How to: Perfectly, soft curls

Before I jump into this post I have to tell you… I’m cutting my hair on friday!!  EEEEEK!  I’m freaking out just a little bit.  My hair is so incredibly damaged.  It all started after the unnamed hairdresser fried my hair when transitioning back blonde from ombre.  Ripping out all the tiny clear elastics from the hundreds of photos I took for my hair book didn’t help either but the main source of it’s destruction has been the lack of trims.  I just felt like because of this or that I couldn’t afford to loose any length and I kept promising my hair dresser I’d trim it later.  Well, now it’s insanely damaged and I just need a fresh start.  I’m a little excited, hopefully I can find some hairstyles for short hair!  Okay and I guess collar bone isn’t short… it’s medium length.  But it’s SHORT to me!!  Wish me luck friends.  AND TRIM YOUR HAIR!  Okay okay, back to business.

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I’ve finally put together a video on how I curl my hair, thanks for being so patient!  The technique is really nothing outside of the box but it works for me and is the fastest, most effective way of curling I’ve tried so far.  These are the some of the tools and products that I use to prep my hair:

  1. Hair Dressers Invisible Oil.  I’ve talked all about this fabulous serum in this post here.  It basically smoothes out and relaxes the hair, adds shine and protects against heat.  You want to work it through the mid shaft to ends and you only need a little bit.  I’ve had my entire bottle for over a year and I use way more than I probably should.
  2. Before I start curling I also spray my hair with hot stop from Regis.  You mostly likely don’t need another heat protectant, but it eases my mind so I use it anyway.  It’s a really light spray and I love that it doesn’t weigh the hair down or make it wet.  I simply mist it all over from roots to ends and it just ensures my hair is fully protected.
  3. And then just to get it over with, I like to quickly tease my roots.  You’ll take a slice of hair near the top of your head and brush the hair towards the scalp. I like to tease all the hair above my temples and this creates more volume and gives the illusion of thicker, fuller hair.  If you have super thick hair you should still probably tease.  Because your hair is so thick, it’s most likely very heavy weighing it down at the roots.  Just lightly tease to add some volume back into your hair!

Now that you’re hair is all prepped you’re ready to curl.  You’re going to need a 1” curling wan — I’m using the Jose Eber 25mm curling wand.  If you don’t have a wand, go ahead and remove the clamp on a regular curling iron.  If you can find a springless curling iron that’d be best as they don’t usually have plastic on the tip of the barrel.

  1. Section off the top half of your hair with a clip.  Take a small section from the front and wrap it around the wand away from your face.  I don’t usually alternate the way I wrap my curls.  The last inch or so of hair don’t worry about wrapping around the wand, the curls lay prettier when the ends are straight.  In fact I use to straighten the ends but have recently become a little too lazy!  If you’re ends are frizzy or the curls aren’t laying right go back and just straighten the last inch or two of hair.
  2. When the curl is warm, release it still coiled up in your palm, press flat to your head and secure with a duck bill clip.  If you lose the coil when releasing, just wrap the curl around two fingers and then secure.  If you want looser waves, don’t set the curl with a clip and instead just release the curl and let gravity pull it down.  I usually set the curls because they’ll last much longer.  So if I curl my hair and set them, I can get a couple more days out of them.  By day three they’re usually really loose waves and I’ll just tease my roots, pick through the curls and then freshen them up with some Redkin Wool.
  3. When you get to the top layer of hair, more specifically your bangs, you’re going to start the curl a few inches down.  This will allow your bangs to swoop nicely and also it’ll help those curls look more relaxed
  4. After all your hair has been curled, run your fingers through the curls to separate them, I’ll sometimes use a paddle brush if I want really soft curls, and spray with a texturizing spray.  My favorite is Redkin Wool, it’s like a gel/slush and it adds crazy volume and great texture.  I honestly don’t know what I did without it!

Hopefully all of this information is helpful to you!  If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.  Keep in mind I’m not a hairdresser and I don’t usually get the opportunity to work with other textures of hair but I’ll do my best.

I’ve been having issues with my camera lens (50mm 1.4) and it finally busted on me.  The focus hasn’t been working, which is why I haven’t been able to just chat with you guys in my videos.  It makes this terrible noise and so I’ve had to turn the volume off and do voiceovers.  Definitely not ideal.  It’ll take at least a month to get back from Canon, so bare with me while I figure out what to do and how to get the right exposure etc in my photos and videos.  I really wish I had enjoyed photography as a teenager… knowing how to work a camera would have just made things so much easier!  K, see you soon!

