The 7 Best Products To Hold Curls In Straight Hair

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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 them intact for more than a few hours. But the best products to hold curls in straight hair can make the process so much easier. From sprays that add texture to tools that shape your strands, these products can help you create long-lasting wavy or curly ’dos, even if it’s naturally straight.

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:


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 6,500 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.

One reviewer wrote: “[It’s] a lot of money for a hair product, but man, this is worth every penny. My hairdresser used this stuff on my extremely thin and pin-straight hair and was amazing with the results, so I thought I'd give a small bottle a try. WORTH. IT. My hair gets a little volume without going '80's level volume and it lasts all day.”


The Best Sea Salt Spray For Making Waves

  • Also available on Ulta, $15

Sea salt spray is such an awesome invention, and Sun Bum Sea Spray is a fan-favorite on Amazon. Rather than perfect curls, salt sprays are made to help you achieve messy, natural beach waves even when you’re far from the beach. Sea salt sprays are going to work best for folks who have some natural wave in their hair, but I’ve found that they can help with my thick, straight hair, too.

My favorite way to style with sea salt spray is to spray it on almost-dry hair after showering, working from mid-length to the ends. Then scrunch it up and dry it with a diffuser. Having that little bit of texture and grit can help when you actually get around to adding some curls — and on good days, when the wave really sets, you might only have to curl a few locks that dried straighter than the rest.

One reviewer wrote: “I’ve used a lot of sea salt sprays and this is by far my favorite!! My hair is pretty straight but when I spray this product on my hair after a shower it drys with wave/texture! It makes it look fixed without having to do much! I’m very happy with this product!”


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.

One reviewer wrote: “I'm a hair stylist with pretty thin, straight, shoulder-length hair, and I use this spray every morning on dry hair to add texture and the slightest grip. I ADORE this stuff and make sure to reorder before I run out. If you have straight hair that isn't very thick or full naturally, then I'd recommend this for your hair.”


The Best Strong Hold Hairspray To Keep Your Curls Firmly In Place

  • Also available at Ulta, $20

SexyHair’s Big Spray & Play Harder 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.

One reviewer wrote: “Can’t live without this stuff! My favorite hairspray EVER! I have thin, straight hair. This stuff does the best job maintaining my curls without being too stiff!”


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.

One reviewer wrote: “I purchased this for my daughter. She loves it - her hair looks amazing!!! Her hair normally doesn't hold curl, but when she styles her hair with this product it stays curled all day long!! Highly recommend!”


A Spray With Heat Protectant To Prevent Damage

  • Also available at Ulta, $21

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.

With more than 10,000 ratings on Amazon, 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.

One reviewer wrote: “I have thin, straight hair that tangles all the time no matter the condition used and tends to get oily with too much product. My hair dresser recommended this. I am hooked. It does not make your hair heavy or flat like most of the other leave-in products I have tried does. I still have body all day long as well. Love love love it!”


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. Plus, they have nearly 37,000 ratings on Amazon, so you know they’ve been put to the test.

One reviewer wrote: “Gave my pin straight hair awesome bouncy curly for days. I usually shower, shampoo, towel dry my hair, load them on, tightly, close to my scalp, then air dry for an hour then use a blow drier while they're still in. I do this without product and voila, perfect curls.”

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