Although “perfect” is a relative term, this method for curling hair is pretty much perfect by my standards, mostly because it isn’t fussy. While I’m a sucker for both ringlets and Californian waves, I like my own curls somewhere in between: relaxed but bouncy. Mermaid-like.

Supplies: 1″ curling iron, brush, and hair spray
Time: 45 minutes (for thick hair)

All of the magic happens with Revlon’s “Helen of Troy” ceramic 1″ curling iron. For those who have long, thick hair like me, you might find that larger curling barrels produce the most pathetic excuse for “waves” that fall out within the hour, regardless of the amount of hair spray. I’ve found that the 1″ barrel creates tight waves that look good for at least 5-6 hours (though they do relax over time). Although I’m sure any iron will do, I love Revlon’s ceramic one – it keeps your hair soft, and it heats up in 30 seconds!

For hairspray, I’m a fan of Tigi’s Hard Head, which has a strong hold without the severe crunchiness. I’m almost out of mine, though, and I’m willing to try something new. Any hairspray suggestions?

1. While heating up your iron on the hottest setting, brush out your hair. I’m a believer in a little bit of frizz and imperfection, so I don’t put any product in it beforehand.

2. Grab a small chunk of hair, no larger than 1 inch. The more hair you curl at once, the less tight your curls will be. You can spray this before you curl, but I’m usually too lazy.

Wrap the hair around the iron, starting at the roots.

3. Starting at the roots of your hair, and without using the clasp, wrap your hair down the barrel. Hold the ends of your hair with your fingers on the end of your iron (if your iron doesn’t get hot at the end). Try not to overlap your hair as you wrap it around – this way all of it gets hot. Leave it there for 15-20 long seconds.

Tilt the barrel downward

4. Tilt your curling iron downward, and let your curls fall off the barrel. I try to pull as little as possible so that they don’t straighten out.

Spray with hairspray

5. Spray with hairspray. And you have a curl!

Repeat this around your entire head. Scrunch curls if need be. Once I’m done, I wrap some of my curls around each other so that they form larger ringlets rather than a bunch of tiny ones.

Don’t get lazy with the back of your head! I’ve noticed that my curls tend to fall out in the back first, so pay special attention to the back so that you don’t have lovely, bouncy, voluminous hair in the front, and wet-dog hair in the back.

Et voilà! Mermaid curls!

Me!

Keywords: wavy hair tutorial, curly hair tutorial, curling iron tutorial