If you were born with natural spiral curls, lucky you! But for all the rest of us, achieving gorgeous, small spiral curls isn’t always easy. Fortunately, there are a couple of different methods for getting spiral curls. With the right hair styling products, knowledge, and tools, you can achieve this hairstyle on any hair type—from frizzy hair to thin hair. Here, we’re sharing your best options for creating spiral curls you can call your own, plus tips on how to care for spiral curls to best maintain their definition and bounce.
2 WAYS TO CREATE SPIRAL CURLS
Try either of these methods to get spiral curls!
1. SMALL CURLING IRON
Using a curling iron just might be the quickest way to achieve spiral curls. Since we’re going for tight spirals, you’ll want to use a curling iron that has a small barrel—if you have a three-piece set, for example, choose the one with the thinnest rod. When you have a suitable curling iron, here’s what to do:
Step 1: Start with dry hair
This is a general styling rule that you never want to break: Don’t use hot tools on wet or even damp strands because it can cause serious damage. So, either allow your hair to air dry or blast it with a blow-dryer until it’s ready to go.
Step 2: Use heat protection
Before you begin curling, ensure that your hair is evenly coated with a heat protectant, like the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray. Apply the heat protectant spray in sections to make sure you don't miss a chunk of hair.
Step 3: Section your hair
Use claw clips to split your hair into smaller sections—this will make it easier to curl and help you get the super tight spirals you’re after.
Step 4: Curl your hair!
Since you’re going for tight spiral curls, you’ll want to only curl about a one-inch section of hair at a time. Spiral curls generally look best when they begin as close to the root as possible, so hold your curling iron up near your root, then wrap each piece of hair around the rod, hold for a few seconds, and release. Is it a bit time-consuming? Yes. Is it going to be totally worth it? Also yes.
Step 5: Set with hair spray
You’ll need to finish your styling session with a bit of hair spray. If you have fine or thin hair, consider also spritzing each curl with hair spray after it’s formed to ensure that they don’t all drop before you even finish curling your entire head of hair.
2. SMALL OVERNIGHT HAIR ROLLERS
This option takes more time, but less energy, if you can believe it. Another method of achieving spiral curls is to wear small overnight hair rollers while you sleep. For spiral curls, you’ll want a set of curlers that are as small as possible (as opposed to large curlers, which would create large, wavy curls). Overnight rollers aren’t heated (they’re usually made of foam) and are best for those with naturally thick and curly or wavy hair. To use them, start with dry hair and wrap one-inch sections of hair around each curler, then fasten near the root. Do this all over your entire head before putting on a shower or sleep cap to make sure they don’t move around while you snooze.
Editor’s note: Did you know you can help keep your hairstyle looking it’s best with a few adjustments to your nighttime routine? Here’s How to Protect and Sleep On Your Hair.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF SPIRAL CURLS
Don’t let your spiral curls fall flat right away! Here’s how to care for them:
SPIRAL CURL CARE TIP #1: USE THE RIGHT SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
This rule applies more so to those who have natural spiral curls, but it also works for those with wavy hair who are planning to use either of the above styling methods to create spiral curls of their own. As a general rule of thumb, you want to use a shampoo and conditioner system that matches your hair type and concerns. In this instance, go with shampoo and conditioner that’s formulated to nourish curly strands, like the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Curls Shampoo and the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Curls Conditioner.
SPIRAL CURL CARE TIP #2: USE A LIGHTWEIGHT, DEFINING MOUSSE
When you have spiral curls—either natural or styled—the last thing you want to do is use a styling product that weighs them down. However, you also don’t want your curls to become frizzy and undefined. Enter: lightweight hair mousse, which provides just the right amount of hold and definition to keep spiral curls bouncy and in shape. To use, reach for the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Elastic Curl Mousse and apply a quarter-sized amount to dry curls, working the product through your lengths and ends and scrunching each section to finish.
SPIRAL CURL CARE TIP #3: HAVE HAIR SPRAY ON HAND
Of course, with any type of curls, you have gravity working against you. As a preventative measure, or whenever you feel your curls starting to get droopy, spritz on a bit of strong hold hairspray, such as the L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold Volume, to ensure that they stay in place.