3 Reasons Why Your Hair Won't Hold Curl

Struggling to keep all-day bounce? Here’s why. 

These days everyone is longing for full textured locks, and you'd love to jump on the bouncy hair bandwagon too. But every time you spend the half hour it takes to curl your entire head of hair, those curls have fallen flat by the time you step foot outside your door. What gives? There are a few different reasons your locks might not want to bend. See if any of these reasons apply to you, and find out what you can do about it.

Curl just isn’t in the genetic cards. While it might not be what you were hoping to discover, here it is: those with naturally very circular hair shaft don’t hold curl well and there isn’t a lot you can do to change that. While it does put you above average on both the smooth and shiny scales (yay!), it also makes you prone to–you guessed it–perfectly straight hair, despite your efforts to style it otherwise. Hair with a little natural wave has more of an oval shaft, super curly strands are more oblong in shape, and kinky hair has a shaft that is almost flat. When you curl your hair, you’re changing that shape only temporarily and hair is inclined to return to its natural form. Meaning: those with super straight hair are always going to struggle with keeping curl, just like those with super curly strands struggle with keeping them smooth.

Your hair is too healthy. Who ever thought that healthy hair could be a bad thing? Well, technically it’s not. It does, however, come with often unwanted side effects of slippery styling. When hair is really healthy, the outer layer of the shaft is extremely smooth, which doesn't lend itself to holding any style–ringlets to updos– in place.

Your hair is too clean. Like exceptionally straight and healthy hair, really clean hair is also slick and doesn’t behave the way you’d like it to when styling. Leaving natural oils in hair, by not washing every day, creates more texture that makes your hair more apt to do what it’s told.

The Fix: Start in the shower by going light on the conditioner. Over-conditioning will put too much moisture in your locks, which is less-than-ideal for styling. Remember: as counterintuitive as it may be, smooth hair isn't a good thing when you’re aiming for style to hold. Think about “unsmoothing” your hair to prep it. Next work in a thickening product, like Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse from root to tip before you blow out. Or, if you plan to work with second-day hair, which we highly recommend if you can do so, add some dry texturizing spray like Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast. These products, along with your natural oils will keep hair from being too slippery, give it some grit, and make it more malleable. When you’re ready to curl, don’t forget this very important step that many of us do: let each curl set and cool. After you create each curl with your curling or flat iron, use a metal clip to pin it to your head, then allow it to sit for 5 to 15 minutes while it cools and sets. After you’ve taken down your clips and completed your style, finish with a lightweight holding spray, like Evo Builder’s Paradise working spray, which won’t make hair heavy and risk weighing down your curls.

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