Stay-All-Day Curls!




Professional MUA, educator, and Benefit Beauty Artist working in Sacramento & the Bay Area. I sp...

Ever spent a grueling hour in front of the mirror with a curling iron and then wondered why your bouncy curls turned to sloppy waves before lunchtime? Because you didn't do a hard set! There's a reason your grandma has so many photos of herself in curlers... girl was hard setting her way right to some fabulous Rita Hayworth hair! In today's tutorial I'll teach you how to get bouncy curls that last and last.

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Step 1: Prep & Prime

Just like we prep and prime our skin before putting on makeup, we're going to prep and prime our hair to protect it and help hold the style. Make sure your hair is clean(ish) and dry, then spray generously with a heat protectant. I'm using Got2B Hot Twist Curl Iron Styler.

Step 2: Section

Section hair into what is called a "mohawk part" by separating the hair from temple to temple and clipping up and out of the way. Section hair again into one-inch portions if necessary (like if you have crazy ridiculous thick hair like me).

Step 3: Curl

Curl your first one-inch section of hair. I'm using a wand (because I don't have a curling iron small enough for my short hair) (without a glove because I'm hardcore. Or lost my glove. WHATEVER.)

Step 4: Shape

Now, instead of just letting the curl go to do whatever, we're going to roll it up on itself all the way to the scalp...

Step 5: Clip

Using a duck-bill clip, clip the curl to the head THROUGH the curl. If you've done my pin curl tutorial, same deal, just with dry hair instead of wet. This is going to set the curl's shape as it cools and allow it to hold WAY longer.

Step 6: Continue Curling & Clipping

Continuing curling and clipping (always curling the hair away from the face) in one-inch sections until all the hair out has been curled. Now release the hair in the mohawk part, decide where you want to part your hair, section it, and curl until your entire head is curled and clipped.

Step 7: Spray & Cool

Spray your whole head with a medium-to-firm hold hairspray, and allow your curls to cool completely. The longer you leave them clipped up, the bouncier and longer-lasting your curls will be! Sometimes I'll even do this before bed and then wrap my head in a silk scarf so when I wake up in the morning, all I have to do is finger-tousle my curls and go.

Step 8: Remove Clips & Style

Once your curls have cooled, carefully slide all of the clips out of your hair. You have tons of different options for styling-- for loose, bouncy curls, simply finger-tousle. For smooth, 40's-esque waves, brush out your curls with a metal round brush and apply gel or argan oil. You can even use this as the basis for bumper bangs (last week's tutorial!) or victory rolls. Remember to spray again with your favorite hairspray for extra hold.

As always, if you liked this Instructable, subscribe for new tutorials every Wednesday and Friday! You can also follow me on Instagram (AlexYourFace), Facebook (, Twitter (@AlexCassieMUA), or visit me at for even more hair and makeup fun!

Step 9:

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    16 Discussions


    3 years ago

    love, love, love this... Thank you using your tips today for my birthday!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Congratulations on being a finalist in the Hair and make-up
    contest!Best of luck to you!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Shame I didn't know this technique earlier, now my hairs too long for this. ;(

    Your lipstick and eye makeup is awesome!

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Why thank you! ;) and actually, this technique works MUCH better on long hair. My hair is so short that I burned my ears, scalp, and fingers and wasn't able to maintain a consistent curl pattern. When I had a shoulder-length blunt cut I would do this early in the morning, let it set all day while I was in school, then shake it out at 4 pm and have GORGEOUS curls that would last all week if I wrapped my hair at night.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I can sit on it, so its too heavy to stay curled. ;)

    With shorter hair I often did a pincurl updo - just remove the bobby pins, finger comb and you're good to go.

    Curls made with a curling iron are much faster, of course.


    Reply 5 years ago

    This would work MUCH better on very long hair. My hair is so short that it was impossible to maintain a uniform curl pattern, plus I burnt the bejeezus out of my fingers, scalp, and ears! Unfortunately all my wogs and extensions are synthetic so I had no option but to model this on myself.

    I have CRAZY frizzy/wavy hair-- I start by giving myself a blowout & then curling. You could also use a flatiron to smooth your hair before curling it. And I'm wearing DGAF by Melt Cosmetics! Soooo obsessed with their products.

    The great thing about a hard set, should you choose to attempt it, is that it'll last for DAYS! Bible. Love the Melisandre robe! I did a Melisandre makeup for my roommate last Halloween.

    Melt products tend to sell out pretty quickly but if you subscribe to their newsletter you'll get advance notice when something is going to be restocked. If you absolutely can't wait (and I don't blame you!) check out Dose of Colors or Pretty Zombie or Legit Cosmetics. They all specialize in brightly colored, super pigmented lip colors. Milani even had a blue lipstick out in Walgreen's recently but I don't know how well it wore. Make Up For Ever has a super wide range of colors as well though I don't recall if they have a navy blue.


    5 years ago

    I have curly hair and find that the longer I leave it between washes the curvier it gets. Curls hate clean hair. I also use coconut oil to shape and define curls . Works great and smells amazing.

    1 reply

    Absolutely! Dirt & natural oils help the hair hold a style as well as protecting it from the heated styling tools. If your hair is freshly washed and won't hold a curl, try applying some dry shampoo, and/or even hairspray, in addition to your heat protectant before curling. I've never tried using coconut oil to style my hair-- sounds like a must!! I melt about a half a cup and use it as an overnight deep-conditioning hair mask about once a week currently.


    5 years ago