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.

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  1. 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.

    Posted 3.16.11 Reply
  2. 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 🙂

    Posted 3.16.11 Reply
  3. PetiteXXS wrote:

    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?

    Posted 3.16.11 Reply
  4. Danielle C wrote:

    your smile is hilarious in that old photo lol

    Posted 3.16.11 Reply
  5. 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.

    Posted 3.16.11 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    @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.

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  8. 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?

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  9. Callandra wrote:

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

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  10. This was super helpful Jean =) I think I can actually do it because it is simple.

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  11. Banhannas wrote:

    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.

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  12. love love love your voice.

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  13. Ping wrote:

    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.

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  14. Julie wrote:

    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!

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  15. Trini wrote:

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

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  16. 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 😛

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  17. Jane wrote:

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

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  18. 3niR wrote:


    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  19. mary wrote:

    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?

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  20. Kiki wrote:

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

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  21. 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?


    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  22. shlee wrote:

    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.


    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote:

    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

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  24. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  25. AnnieKuro wrote:

    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?

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  26. Nikki wrote:

    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 🙂

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  27. Monkey wrote:

    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.

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  28. Leena wrote:

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

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  29. Michelle wrote:

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

    I am jealous of your five minute hair routine!

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  30. annie wrote:

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

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  31. Anonymous wrote:

    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.

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  32. Christina wrote:

    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. ^^;;

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  33. Nelah wrote:

    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!

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  34. Cinthia wrote:

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

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  35. 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 🙂

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  36. PD wrote:

    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 🙂

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  37. MizzJ wrote:

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

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  38. grace wrote:

    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!

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  39. m wrote:

    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!

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  40. OV wrote:

    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?

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  41. Deepali512 wrote:

    Useful blog! Thanks.

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  42. R.L. wrote:

    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!

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  43. Claud wrote:

    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?

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  44. 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

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  45. 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. : )

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  46. Cindy wrote:

    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!

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  47. Wonderful and professional tutorial, thank you! This really is quick and easy. Your hair is so shiny and gorgeous, definitely not "frightening", lol.

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  48. Stephanie wrote:

    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.

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  49. April wrote:

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

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply
  50. ducaboose wrote:

    You are so adorable 🙂

    Posted 3.14.11 Reply

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