You curl your hair and in 2 hours it drops flat, you spray it with hairspray only to have it feel sticky and heavy! How do they do it? How do you get that sexy soft volume curls and how to you get them to last? Here’s how…

How to get sexy soft curls – That Last!

You will need:

  • A curling wand or straightener
  • Comb
  • Hair Clips or Bobby Bins
  • Hair Spray (medium hold)
  • Light weight smoothing spray (optional)

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Make sure your hair is clean and 100% dry. Section your hair from the bottom, creating a 1 inch horizontal layer from the base of the neck. Pin the rest of your hair up in a rough top knot (just to get it out of the way). Then section the front that frames your face, making the section at your ears. Pin this front section away for the moment.


On the sectioned 1 inch layer at the bottom, section it again vertically so its 1 inch x 1 inch. Take one of these smaller sections and curl it inwards, outwards or a mixture of both, it’s just personal preference. Gently feel the hair on the the curling wand and make sure the outer layer is hot before you release it, this usually takes up to 10 seconds, depending on how hot your curling wand gets. When you release the curl from your curling wand, try to immediately catch it in your hand so that you don’t drop the curl. Hold the curl in your hand for a few seconds until its a little cooler for you to work with. Remember heat sets hair in any direction, so always try to hold the curl in its shape while it is cooling. Be careful not to burn your hand.


Once its cooled off a little, wrap the curl from the end of the hair up 2 fingers, following the curls natural direction, do not force it into a direction it isn’t naturally going. Then pin this at the base of the skull using hair clips or bobby pins. Continue onto the next 1inch x 1 inch section working across that horizontal layer.



Once you have finished the bottom horizontal layer, then start working your way up the head, working your way through one layer at a time, until you reach the front section that frames the face. You will work through the front layer that frames the face in the exact same way, the only difference is that you want to curl the hair outwards rather than inwards. If you curl your hair inwards (towards the face), then you will get that ‘Goldie Locks’ look rather than a more flattering glamorous look.


Once all the curls have been pinned into place, you should let them set for a minimum of 20 mins. This is probably the best time to do your makeup, because by the time you’re finished they will be completely set. Once 20 mins is over then release each curl, starting at the base first and working your way up. Use your fingers or a wide tooth comb to gently break up the curls, so they look less like ringlets and more like soft curls. You can also shake your head up and down to allow more air flow and break them up easily. Spray a little bit of the light weight smoothing spray (only enough to defrizz hair and only if needed), and work that through with your hands. Then finally spray a very minimal amount of hairspray, we can not emphasis minimal enough. Your curls don’t need a lot of hair spray as you have done the hard work already of setting them. The more hairspray you use the heavier the hair will be and the crunchier your curls become, so less is best.

Alondra Gataé
Director of the Academy of Hair & Makeup

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