Jessica Cormier
Updated on March 10, 2023

We all love the look of loose beach curls, but it can be quite the challenge to create curls that will last all day. Many of us spend hours trying to perfect the technique of curling our hair at home but still struggle to achieve long lasting effect.

If you find yourself in the never-ending battle of getting your hair to hold a curl, keep reading to learn more about why this may be a problem and what 3 simple things may just do the trick!

Woman Stressed About Keeping Curls in Her Hair

Freepik / @cookie_studio

Why Your Hair Won’t Hold a Curl

There are potentially many reasons why your hair won’t stay curled and addressing them is going half the way to success (or, often, the all of it). Let’s look at them in more detail:

You Don’t Use the Right Products

If this has been a continuing struggle for you, consider what products you are using and how much of them you are using. One of the key factors in making straight strands curly is to properly prep your hair. You need to start with a generous amount of mousse and a heat protectant before you blow-dry your hair to give it more hold. A mousse is an alcohol-based product that makes hair easier to style by removing the moisture and drying your locks a bit, that’s why it is best not to use it too often.

If you plan to curl your hair, skipping a conditioner or using less of it will be a smart move, too. The latter makes hair very smooth, so it’s more difficult to add texture to your strands. If your hair is naturally straight and smooth, shower it with dry shampoo or a texturizing spray to add some grip before curling.

If you’re searching for a way to make your curls stay in fine hair, remember, less is more is guiding rule for fine hair styling. Use products that are light and airy and avoid heavier moisturizing products before curling. If your hair has too much product in it or products that are too heavy, they will weigh your hair down and the curls will fall flat a lot easier. A John Frieda Volume Lift foam for lightweight fullness would be a great option to go for.

Volume Created with Styling Products and Curling

Instagram / @rebeelbrasil

Your Heat Tool is Failing You

The tools you use also play a big part in the longevity of your style. That’s why it is so important to make sure you’re using the right one for your hair type. Heat styling tools come in either ceramic or titanium and they both work in different ways. Ceramic styling tools heat up the hair from the inside out and is great on fine hair because it produces a gentler heat. Whereas the titanium styling tools heat the hair on the surface first creating a more aggressive heat, making it better for thick hair.

The right size of the curling iron is another important aspect. Curling iron with a large barrel size will create looser curls, which shape will be barely visible on thick, stubborn hair after a while. If you are having a hard time getting your hair to curl, try going down a barrel size and create tighter curls in the first place.

Most curling irons are available in increments of ¼”. Irons that are approximately 1” work best on most hair types. The longer your hair is, the smaller the iron you may want. Long hair will weigh itself down causing the curls to stretch more and will result in flattened curls sooner rather than later.

Waves Different Sizes of Curling Irons Produce

Instagram / @beyondthebeautyus

Also, it is important to select a tool where you’ll be in control of a temperature. It is not necessary to fry your hair to get bouncy curls. In fact, a lower temperate of 300-350 degrees create longer-lasting results. However, the too low heat may be another reason why you fail to add waves to your hair. If the curl doesn’t form within one or two minutes, your hot tool needs to be more – well – hot.

You Skip Sectioning

Another reason why you can’t make your hair curly may be improper sectioning of the hair. This is especially important in thick hair. However, you should be taking both sections and subsections to achieve curls that last all day, no matter what your hair length or thickness is.

Begin curling your hair from the bottom. Take a section starting at the top of your ears and clip up the rest so it’s not in your way. Gather subsections that are no bigger than 1” thick and work around your head. Once the entire section is curled, you can take your next section beginning at the top of your eyebrow. Repeat taking sections and subsections until the entire head is complete. Take a look at this tutorial on how to curl hair for visuals on sectioning and curling techniques.

How to Section Hair for Curling

How to Make Curls Stay

Now, if you have been doing all of the things listed above correctly and you are still struggling to get your hair to hold a curl, your hair may just be hard to curl and require you to go the extra mile for it to hold. Read on to learn 3 new tricks that just may do the trick to getting curls to last in your stubborn hair.

1. Let the Curls Cool

You might feel the urge to run your fingers or your brush through your hair to separate uniform curled clumps, but you need to resist it as long as possible and wait until curls have cooled down completely. The natural oils on your skin can be too much for your freshly curled locks and can cause them to become loose and flat quickly. For better results, wait at least until you have curled the entire head to run your fingers through the hair.

Waiting for the Curled Hair to Cool Down

2. Pin Your Curls

If letting the curls cool down in place just doesn’t do enough for your stubborn hair, try pinning the curls at the base, close to the roots after each one is complete. This can be easily done with duckbill clips, or if you’re in a pinch, bobby pins can work! Doing this allows your curls to cool down in a tighter position and really helps to seal the curl.

Pinning Curls Hack for Hair that Won’t Hold a Curl

3. Spray Your Curls

Knowing how to properly use a hair spray is another hack for getting curls that last. It should only be used after your hair is curled to prevent burning the hair spray and your hair. You can spray each individual curl with a touchable hold hair spray after it is complete and after pinning it in place. Once your look is complete, you can finish it off by using a finishing hair spray or one with a stronger hold.

Spraying Hair After It Has Been Curled

Making your curls last can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! Next time you curl your hair, pay attention to how much of the products you are using, the way you’re sectioning your hair, and give these simple tricks a try. It’s guaranteed that you will experience longer-lasting curls.

Woman Stressed About Keeping Curls in Her HairVolume Created with Styling Products and CurlingWaves Different Sizes of Curling Irons ProduceHow to Section Hair for CurlingWaiting for the Curled Hair to Cool DownPinning Curls Hack for Hair that Won’t Hold a CurlSpraying Hair After It Has Been Curled