make sure that you curl your hair on the iron as tightly as possible but also that you’re being quick – if the hair stays on the iron for longer than three seconds, the risk of it getting damaged or even burnt away is quite significant. After that, just pin each strand to its roots, facing backward.
  5. Apply some hairspray. Once you’re done with every strand of hair, spray them with hairspray while they are pinned down. This will help the curls stay in place for longer.
  6. Remove the pins once your hair has cooled off. The curls don’t need to be kept pinned down for long – once they cool off you can let them loose. If you haven’t sprayed them with hairspray yet, you can do so now too.

And that’s about it. Good ceramic curling irons are the best way to curl long and thick hair but they are also risky so make sure that you’re careful when using them.

Everyone seems to think that girls with long and thick hair are the luckiest. While it might be true to some extent, considering envious and luscious mane is what most girls would kill for, maintaining them is no breeze.

Spending long hours washing, brushing and blow-drying your hair can be a real pain. Also, styling it is no fun either. It takes freakin’ forever to curl your hair and all you are left at the end is half curled mane, arms that hurt and tears.

If you are blessed with long hair, you’d know the plight. But worry not because we’re here to make your life easier. We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves that will make curling your long, thick mane a breeze. Take a look.

  • 01. Use a flat iron
  • 02. Braid and leave overnight
  • 03. Use a small iron
  • 04. Curl the ponytail hair

01. Use a flat iron

Wrapping long hair around a curling iron is a time-consuming task. Did you know you could speed up the process with the help of a flat iron? It does take a little practice, but trust us, you’d never go back to using a hair curler again once you get the hang of it. Simply wrap a section of your hair around the flat iron once and keep sliding it down slowly. Alternatively, you could simply twist your hair section-wise and press the flat iron through the length for 10 seconds. It will give you amazing spiral curls in minutes.

02. Braid and leave overnight

You can literally sleep your way to gorgeous curls, without using any heat. No kidding. Here’s exactly how you can do it: divide your hair into 3-4 sections and braid each in the regular three-strand weave. Sleep on it and open the next morning to wake up to effortless (and heatless) tight curls.

03. Use a small iron

A smaller curling iron helps speed up the process. With a smaller curling iron, you can work with big sections of hair. Wrap a huge chunk of hair on a thin iron and curl your hair section by section. You will be done in five to seven minutes. Wanna bet?

04. Curl the ponytail hair

If you want soft curls at the end and a sleeker look from the front, you can try the easy ponytail hack to curl your long and thick hair. Instead of sectioning your entire mane and curling one section at a time, cut down the effort and time by pulling it into a ponytail and curling the hair. Easy-peasy, right?

Everyone with thick hair has heard it all before. ‘Wow, your hair is so thick! It’s amazing!’ Yes, it is, thanks for saying! But, every thick haired girl has had the heartache of trying to get it to curl. Is it even possible without the curls all falling out an hour later? Yes, yes it is. Here’s how you can use a hair iron set to get perfect curls, every time.

Is a curling iron the best choice for thick hair?

In a word, yes. It’s possible for a lot of people to get curls in their hair with their blow dryer and a round brush, but for ladies with thick hair it usually just isn’t possible. A curling iron has them beat because it’s a tool focused on creating curls out of your hair. When used correctly, you’ll get beautiful curls that last for hours.

What to look for when picking a curling iron

When looking for a professional curling iron set, there’s three things you must keep in mind:

  • Curling irons hold different temperatures: You’ll want a curling iron that can be set to an exact temperature. This is because you’ll need a different temperature to get a curl to hold, depending on the nature of your hair. Higher is better, but remember to never hike the heat up all the way. That’s a good way to burn your hair.
  • If your hair is naturally frizzy, you may want to straighten it first: If this is the case, you may want to buy a tool that can both curl and straighten. This way, both jobs can be done with the minimum of fuss.
  • Ceramic barrels are essential: There’s plenty of options when it comes to your hair curl iron, but ceramic is the material that will do the least damage to your hair. If it’s not ceramic, don’t buy it.

How to curl your hair with your curling iron

Tips to get your hair to hold your new style

  • Use the right shampoo and conditioner: What you use in the shower will affect how your curls come out. For example, if your hair is frizzy, you need to use an anti frizz shampoo so your curls come out smooth and stylish.
  • Use good quality tools: You’ll never get a good curl from an inferior product. Do your research before you buy.
  • Give your hair a rest: Try not to use heated styling tools every day. You’ll reduce the heat damage done to it, and give it a much needed rest.

