How Do You Make Your Curls Last All Day?

Nothing makes me more envious than a social media post of an influencer with stunning, long, curled locks of hair. I don’t care what the background the picture is or which exotic destination they are in, all I can see is that gorgeous mane of curls and all I see in the mirror is an imp green with envy. There, I said it!

So, finally being absolutely fed up with my hair’s disregard for my desire to have beautiful curls, I set out to do my research on how to make curls last all day. Trust me when I saw that you and I aren’t alone and so many women report disappointing results when they try to make their curls last. Without wasting more time, let’s dive in and learn how to make those curls last all day.

how to keep your hair curls

Why Do Curls Lose Their Shape So Fast?

So, if your hair is anything like mine, no matter how much I style it, those pesky curls refuse to last the day. Hell, I’d be happy if they lasted even half a day. Well, they don’t. So I did my research and found out the most common reasons why.

Incorrect Equipment

Often, in the hopes of saving our hard-earned money, we women try to be frugal and use the same old curling iron we’ve been using since the dawn of civilization. It’s funny how we do that, seeing that we often change our clothes and accessories to match the latest styles, but we remain content in using the same old technology.

No Prep Done

Would you put on all your makeup without prepping your skin with a decent primer and foundation? Let me answer that for you. No, you wouldn’t. The hair is the same. It needs prepping and some good old tender loving care. But we’ll come to that later.

Incorrect Technique

Are you curling from the bottom to the top of the top to bottom? This might sound like a confusing question, but it does make a world of difference. Are you using a brush to get the bounciness out or your fingers? Tricky little details will help in increasing the longevity of your curls.

The Timing

When are you curling your hair? Are you doing it straight after washing your hair? I talk about the “when” in detail, lower down in this post.

The Weather

This one isn’t something you can control, but the weather can be a huge reason why your curls aren’t lasting long enough. High humidity can cause limp or frizzy hair (depending on your hair type), and much of your effort will be in vain, especially in unforgiving summers.

lovely hair


So, now that we’ve figured out the problems, let’s move onto the solutions.

With the considerable number of products and styling gear available in the market today, I’d say spending a little practice, here’s to our hair finally bending to our needs and letting us curl and style it the way we want!  

The Right Gear

I cannot stress how many professionals have told me that the number one mistake women make when they style their hair, is related to the equipment they use. If you can upgrade your wardrobe every few months, the least you can do is throw away that decade-old curling iron or wand that you curse at every day and yet use anyway.

Several brands make use of the advancements in technology and have designed tools that actually protect your hair instead of damaging it with extra unnecessary heat and stress. Sometimes, the problem isn’t your straight or thin hair, it is instead that low-quality drugstore wand you’re using.  

Look for ceramic or tourmaline coated curling irons or wands because these kinds will cause less damage and will help you get a better end result. Set the temperature at about 300 F for natural hair and at a lower 250 F for extensions.

Also important is the barrel size of the wand. Your curls will naturally loosen throughout the day. Therefore, it is better to start out with a smaller size wand for a tighter curl that will gradually loosen.

curlyqueen buy

Prep Your Hair

If you think you can get away with minimal prep and still have long-lasting curls, my sister from another mister, nothing can be further away from the truth.

For curls to last through the day, you must use a few products that will add memory to your hair, meaning they will allow the hair to be styled and will remember the position into which the hair has been set.

Before even heating your wand or curling iron, apply a liberal amount of thickening mousse product to damp hair. If there’s one time when the alcohol in a product is good, it’s now. Alcohol helps dry out your hair so that styling lasts longer.

Invest in a good quality hairspray that offers heat protection, volume and shine at the very least. Oh, and ditch the cotton pillowcase and get yourself a silk one. And before you think I’m going overboard; I’d like to tell you that silk makes your curls last longer because it causes less friction and frizz. You’re welcome.

The Little Details

Styling hair is as much as art as painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. If you don’t believe me, ask any hair stylist how making small changes in your routine can cause a huge difference to the way your curls hold up.

For instance, let your hair curl cool and set before running your fingers through it. The heat from your curling wand makes your hair malleable, and if you fiddle around with it before it cools down, you’re interfering with the setting process.

Another little tip many stylists mentioned was to never use a hairbrush on your curls. A hairbrush is too heavy for them. Instead, use your fingers to lightly run through your curls. If you do need to use a hairbrush, spray the brush with hair spray and run through your curls gently to keep your curls in place.

A little life hack is to pin up your curls with bobby pins and let them down only once they are completely cool. This prevents the temptation from touching them.

Curl from top to bottom. If you do the reverse, many hairstylists say that the bottom curls become too heavy and instead of achieving bouncy curls, the top half of your hair becomes flat and sticks to your head.

Skip the Conditioner

Most conditioners will make your hair slick and too silky to achieve long-lasting curls. Skip the conditioner and try a shampoo that isn’t too heavy.

If it is at all possible, don’t wash your hair the day you intend to curl it. Curls are easier to do and tend to last longer if done on the second or third day after you wash your hair. The oil and “dirt” give the curls more grip. This is actual, verified hair science!

Alright, I’ve given you a summary of all my findings. Now it’s time to actually implement these tips. Go forth, my friend, and coax your hair into submission! It’s time to let those curls bounce!