Wednesday, May 4, 2011
how I... curl my hair – rag curls
Well, here it is, as promised: a guide to how I curl my hair. Until recently I pin curled it, but now it has grown too long for that. Sleeping with those hard little coils up against my head was not exactly working, and anyway it made for a loose curl that didn't last as long as they used to on me. Boo.
So, now I have moved to rag curling! Honestly, I am not just using the olde methods for the sake of it, I swear. If 15 minutes with a curling iron in the morning worked for me, or half an hour with some hot rollers made curls that lasted more than half and hour, I'd be happy to use what the modern world has to offer. But, alas, I am yet to find anything new that will work on my hair. I have lots (and lots and lots) of dead straight baby fine hair that weighs a ton and is as slippery as an eel – silky it may be (at least for 3 minutes after brushing; and plain old limp, if left alone, by day two), but it really takes some work to curl it.
I only started rag curling a couple of weeks ago. I really didn't think it was going to work, but I was amazed at the bouncy, silky and long-lasting curls it gave me. And this is without any product! I find that I get two good days of curls out of this, and a third day of waves if I haven't washed my hair again by then, although I usually have.
So, let's begin. To do this, I use 14 strips of cotton – the rags – about 10 inches long and an inch or two wide. I cut an old dress (and by old, I don't mean vintage, don't freak out!) up for these. (I have also lightened a lot of the photos to show hair detail; not easy to do with dark hair!)
After washing my hair, I let it dry off naturally/blow dry it (depending on the weather, and time of night – this bit take me ages) until it is just slightly damp; practically dry. I learnt the hard way when pin curling that if it is too wet, my hair won't dry over night, and I would undo the pin curl to reveal a floppy string of straight, wet hair. Disappointing and hard to fix up. Don't suffer like I did. Learn from my mistakes.
Divide your hair into 14 (or however many strips you use, which may be slightly more or less) sections, and wrap them around the cotton strip. This is, thankfully, easier than it sounds, and I find my hair stays wrapped without too much hassle.
Wrap the section of hair from an inch or two from the bottom (to get things started), wrap the tips around the rag, and then wrap upwards to where you want the curls to start from. I like to curl the lower, say, two thirds of my hair, so I stop around ear height. Make sure the ends stay well tucked in, and wrapped, too.
When you have finished wrapping, tie the strip in a single knot.
Do this to all of your hair. When you have finished, look at yourself in the mirror and laugh. Better still, find someone to show your ridiculous rag head to, so they can point and laugh.
Now take your rag heady self to bed, go to sleep, and dream about the bouncy locks that will be yours come morning.
And this is what mine look like when I take out the rags, before any brushing.
I have found that unlike with pin curls, which were a lot frizzier when I took them out in the morning, these curls are much silkier, but almost as tight. I can brush them together (ie like brushing my hair normally) or I can brush out each individual curl, as with pin curls.
To do this, wrap the curl around your hand/wrist/arm, depending on hair length, and brush it around, to keep the strands together in the curl. Hmm. I don't know how much sense that made. There are some great tutorials on brushing out on youtube; try Lisa Freemont Street's. It's really easy, and makes a big difference to the end result, although less so with rag curls.
And that's it!
I will wear my curled hair with my turban, with or without the brooch, though with different clothes and make up (and perhaps not always such a serious face)...
And I will wear my scarves pirate style with the curls, too. I thought that pirate style (arr, etc) could do with a shoulder parrot. Babycat does not make a very good shoulder pet...
... but she is very nice and fluffy. And grumpy, sometimes, too, clearly. She did not care to go on my shoulder. I don't blame her.
These curls will also make good updos...
... in which I can put my little birds, as well as flowers, brooches, random trinkets and baubles... all sorts. When it comes to hair, the bigger the better, I say.
And I also like to just wear the curls loose.
Ta da! Let me know how you go if you use this. And send in some pictures, too! I would love to put them up on here! I hope you liked my first tutorial. I will be doing more! x