Now you know the secrets, you can get the beautiful curly mane that you’ve always wanted. Put these tips to good use, and you’ll keep your hair healthy too. Nothing looks better than a well cared for head of hair.

Having thick hair is kind of awesome and also kind of not awesome; if you’ve ever asked everyone and their stylist for the best tips for making thick hair hold its curls, you understand why. My hair is thick and pin straight, and as so often happens, I am covetous of curls. The problem is that they never last long – we’re talking maybe four hours tops, and those curls start falling. The result isn’t pretty. Have you ever been in that predicament? Short of getting a perm, what can you do? Since I myself am not eager to revisit the perm-solution-soaked mistakes of my teens, I’ve instead come up with some foolproof tips for making thick hair hold its curls, which I selflessly offer up to my thick-tressed sisters in a show of stylistic solidarity.

1 Keep It Clean (or Dirty)

Unfortunately, my first bit of advice probably isn’t helpful at all, because it really all depends on you and your hair. Some experts maintain that to make your hair keep its curl, your hair needs to be completely clean. Others insist that if you go a day without washing your hair, it will hold better. I fall into that category, but I also know some women with thick hair that holds beautifully if their hair is freshly washed. One thing’s for certain, your hair should be totally dry. As with many tips for making thick hair hold its curls, however, this one is all up to you.

2 Go for Moisture and Protein

This one’s for everyone, however. Healthy hair holds curl better. If your hair is incredibly processed or damaged by dead ends, it won’t hold a curl very well no matter what you do. That’s true for any hair type – thick, fine, dry, oily, straight, wavy, curly, it doesn’t matter. For this tip to work, you have to take care of your hair even before you ever try to curl it. Make sure it’s moisturized; use hair masks, deep conditioners, and shampoo and conditioner that work for your hair. You can also keep it hydrated by eating and drinking the right things. Ditto for protein, which your hair needs to hold up to any style. Use what treatments you can, but also nourish it from the inside out.

3 Try an Old Fashioned Method

Thick hair does really well with rag curls. They’re kind of time consuming, granted, at least until you get the hang of it. All it takes is an old tee shirt cut into strips, or actual rags. You’ll end up with lovely, full, spiraling curls the morning after, although if your hair is super thick, you may have to work the dryer a little to get your hair completely dry before you take it down.

4 Pull out Your Socks

Curling with a sock bun works great for thick hair as well. This time, you want to start with wet hair, so it can dry around your sock. You need to make sure it’s smoothly combed as well, but if you’re a second-day kind of girl, you can just get it wet rather than washing it. Just remember that the way you roll your sock will affect your curls, so if you want big, bouncy curls, do a looser roll. For tighter, more structured curls, make it tight.

5 The Product Project

This is another tip that depends largely on you, because only you know which products work best on your hair. For example, if you want to curl your hair without heat, then you probably won’t need a heat protectant, but you’ll still want to use whatever mousse, gel, spray, or cream works for you. If you do heat style, protect those tresses! The key is, use your products before you ever try to curl your hair – especially with heat. That includes hair spray or spritz; it gives the tools something to grab onto, so to speak.

6 Change Your Tools

If you’re not having any luck with a curling iron, you might actually want to try curling with a flat iron. If you’ve never tried it, you might be skeptical, but it really does work. You don’t have to employ any fancy wrapping techniques or risk that signature curling iron kink at the ends of your hair, either. It’ll take a little practice, but even if you just want to give your ends a lovely vintage flip, a flat iron sometimes works even better than a curling iron.

7 Clip It

Whatever method you employ, especially insofar as heat tools, if you clip the ends of each completed curl, you can help your curls stick. Using a bobby pin or a long clip, hold the ends of your curls in place after you finish with each piece. That way you don’t risk losing your waves or spirals as you finish the job.

Hopefully you’ll have as much like with these as I have so far, at least with the ones I’ve tried. The price you have to pay for curly locks, right? Every time the Better Half complains about her cute curls, I want to snip them and keep them for myself. If these methods don’t work for you, or you’ve had luck with something else, please share! How do you keep the curls from falling out of your thick hair?