Hair Tutorial: The Perfect Mermaid Curls


Although “perfect” is a relative term, this method for curling hair is pretty much perfect by my standards, mostly because it isn’t fussy. While I’m a sucker for both ringlets and Californian waves, I like my own curls somewhere in between: relaxed but bouncy. Mermaid-like.

Supplies: 1″ curling iron, brush, and hair spray
Time: 45 minutes (for thick hair)

All of the magic happens with Revlon’s “Helen of Troy” ceramic 1″ curling iron. For those who have long, thick hair like me, you might find that larger curling barrels produce the most pathetic excuse for “waves” that fall out within the hour, regardless of the amount of hair spray. I’ve found that the 1″ barrel creates tight waves that look good for at least 5-6 hours (though they do relax over time). Although I’m sure any iron will do, I love Revlon’s ceramic one – it keeps your hair soft, and it heats up in 30 seconds!

For hairspray, I’m a fan of Tigi’s Hard Head, which has a strong hold without the severe crunchiness. I’m almost out of mine, though, and I’m willing to try something new. Any hairspray suggestions?

1. While heating up your iron on the hottest setting, brush out your hair. I’m a believer in a little bit of frizz and imperfection, so I don’t put any product in it beforehand.

2. Grab a small chunk of hair, no larger than 1 inch. The more hair you curl at once, the less tight your curls will be. You can spray this before you curl, but I’m usually too lazy.

Wrap the hair around the iron, starting at the roots.

3. Starting at the roots of your hair, and without using the clasp, wrap your hair down the barrel. Hold the ends of your hair with your fingers on the end of your iron (if your iron doesn’t get hot at the end). Try not to overlap your hair as you wrap it around – this way all of it gets hot. Leave it there for 15-20 long seconds.

Tilt the barrel downward

4. Tilt your curling iron downward, and let your curls fall off the barrel. I try to pull as little as possible so that they don’t straighten out.

Spray with hairspray

5. Spray with hairspray. And you have a curl!

Repeat this around your entire head. Scrunch curls if need be. Once I’m done, I wrap some of my curls around each other so that they form larger ringlets rather than a bunch of tiny ones.

Don’t get lazy with the back of your head! I’ve noticed that my curls tend to fall out in the back first, so pay special attention to the back so that you don’t have lovely, bouncy, voluminous hair in the front, and wet-dog hair in the back.

Et voilà! Mermaid curls!

Me!

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Keywords: wavy hair tutorial, curly hair tutorial, curling iron tutorial



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125 Comments

  1. Murphy
    January 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm
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    I usually hate the smell of hairspray… But recently I found the Garnier Fructis sleek and shine spray with bamboo extract. It smells amazing, really works, and doesn’t leave your curls crunchy. Next time you find yourself at the drug store you should try it out!

    Reply

    • Taylor
      July 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm
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      thats my HG hairspray!! i have both the 3 and the 4

      Reply

  2. amanda c
    January 25, 2012 at 11:19 pm
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    Try Tigi Bed Head Masterpiece hairspray! It’s got good hold without the crunch and adds great shine :)

    Reply

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    March 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm
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  5. Sierra Lane
    April 22, 2012 at 5:38 pm
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    My hair never curls properly and it never stay in!! But i stumbled upon this, and I love it! It is so easy and it stays all day! i do this every morning and it just looks lovely! Thank you! :)

    Reply

    • Roua
      May 2, 2012 at 12:48 am
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      I have natural curls do you wanna exchange hairs? :p

      Reply

  6. cat
    April 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm
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    I would suggest a heat protectant before you curl, ant product on the hair before heat is better than nothing… at least a thin barrier in between your hair and a hot iron.

    A great hair spray is BB’s Spray-De-Mode!

    Reply

  7. Crissy
    April 29, 2012 at 12:49 am
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    Beautiful hair!!

    Reply

  8. Roua
    May 2, 2012 at 12:47 am
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    My hair is naturally curly, but sometimes it just gets too messy and I don’t know how to deal with it! I love your hair color! I am a brunette and I am thinking about dying my hair but I am not sure if that color would fit me.

    Reply

  9. DBurnham
    May 25, 2012 at 2:42 am
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    Im sure you have purchased some hairspray by now, however I used to love the Tigi spray you spoke of in your post, but once I tried AeroGel, I was an instant lifelong convert. I have very fine limp hair, nad this tuff holds, you can go from running your fingers through it light, with hold all day, or Auqua net hard.. And STILL be able to brush it out with your fingers later.. I don’t know how they did it, but I really feel it is an incredible product.. I loved your tutorial, and look forward to discovering more here on your blog!

    Reply

  10. Jamie
    June 18, 2012 at 8:43 am
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    I loove this! my boyfriend loves it when I wear curls so this is a perfect little tutorial for me. ;)

    Reply

  11. modzed
    August 25, 2012 at 2:26 am
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    Great hair! I love it!

    Reply

  12. Amber
    August 27, 2012 at 12:29 am
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    I too have long thick hair and I LOVE Kevin Murphy Session Spray when i curl my hair. All day hold (even if im running around at work or walking in the wind) without the crunchiness.

    Reply

  13. Jody
    September 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm
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    I was wondering if you could please tell me what color your hair is if you have it colored or is it natural??

    Reply

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    November 28, 2012 at 7:13 am
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    i have curly frizzy hair with dry ends.
    what should i do?

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  19. Organic Acne Product
    July 24, 2013 at 11:59 pm
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    The curl looks so beautiful, and I think the way you make is quite simple.

    Reply

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  21. Maggie | Botox Toronto
    June 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm
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    I love these! I was planning to curl my hair this weekend too.

    Reply