Classic barrel curls can look stiff and overdone, and it’s all too easy to end up with those artificial curls if you aren’t practising the right styling technique. When it comes to actually putting effort into my hair, I’m all about effortless beach waves.
Like natural curls, the trick is to never curl all the sections in one direction. We spoke to Serene Tan, salon director of Chez Vous salon, to get some top styling tips to creating “I woke up like this” waves.
Shampoo and condition your hair with a lightweight range of products. Something that gives you a deep cleanse or doesn’t weigh down your hair is ideal. You can try Goldwell Kerasilk’s Reconstruct or Color shampoo, $40, and conditioner, $44, or something like Tsubaki’s Cool Head Spa set, $29.90, for a more affordable and comparably lightweight option.
Give your hair a good spritz of some heat protectant: Bonus points if the spray boasts other benefits like helping you hair dry faster and colour protection. I’ve been enjoying Goldwell Kerasilk’s Reconstruct Blow Dry Spray, $44, which also contains cuticle-comforting ingredients that promise to help with repairing hair damage. A styling cream is optional, but something that will help to hold a curl longer is a good idea if you have very straight and fine hair.
Always detangle your hair before curling and blow drying. This simple step not only makes it easier to manage, but also tames any unruly hair. Try a Tangle Teezer, which does a great job at detangling with ease. Top tip: You should start at the ends of your hair when detangling and not at the roots, as doing the latter can result in excessive friction and damage your hair even further.
Blow dry your hair completely, making sure it’s fully dry. You don’t want to apply a curling iron to damp hair as that causes more damage. Brush it again after it’s dry.
Put the upper half of your hair into a ponytail first so you can work with the lower half. You can choose to start curling your hair just below the brows at the chin level, or below the earlobes, depending on the amount of curl you want.
Divide your hair into six vertical sections. This part might get a little tricky, because you don’t want to have all the sections curled in the same direction.
Curl the first half of a section that you want to curl outwards (that is, away from the face) using your curler. Thereafter, curl the second half inwards (or towards the face). Do not leave a gap between the two-directional curls. You can play with the texture using the curler for the next section – three wraps outward, one wrap inward. You can then alternate by switching back to two wraps outwards and two wraps inwards for the third section. By doing so, you remove any harsh lines and create a more effortless, beachy and natural finish. Repeat steps for each and every section. Same for the top.
Top tip: For each section that you curl, make sure you hold the curls within the palm of your hands to allow the hair to cool and settle down slightly before releasing. If you let the curls fall naturally immediately after curling it, those curls won’t last for as long as they should.
Loosen up the curls gently. Set with a little hairspray if desired. And you’re done!