10 Beauty Tips: Creating The Perfect Curl

how to curl hair

Last month I announced a fun new beauty series we’re doing this year called 10 Easy + Affordable Beauty Tips, all taught by our resident hair stylist to the stars, Christie Somers, and fabulous photographer Alisia Packard (you can read more about them in my about page here). One of my New Years resolutions was to get in a better beauty routine and so I’m really excited for this series!

Today Christie’s going to tell us bout how to make the create the perfect beachy curl in your hair, perfect for a romantic Valentines Day date! Here are Christie’s instructions paired with Alisia’s images for creating the perfect beachy hair (also a big thanks to Alex Moe for modeling):

Getting the results you want when it comes to your hair is 90% about getting the right texture. For instance, with curls & up-does, it’s best to have your hair be a little bit dirty/gritty. If you try and curl with super clean, soft hair, your ‘do’ will promptly fall out. On the flip side, if you want straight + smooth hair, clean and soft to start is always better!

When it comes to hair & makeup, my rule is less is more. Hairspray is the exception. The key with hairspray is to make sure your using a LIGHT aerosol. My favorite is Redken 12 Spray.
In the case of styling hair, the hairspray is used mostly to create texture and perhaps a little at the end for a touch of hold.
Ladies, grab your hairspray! It’s time to get curly! Here’s how to create the perfect curl:
1. Give your hair a spray all over.  Brush the hairspray through. This will help to create the dirty texture I mentioned earlier. If you have really fine hair (like Liz’s), I like to add a little dry shampoo all over to create a little extra volume.
Keep reading for the full tutorial…
2.  I like to start my sections at the bottom of the head and work up. I usually part the hair at the temple and clip the hair I’m not curling out of the way. Take the first section and get ready to curl.  To give you an idea, my first section goes from the hairline to just behind my ear. (The bigger the section or iron, the looser the curl). The size of curling iron I use is dictated by how tight or loose I want my curl to be.
3- Hold the iron so it is vertical, clamp the hair a couple of inches from the root and get ready to curl the hair away from your face (think Farah Faucet)
4-Pull the Iron to the end of the hair and roll it back up to the roots (staying a couple inches off the root). Make sure you keep the iron vertical.
5- Hold the hair in the iron until the hair the on the outside of the iron is hot to the touch. Then release the iron and pull it out the bottom of the curl.
6. Spray the curl with hairspray and leave it in the ringlet to cool down until you’ve finished curling the whole head. (The heating up and cooling down is what sets the curl)
7. repeat steps 3-6 until you’ve curled all of your hair. Once the curls are all done, give your hair one more good spray.
8.  To get the loose beachy feel in your curl, lightly rake your fingers though your hair (go easy on touching the curl too much. You don’t want to make it frizzy.
9-. The last thing I like to do is put my fingers in at the roots and give the curls a good shake. This will help to relax the curl and make it look natural.
10. if you’ve finished all these steps and your curl is still too tight, get a little shine product in your hands (I like Redken 01 Glass Smoothing Serum) and rake your fingers through your hair a few more times. Keep in mind, your curl will relax a lot on it’s own so I think it’s better to start with the curls a little bit on the tighter side and let them fall out naturally.


Oooh, I love this! Any recs on dry shampoo? I always hear folks raving about it so I bought some a few months ago. At best, it made my hair look gray and/or flaky! Maybe I bought a crappy brand?!

I loved this! Thanks for sharing! I get a similar look with hot rollers. I do the same technique at the end, where I spray it and run my fingers through gently to get a softer more natural look. I tease each section slightly before I roll a roller into it, put on my makeup, do the dishes, feed my baby etc. for 10-20 minutes while they are in my hair and then pop them out. But I do curl my hair with a curling iron and do the same thing except I roll the top section of my hair in Velcro rollers while I curl the bottom sections to keep it out of the way and give the top some volume. With either method, I always get tons of compliments on my hair and people think I spend tons of time doing it, but I don’t! After doing it a few times, you get pretty quick at it. And I love that you used a normal hairspray, it’s hard for me to spend tons of money on hair products that I go through so quickly. I’m excited for the rest of the beauty tips!

Great tip about the rollers! I used to sleep in those the night before church growing up. Who knew that they still work great!

I need to say that the Conair You Curl Wand is INCREDIBLE.
I could write you an essay on the hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars I’ve spent to get my hair curled through product, tools, appointments, and even multiple perms (eew right?) only to have my hair fall completely flat within hours. Even, sadly, on my wedding day.
This is the only thing that has ever gotten my hair to curl and STAY curled! It’s incredible.

I know I sound like an horrid advertisement but I will talk anyone’s ears off about getting hair to curl!

Brittany… I love the curl that I get from an iron. The curl from the wand and flat iron doesn’t look quite as natural to me. I think it’s personal preference though. I also always burn myself with the wand;).

What kind of dry shampoo do you use? I’ve tried so many. I love Sacha Juan but it’s pretty pricey.

Mary… I love the Pssssst dry shampoo. You can get it at Urban outfitters or most drugstores. I also like the KMS makeover spray. I think you can get both of those online.

Jena….I use the hot tools ceramic iron. You can get hot tools online or at Sally’s beauty supply. On my hair I use the 1 1/4 inch or the 1 inch of I want tighter curls

It looks quite easy but every time I have tried to curl my hair like that one of my ears (or both) has suffered multiple injuries… umpf… 😉

Slow pace… If you keep the iron at least a couple of inches away from the root, you shouldn’t burn your ears. Also, it helps to clip the hair you’re not curling out of your way.

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