Current Hair Curling Routine: Easy Loose Waves

When it comes to haircare, my goals are: low-maintenance and acceptable-looking. I’ve gotten a few hair tutorial requests lately, which is flattering, but hairstyling is not my forte. Here is a short video of my daily (well, every other day) routine.

And just in case anyone doubted my naturally coarse and thick hair, here it is (right) in its frightening glory:

Steps shown in video: 
1. Add volume to the crown area as hair dries. This step is a must for me (I’ve tried hot rollers & teasing w/no success).
2. Divide hair into 4-6 sections (the larger the sections, the less heat reaches your hair so the more loose the waves will be)
3. Curl the ends outward w/ a 1.5″ to 2″ barrel iron (this one is $25 including ship). Curl counter-clockwise with hair to your left, clockwise for hair to your right. Hold for 10 seconds before releasing.
4. Put hair up in a loose bun and spray w/ hairspray. Let down and fluff.

Products used: whatever is on sale at the drugstore. Currently using Aussie shampoo, conditioner and hairspray. You can make your waves last another day by sleeping with your hair in one or two loose buns, then re-touching the ends with a curler the next morning if needs be.

PS – Gap Give and Get is back, from March 17th to 19th. Here is a 30% off your entire purchase printable coupon, good at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and their outlet stores! The in-store coupon is good for multiple uses, however my online code is just one-time use.


62 thoughts on “Current Hair Curling Routine: Easy Loose Waves

  • ducaboose March 14, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    You are so adorable 🙂

  • April March 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I've always wondered how you styled your hair! Soo pretty!

  • Stephanie March 14, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    LOL at your school pic! You have a sparkle in your eye!

    You look gorgeous in that teal top by the way. It's my favorite color. Great job on the tutorial! I curl my hair very similar to that when I get a chance.

  • Cat in Calico March 14, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Wonderful and professional tutorial, thank you! This really is quick and easy. Your hair is so shiny and gorgeous, definitely not "frightening", lol.

  • Cindy March 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I always just left my hair straight but you're right, it looks really dull and simply waving it a little bit makes a huge difference. Thank you so much for the tutorial, you look amazing!

  • The Little Dust Princess March 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    You're so cute, Jean! What a great, simple tutorial for beginners. I always thought it was natural from your last few posts. 😛 I don't think your method of using the poof to create volume is working…You should try a volumizing hairspray, teasing, or even blowdrying your hair upside down! That last bit I mentioned is probably the quickest & easiest way of adding volume to your hair. : )

  • Really Petite March 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks for the video Jean! That's pretty much what I do to my hair because I look weird with slick straight hair…lol

    Your lucky u have thick hair! I have extra thin/fine hair and have to curl the ends just so it doesn't look like strands of hay:D

  • Claud March 14, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Very nice video. I do style my hair very similarly with a clipless curling iron. My hair is wavy though so I love to flat iron sometimes.

    Sorry Jean this is so unrelated to this post:

    I've been wanting to ask for a while this question but been shy to ask before. I've been curious to know if my fellow petite ladies here wear any shapewear? Some time ago, I had inquired at the Macys lingerie department but have gotten a weird look from the SA…like you don't need to wear something like this??? But still having a slim frame, I feel like for some special occasions I'd love to wear some lingerie underneath to get a seamless/smooth look. But I don't think is any in the market for us? Or I am missing? Where is a good place to buy shapewear for us petites? I'm looking at Jockey website but all shapewear starts at small size. Any one has any experience buying the small size, would this works?

  • R.L. March 14, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Always informative and a pleasure! I can't wait to try this now. I also have thick coarse hair like you and the hardest part is drying it. It takes so long to dry and frizzes if not completely dried. I only recently discovered the "magic" of not washing my hair everyday. I washed daily back in college and my hair was always so frizzy I was "forced" to wear it in a dreadful librarian bun. Lol, if only I was more proactive learning about fashion and beauty back then…

    P.S. The AT ruffle top in teal goes really well with your complexion. I hope the AT outlet has another sale soon!

  • Deepali512 March 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Useful blog! Thanks.

  • OV March 14, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Yay! thanks for the hair tutorial. I was just gonna ask you yesterday when I read your Thursday Fashion night post, how you did your hair, because it's been looking gorgeous lately with the loose curls. Your hair also has a nice shine to it. Could you also share what shampoo and hairspray or products you use in your hair daily?

  • m March 14, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I'm still in the process of growing out my hair, but when it gets long enough, I'm def going to try your quick technique! Thanks for the video!

  • grace March 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    LOVE this post! I had been wondering how you'd been doing your little curls at the end lately! I've been using a straightener to curl lately and it doesn't work as well. Sounds like I need to pick up a curling iron. This helps a lot!

    That teal color is gorgeous. Made me wish I got the AT ruffle in seahorse as well!

  • MizzJ March 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Great tutorial! I really like the loose waves you achieve here and am amazed that it took so little time!

