You might be familiar with this scenario – you’ve freshly washed your hair, blowdried it and curled it using a heated styling tool, or carefully placed rollers in each and every section, shaken out your curls, perfected the last few stands, added hairspray to hold, gone out…and an hour later your hair is flat and lifeless. This is a common issue when it comes to curling hair that isn’t naturally curly, and many of us find an hour of hair prep is wasted moments after stepping out the door.

It is possible to make your curls last though, by just taking a few careful steps you can make your curls last all day or all night long. Here’s how…

Prep is key

The first place where you might be going wrong when it comes to getting your curls to hold is not preparing the hair properly. We often think hairspray after curling will do the job, but the reality is your hair probably needs all the help it can get to hold your curls. While hair is damp, apply a volumising and holding mousse to add texture to the hair and give it better staying power.

Let the curls cool

Rollers are great for adding curls as they allow the hair to cool before you let the curl down. If you are using rollers give yourself lots of time to ensure the hair is properly cooled before you take them out. If you are using a curling iron or similar try pinning your curls to your head as you let them out of your iron, and allow them to cool down in a curled position before you take them down.

Choose the right barrel size

The most popular curls are big and bouncy, but actually big barrels often cause the curl to drop out faster. If you’re using a curling iron choose a smaller barrel. Initially your curls might look a bit cork-screw, but let them sit for a moment and shake them out to create a more natural and bigger curl.

Finish off

While you might have followed all the necessary steps to get your curls to stay, they still might need an extra helping hand in the form of a spritz of hairspray. Choose a spray that is light, but also offers ultimate staying power. Tip your head upside down to make sure that you get all of the stands and to boost volume and spray generously.

Healthy hair matters

One reason why your hair might not hold a curl is because it is too dry. To create beautiful bouncing curls the hair needs to be in good condition. If you find even with the steps above your hair still isn’t holding a curl properly, it might be time for a trim. The quality of your hair is key to long lasting curls, so you might have to sacrifice an inch or two in order to get the curls you want.