our everyday life

How to Keep Curls Curled

by Dan Ketchum, studioD

Bouncy, luscious curls lend glamour and texture to virtually any head of hair. Curls never go out style, but they do begin to loosen if you don't take preventive measures. Whether you're afraid of loosening your curls on the dance floor, or facing the humidity of a hot summer's day, you can use numerous methods to keep your curly locks in place for hours at a time.

Skip the wash. No matter what curling tools you use, you'll have stronger curls in hair that hasn't been washed for a day. If you do wash your mane, spritz in a bit of dry shampoo before you curl.

Prep properly. Work a dime-sized bit of settling lotion or curling cream into your hair before you style. Gel, spray wax or mousse labeled “curl-defining” or “curl-shaping” also do the trick. Prepping with a product helps naturally curly and naturally straight hair stay in place throughout the day.

Spritz each section of your hair with just a bit of hairspray and let the spray dry before applying the curling iron. Work section-by-section -- after you've curled each bit, brush it gently. If using a curling iron, pin each curled section back as you go, allowing it to cool. This combination of spraying and brushing gives your curls hold, but prevents them from looking plastic-like. Give your hair a final overall misting -- keep it very light to avoid weighing your curls down -- and then blow dry on low heat for just a few seconds to set the look.

Curl your hair in alternating directions. Whether using an iron or curlers, twist one curl toward your face and the next away from your face, and so on. Curling in alternating directions helps prevent clumps, which can lead to falling curls. Set with hairspray.

Keep your hands off your curls. Once you've prepped, styled and set your hair, avoid touching it, whether with your hands or with a brush. Tempting as it may be, playing with your curls only causes them loosen. Bring a travel-sized container of hairspray with you and refresh your hold as needed.

Items you will need
  •  Dry shampoo (optional)
  •  Curling cream or setting lotion
  •  Hairspray (regular and travel-sized)
  •  Bobby pins
  •  Hairbrush
  •  Blow dryer


  • If you find it difficult to keep a curl, your hair may need a moisture boost. Try an intensive conditioner to increase your hair's tensile strength, giving it the bounce it needs to keep curls strong throughout the day.
  • Avoid curling wet hair. Doing so can cause breakage and leads to droopy curls and frizzy flyaways.

About the Author

Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.

Photo Credits

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images