How to Create Large Curls in Wavy Hair

Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler knows how to work her wavy volume into a silky flow of curls.
... Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Sometimes managing wavy locks can feel like a full-time job. Wavy hair tends toward the dry side, which makes it prone to those unruly kinks and curls you dread first thing in the morning. Redirecting a bit of its body and shapely tendency is one of the best ways to turn your wavy hair into a beautiful advantage. Hot rollers take the volume of wavy hair and create large, luscious curls in a small amount of time without the excessive, damaging heat of a curling iron.

Wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner in warm water. The moisturizers will encourage healthy, shiny hair.

Towel-dry your hair until it's just damp. Apply a dime-size amount of smoothing heat protectant to your fingertips and work through your hair from roots to tips.

Draw a horizontal part from just behind your right ear around the back of your head to your left ear using the tip of your wide-tooth comb. Clip up the hair above the horizontal part with a couple of alligator clips.

Blow-dry the loose hair below the horizontal part until it's just barely damp. Meanwhile, heat your hot rollers to the desired heat setting.

Separate a 2- to 3-inch section of hair from just behind your right ear. Keep in mind that the larger the section, the larger and looser your curls will be. Wrap the ends of the section around the body of the first roller. Roll the roller under your hair up to your scalp. Wrap the roller clip around your rolled hair and secure in place.

Repeat the rolling process on the rest of your loose hair, working in 2- to 3-inch sections all the way over to your left ear. Alternate between rolling the hair over and the hair under the roller to create a more natural curled texture.

Release the hair above the horizontal part and blow dry until it is just damp.

Separate a 2- to 3-inch section of hair next to your right temple. Wrap the hair around the body of the roller away from your face and clip into place. Roll the rest of the hair on the right side of your head in 2- to 3-inch sections away from your face.

Repeat the rolling process on the left side of your head with the remaining loose hair. Remember to roll the hair away from your face starting from the temple; employ a similar technique as you work your way to the back of your head for a more open look.

Leave the rollers in place for about 15 minutes. You can leave them in place for up to 30 minutes for tighter curls.

Remove the rollers gently, starting from the top of your head and working your way down to the bottom layers of hair.

Tousle your hair with your fingers at the roots to loosen up the curls and give your tresses some natural body.

Spritz the hairstyle with a bit of light-hold hairspray to keep it smooth and in place for the day.

  • Leave shorter pieces of hair and your bangs free or touch them up with a curling iron if needed.
  • Bigger rollers will create more voluminous, loose curls and 1-inch rollers will create slightly tighter, neater curls.

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.