How to Create a Long Hairstyle with Loose Curls

Nicole Kidman rocks soft, luscious red-carpet curls.
Nicole Kidman rocks soft, luscious red-carpet curls. (Image: Larry Busacca/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Long, loose beach-inspired curls that look like they came right off the coast of California have graced the heads of Hollywood stars for decades. They remain a classic style that you can wear in the office or on a hot date. Pair long, loose curls with a bright red lip for an evening look or apply a bronzed eyelid and nude lips for a fresh daytime do.

On One Condition

Wash and condition your hair with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. This gives you instant volume when you get down to the actual curling and styling process. Alternatively, style your day-old hair for longer-lasting curls; natural scalp oils help tresses retain their shape. Refrain from using a deep-conditioning treatment right before you curl your hair, because many deep conditioners make hair heavier and less likely to retain structure.

Spritz and Dry

Spritz your damp hair with a heat-protectant spray -- always. Loose curls mean heat styling. Unprotected strands become dry and produce split ends; damaged curls never look elegant. Many heat protectors also include shine-enhancing oils that make those long, loose curls look extra luscious. Apply a cool blow-dryer to your tresses using a round brush underneath to smooth out the strands and remove any excess moisture very gently. Make sure your hair is completely dry before heat styling with a curling iron.

Roller Coaster Curls

Heat up a 1-inch curling iron or curling wand to a medium-high setting. If you are using a curling iron, keep the clip of the iron closed before you curl to get smoother, looser curls. Wrap a 1-inch section of hair onto the barrel. Work from the roots to the tips, wrapping away from your face. Hold onto the tips of the hair with your working hand and hold in place for about 10 seconds, then gently release. Repeat this process working in small sections.

Pin-Up Queen

To add extra volume, wrap your hair around 2-inch structured rollers immediately after you have curled each section with a curling iron. Bobby pin these rollers into place on your head and allow the hair to set until they are cool (about 10 minutes). Unfurl all of the rollers and gently run your fingers through your hair to loosen the curls. Spritz with a medium-hold, flexible hairspray so keep the waves going all day long.

Hold On Tight

Once you have curled your tresses, the styling options are endless. Pull the curls back into a soft ponytail at the nape of your neck for a professional look. Leave the tresses flowing over your shoulders and add a sparkly clip over one ear for a retro-chic look. You can also wear your hair half-up for a stunning spin on an old classic. For faux length, put the top half of your hair in a high ponytail and put the bottom half in a low ponytail. The bottom ponytail will create the illusion of extra curly length without adding a hair extension.

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