How Can I Get My Hair Really Curly by Scrunching It?

Scrunching your hair encourages body and texture without the damage from heat styling.
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Voluminous, lustrous curls and defined body can sometimes feel like a far-distant hair dream, especially if you are trying to avoid heat styling your hair every single day. Scrunching your locks is a technique that uses very little direct heat to create volume and encourages the natural curly potential of your tresses without damaging the hair shafts. It is essential to use the right products for the scrunching process so that your curls hold for the whole day. This technique works best on hair that already has a naturally wavy or curly texture.

Wash your hair using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. These formulas encourage the hair to lift and take shape during the styling process.

Towel-dry your hair until it is just damp. Apply a healthy palmful of curl-enhancing mousse to your entire head of hair from root to tip. Apply as evenly as possible so that the body in your curls will be even once your hair is styled. Use more product if you have very long locks to ensure all strands are covered.

Attach a diffuser to your blow dryer. This tool will allow warm air to hit your hair shafts without blasting directly onto the strands, which can cause them to flatten.

Turn the blow dryer to a warm heat setting and begin to blow dry your damp locks. As you blow dry the hair, use your fingers to scrunch up the hair. Gather the ends of a section of hair in your palm. Grasp these ends gently and push up towards your scalp. Hold for a couple of seconds and release. Keep the diffuser trained on the area you are scrunching.

Keep scrunching your hair with your fingertips. Always keep the diffuser pointed at the area you are scrunching until your entire head of hair is only slightly damp. Put the blow dryer to the side. Continue to scrunch any loose areas using gentle motions to coax your hair into the shape you want so that you don't break down the structure of the hair as it dries.

Separate out 1-inch sections and twist these sections around your index finger to create a tight ringlet. Spritz the section with a tiny bit of hairspray while it is still on your finger and release. Repeat this process to create defined curls throughout your head of hair. You can skip this step if you prefer to have looser waves.

Spritz a light amount of hairspray onto your tresses to help hold the shape in place for the day. Keep the application very light.

  • Choose a deep moisturizing conditioner if you have naturally wavy or curly hair to infuse hydration and control frizz. The more moisturized your curls, the healthier your hair will look.
  • If you have very curly hair naturally you can skip the blow dryer and simply scrunch your damp hair to encourage the curls to take shape as your locks air dry.

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.