Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How I Curl My Hair And The Products I Use

I got a lot of emails asking if I could do a post on how I curl my hair from beginning to end.  When I first got my Babyliss Conical Wand, it took me quite a while to get used to it.  My first few attempts weren't great as you can see in the pic below but with time and practice, I've finally got the hang of it!  So if you're struggling with yours, just keep practising and it will come to you.  Don't feel bad that you haven't mastered it because I don't always get things right first time (or second or third!) round and the great thing about the blogging community is that there's so many different places to read and watch and learn.  Hopefully this post will be of some use and show that everyone has to start somewhere.

So here goes...

Firstly, I have tried curling my hair in many ways:
  • Straighteners - I attempted this and ceremoniously failed (my arms just cen't bend that way!)
  • Wide Barrel Curling tongs - The curls lasted about 2 hours before falling out
  • Heated Rollers - Created nice bouncy hair but not enough curl for my liking
  • Braids - I often do this on holiday to avoid applying too much heat to my hair but it creates more of a relaxed wave.
So I have developed the perfect routine for getting my hair exactly the way I want it and I will go through which products I use and the do's and don'ts I have learned through experience.

So these are my tried and tested perfect products for creating voluminous, bouncy curls that last all day:

1) Aussie Aussome Volume Shampoo
2) Aussie Lusciously Light Mega Instant Conditioner
3) Pantene Colour Protect Instant Nourishing Shine Spray
4) Tresemme 24 Hour Body Root Boosting Spray
5) Aussie Dual Personality Volume & Gloss Hairspray
6) Tigi Catwalk Volume Collection Your Highness Weightless Shine Spray

Because I have fine hair that needs a helping hand when it comes to creating volume, I try to always use the most lightweight formulas when it comes to shampoo and conditioner.  I find the Aussie ones are great, easy to get hold of and very good value for money.  I use the Pantene nourishing shine spray to make sure my hair stays silky, smooth and soft and I forgot to include my Tresemme Heat Defense Styling Spray in the list above.  I apply it whilst my hair is damp, followed by the Tresemme Root Boosting Spray which I apply directly to the roots.  I then spray some in my hands and comb my fingers through my hair to lightly coat all my hair.  I find it's always best to dry your hair upside down for maximum volume, especially when you're wearing your hair wavy or curly.  Once it's 80-90% dry, I then section my hair and dry it by always gently pulling the hair upwards with my brush and concentrating the hairdryer nozzle into the hair to create a smooth and shiny finish.   You could also add an extra step if you have time by putting rollers in at the roots to further lift and volumise the hair.

It's really important to make sure your hair is completely dry before you even think of trying to curl it.  Otherwise the curls will just drop out within a couple of hours. 

Once I have finished drying my hair, I spray it with the Tigi Shine Spray and I section it off using metal clips that you can get from any supermarket.  As you already know, my weapon of choice is the Babyliss Conical Wand because I find it is the easiest tool to use without getting weird crimps in your hair like with curling tongs.  It's important that you don't try to curl too much hair at one time.  The sections you wind around the conical wand should only be about an inch.  I always use the maximum heat setting which is 25 and I hold the hair in place for 10 seconds for the lower half of my hair and once I get to the top sections around my face, I only hold it for 5 seconds as I don't want those bits to be REALLY curly.  I always angle the conical wand with the thicker end to the top and I always curl my hair away from my face.  To create maximum volume at the roots, once you have curled most of your hair, you should bring the conical wand as close to your scalp as you can to create uplift at the roots.  This video by Tanya Burr at Pixi2woo is a good demonstration of how to use the Babyliss Conical Wand with regards to how you should hold the wand and generally how to style your hair...

I also don't use the heat protectant gloves that are provided because I find it's hard to get hold of your hair whilst you're wearing them!  I have burnt myself a few times so please be careful when you are doing this.
If you still want to wear a glove to protect your hand but don't like the two-finger version supplied with the Babyliss wand then you can purchase a full glove here for £17.22.  I like to get a small mirror, stand with my back to a full length mirror and just check that I haven't missed any pieces at the back.

Now this is one step that I only started doing recently and it's made a massive difference to the finished look of my hair.  Once I have finished curling my hair, I brush it with a vent brush like this one:

I had heard lots of people talking about brushing the hair after curling it but I had always thought "noooo, I've spent so long curling it...why would I want to brush all the curls out!?".  However, this has proved to be the missing step in my routine that took my hair from looking too styled to extremely bouncy, full and natural- looking.  When you brush the curls, it doesn't brush them OUT of your hair, it simply blends everything together more so you don't get ratty ends or 'piecey bits'.  It's exactly how the hair is styled for the Victoria's Secret models so who am I to argue?!  I then turn my head upside down and spritz my hair from underneath with the Aussie hairspray.  I give it another spritz on top just to hold everything in place.  It's important not to go overboard with the hairspray though because the last thing you want is to weigh your hair down or make it look too solid and crispy!  this look is all about natural waves, curls and bounciness.

My usually limp, flat hair lasts all day when I go through these steps and it makes my hair appear twice as thick! 

You could backcomb the undersections of your hair but I choose not to most of the time because I prefer to be able to run my fingers through my hair.  You could also curl hair extensions and add them in for more impact and a fuller look.  I would only do that for special occasions though.  The pics of my hair above were styled using only my own hair.

If you want to see how to get a similar look with extensions, this is a good video that demonstrates how to do that using wide barreled curling tongs and a slightly different technique...

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