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How to Finally Hold a Curl–According to the Pro’s

We all know the feeling. You get your tresses perfectly coifed and as the hours pass, your ringlets turn to waves, eventually deflating back to straight aka normal life. In our quest to hold a curl past dinner, drinks and dancing, we checked in with the pro’s who know it best—and who are responsible for some of the best tools in the biz, for step-by-steps on getting your curls to stay, like for real this time.

 Hold a Curl

(image via Instagram )


Celebrity Hairstylist & Inventor of the Beachwaver

  • Start by using a mousse and heat protectant before you blow dry, in order to give the hair more hold. Pick a professional tool like the Beachwaver that has a digital temperature setting that can be adjusted to fit your hair type.
  • First, you want to make sure you are sectioning your hair with Darby Clips to make curling easier and efficient. Once you section, curl one-inch sub-sections for an even curl pattern. Make sure to allow the curls to cool before running your fingers through them, which will help make your curls last longer.
  • If you need extra hold, you can set the curls with silver clips. You just wrap the curl, pin and let it set for a few minutes. When you take the pins out the curls will have even more structure and volume.
  • You also can switch to a smaller barrel size if your curls tend to fall. For example, if you are using a 1 inch barrel and your curls are falling, then try using the Beachwaver S.75, instead.
  • Curling smaller sections of hair will also give you tighter curls and more hold.
  • After you curl, allow to cool and spray the hair with a flexible hairspray to set the curl. For a relaxed look, spray a flexible hair spray on the On Set Styling Brush and brush through the curls. For a more natural, beachy curl, run your fingers through the curls to break them up.

A post shared by Sarah Potempa (@sarahpotempa) on Nov 2, 2017 at 9:05am PDT

A post shared by Sarah Potempa (@sarahpotempa) on Sep 17, 2017 at 10:16am PDT


amika’s Global Artistic Director

  • Always prep the hair with a product that will extend the life of your style. I use amika’s The Shield Style Extending Spray prior to any heat styling.
  • When curling the hair, it’s also important to choose the proper tool and tool size.
  • Use a curler that is slightly smaller than the curl that I actually want to achieve. Using a smaller curler allows you to have room for the curl to drop without compromising your style.
  • Once you remove the curler from each section, secure the curl using a pin curl clip so that the hair has a chance to cool off in its curled state. Pin curl the hair as you go, instead of waiting until you’ve curled the entire head of hair, as pin curling works best when the hair is still warm. • Once the hair is cool, spray with a working spray like amika Touchable Hairspray.
  • For hair that is super resilient to heat styling, slightly backcomb the underside of each curl to prevent it from dropping. Following these steps will result in a defined, long-lasting curls.

A post shared by Naeemah LaFond (@naeemahlafond) on Sep 17, 2017 at 12:03pm PDT

A post shared by Naeemah LaFond (@naeemahlafond) on May 26, 2017 at 11:07am PDT


Hair Stylist @ Mèche Salon, Beverly Hills

My go to size iron is a 1 1/4″ barrel. I turn my iron’s heat all the way up (430 degrees.) If you feel like this is too hot because you’re moving slower, go down to 330

  • Section the hair to separate the back of your head and the front of the head.
  • Starting with the front, work your way from the bottom up.
  • Never take sections bigger than the iron itself. This ensures each sections receives even heat and you can move faster, and the style will last longer.
  • Alternate directions, but always curl AWAY from the face near the hairline.
  • In the back, alternate every wave. Try your best! It takes practice.
  • Flip your head upside down and run your hands through your hair to break up the wave using a texture cream. My favorite is Creme Contour from Bumble and Bumble.
  • Use a texture spray for fullness and hold at the root. I use Bumble and Bumble dryspun finish.
  • Spray lightly with hairspray—too much will weigh the hair down.
  • To keep this look for as long as possible, make sure you don’t take shortcuts in the styling process and don’t overload your hair with too much product. Most of my clients get 2-4 days out of a style like this.

A post shared by Buddy Porter (@buddywporter) on Sep 23, 2017 at 11:53am PDT

A post shared by Buddy Porter (@buddywporter) on Oct 31, 2017 at 12:33pm PDT


Celebrity Hairstylist for Hair Flair

To get perfect curls without heat, Karine relies on Curlformers.

  • Prepare Hair – Detangle damp, towel dried hair with Hair Flair Style & Shine Hairbrush.
  • Prepare the Curlformers – Push hook through the Curlformer.
  • Apply the Curlformers – Hook a section of hair, hold the Curlformer to the root and pull the hook out.
  • Leave hair to dry completely – Once all Curlformers have been applied, allow curls to dry naturally.
  • Remove Curlformer – Untwist the Curlformer and slide it off the hair.
  • Reveal Curls – Reveal beautiful, voluminous, healthy curls and style as desired.
  • TOP TIP! – Speed up the drying process with Hair Flair’s Softhood Hair Dryer attachment to dry your hair with a gentler heat and in less time than it takes to air dry.


CHI Global Artist

A post shared by Rocky Vitelli (@rockyvitelli) on Aug 16, 2016 at 4:03am PDT

A post shared by Rocky Vitelli (@rockyvitelli) on Feb 18, 2017 at 2:49am PST

I love curls because you can style them in so many different ways. The key to styling and maintaining a curled look, is the mix of the right product and the right tool. Here is any easy, go-to technique of mine for holding a curl.

  • Prep the hair with a hair spray to hold the style. I recommend CHI Royal Treatment Ultimate Control Spray.
  • Once you have sprayed that section, then curl with your preferred curling iron. I use the CHI Dura Curling Iron.



SEVEN haircare Partner Educator

  • After shampooing and conditioning, spray a lightweight hydrator like SEVEN’s ARMURE LEAVE-IN conditioner spray to detangle and add manageability.
  • Before you blow dry, prep hair with BORATO BOOST spray all over to give volume light hold.
  • Once hair is dry, mist with a thermal protectant. RINZU HEAT DEFENSE spray protects hair from the high heat of curling irons, and has a good amount of hold to help with style retention.
  • Here’s the most important part – Allow time for each curl to cool and set before trying to style or manipulate them.  After taking a section and curling with your iron, remove the barrel and drop the curl into your hand, holding it in its position for a few seconds until it cools. Mist the curl with a dry, workable hairspray like CUBICA WORKING spray for touchable, lasting hold.
  • Continue to curl the rest of your hair in the same manner, making sure not to start “styling” your curls until you have completed all your iron work.  This will ensure the curls have had time to set and cool down completely.
  • Once all your curls are cool, use a brush or your fingers to break up the curls and style as desired. Finish with a light misting of CUBICA WORKING spray for hold.

Here’s how Katherine Schwarzenegger gets her stay-all-day signature modern Hollywood waves.

2 minutes

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