How to make your hair to hold a curl

Do you struggle to get the perfect curls? And then when you finally do, they only last for five minutes before falling flat?

This is a common complaint I hear about quite often from my clients. What I find to be the most common issue is how the hair is prepped and finished, but there is also one other reason that could be causing this curl conundrum. Read on and I'll help you troubleshoot some of your curl concerns and I'll even share some of my curl longevity tips!

The first question I always ask when my clients inform me of their hair's inability to hold curl is, "what are you putting in your hair while it's wet?" In other words, how are you prepping your hair to be styled?

This is usually the biggest clue as to why their hair won't hold a curl. If you're not putting something in it damp that has with some sort of a 'hold' factor, don't expect your style to last. The hair has to be 'prepped' in order for it to hold a style and have style memory. The right products can help give the hair something to "hold on to". There are lots of products out there to do this, but I find that most people don't want their hair to feel heavy, sticky, crunchy or weighed down. I like to recommend two products to my clients that can be used together or by themselves.

My go-to wet styling product is Pravana's Full Volume Foam. It does exactly what the name suggests; it adds volume but since it's a foam, it is super lightweight. A good foam or "mousse," as it's sometimes called, can be hard to come by since many of them can weigh the hair down and leave it feeling stiff- and of course nobody wants that! That's why I use this one on so many of my clients to prep their hair for waves or curls because it is light enough to build volume but has enough hold to make the curls LAST.

My other favorite product I like to recommend for wet hair prep is Pravana's Invisible Control Manipulator Mist. This one is my absolute FAVES for BEACH WAVES! It smells soooo good and it acts very similarly to a sea spray without the drying effects that can occur with a salt spray. It has a light hold but it is buildable so you can spray in more to add more lasting power if your hair is particularly stubborn. Bonus points: it has thermal protection so it's even better when you blowdry!

For those of you who need even more lift but also want that beachy texture, I recommend cocktailing these two products together for volumized curls that last! Both should be applied to damp hair before air drying or for more volume, before blowdrying.

Once your hair is dry and you've curled it with your iron of choice, you'll want to 'set' your hair with something that will lock your style in place. If the first thing that comes to mind is hairspray, then you would be correct- but the TYPE of hairspray matters. Strong hold hairsprays can leave your curls looking stringy and your style feeling stiff. Hairsprays that are labeled as "Finishing Spray" often have a much stronger hold and aren't likely to leave you with soft touchable waves. Finishing Sprays are great for updos or any other type of style where you want to cement things into place but a light to medium hold hairspray is going to be your new bestie for achieving long-lasting curls.

My favorite? Amika's Fluxus Touchable Hairspray. Can we have a moment of silence for how GOOD this stuff smells??



If you have tried any of Amika's products, you know what I'm talking about. I don't know if there's anything I've used that smells better. But that's not the reason it's my favorite... I love it because you brush it out to create a softer style AND you can layer it if you need more hold.

So you've got your wet stylers and your hairspray but your hair STILL won't hold a curl. One last thing to consider: your shampoo and conditioner. What you use to wash your hair with can play a huge role in how it styles. If your shampoo and conditioner are too heavy for your hair, it could be weighing your hair down and not allowing it to style properly. If you're using drugstore products or non-professional brands, you could be putting a coating or film on your hairstrands with each wash or use. Product buildup is a big contributor to hair unhappiness which leads to lackluster style and lifeless hair. If you need help determining what the right shampoo & conditioner system is for your hair, I've got you covered! I have another blog post that will guide when choosing something that will work best for you!

I hope these tips helped you to troubleshoot some of your hair challenges and to take your curl game to the next level! If you want to know where to find any of the products I recommend, you can head to my online shop for the Pravana stylers or shoot me an email to get your hands on the Amika spray. Have a specific question for me about a product or your curling routine? Leave me a comment below and I'd be happy to help you out!

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