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How Not to Curl Your Hair the Anti-tutorial

1994, Kindergarten – I was five years old, fiercely independent and determined to curl my own hair.  The details of exactly how the morning went down are slightly blurry because A). it was 20 years ago, and B). I am still trying to forget the searing pain of hot metal on my wrist. Yes, I,  “Miss I'll-do-it-myself" marched my booty into my mother’s bathroom and proceeded to somehow burn the crap out of my wrist. I spent the several days afterward not being able to color due to the large burn and the subsequent scar that still graces my wrist, and ever since I have had a, we'll call it "testy," relationship with curling my hair.

Well, it only took 24 years, but I finally mended my relationship with the iron. In 24 years of cotillions and homecoming dances and dance performances that ended in tight Shirley Temple curls crossed with a wet poodle, I've learned a lot of lessons in how NOT to curl your hair. So here in all there I have no idea what I am doing glory the 5 biggest hair curling mistakes I used to make! 

Mistake One: Washing your Hair
Curls like oil, so embrace the bits of yesterday left over. For years I could not fathom not washing my hair every day. Once I embraced the dry shampoo and realized that, in fact, my middle school gym teacher was not going to hunt us down if we didn't wash our hair every day, my curls started sticking around longer! 

Mistake Two: Volume After Curling 
I have always said my hair couldn't hold volume if I paid it. Before I was introduced to Not Your Mothers Volumizing Spray: She's a Tease (thank you Infleunster!)  and a back comb. I would have been right. When I first started to really curl my hair correctly I attempted to add volume AFTER my curls were set — big mistake. Creating a foundation of volume while my hair is straight allows the curls to have something to cling to as well as not flattening in the backcombing process. 

Mistake Three: Using the Curling Iron Clamp
A surefire way to channel your inner Shirley Temple is to use the iron’s clamp. Using the clamp suffocates the curl while wrapping the hair around the barrel allows for the hair to breath and create the ? . The big, beach-y waves we all desire. 

Mistake Four: Not using Tools that Are Hot Enough
I AM CHEAP. Like coupon queen cheap. For years I attempted to curl my hair with the cheapest curling iron I could get my hands on, and in my quest to save a buck or two I struggled with control over the heat. Then I purchased a Hot Tools iron and figured out what my life had been missing. Being able to control the heat of your iron allows the curler (you) to control the hold of the curl.  

Mistake Five: Hair Spraying AFTER curling
If you look up in the sky and see that the ozone layer has gotten slightly larger it is because this girl finally learned how to use hairspray AS I GO rather than in one hella long spray at the end. By spraying each section as I go, it allows each curl to get the spray attention it needs and deserves if I expect them to keep looking perky all day! 

*Keep in mind that I am NOT a professional hair do-er. I am a professional "sit-down-and-continue-reading-er” and a “no-you-may-not-go-to-the-bathroom-er". I am just speaking from my experience of mending my relationship with my curling iron! 


Kati - Incorporating Color said...

Haha, I love the way you describe our jobs. Those are both some of my key phrases, along with "this-is-not-the-time-for-life-stories-er" - but really. :)

Ashlee @ said...

I really need to get brave and purchase a curling iron and attempt to use it!

Victoria said...

Don't feel bad! Everyone always thinks I know what I'm doing, but I have horror stories and lessons learned too..Like the time I burned my neck in jr high. (Yes, it was a burn and yes it was still cold enough to wear a turtleneck.) Or the time in highschool I burnt my hip...Still don't know how that happened. As for lessons, they've been game changers! I have so much more control over how my hair turns out!

Anonymous said...

I still need my friends to do my hair and makeup for me. It is pathetic, but luckily my friends are talented :)

put a bow on it [kaitlyn] said...

Oh so THATS what I've been doing wrong!

Jess said...

I've just started learning all these rules NOW THAT I ACTUALLY HAVE ENOUGH HAIR TO CURL!
Long hair don't care. Oh, you knowwww :)

And I can't stop staring at your design.

Courtney B said...

LOVE your design!!
And this is the best anti tutorial I've ever seen! And amen to #5 I don't know how girls don't burn their hair to a crisp when hairspraying before curling. It's bound to happen to them at some point.
You're adorrrable!

Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire said...

Curls are the way to go, y'all! Well, loose curls. ;) Shirley Temple curls belong on, well, Shirley Temple. (Smarty pants over here!)

Love your NOT-tips! And your new name and design. It feels like forever ago that you mentioned it! When was that? In the car for the holiday blogger party?

Unknown said...

Yeah--- Well not in the car cause I wasn't at the Holiday party. It was a while ago though. I'm such a go getter sometimes.. :)
Well I was just determined not to pay someone to do it when I knew I could do it myself... I mean I do have a pretty good helper in Reese.... ok I'm rambling Thanks, i'm glad you like my new design. ALSO WE MUST GET TOGETHER (im totally serious i MISSSSSS YOUUUU)

the end.
Happy 2ish hours of work

Darby Hawley said...

This is awesome! I have been doing A LOT wrong but perhaps that is why I have not been getting my desired look! Ok with these tips I am going to try again!

You're awesome Meg!

Unknown said...

This cracks me up! And I'm hanging my head in shame because I clamp...eeek! I know I've been trying to just wrap it around the iron, but I forget. I need to get one of those wand things! :) Actually, this post is making me think I need to go to Ulta... bad Meg bad Meg! I'm probably going to buy one tonight thanks to you =D

Kathleen said...

Woo HOO! Love Love LOVE you design! I too am cheap cheap CHEAP and need to just suck it up and buy a Hot Tools curling iron. I was so close the other day when I was at Ulta but stopped myself because I was already buying bareMinerals makeup. Looks like I need to follow your lead! :)

Whitney H said...

These are so so true!! I need to get my hair long enough to actually look good when I curl it...

Jena Roach said...

Why do I always want to curl my hair when it's clean?? lol.
You're adorable.

Milla said...

This is so true! :)