Ways to Curl Hair

Image of a woman with long curled hair
Curls create shape and texture.

There are plenty of ways to curl hair rather than the traditional roller set. Whether for a formal event or occasion or just to break out of your style rut, these different style ideas are sure to encourage your creativity.

Different Ways to Curl Hair

The following style ideas work for a variety of hair lengths.


Hair twists are a great way to enhance curl and define texture on wavy hair types. If your waves tend to frizz or are too heavy to support a traditional curl pattern, you may want to try this easy curl technique.

First, apply a lightweight hair gel or frizz control serum. Next, take large sections of damp hair about 2 inches in diameter and twist them around your finger to create a spiral ringlet. Work around the perimeter of the head and allow curls to air dry. Once curls are dry, you can break them up with a simple shake or pin them up in for a sexy and natural updo.

Curling Irons

Curling irons are a quick choice for adding curl. With varying barrel diameters, there is a curling iron that will work on nearly every hair length to create tight or loose curls as desired. To create a loose curl, work with a jumbo curling iron at least 1 inch thick. Smaller curling irons will create a tighter curl formation. Curling irons are an easy way to enhance the shape of your style without extensive tools and products. If you're suffering from day old bed head, work with an iron and discover the endless ways you can add body and bounce to your locks without having to shampoo.

Foam Rollers

If you'd rather set it and forget it, you may want to try out a foam roller set. Foam rollers can be wrapped into your hairstyle and left overnight for a fresh curly set of locks come morning, and foam rollers are easier to sleep on than traditional hot rollers. Apply a light hold styling crème or gel and wrap sections about 1 inch in size around a foam roller and wrap up to the top of the scalp. When curls are dried thoroughly overnight, you can just wake and shake your style!

Pin Curls

Pin curls offer a glamorous way to give bounce to any style. Normally wrapped around your fingers, you can make the curl looser or tighter by adjusting the number of fingers used to shape the curl. One finger will create a tight curl, while 2 or more will create a soft and workable wave. Make sure you apply a setting lotion liberally and a good sturdy pin curl clip, found at nearly any beauty supply store, before making the wave.


If you're having a bit of 1980s nostalgia, you may want to revisit scrunching hair. Just use a spray gel and a blow dryer attachment diffuser to add wave to nearly any amount of curl. Work your fingers through your ends and squeeze your fists to tighten and scrunch the hair into a shaped curl pattern. This look is great for people who want to maximize a loose wave into a springy and full hairstyle, but bear in mind the results can be dated. There are plenty of other curling techniques that will create a more modern hair shape.

Play With Product

Most any curled style will require the right product to form and hold the curl pattern. You'll want to invest in a gel, a frizz control serum, and a styling crème to create the waves you desire. If you'd rather opt for a more permanent curl, meet with your hair stylist and discuss chemical texturizing services such as perms, which is a great way to curl hair without daily styling requirements.

If you want to add wave and bounce to your style, there are many ways to curl hair you can try for different types of looks. Have fun with them and play around to find the curling style you like best!

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Ways to Curl Hair