The 7 Best Products To Hold Curls In Straight Hair
Anyone with stubbornly straight hair knows that it can be a total pain to create curls when you want them — and it can be an even bigger pain to keep the curls intact for more than a few hours. But the best products to hold curls in straight hair can make the process so much easier.
One thing to keep in mind as you’re shopping for curling products is that each head of hair is unique, and you may need to use more than one product. Start by using the products sparingly in order to avoid weighing down the strands, but don’t be afraid to try a few different types and techniques to figure out what works best for you.
If your straight hair slips out of a curling iron, you may want to apply a texturizing spray like sea salt spray to prime your locks and, if you have a natural wave, create some waves to build upon. If you find that your roots tend to go flat, a dry texturizing spray can be a great option to add volume to newly styled or freshen up second-day hair.
A curling iron is a tried-and-true method for making curls from straight hair, and there are curling irons with multiple attachments that allow you to get the exact type of curl you’re aiming for. If you prefer a heat-free method, you can try applying a set of curling rods to damp hair.
Once curled, consider a dry-touch finishing spray to set your style without the sticky, crunchy texture that’s common with more traditional hairsprays. These also won’t add too much moisture that might inadvertently cause your fresh curls to relax right after you’ve created them. If a finishing spray simply isn’t enough and you need a hairspray with strong hold, opt for a quick-drying one.
Whether you’re looking for tight curls or loose waves, check out these amazing curling products on Amazon for straight hair:
1. The Best Dry Texturizing Spray For Adding Volume
You can’t search for a texturizing product and not come across the super-popular Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. It's a major fan favorite and has over 1,600 ratings on Amazon.
Dry texturizing sprays tend to do a little bit of everything: They can add texture to slippery hair, give hair extra volume, and help set styles in place. This one also has oil-absorbing qualities you might look for in a dry shampoo, which means you can use it to freshen up second-day hair, too. I've used Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray before — it never left white residue on my dark hair, and I could immediately feel the texture on my strands after spraying it on.
This pick is on the pricier side, but it’s worth it, according to many users. If you can’t justify the expense, try these budget-friendly dry texturizing sprays.
Reviewers say: “This texturizing spray is absolutely amazing- and worth every penny. It is on the expensive side, but you only need a little. I have fine hair, and this really helps set my curls and it lasts all day. Plus it smells great!!!”
2. The Best Sea Salt Spray For Making Waves
Sea salt spray is such an awesome invention and Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Soft Waves Sea Salt Spray is my current favorite. It's essentially salt water in a bottle, and it can help you achieve messy, natural beach waves even when you're far from the beach.
A sea salt spray is always going to work best for folks who have some natural wave in their hair, but I find that it helps with my thick, straight hair, too. After showering, I spray this on almost-dry hair, working from mid-length to the ends. Then I scrunch it up and dry it with a diffuser. Having that little bit of texture and grit helps when I actually get around to adding some curls — and on good days, when the wave really sets, I only have to curl a few locks that dried straighter than the rest.
Reviewers say: “I love this product. I use it every morning before I blow dry my hair. It adds so much workable texture to my full but very straight head of hair. This stuff has changed my hair routine and I can’t imagine living without it, plus it’s dirt cheap!”
3. The Best Finishing Spray For Setting Curls
Long gone are the days when sticky, heavy old-school hairspray was the only option for finishing off your curls. Garnier Fructis's Texture Tease Dry Touch Finishing Spray is a more modern interpretation of a hairspray from Garnier, which has been making hair products since 1904. It's lightweight and dry to the touch, which means it won't leave your hair feeling crunchy. All you have to do is apply this inexpensive spray after styling to set your curls and rejoice in the fact that it's such a good deal.
Reviewers say: “I researched the best inexpensive texturing spray and this product came up on top again and again. I see why. It helps add texture and hold the shape of the beachy waves in my, normally, stick straight fine hair after I’ve curled it.”
4. The Best Strong Hold Hairspray To Keep Your Curls Firmly In Place
SexyHair's volumizing hairspray is a top pick for anyone in need of a strong hold. The aerated spray produces a fine mist that covers your hair and dries quickly. It's also a great option if your very straight hair manages to frizz when you've curled it, and there's just a hint of humidity in the air (as mine somehow does) — it can fight frizz caused by humidity for up to 72 hours.
You'll likely feel this product in your hair more than Garnier Fructis's Texture Tease Dry Touch Finishing Spray, so make sure not to be too heavy-handed if you don't want to compromise on movement.
Reviewers say: “I love this hairspray. It holds my difficult hair in place. Often times my hair doesn't hold a curl for more than an hour. With this product I am able to keep a hair do for a whole day and a half! The best part is that it doesn't leave your hair crunchy. […] A little bit of product goes a long way so it will last a while.”
5. The Best Curling Iron Set With Interchangeable Barrels For Creating Curls
Nowadays you don't need to stock up on a bunch of different sizes — you can get the exact curls you’re envisioning, whether that's tight curls or loose waves, with the Parwin Pro 5-in-1 Professional Curling Iron. This curling iron comes with five interchangeable barrels, ranging from 19 millimeters to 32 millimeters in size, as well as a heat resistant glove, hair clips, and a travel bag. The cord is super long (eight feet) and swivels so it doesn’t tangle as you twist it. The iron heats up in a minute, and has a 60-minute auto shutoff so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on after you've already left the house. It also comes with a one-year warranty.
If the Parwin Pro 5-in-1 Professional Curling Iron seems like more than you'd use, these other Bustle-approved curling irons might do the trick.
Reviewers say: “This was very easy to use, I have very straight hair and was able to achieve beautiful curls within minutes!!!! They work so well. The gloves are all that I expected. Great product. Great service.”
6. The Best Spray With Heat Protectant To Prevent Damage From Curling Irons
If you regularly use a curling iron or flat iron to style your hair, you should add a product with heat protection to prevent over-drying to your list. It's a 10's Miracle Leave-In is a fantastic option. Just use it like a leave-in conditioner: After washing and towel drying your hair, spray it from root to tip and comb it out.
It's a tried-and-true spray that'll help protect your strands from damage caused by all of that heat, and it can help reduce frizz, too.
Reviewers say: “I have been using this product for YEARS and swear by it! [...] This product saves my ends and helps keep my hair healthy in spite of the blow drying, hot iron &/or curling iron I insist on using.”
7. The Best Curling Rods For No-Heat Curls
These Tifara Beauty Flexible Curling Rods are perfect for anyone who doesn't like to use a curling iron on their hair. Put them on when your hair is slightly damp; once completely dried, you’ll have natural, bouncy waves or curls, depending on the size you use and how tightly you roll them, all without heat. You can even sleep with them in. (Achieving curls doesn't get much easier than that!)
It might take a few tries to determine which curling rod thickness is best for your hair and to get the hang of putting them in, but once you nail it, these no-heat rods can take a lot of work out of the curling process.
Reviewers say: “If your hair is straight and doesn't curl easy, or hold a curl easy; these are the curlers for you! I love mine!”
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.