Abby Smith

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34 thoughts on “How to: Perfectly, soft curls

  1. Hey Abby, I was searching for the Redkin wool and it seems to be discontinued. Any other suggestions for a texturing spray to add volume?

    1. UUUUGH NO!!!! I’m so sad they discontinued it! When I find something I will make sure to share it!! Until then, I’m super depressed haha!

  2. Hey Abby! I love your tutorials; they are all fantastic! I’m just curious about how you manage to make your curls stay over night. How do you wear your hair to sleep? Thanks!

  3. How do you get curls to stay in freshly washed hair? Because my hair will NOT hold a curl in freshly washed hair, no matter what I do! Please help!

  4. I have curly hair that frizzes and would love to do this style to give it a smooth, controlled look. How would you do this with curly hair, starting with wet hair since I don’t want to blow dry and then curl. THANKS!

  5. This tutorial makes it look so easy! Nice post, Abby! I just got very curious about the Hair Dressers Invisible Oil. I will check it out. I love that you’re using the using the Jose Eber 25mm curling wand. It’s awesome, for just about any type of curling.

  6. How do you sleep so your hair still looks good the next day. Satin sleep cap, satin hair wrap, bandana, etc?

  7. Hi Abby I just discovered your blog through Pinterest and to tell you the truth I am excited about trying this hairstyle to start with then then chignons….have a great day 🙂

  8. Yay!!! This was the tutorial I was looking for 🙂 I’m so excited to try this. I have semi thick hair that drags the curl down, so I can’t wait to see how this looks. I’m not sure I can do the whole not washing the hair for a few days thing because I sweat to much a night, but we’ll see 😉

  9. I try not to wash my hair until it’s been about 4 days, but i feel like i have really oily hair. My hair only looks good for the first day I wash it. I use dry shampoo but I don’t feel like it works to take away the oil, it just makes my hair gross. Do you have any recommendations?

    1. Instead of going four, try just going every other for at least a month. Maybe even two. It’ll take some time for your body to realize it doesn’t need to produce as much oil! Let me know how it goes!

  10. I’m excited you’re cutting you hair! My hair was about waist length, and it wasn’t too terrible damaged (but once it gets to that length SOME damage is inevitable) I eventually ended up not being able to do anything with it because it was too thick and heavy to do any cute styles with it. I cut it to my collar bone and I LOVE it! I’m currently in cosmetology school and I love to try new styles and my shorter hair is SO much more fun!it was totally worth it and I don’t regret it at all! I can’t wait to see your new hairstyles! I love your blog by the way!

  11. I really like the versatility of all the cute hairstyles you have on your blog. Your tutorials are easy to follow and nicely photoed. But I have been wondering (and meaning to write to you for a while now)if you could show styles on different types of hair texture and lengths on occasion. Funny that you are getting your haircut as I was going online to do this today. We are not all blessed with long lovely locks like yours and I would love to see your creativity with more hair versions. I am actually excited to see what styles you have in store with your new hair length. 🙂

    1. It’s so funny you wrote this comment because I was JUST talking to some collaborators who would post just that. I obviously can’t do those styles but that’s something I’ve wanted to provide for awhile now so it’s definitely in the works. Thanks for your comment!

  12. I have bone straight hair and curl just isn’t my friend. But I just got this amazing product and now my curls will last for days!!! A must for anyone struggling to keep curls! It’s called Boing Cream by Unite. Smells wonderful! Just apply it to your damp towel dried hair.

  13. I can’t wait to see your hair! You are going to totally rock it. Mine is a little shorter than shoulder length right now…it’s a subtle aline bob. Anyway, I see another hair challenge coming in the future… 🙂

  14. I’m so happy that you’re cutting your hair, because I just had a hair cut and my hair is a lot shorter than it is now and I want to see different styles on shorter hair.
    You’re video are so helpful and so detailed that I always enjoy watching you.
    Keep up the good work and just saying, you’re clothes in every video is adorable.

  15. So I love your blog it’s fun to read but the hairstyles have never really applied to me because my hair is around shoulder length but I’m growing it a few more Inches. I have super thin hair so having it short works so much better…even though I’ve always dreamed of long beautiful hair like yours. Anyways long story short I feel so excited you are going to cut your hair! Because maybe you can post some how to’s for shorter hair!? I’d love it! I am Pretty much lame When it comes to my hair. It is the same every day because I have no Idea how to do anything else lol 🙂

  16. Yesss I am so excited for you to cut your hair! Mainly for my selfish reasons to see how you style it :). But also because I think you will look fantastic with short hair!

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