How Do I Keep My Curls from Falling?

Keep your curls from falling or drooping.
Photo © D. Sandeen

If your hair is fine or overprocessed, you may find it difficult to make those curls last all day long. Your long-term goal is getting healthier tresses, but in the meantime, there are ways you can combat the "droopies" and make those curls last as long as possible.

How to Keep Your Curls From Falling

When it comes to long-lasting curls, apply these "three P's":

Preparation

How you prep your hair before styling makes a big difference in how long your style lasts.

It's best to start with clean hair -- wet or damp for wet sets, and completely dry for heat styling. Avoid heavy or very oily products as they'll weigh your hair down, making it all too easy for curls to fall. Buildup is one of the main reasons your style doesn't last, which is why heat styling dirty hair isn't recommended.

Wet sets generally last longer than heat-styled curls as long as you start with the right products, so if you want a 'do that holds up all day (or more), start with a wet set on magnetic rollers, flexi-rods or Curlformers. If you prefer breaking out your curling iron, either because you have less time than a wet set requires or you simply love your thermal appliances, your tresses need to be completely dry. Any hint of dampness, even at the root, will cause your curls to flop.

Products

A good setting lotion or mousse helps to lock curls in place for wet sets. Heat protecting holding agents are great for holding curls created with an iron.

Look for strong hold products. Some top picks include:

Wet

Dry

    Apply wet products to damp hair, making sure all strands are covered. Comb through to ensure saturation. Apply dry products to each section as you curl instead of allover application at the beginning of your styling session.

    Portions

    Whether you wet set or create curls with a curling iron, it's important to style small sections, or portions, of hair at a time. Don't grab huge chunks just because you're in a hurry! Those curls will last all of five minutes once humidity hits. If you're in a rush, another hairstyle may be in order; save curling for days you actually have time.

    Once you're ready, take sections of hair no larger than 1-inch wide and 1/2-inch thick. Either roll damp hair or curl dry locks, using a holding product of your choice. After all curls are in place, lightly spray with hairspray if it's humid out.

    For Troubled Tresses

    Now, if your tresses fall on the finer end of the thickness spectrum or your hair is overprocessed, it's going to be tougher to get those curls to hold. Fine-haired ladies should choose wet sets over heat styling whenever possible, choosing strong hold products without alcohol. You'll usually get a more voluminous look with wet sets, too. For overprocessed hair, follow a regimen of getting your mane back in shape so that the elasticity improves.

    (Healthy hair holds styles better when you use the right products.) This includes cutting down on thermal styling, regular conditioning and deep conditioning, protecting hair at night, cutting back on harsh color and watching out for relaxer overlapping. Once your mane is back in good condition, you'll find that your styles not only look better, but last longer, too.