  • PD March 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you for the tutorial! My hair is quite similar to yours and my ends are pretty sad-looking. I can't wait to try this out, and good to know that it's supposed to be quick as well 🙂

  • SewPetiteGal March 14, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    I have the same coarse, thick hair! I typically tame it with a flat iron but I really need to incorporate the curling iron more often. Can't wait to show your new vid to my toddler – he'll be so excited 🙂

  • Cinthia March 14, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Wow, this was so helpful! Thank you, you are adorable!

  • Nelah March 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Your hair is absolutely healthy and beautiful. I wish I didn't get a perm because it turns to be a diaster lol. Enjoy this simple and lovely hair tutorials, straight hair is nice but you look fantastic with curls too!

  • Christina March 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    What a nice, quick tutorial, Jean! I also have trouble adding volume on top, so I'll try your technique next time. 🙂

    I want to get a curling iron, but they're generally bulky (I want the Hot Tools 1.5" gold). I've been curling my hair with my GHD flat-iron, but the waves are not as natural right after I finish curling. I've noticed that almost all tutorials I've seen with a flat-iron for curling don't look as natural as a curling iron. ^^;;

  • Anonymous March 14, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks for this tutorial! I'll be trying it when my hair gets a few inches longer. I've always wondered how you did your hair-you look so nice.

  • annie March 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial. It makes me want to buy a curling iron to do my hair like yours.

  • Michelle March 15, 2011 at 12:35 am

    I always love watching your videos! As previously stated, you have such a soothing voice! 🙂

    I am jealous of your five minute hair routine!

  • Leena March 15, 2011 at 12:47 am

    haha, you're too funny! i think we all had that frizzy, mushroom hair when we were younger.

  • Monkey March 15, 2011 at 12:58 am

    wow, i had no idea it could be this straightforward! thanks so much for the tutorial, i've been wanting to do more with my hair lately, but never wanted to take a lot of extra time. this is just what i needed.

  • Nikki March 15, 2011 at 1:49 am

    i was just wondering how you style your hair! i've been curling it but it's just too time consuming… im definitely going to try those loose curls tomorrow 🙂

  • AnnieKuro March 15, 2011 at 2:15 am

    I am totally going to try this and see if my hair looks as nice as yours. Just curious, what is step 4 supposed to accomplish? wouldn't it put a kink in the hair?

  • Anonymous March 15, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Hi Jean! Love your blog! I was wondering how long is your pearl necklace? It looks lovely on you.

  • Anonymous March 15, 2011 at 2:32 am

    You have amazing hair. I love the loose curls. Too add volume, instead of doing that, i blow dry it normally, and then when it's about 50% dry, i use my paddle brush to lift my hair up at the roots and blowdry downward on it. This gives the volume of blowdrying upside down without the added frizz.

    – Lauren

  • shlee March 15, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Hi Jean,

    You have gorgeous hair! I was wondering, how often do you cut your hair? What type of shampoo/conditioner do you use? Do you deep condition? Any tips for hair maintenance? Thanks in advance! I love how informative your videos are, they're always a pleasure to watch.


  • herwaisechoice March 15, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Great, easy tutorial Jean! It looks put together but subtle and like you just woke up like that! Have you thought about cutting your hair short for more professionalism, since you said that you feel less professional with long hair?


  • Kiki March 15, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Great tutorial! I do a similar routine, but I'll have to try the bun step! xoxo kiki

  • mary March 15, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Best tutorial on curling with 2 inch iron I've watched. Thank you for making this video! It looked so easy.

    What top were you wearing on this video?

  • 3niR March 15, 2011 at 9:31 am


  • Jane March 15, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Awesome post (as always!). Thanks and can't wait to try! Would love to see a makeup tutorial, you always look gorgeous!

  • curls-and-pearls March 15, 2011 at 11:07 am

    What time do you publish your posts? I always seem too late LOL! I will have to watch your video from home tonight. Love seeing that school picture of you 😛

  • Trini March 15, 2011 at 11:51 am

    That AT teal color look amazing on you. Which color of AT ruffle top you end up to keep?

  • Julie March 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I usually give my hair a bit of curl with a rounded brush while I'm blow drying it, but I've been meaning to get a wide barrel curling iron for a while now to really give myself some waves. Great tutorial!

  • Ping March 15, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    jean– your hair is so healthy! it looks great with the loose curls. i miss my black healthy hair. i got back and forth between dying and not dying it. i have so much layers in the my hair that it doesn't look pretty like your hair does when i do that.

  • Petiteélégant March 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    love love love your voice.

  • Banhannas March 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    It looks so natural! All this time I thought you had gorgeous waves on your own. A very simple tutorial but makes a huge difference.

  • Beautygirl24 March 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    This was super helpful Jean =) I think I can actually do it because it is simple.

  • Callandra March 15, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Wow your routine was so fast!…..I'll have to re-visit when my hair gets longer 😉

  • PetiteAsianGirl March 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks so much everyone for your kind words!

    @The Little Dust Princess Unfortunately teasing does not work for me…it breaks my hair and takes a long time and a lotta hairspray!

    @Claud I dont know, all the slip's I purchase in XS or S are still huge! Maybe post the question in Alterations Needed forum?

    @OV Hello there, I just use drugstore shampoo and conditioner! I think right now I'm using Aussie shampoo and hairspray, and I only wash my hair once every two days.

