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Achieve Super Tight Curls Using Chopsticks

Next time you get takeout, keep the chopsticks. Turns out they’re just what your curls need to stay springy. We’ve been seeing super tight curls pop up backstage on influencers alike–but fear not, you don’t need to go heavy on the curling iron for this look. Behold: chopsticks. Here’s how editorial stylist Jorge Luis achieves this mega hack backstage.

Get the Look

To get amazing curls with chopsticks, Jorge begins by prepping the hair with the Gamma+ Italia Aria Rose Gold Hairdryer: $149.95, which he loves because of its ability to turn the ionic off and on. “You can turn off the ionics to add volume to fine hair then turn them back on for smoothness and shine,” Jorge explains, noting that it’s also a faster way to dry in the high-pressure backstage environment (and would work just as well in your high-pressure bathroom).

After the prep, Jorge creates a side part using a rattail comb. “Wrap small to medium sections (in random directions) of hair tightly around a chopstick, and place in between the StyleCraft Ultra Flat Iron ($99.95) plates for a minute,” he explains. You can shift the iron’s position as needed to apply heat to all chopstick wrapped hair – then release and comb out.  

Images via Gamma+ Italia, and StyleCraft

Ditch the Curling Iron

Jorge opted for chopsticks over a more traditional curling iron because he wanted to create “a very organic curl,” he says. “By using wooden chopsticks and wrapping the hair around it (and using the flat iron), you are creating a very unique texture. By opening the spring-like curls, you get a very unique look that you cannot achieve with a curling iron,” he explains.

Images via Gamma+ Italia, and StyleCraft

Even if you’re hair is stick straight and thin AF, it won’t stop chopsticks from doing their thing. The technique works for all hair types, from heightening curls in 4C hair to creating them in straight locked ladies. Jorge recommends thinking outside the box when it comes to your styling tools. “Using chopsticks is only an idea – be creative! You can use thicker sticks, or even the metal part of a rattail comb to create highly textured looks,” he insists.

Although you’re forsaking your curling iron, you haven’t freed yourself from heat styling tools. In fact, other than the chopsticks, the key to the style is a quality flat iron. Jorge grabs the StyleCraft Ultra Flat Iron: $99, which he likes for its extra-long place, curved design, and snag-free plates.

Images via Gamma+ Italia, and StyleCraft
Son Jung Wan SS20

Getting the finished look took Jorge about 45 minutes – but that was with a team. “It was time-sensitive backstage at Son Jung Wan, so I had a team of 20 stylists total,” he says – adding that 2-3 stylists worked on 1 model. Even without a glam squad, the style should take about an hour or less, depending on how OCD you get with your curls.  

Need more chopstick curlspo? HERE’s how to figure out your curl pattern.

2 minutes

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