The basic act of curling hair is pretty simple – it’s not hard to wrap hair around a curling iron or up into hot rollers. It’s what you do with those curls afterwards that becomes difficult. Molding spirals of hair into the look you want, whether it’s casual waves, spunky beach waves, or big, loose curls can feel totally overwhelming. I can give myself curls pretty easily, but personally, I really struggle with the whole voluminous curly hair look. I can’t seem to get the volume required, and I also can’t seem to manage to make my curls loose enough. It’s a serious hair struggle.
Unfortunately, big, loose curls are also my favorite type of curls. Long, cascading hair (like Victoria’s Secret waves, as the look is commonly known) has always been my preferred style. I love how glamorous yet simple they look, and I love that they can make anything you’re wearing seem just a little more chic. But, like I said, these curls are not as effortless as they seem – they require time and, yes, effort. The good news? It’s definitely not impossible to figure out the formula. The below tutorials for big, loose curls are easy, and can be done by even the most basic of beginners. I promise! Check ’em out for your new signature style, or for something more fancy. Whatever it is, you won’t be disappointed!
1. Use a large curling iron or wand to create larger curls.
A large wand, like 1.5 to 2 inches, will automatically create larger curls (unless you have short hair, in which case, it won’t really do anything but create a wave). The smaller the wand, the tighter the curl, so start off with the right tools to make things easier.
2. If your hair is naturally wavy, try doing heatless curls.
Wrapping your damp hair around something, like a rolled up shirt, then sleeping on it, will create curls and tons of volume (especially this high on your head). Wrap larger sections of hair to ensure larger curls; again, smaller wraps of hair will create tighter, smaller curls. This works best if your hair is naturally wavy – if it’s naturally stick straight, it will only create a kink or a wave.
3. Roll your hair into rollers on top of your head.
Hair rollers can be difficult to get down, but they definitely give a ton of volume. Roll hair into the rollers directly on top of your head for a big look.
4. For something fast, put your hair in a ponytail, then curl the hair in the ponytail.
To create fast curls, first put your hair into a high ponytail. This makes it a lot easier to manage and also creates some lift because it keeps you from curling too close to the roots. Curling close to the roots means the curls usually won’t be as large and loose.
5. Gently brush out your curls.
If you have a smaller wand, or your hair holds onto a curl very tightly (like mine), gently brush your curls out when you’re done. Curl them, then use hair spray to set, and then use a large brush and softly brush the curls until they are as loose as you want them.
6. Curl away from your face to create more of a loose look.
Changing the direction of the wand can make a big difference. So can setting the curls – when you’re done curling, hold them up with your hand for a few seconds so that, even after brushing, they don’t lose too much shape.
7. Use hot rollers to create a slightly more vintage feel.
Use mousse and texturizing spray before using hot rollers to create more of a look. These things will help hold the curls and give you a more relaxed vibe.
8. Lightly curl pieces of your hair, then roll it into rollers and wait.
There’s no rule that says you can only use either rollers or a wand! Try curling sections of your hair with the wand, then wrapping them into rollers to be extra sure the curl holds.
9. Tease your hair before curling for extra volume.
Part of having big curls is having a lot of volume. One fast way to achieve that is by teasing your hair – back brush with a comb until you get a lot of frizzy volume. As you apply product and style with heat tools, that frizzy look will disappear and you’ll be left with lots of volume.
10. Go for the vintage look by shaping curls into retro waves.
Use a small comb to mold your curls into a vintage shape.
11. If you have naturally wavy hair, put it into a bun to create heatless curls.
This isn’t just wrapping hair into a messy bun – you’re looping strands around each other, then letting them sit for glamorous curls and lots of volume.
12. Brush the curls out with your fingers.
You don’t need a brush to get looser curls – simply run your fingers through them for the same effect!
13. Use different techniques with different pieces for a loose, casual feel.
Play around with different curling techniques throughout the styling process. For one strand, keep things normal, and for the next, twist it and then wrap it around. The different kinds of curls look more natural and loose.
14. Twist and pinch your curls for a more loose look.
The lesson here? Don’t just curl hair and then leave it! Play around with the finished curls to make them less tight.
15. Pin your curls on top of your head for extra volume.
Don’t have rollers? No problem. Use a bobby pin to gently roll up curls and pin them to hold the shape but also give extra bounce.
16. If you have natural hair, try a twist out.
This technique can make your curls look shinier and more defined, yet still on the looser side.
Which one of these hairstyles is your favorite? How do you get big, loose curls? Tell us in the comments!