tight curls

The Best Way to Style Tight Curls

The curliest of q’s likely started with the legendary Shirley Temple. Though it is rumored she didn’t have a single curl that came naturally, we’ve been chasing the look since it first came on the scene in the 1930s. The look is iconic to say the least, and hair experts have nailed down how to get the tight curls both at home and in the salon. If you are blessed with natural ringlets, there are also tons of tricks to help you get the most out of your miraculous mane. Let’s lock down your curl type and how to achieve a look that will have you turning heads with hypnotizing curls.

How To Achieve Tight Curls No Matter Your Hair Type

The first step in achieving your dream hair is working with what you already have. You may have pin-straight locks, a wavy mane, or curly hair that could use some taming. Most experts define curl varieties as nine different types. The range goes from 2a to 4c, starting with loose waves and ending in naturally Shirley-esque coils. Even if your hair doesn’t fall into the curly category, straight and sleek locks can still be transformed with a little love.

One option for curly, voluminous locks is clipping in extensions and turning up the heat. Adding the extra body to your hair will give you the option of trying out different styles without hurting your natural locks, especially for those with thin, dry hair. Using a tiny, ¼ inch curling iron will allow you to achieve the coils you are craving. The process can be a bit time-consuming, but the end result is stunning. 

Separate your hair into sections, starting on the bottom row of hair and letting down more locks as you go. Keep the look fresh throughout the day by adding a heat-protective spray first and a hairspray post-curl. 


There are tons of alternative techniques that have bounced their way onto the beauty scene; heat-free options let you avoid damage and still result in super ringlets. We can thank TikTok and quarantine for giving us the guts to try out some DIY hacks that would have seemed crazy without too much time on our hands. 

Some beauty gurus tried out the pantyhose heat-free trend and were stunned with the results. It seemed the hack worked on all kinds of hair, even the straightest of strands, and it is relatively hassle-free. The steps include braiding damp hair using the stockings as the third lock of hair. Stylists recommend putting in a texturizing spray in your hair before beginning the braids, and then sleeping with the stockings in overnight. The final looks ranged from beach waves to Temple-tight curls, all with zero damage. 


Another way to get Shirley Temple curls is with the pinning method or perm rods. The pinning method is how Temple’s mom got her famously tight ringlets using 56 individual bobby pinned twists on pin-straight hair. It is suggested that you straighten your hair first so you’re starting fresh. After that, curl your hair with a traditional curling iron starting close to the root until you reach the bottom. Once the lock cools down, twist the curl around your finger and pin it in with a bobby pin. The more individual, small strands you do, the tighter and more Temple-like your twists will be. 

If you want to forgo the curling iron, pick up some perm rods and try manipulating your mane that way. This DIY look requires the application of a hair cream to damp, then following the same technique as the pinning method. Twist your hair into curls around the rod, starting at the ends and working up to the roots. The smaller the sections, the tighter the curls. Close the rods when you get to the top of your crown and use a blow dryer until your hair is dry. Release the rods and apply a staying spray to maintain the look all day long.


Stepping Up Your Natural Curls

If you already have natural curls, we can help you get the most out of them. Having curly hair is a blessing and a curse, and we understand it can become out of control if not cared for properly. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can incorporate into your routine to achieve the ringlets you’re looking for. Incorporating these easy techniques will give you the look everyone else is pining after.

A lot of curly-haired girls swear by pre-shampooing their hair. Pre-shampoo products essentially detangle and smooth out your hair before adding any friction that can come with cleaning curly hair. Once it is time to shampoo and condition, make sure you’re using a product that is tailored to curly locks. You want to achieve a deep moisture that will keep your curls shiny and hydrated. 

Many experts recommend skipping shampoo a few times a week to eliminate added stress on already-sensitive curly hair. Be conscious when brushing your hair post-shower and take care of your tresses. Start combing at the bottom of your strands to get out any knots, then slowly work up your hair. It’s a good idea to use heat as little as possible in order to not change the natural pattern of your curls and avoid breakage. When you hit the sheets at night, think about using a silk pillow to protect your curls. Professionals say using a deep conditioning mask and satin pillow or headscarf will keep your curls from breaking and tangling.

Haircuts For Humans Is Here for Your Hair

Haircuts for Humans strives to be a hub of insider information for all of your hair questions. We want to deliver the details you need to get your look right where you want it. Whether you want to learn more about your natural hair type or are thinking about changing things up entirely, our articles can help. 

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