Quick Tutorial: Giselle-inspired waves

*Edits in blue – 9/5/11 – thanks to Michelle for asking good questions!
Hope this clarifies!

I’m obsessed with hair. Particularly, big, fat bouncy curls. They’re hard to get. I love using huge hot rollers, but they are tricky to master so my go-to curling contraption is usually a curling iron. I like to vary the size for more natural looking texture; specifically a  1 1/2″ and a smaller 1/2″ iron. But really, my technique comes down to these 3 factors:

1. Hold the curling iron straight up and down (I prefer to point the top down)
2. Most people clap down on the hair and roll it, but I keep the clamp shut and wrap the hair around the barrel (*try to not twist the hair itself as you wrap, you want it to lay flat on the iron)
3. Curl the hair away from your face, not towards it (or wrap it away from your face)

Here’s a pic:

loose, Giselle-inspired waves (I think my fiance here is a fan)

Other things that help the cause:
– working on slightly “dirty” hair  (holds the curl better)
– prepping hair with a medium hold gel or curl cream *before blow drying (or letting dry naturally)
– blow drying after prepping the root with a volumizer
– hair spraying lightly as you go if  your hair is very fine
– not curling the entire piece of hair (in the above pic, I started 1/2 way down for a looser look, and stopping 1/2 before the end)
– sleeping on this makes it look even better, just remember to spray it a bit!
– using the right size iron for your hair length and type (smaller iron for thinner or very long hair = tighter curls. They’ll “fall out” so it’s best to start with a tight curl OR a fatter iron for medium thickness hair and looser curls)

Not really a Giselle fan? Maybe you’re more of a Victoria’s Secret Angel-type? The only difference is a little mussing and teasing. Take a fine-tooth comb and tease the middle of the curls here and there and massage the crown of your head in little gentle circles. Does it look like you slept on it? Perfect! Now hair spray it and your good!

That's me in the green necklace, at my friend Shawna's wedding rehearsal where I debuted my "Victoria's Secret" mussed waves

7 responses to “Quick Tutorial: Giselle-inspired waves

  1. Any tips on someone who has longer layers in their hair (namely me) on how to curl it? I always run into problems with the layer popping out!

  2. ahh haha, I almost put in a note about this! I have the same problem, but it’s actually better for the overall look. See that top pic, how there’s a shorter chunk of hair curled starting around my jawline? Just let those pieces come out as you’re working, then go back in with the iron and lightly wrap them. I like to use the fatter iron for a looser curl, just spray it for some staying power. Hope that helps!

  3. Q: Do you put gel in before you curl, or after? If before, do you let it dry first/for how long?

    Also, I have also noticed watching you work (haha) that you hold the curling iron pointing down towards the floor. I am going to try that technique and see if my results improve! :) xoxo

  4. Michelle, gel goes in before I curl and I like to let mine air dry — it gives it more texture, but you can also blow dry for a smoother look. I do like to spray a little hairspray onto the each section of hair just before I wrap it around the barrel for a little more staying power. Use small sections of hair too; you want it to be adequately heated so the curl is really set!

  5. Wendy’s such a babe! When I used to have long hair (sigh) I would actually alternate which direction I curled my hair in. Like every other piece towards my face, every other piece away. and then hair spray like crazy (LOVE kenra, smells so good) and tousle.

    • haha, thanks Staci :-) My stylist recommended that trick actually! I like how all away from the face looks, but multi-direction is pretty too. Mmm, Kenra smells amazing! My sister uses it I’m pretty sure. I NEED to invest in a good hairspray, but I’m dragging my feet. Le sigh.

      • I combine your techniques, Wendy and Staci. Around my face until maybe a little past my ears I’ll curl all the hair away from my face (it just looks better). After that, I’ll alternate or curl randomly. I also tend to curl in layers (bottom then middle then top), unless I’m in a hurry.

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