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What are Loose Curls?

B. Miller
B. Miller

Loose curls refers to a type of hairstyle where hair is gently curled, typically in large sections, to look naturally curly and wavy. This is as compared to tight curls, which are small, spring-like curls. Though of course either type of curls can look nice, loose curls are more trendy, whereas tight curls were more popular in the 1980s and 1990s.

Loose curls tend to fall somewhere between actual curls and waves in the hair. Intended to look soft and not overstyled, this type of curly hairstyle is generally fairly easy to achieve with a little bit of work with a curling iron. Begin by washing and drying the hair completely; if hair is naturally curly, it may need to be straightened and then re-curled with the curling iron in order to get that desired look of loose waves.

Loose curls fall between curls and waves.
Loose curls fall between curls and waves.

Once hair has been dried, part the hair either on the center or the side, and divide the hair into a few larger sections. This makes it easier to curl all of the hair on the head, which is important to make it look natural. Apply styling cream or heat protectant over the hair.

Next, split hair into one-inch sections and wrap it around the curling iron. For larger, very loose curls, simply wrap the hair around the outside of the curling iron without actually placing it under the clip. For slightly tighter, more noticeable curls, wrap the hair around the barrel of the curling iron underneath the clip. Remember to leave some hair out at the bottom of the curling iron to prevent having a crimp mark.

A wider curling iron will create looser curls.
A wider curling iron will create looser curls.

Hold the iron on the section of hair for about five to ten seconds, then release it. The section of hair may be left alone, or it may be rolled up and pinned to the head with a bobby pin until the hair cools. Continue this process until all the hair has been curled, alternating the direction that hair is wrapped around the curling iron to prevent creating a head full of ringlets. Then release all the curls and gently shake the head to loosen them; gently running the fingers through the hair may help to loosen the curls as well, but never use a hairbrush, which will ruin the curls and create frizz.

After this process, the hair should be full of beautiful loose curls. Spritzing them with a bit of hairspray may help the style hold throughout the day, particularly if one's hair is naturally very straight and does not hold a curl very well. Hair may then be left loose or pulled into a stylish updo.

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    • Loose curls fall between curls and waves.
      By: jb325
      Loose curls fall between curls and waves.
    • A wider curling iron will create looser curls.
      By: Alena Ozerova
      A wider curling iron will create looser curls.