I get it. You love the look of tight ringlets especially if you have stick straight hair.
Straws can help you get spiral curls like that.
Plus they are just flat out ridiculously fun.
But to get there you need to know stuff.
You need tricks for wrapping your hair on the straw right.
You need to know how to keep the hair on the straw – we’ve got three variations on how to do that.
You need a fast way to take the straws out and what to do next.
If you don’t know stuff like that you can up with frizzy mess or curls that last about as long an inoculation.
So just how do you do straw curls?
When curling hair with straws there’s not much to it. Working with damp hair you want to take a small section and wrap it around your straw much like you would a curling iron. Wrap as close to your roots as you can. Then fold the ends of the straw over the wrapped hair and secure them with a tiny elastic. Once dry remove to unveil your curls.
Okay. That’s the 60 words or less answer for the how do you get tight curls without heat question.
Of course the devil is in the details which we will explore further next.
Quick Section Navigation
- VIDEO: DIY Straw Curls Tutorials | Easy Step By Step Guide
- VIDEO: Spiral Curls Tutorial – Taking The Straws Out
- VIDEO: Tweaks and Fixes
- Tips For Heatless Curls With Straws
- FAQ: How To Get Spiral Curls Overnight
So you’ll want to be sure to catch all the video segments demonstrating the technique. The third one especially. It shows what to do to insure you get the best spiral curls ever for a glammed up look that lasts. While avoiding the dreaded mushroom head curly girls are all too familiar with.
Also want to alert you up front. Depending on how thick your hair is, this isn’t going to be a five minute process. And the thicker your hair the longer it will take.
Despite that, ready to mush on? Good on you. Let’s go.
DIY Straw Curls Tutorials | Easy Step By Step Guide
These curls need to start off life damp. Not wet but damp. The reason is your hair has dry into its new shape. Not to mention it will take next to forever to dry if it’s too wet.
Brush out tangles and do a center part. You don’t want to unintentionally introduce snarls, snags or tangles.
Tip: Now’s a good time for products if you’re going to use them. You can moisturize with a leave in conditioner or apply shine product mid strand down.
Next take a smallish section of hair. She usually starts in the back towards the bottom.
How do you do straw curls – step by step
Dampen the hair to the touch with a light mist from the water bottle.
Put the straw behind the section then wrap and twist the hair around the straw.
She starts wrapping in the middle of the straw.
IMPORTANT: Something she doesn’t mention is the twisting part. But if you watch closely you can see she’s twisting the strand each time she wraps it around the straw.
Tip: Keeping the wraps close together on the straw results in a tighter curl. Or you can always shove them together when done wrapping.
When you reach the end of the strand, bend the straw over so it pinches the ends to hold them in place. You can see how the end lays over the hair wrapped on the straw. Tie with your tiny rubber band to secure it all in place.
One end done. One to go.
Tip: You absolutely want to make sure your entire strand is curled around the straw. In other words don’t leave the ends off like you might on the flat iron when going for beach waves. Doing so gives you a more finished look.
Okay so once wrapped to the ends she turns her attention back on the end of the straw she started from.
See how she rolls the straw down the hair to wrap any of the strand just above the scalp around it?
Then she twists the entire straw around a couple of times like a corkscrew. This is to give the hair just above the scalp a good curling too.
More on that later. But it’s important you catch this last little twist trick. And more so that you do this on all the sections around the crown of your head.
As before crimp and bend that end of the straw over and rubber band it in place.
One straw curl finished. How many more to go? LOL
The idea is to have the ENTIRE length of hair wrapped around the straw. Then crimp both ends with each secured in place with a small rubber band.
There’s a great close up shot in the video of the finished product around the 3:33 mark. It shows the straw right against her scalp.
If you’re having trouble wrapping the entire strand on the straw just take smaller sections and work with more straws.
Translation: It will take longer. The fact that this is a 17 minute video and a lot of it is fast forwarded should give you the idea this isn’t a five minute hack.
Tip: Should an end pop off the straw no worries. Just secure it with the rubber band.
No heat curls with straws | The Big Picture
She sections off a lower section of hair and clips the rest up and out of the way.
