How I Curl My Hair + Hair Care Faves

How I Curl My Hair + Hair Care Faves – Everything I use on my hair, plus the method I use for getting big, loose curls that last all day. 

How I Curl My Hair - Everything I use to get big, loose curls that last all day (even with fine hair!)
Today’s post is majorly outside my comfort zone. I’ve gotten a LOT of questions lately about my hair, and I thought it would be easier to just put everything in one place. If you’re just here for the food, or the cute babies, feel free to keep on scrolling, but for anyone still reading (hi, mom!), here is everything I can tell you about getting big, loose curls in my hair after a lifetime of curling/styling failure.

How I Curl My Hair - Everything I use to get big, loose curls that last all day (even with fine hair!)

A few things first:

I have a lot of very fine hair. I have a lot of hair but it’s very fine. I prefer it with some length to it, but this means it can look thinner than it is as the weight of it pulls it down.

It also has absolutely ZERO natural curl. I can air dry it, shake it out, etc. to try to get texture, but without a little product in it and some heat, it stays completely straight. Nothing I’ve tried in the past has kept curls in my hair all day.

I get balyage highlights every 2-3 months. I didn’t get my first highlights till I was 25, so I’m fairly late to the game, but I really love them. I get balyage highlights (sometimes called hair painting). They’re MUCH gentler on my hair and don’t dry out my hair like regular highlights did. The grow-out is amazing and much more natural (there are no harsh lines at the root).

I didn’t “learn” to do my hair until I was like 27. I wore my hair up almost all the way through my teens (I did lots of fancy up-dos). I didn’t like wearing it down because I couldn’t ever get it to curl, and it always just felt stringy and awkward to me. In my early 20s, straight hair was finally in, so I wore it down a lot more. It wasn’t till I heard about curling wands that I finally taught myself to curl my hair. If you’re a late bloomer like me, don’t even worry about it. You got this.

How I Curl My Hair - from favorite styling products to the curling wand I swear by, and more!

My Hair Care Routine:

1. Washing. This time of year, I wash my hair about every 3-4 days, usually Wednesdays and Sundays. In the summer, I never make it 4 days because it’s well over 100 degrees every day and I’m in a constant state of being too hot. I move to a 2-3 day schedule because otherwise things get (look, feel) gross.

2. Brushing. After a wash, I towel dry off some of the water and give it a brush with my wet brush. I swear by these. My stylist uses them, and I absolutely love them, especially for long hair or kids with sensitive heads. While my hair is still pretty damp, I use some of this Ahwapuhi Hair Whip. It smells AMAZING. I want a candle of it. It gives my hair some volume and shine without being greasy.

3. Blow Drying. I spray on a bit of volumizing spray or thickening spray, then blow dry. I usually start with my head upside down to get it mostly dry, then stand upright and use a round brush to finish. I don’t round brush my whole head since I have next to no skills with a round brush, but I use it near the end of the blow dry to create some lift at the roots.

4. On Non-Wash Days. For non-wash days, I use a little talc-free baby powder or dry shampoo near the roots, then shake it out and tousle it with my fingers a bit to work it through.

How I Curl My Hair - My favorite products and the method I use for big, loose curls that last all day How I Curl My Hair - My favorite products and the method I use for big, loose curls that last all day

How I Curl It. 

Before curling, I add a bit of sea salt or texture spray. Then I shake it out with my fingers and pin up part of the top layer (what will fall right to the sides of my face). I’ve found I can get better curls by my face by working in layers like this.

How I Curl My Hair - big, loose curls that last all day!
I curl my hair with a 32mm curling wand. I start at the front and move toward the back, curling the hair away from my face. I wrap it around the barrel of the curling wand away from my face, starting right near the root and moving all the way down to the ends, leaving the very ends out (since I’m holding them in my fingers). The 32mm (1 1/4″) wand is large enough that the curls will loosen and fall about right where my eye level is. I hold each curl to a count of 16, then I slide it off the barrel and hold the curl in my hand coiled up for another count of 10 or so to set a tiny bit as it starts to cool.

How I Curl My Hair - big, loose curls that last all day!
Note: many curling wands come with a little heat protective glove for the hand holding your hair. USE IT while you get used to curling your hair this way. I’d have had a LOT of burned fingers otherwise. I’ve been doing it for a few years now, so what used to take me 20 minutes and a heat glove now takes me 10-12 without one. 

All curled and ready to shake out and hairspray I break up the curls with my fingers, then brush out the ends and finish with hairspray.

Once I’m done curling everything, I touch up any spots that need it and then wait for all the curls to completely cool. (I usually do some of my eye makeup while waiting). Then I use my fingers to shake out the curls a bit, brush through the very ends to smooth them out, and spray everything with some hairspray. I do one last touch-up of any spots than need an extra curl, and I’m on my way!

How I Get Big, Loose Curls that Last All Day.
I am NOT an expert and really only know how my own hair works. If you have hair that holds curl better than mine, or hair that’s thicker or coarser or thinner or more textured than mine, you could have totally different results. But this is what works for me right now!

A few of my favorite hair products.

Favorite Products:

  • Wet BrushThis brush gets out the tangles without ripping your hair out. Great for sensitive heads and long hair.
  • Hair Whip – This hair whip (volumizing, smoothing mousse) smells like heaven.
  • Heat Protectant/Volume SprayThis one from Target or this one from Honest.
  • Texture Spray – I love this Kristin Ess one (Target) or this sea salt one from Honest
  • Round Brush – A nice, big round brush to get volume at the roots.
  • Curling Wand – I prefer the 32mm (1 1/4-inch). Watch for sales!
  • HairsprayThis one has fabulous hold but is nowhere near a natural product. My curls fall out with anything too lightweight, but I’d love to find something better for me!
  • Dry Shampoo – I love this talc free baby powder or this dry shampoo

How I curl my hair-- from favorite products to the wand I use!


  1. Your hair is seriously so gorgeous! You did an awesome job on this post for it being so far out of your comfort zone! I think using a curling wand, or using a normal curling iron like a curling wand, makes such a world of difference and makes everything so much easier!

  2. I adore you! Thank you so much for sharing. I can only imagine how scary it is to put yourself out there, but I applaud you, and am grateful for you! <3

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