How to do spiral curls

Written by d. laverne o'neal
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How to do spiral curls
Spiral curls offer lilting romance to loose hair and updos. (Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Spiral curls offer a lilting variation on the more typical horizontal curls. Spirals can be worn as formed, or tousled into looser curls. Depending on the texture of your hair and the method used to create the curls, the spiral curls may last for two to three days with minimal maintenance. Spiral curls can be created in straight, wavy or curly hair. However, those with thin, fine hair will have the hardest time maintaining the look.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Flexible spiral rollers
  • Curling iron, 1/2-inch or less in diameter
  • Paper bags
  • Hair gel (optional)
  • Heat-protectant spray or gel
  • Light-hold hairspray (optional)

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Instructions

    Flexible Spiral Rollers

  1. 1

    Divide the hair into 2- or 3-inch sections. Work with one section at a time, clipping the others out of the way.

  2. 2

    Comb the first section of hair to ensure it is free of tangles.

  3. 3

    Place the roller at the end of the section and roll vertically until you reach the scalp.

  4. 4

    Fold the ends of the roller over the rolled hair to secure. Repeat this process with every section of hair until all the hair is rolled vertically. Leave the rollers in place for a few hours or overnight.

  5. 5

    Remove the rollers and finger-style if necessary to achieve the look you want. If you like, mist the curls lightly with hairspray for hold.

    Curling Iron

  1. 1

    Preheat the curling iron to a temperature appropriate to the thickness and texture of your hair. Lower settings are better for finer hair. Thicker, coarser textures may require medium or higher temperatures.

  2. 2

    Divide the hair into 2- or 3-inch sections. Work with one section at a time, clipping the others out of the way.

  3. 3

    Apply heat protectant to the first section.

  4. 4

    Grasp the hair with your curling iron about an inch or so from the scalp. Wrap all but the last 2 inches of the hair around the curling iron. Hold the last 2 inches with your fingers. Clamp down vertically and rotate the iron about 1/4 turn. Hold the iron in position for two to three seconds, then slide the iron down the hair shaft about 2 inches and rotate the iron so that it curls those 2 inches. Keep moving the iron down the hair shaft, curling 2 inches of hair at a time until you reach the final 2 inches you were holding. Release the hair to curl the last 2 inches.

  5. 5

    Remove the iron from the hair and move on to the next section. Do not manipulate the curled sections until they have cooled completely. Apply hairspray for hold, if necessary.

    Paper Bag

  1. 1

    Tear a small- or medium-sized paper bag into 1-inch strips. Cut off the bag bottom so you are left with a handful of paper strips.

    How to do spiral curls
    Tear bags into strips and cut off the bag bottoms. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)
  2. 2

    Divide the hair into 2- or 3-inch sections. Work with one section at a time, clipping the others out of the way.

  3. 3

    Position a paper strip along the length of the first section, then fold the bottom inch of the paper strip over the hair ends.

  4. 4

    Roll the hair around the paper bag strip until you reach the scalp. If your hair is thick, the bag will remain in place without clips. If not, you may need to secure the scalp end of the bag with a clip. Repeat this process with each section of hair. Leave the strips in place for three to four hours or overnight.

  5. 5

    Remove the paper strips carefully and finger-comb the hair into your preferred style. If you prefer, spray lightly with hairspray for hold.

Tips and warnings

  • For a looser style, secure paper strips or rollers about an inch away from the scalp.

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