Once she’s done with the back and the sides that leaves the crown area.
This she sections off from the front to the back.
At around position 8:35 you can see what her head looks like when all the hair is “strawed up”.
Pssst! You can skip forward from the six minute mark to nine minutes and 15 seconds or the next morning. Unless of course you want to watch her do straw after straw after straw.
Tip: To speed up the process you could use a blow dryer. But most will sleep in the straws to give the curls time to set over night.
Just so you know straws in your hair aren’t the most comfortable thing to sleep in. But what beauty routine doesn’t have an element of discomfort, am I right?
The good news is removal goes way faster than putting them in.
Tip: To remove the straws fast she first removes the rubber band from the end farthest from her head. For the part closest to your head, just grab the end of the straw, tug on it, and the rubber band will fly off.
Tip: Space out the hair on the straw so you can slide the straw out. Then again tug on an end and slide the straw out. Leaving your with these magnificent coiled up 4A or 4B level curls.
She waits until she’s taken all the straws out before breaking up the curls. The second video explains why you might not want to wait. Just saying.
After more fast forwarding around the 11:50 mark you can see all the freshly released curls. Super tight and notice how much shorter her hair is all curled up. Just keep in mind throughout the day that tightness will relax and your hair will lengthen.
At around the 12 minute mark “let the curl separation begin”. At 13:14 she’s done.
Tip: She feels around her head for any denser clumps of curl she may have missed.
Finally she uses her fingers like a pic to fluff up the roots for extra volume.
From there she prefers to wear this up in a curly bun. (If you’re interested we get into all about messy buns for hair that curls here.)
No matter your preferred curly style should your goal be super tight curls this is a good way to get there. Time consuming. But for some the results are worth it.
How to Get Tight Spiral Curls Without Heat | Resources to Help
Here’s examples of a couple of resources mentioned in this article. Listed to help give you an idea of what to look for more so than a source to get them from.
Tiny rubber bands like these are a big help:
Goody Classics Rubberbands, Black, 250 Count
Shop around. I found them locally for 99 cents vs $7.00 on Amazon.
While if you’re not sold on straws these soft rollers can work too.
Soft Rollers 10 Pack 5/16 INCH
Oh and you can likely find small flexi rods like those at the dollar store. Just get the smallest ones you can.
Spiral Curls Tutorial – Taking The Straws Out
Now we come to the all-important removal phase and what to do after. Most video tutorials don’t have a lot to add about this post straw phase. This one by Kayley Melissa shares of wealth of good ideas that you’ll want to know.
So let’s jump in where she starts talking about that so you’ll know how to fine tune the results more to your liking?
Shirley Temple curls that go BOING!
On straight hair?
Who knew, right?
Breaking the curls apart is key. You want to break each clump into at least two or three smaller ones. This will give you more volume and a tolerable bit of frizz.
Her trick to this is do it as you are taking the straws out. That way you won’t accidentally “forget” to break up a clump. Not fatal to be sure. But not all the glam either.
Another trick? Get a bit of hair oil on your fingers when breaking the clumps apart. That will help bring up the shine as well as fend off any developing frizz. Whatever is your fav should be fine.
You could go with coconut, argan or whatever. Doesn’t necessarily matter. (Oh and for more on the wonders of oil treatments you may want to check out what we wrote about those here.)
Remember how you did a middle part to get the ball rolling? Now’s the time to flip the part back to how you normally wear it. Note how that instantly got rid of the flatness on the crown.
Obviously this is going to be easier for those with longer locks than those that without.
Now if you like the look but it isn’t love there are some more tricks to know.
For instance say frizz is a concern. In that case you will want to scrunch in some gel or oil into the ends to cut down any frizziness that may rear its ugly head.
Products to try would be Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls, Jessicurl Rockin Ringlets or L’Oreal EverCurl Sculpt & Hold Cream-Gel.
Loved the little trick she shared for to cut down on triangle head. I doubt I’d have thought of that one on my own.
And the idea of lightly running a wand down any ringlets that are too tight for your liking is genius. Even if you just do that on a few of them it will add variation to your curls adding a more natural feel to them.
But wait. Here’s another way to loosen up curls that came out too Shirley Temple-esque as her Day 2 update video reveals.
