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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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