Hair Hair Tutorials Tips & Tricks

curly hair troubleshooting

Ever watch a youtube hair tutorial, imitate her procedure exactly, look in the mirror and think..
“Hey, that doesn’t look like hers at all!”?
I have.

I know that some girls have magical hair that will pretty much swirl to perfection with ease.
If you are one of those, congrats, you don’t know how lucky you are!
If you are not…read on!
The problem is when you see a girl sit down at her youtube vanity and curl away you are missing all kinds of information.
Information she (me included) may not even think applies to this hair styling session.

Which is often the most important of all.
So I have decided to compile a list (I’m a compulsive list maker.) of the possible curl killers you may be encountering.
All of which have killed my own curls at one time or another and took me years of relentlessness to master.

Start here: (if the answer is yes skip to the next)

1. Do you have layers? 
Layers are a crucial part of curly hair. Without layers your hair is very heavy at the ends, which pulls on your girl and kills your volume.
Layers also help your curl fall pretty and keep you from getting a triangular effect (where all the curl is at the bottom)
If my curls start flopping my first thought is “when was my last haircut?”

2. Are you curling small enough pieces?
If your hair is more resistant you may need to take smaller pieces than you think. Experiment with the size of the lock to find your sweet spot!

3. Does your curling iron get hot enough?
I use and put it at the hottest setting or my hair won’t even consider curling.
I’m talking 425 degrees! (which is why I have to wear it for days to rationalize the damage!)

4. Are you using the right size iron?
What my sister can do with a 1 1/2″ curling iron, I need a 1″ for.
Her hair curls much easier than mine. So experiment with size, if the biggie ain’t cuttin’ it go smaller. Or vise versa.

5. Does your hair have build up on it?
I have talked about this before.  Here is my DIY recipe for cutting your own build up.

6. Are you using the right products?
Texture spray is a HUGE help for hair that won’t curl try THIS one or make THIS one.
Try a styling cream like this one if you can’t get your it to hold but don’t want that crunchy gel feel.
& Use a flexible hairspray on your whole head before you curl.

7. Have you tried different techniques?
Among my hair tutorials are pinned curls, twirl curls, wrap curls and more..
If one type won’t work for you, try another!

8. Are you bored of talking about curls yet?
Me too!

Hope this helps, Let me know if you have some success!

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  • Reply
    mary beth
    September 18, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Just thought this was worth mentioning. I have/had unruly hair, especially around the front. I could not get it to curl properly–even with a hot curling iron–which I used every morning. I finally went natural over two years ago and once all my damaged hair grew out, I am left with the “magical swirls” that you are talking about. All I can say is you should throw away you’re curling iron and focus on the condition of you’re hair. No Sulfate–No Silicone–No Hot Appliances– and really see the beauty in natural, healthy hair.

    • Reply
      McCall G.
      September 18, 2014 at 6:47 am

      Agree with this…just 4/5 months ago I decided I needed to give my hair a break (I used heat on it every day, if not twice a day with little to no protection). I bought some light mousse to try to enhance my wave/curl and just “dealt” with the way my hair looked when air drying (which was random waves that didn’t flow nicely and frizz). Miraculously, as the weeks/months went by, my hair started curling/waving nicer and now some people ask if I curled my hair that morning, when I just let it air dry. I still have a ways to go, but it’s nice to see the progress, I never knew my hair could dry and look nice without me styling it.
      Still enjoy this post from Cara, though! There are days where styling your hair is well deserved 🙂

  • Reply
    September 18, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Your “twirl curl” technique really helped my fine hair hold a curl all day – with minimal to no hairspray depending on the weather! Thanks so much for the great tips!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2014 at 5:10 am

    First of all, huge congrats on your little bundle of joy! He is so cute and the picture of Christian holding him melted my heart!

    Now back to hair, I find that if my hair is freshly washed it won’t hold a curl. The best way to fix that is to lightly spray it all over with dry shampoo (Bastise is my favorite) and then the curls with last so much longer.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Haha, I have naturally super curly hair, so really these problems of not being able to get a curl to stay in your hair read as hugely ridiculous to me! I dream of straight hair! Of course we all want what we don’t have.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I think I may have just gotten a virus when I came onto your website. 🙁

  • Reply
    September 19, 2014 at 3:22 am

    Hi Cara,
    This post couldn’t have come at a better time!
    I’ve recently been growing my hair out and the combination of not getting a cut in about five months (which I know I need to soon!) and the extra weight which I’m not used to, has made it impossible for my usually easy to style hair to hold a curl!
    I think the biggest change for me was using a texture product and spraying L’Oreal Elnett hairspray on my hair before curling and also curling in smaller sections. I also pinned them immediately after curling to set.
    I just did my hair this morning following your advice, and the result is like day and night!
    Thank you so much – I can’t wait to curl my hair for my birthday next week 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelley Gobbs
    September 19, 2014 at 4:27 am

    Hi Cara
    I read this yesterday, and then did the DIY baking soda paste on my hair last night (my husband thought I was crazy). But it really worked! My hair is smooth and soft today and isn’t so frizzy! Thanks for the tips, they always rock!

  • Reply
    Tricia B.E.
    September 19, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Oh what a let down! The header read “Curly hair troubleshooting” and I was expecting something for naturally curly hair. Then I read “Curl problems for hair that won’t cooperate”. I was still hopeful, until I reached question #2. What a bummer!!

  • Reply
    December 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I would love, love a tutorial on how to curl stubborn hair. I have a lot of baby fine hair and despite the best products, curling irons, and efforts, it won’t hold a curl for more than an hour. Or a perm. Help!!

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