How to make heatless spiral curls with straws – Tweaks and Fixes
Want looser curls? Just spritz with a little water. That little bit of moisture is all it takes to help them relax just enough.
So yeah. This is a clever fix for a spiral curls hairstyle that doesn’t turn out quite as you’d like. You can see the difference.
This way you can save the curling wand trick as back up if this water misting hack doesn’t work.
Oh and she went on to describe pineappling your straw curls to insure a good look for day two using a silky scarf. If you’re not familiar with that curl saving method you might like our take on how to pineapple hair for great next day results.
More Tips For Heatless Curls With Straws
Whether you do these overnight or just wait for your hair to dry here’s a few more tips to help.
Tip: You can secure the end of the straws different ways.
- Crimp both ends and secure each end with tiny rubber bands or elastics
- Fold in half and secure the same way
- Fold in half and secure using bobby pins
There is no best. It’s more a personal preference or whether you have tiny rubber bands or a stash of bobby pins on hand.
Tip: Expand the bendy part of the drinking straw and start wrapping the hair there. The little ridges give the strands a little something extra to grab onto.
Tip: You might want to change the direction you wrap some sections in to simulate natural curls. That way you’ve got curls going towards and away from your face.
Tip: Change the size of the curls by changing the size of the sections you work with.
Tip: Remember too smaller sections tend to dry faster than bigger ones. Just saying.
Tip: Get your straw as close to the roots as humanly possible. I can’t stress this point enough. You want to make sure that first bit of hair off the scalp gets some curling love.
I mean if you don’t start curling for an inch or two away from your scalp you’ll have an abrupt transition from straight to curly hair. Nothing wrong with that per se. Just letting you know if you want to avoid that get that straw snugged up as close to your scalp as you can.
This is all the more important on the crown and near where your part is. That’s where any sudden transition from straight to totally all out curly can look weird. Not to mention any flatness will stand out compared to the fluffiness of rest of your hair.
Tip: If going heatless isn’t important as you’d expect you can speed up the process with a blow dryer or a bonnet dryer.
Tip: If you use plastic drinking straws save them for the next time you do this hairstyle. They’re good for five or six uses easy.
FAQ: How To Get Spiral Curls Overnight
Let’s wrap up by covering a few commonly asked questions.
How many straws do you need to curl your hair?
The number of straws depends on how thick your hair is and how big the sections you work with are. So it could be 30. Could be 40. In some cases it might take 50 to do the job.
How long do straw curls take?
I’m assuming this means how long do they take to dry? The longer you leave them in the tighter the curls and the longer they’ll last.
At the bare minimum you want to wait two hours. Four or five hours is better.
But if you can sleep on them overnight please do.
Also some find using wrapping the whole shebang in a scarf cuts down on the potential for being stabbed by straws at night. Always a good thing!
How long do straw curls last?
With the right care two days for sure. Some may be able to get three days out of them although the third day may well be more waves than curls.
How long does it take to do these curls?
For one that depends on how thick your hair is. But don’t be shocked if it might be as much as an hour or longer. Definitely curling straight hair with straws not a quick a approach.
How To Maintain Straw Curls To Make Them Last Longer
While it’s typically true two or three days is about all you can expect from these lush tendrils, too many don’t do the obvious so don’t even get them to last that long.
So real quick here’s three ideas.
First make sure you’re giving your hair time to dry completely. If you can’t wait the four to eight hours required then you’ll need to break out your soft or hard hood dryer to speed things up.
You may find a setting lotion to be a life saver. All the more if you’ve got straight, fine hair that resists curling as it is. Products like this may just be the voodoo that you do to get your hair to hold the curl.
Finally be sure to pineapple your straw curls at night. Then wrap ‘em in a satin scarf. In the morning any that were accidentally crushed can usually be revived with a light spritz of water followed by gentle fluffing.
Anyway … that about covers this budget-friendly hack. No wonder learning it is on so many wish lists. Who wouldn’t love Shirley Temple spiral curls like these?
For more brilliant beauty hacks like this that are hiding in plain sight think maybe you want to follow our Pinterest board? All smart divas are.