Hair Care: How To Have Curls

Make your hair curly with one of these simple temporary or permanent methods.

Remember the little girl in the Charlie brown cartoon strip who incessantly worried about her naturally curly hair? Those who have natural curls often complain of them, while those with straight locks work tirelessly for waves. If you fall in the latter group, here are a few tips for trying out the curly look:

1. Sleep with braided hair. If you've never tried this, it's really a lot of fun. Take a shower and wash your hair, using shampoo and conditioner as usual; don't skimp on the conditioner. After combing the tangles from your hair while it dries, quickly braid it in any formation you wish. For example, you can make two traditional braids, one on each side of your scalp, that hang to your shoulders. Or you can braid just the top of your hair, gathering the sides to the crown for a coiled braid. You can even make one central or French braid down the back. Be sure to weave each strand tightly. Then leave your braids in overnight, or even for a day or two. When you unbraid your hair, you will be delighted to find cascades of rippling waves that can provide a crimped look.

2. Try old fashioned pin curls. If you're in the mood for a 1950's look, ask your mom or grandmother all about pin curls. After shampooing and combing your hair, roll one-inch sections into tight curls and clip with a bobby pin. If you are unable to buy bobby pins, try clips or clippies, which you should be able to purchase from a beauty supply store. You can roll pin curls around the base of your neck for a bobbed look. Or do them all over your scalp for a Shirley Temple style. You can also curl just the crown for a top knot. Remove the curls when dry and step back into the past.


3. Experiment with rollers. Hair rollers come in all sizes and textures. Most are made of foam these days, but you also can get vinyl or plastic electric rollers that you plug in, heat up, and set your hair with using metal or plastic clips. You can sleep on foam rollers, but the electric type will be removed after a few minutes, since heat sets the curl. In past generations women would wrap hair strands around old strips of fabric for overnight curls. In the 1960's, some fashion aspirants used orange juice concentrate cans (empty and clean, of course) for wrapping their hair to ensure large waves rather than curls.

4. Go wild with styling gel. If you're a modern girl, you probably know the value of a curling iron and styling mousse. Apply mousse or gel to your hair as indicated in the product's instructions. Then heat up your electric curling iron or styling brush and make waves that will give you a variety of styles.

5. Get a permanent wave. If you don't want to trust your instincts but prefer turning to experts, schedule a permanent at a reliable hair salon. For $50 you can have experts trim, treat, and curl your hair with tight or loose waves that should last several months. Follow the stylist's instructions to make your perm last as long as possible.

Women have sought curls for their hair since the beginning of time, as indicated in ancient artwork. Try one or more of these techniques to display a new look that will make you the object of admiration.

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