    @SewPetiteGal LOL! Your baby sounds darling.

    @AnnieKuro If you put it up really loosely it shoudln't add any kinks. I started doing the bun step so that I could generously use hairspray without getting it all over the place. I think that if the hair remains curled in the bun while the hairspray is settling and drying, it retails the shape better.

    @Anonymous Hi there, the one I'm wearing here is about 30 inches in length. It's shown doubled up : )

    @Anonymous Thanks for sharing your tip! I don't own a paddle brush yet but will keep that in mind.

    @shlee Hi Lee, I'm really bad about getting trims and haircuts…I go once every 3 months, maybe even more? As for maintenance routine..I don't have many tips except to not wash your hair too frequently and let it airdry sometimes versus always blow drying. I don't typically deep condition but when I get free sample packets of deep conditioner, I will use it. It's probably a good idea to do that a little more often : )

    @herwaisechoice I did cut it earlier last year for that very reason, and hated it! Maybe a few years down the road…but I can't give up long hair yet : )

    @mary Hi Mary, that is the chiffon ruffle top from the Ann Taylor outlet. I posted the information a few posts back if you're interested!

    @Trini THank you! I ended up keeping soft pewter, teal, navy blue, and mudbath! Did you get any?

  • Anonymous March 15, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    @Claud I recommend trying Intimacy if you have one in your area. They tend to have smaller sizing for undergarment items. Be forewarned though their items can be pricey.

  • Anonymous March 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    They can also order for you with no charge if it's at another store

  • AubreyOhDang! March 16, 2011 at 2:00 am

    When you use the butterfly clip, you can pull off an asian snookie look.

    I didn't realize how thick your hair is until this vid. I have the opposite. Thin thin hair.

    Do you feel sexier w/longer hair? I feel more approachable and personable to others w/short hair, but I like the confidence longer hair gives me b/c I'm notorious for hair flirting. HAHAHAH.

  • Danielle C March 16, 2011 at 7:31 am

    your smile is hilarious in that old photo lol

  • PetiteXXS March 16, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Thank you for sharing this! I'm sure we've all been very curious since your wavy hair started showing up in blog pics a while back 🙂 I might give it another try but have never been very successful at making my hair not look like a mess when I curl it. I worry about damaging the ends too much too especially when curling on a regular basis… do you use any kind of heat protectant?

  • o0SerenityAngel0o March 16, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I have coarse, thick hair as well and it can be such a pain at times. I love this look and I'll definitely be sporting it on Friday 🙂

  • diaryofashopper March 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Your hair is gorgeous! I've always wanted thick hair like yours. My baby fine hair won't hold a curl without a whole bunch of hairspray, and I hate using hairspray. So most of the time my hair is straight and boring.

  • Canadianpetite March 17, 2011 at 1:13 am

    So simple yet so gorgeous. I also have thick coarse hair (my picture is proof) and have to get it thinned out as I don't like the bobblehead look. The one good thing about this type of hair, I cannot damage it with heat or chlorine. I call mine 'horsehair'. Does your curl last the whole day?

  • extraluggage March 17, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Thank-you Jeeeeeeean! My hair's still at armpit length but you've got me excited to try this look out once it grows a few more inches. I love that it's a simple technique yet still looks great!

  • Supasabs March 17, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Speaking of GAP (btw, I love your site! I'm 5'1/2")…have you tried swagbucks yet? By using swagbucks, you can earn points from using their search engine, buying daily discount deals (like Living Social), even shopping through their site…and you can earn like $25+ a month worth of Amazon GCs. I think shopping at GAP will get you about 180pts (450pts will get you an Amazon GC). I didn't try it until I read about it being pretty legit from some mom sites. Check it out:

  • Anonymous March 17, 2011 at 6:24 am

    On the back parts of your hair, you clamped it going inward but curled it outward. Lol!

  • Janine aka J-Ezzy @ *La Dolce Vita* March 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    you are so adorable on video!! there are girls i've loved on their blogs then i get to see them on video and their persona was not was I expected, you however, are just as sweet as I envisioned you!! you inspire me to do my hair more often, i typically leave up in a bun all day or let it air dry and look unprofessional (it's ridiculously long).

    great vid!!


  • Janine aka J-Ezzy @ *La Dolce Vita* March 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    was not what I expected*

  • Anonymous March 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    you're right…hairstyling is not your forte.

  • LittleAsianGirl BigAppetite March 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    hahaha i love your honesty and willingness to share even the bad pics of yourself

  • Anonymous June 30, 2011 at 9:55 am

    wow~~ your skin change a lot.Your skin looks fairer and radiant now. Any product recommended?

  • Anonymous August 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    what is the brand name of the curling iron ur using?

  • Liz August 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I really like your iron! Can you tell me the brand or where you got it? I know you said Target in this video, but I couldn't find it there.

  • Jane December 30, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Thank you for posting this!! Your hair looks amazing. I have the exact same type of hair as you do and also felt that it looks unprofessional, especially to go to work. I had no idea what to do with it until I came across this post. Will try this routine tomorrow morning 🙂

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