How to get ringlet curls

Updated April 17, 2017

Getting the perfect ringlets can take a little work, depending on how wavy or curly your hair already is. Maybe you want to control the frizz so that your curls are even spirals, or you want to change your straight hair for a while. A few simple styling tricks can create the ringlets of your dreams.

Style wavy or curly hair when freshly shampooed. Hair should be wet or damp.

Apply styling product of your choice. This can be a soft-hold gel or mousse.

Use hair clips to hold hair you're not working on out of the way. This might not be necessary if your hair is short.

Wind a small section of hair around your index finger. Roll this section all the way to your scalp around your finger.

Release the section of hair. You should have created a ringlet curl.

Repeat steps four and five over all the sections of hair you want to curl.

Begin styling on freshly shampooed and dried hair.

Preheat your curling iron or hot curlers.

Part hair into four sections with the comb, two in the front and two in the back.

Use hair clips to hold hair that you're not working on out of the way.

Begin with a back section of hair.

Wrap a section of hair around the curling iron barrel, beginning at the bottom and rolling it up toward your scalp. The iron should be held vertically as you roll it.

Unroll the curling iron slowly, releasing your hair.

If using hot curlers, wrap a section of hair around the curler, beginning at the bottom and rolling it up toward your scalp. Instead of rolling the curlers under or over, they should be rolled sideways so that they end up in a vertical position.

Secure the curler in place with a hair pin or clamp.

Repeat steps six through nine, depending on which curling tool you're using, over your entire head.

Once hair is completely cool, gently pull the end of each ringlet to stretch it.


Work on hair sections no wider than one inch to get the best, most uniform results. If your hair is short, you can use a curling iron ranging from pencil size to one inch in diameter. The smaller the diameter of your curling iron or hot curlers, the tighter your curls will be.


Don't comb your hair once it's curled; this will pull the curls out of place and create frizz.

Things You'll Need

  • Styling gel
  • Mousse
  • Curling iron OR
  • Hot curlers
  • Comb
  • Hair clips
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About the Author

Since 1996, Zoe London has written extensively on fashion, health, beauty, crafts and parenting. Her work has appeared in "Mahogany Magazine" and "The Kid Turned Out Fine".