Thoughts By Natalie
beauty style

hair how-to: big, soft waves

Yesterday on The Conversation I shared a photo tutorial of how I achieve big, soft waves, and today I’m sharing it with you here! You can swing by The Conversation to see the original article, or read it in full below!

1. Turn on your curling iron to the heat setting that’s appropriate for the texture of your hair (for fine hair, the heat setting should be lower, and for thicker hair, it should be higher). I use a 1 ½ inch barrel, however the size of the barrel should depend on how long your hair is—if you have shorter hair, you’ll need a smaller one
to achieve a proper curl.

2. Start with air-dried or blow-dried hair that’s parted the way you want it to be when you’re finished. Brush it out so that you don’t have to battle any tangles as you curl around your head.

3. Pull out a section about the size shown above. To make the curl, clamp the section midway down, reaching your opposite hand over to grab the cool, black top of your iron. Curl upward, loosening the clamp a bit, inching the curling iron downward. Then curl upward again so that the entire section is curled around the barrel. Wait a few seconds, then loosen the clamp and release the hair, making a spiral motion as you do so to reinforce the curl.

4. Continue this method around your head. When I reach the back of my head, I like to move to the front of the opposite side, then work back again from there. Be sure to check the back of your head when you finish to make sure you didn’t miss any sections. If you did (or if any curls didn’t come out quite right), go back and re-curl those parts.

5. Once your entire head has been curled, comb through the curls with your fingers, shaking out the tightness of the curls and creating soft volume.

6. Next, tease in some volume at the crown. Grab a 2-inch wide section at the top, near the back of your head. Using one hand to hold it straight up, backcomb this section of hair using a fine-tooth comb (a brush will work for this too).

7. Use the comb to lightly smooth the top of the teased section so it doesn’t look messy or tangled. Spray the final look with a flexible hairspray and you’ve got big, gorgeous waves!

What other kinds of hair tutorials would you be interested to see in the future?

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  • Madison Mayberry
    October 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    You are just too adorable. Great step-by-step!

  • Annie Gruetzmacher
    October 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    So cute! Well done Nat! ;)
    Also, well done to Brian, or whoever helped take those pictures! Good hubs award.

    • Natalie Lynn Borton
      October 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks! Yes, Brian definitely gets the good hubs award—he did a great job as my photographer :)

  • Anndrea
    December 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Where did you get your shirt from? I love it!

  • tiffany roney
    December 3, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    french braid from the part to the ear.

  • Laura
    December 19, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Hi Natalie! I just tried this and it worked amazingly! THANK YOU! I too have wavy hair, but I always thought the best thing (and easiest) would be to straighten it. After I read another one of your posts about how you changed your hair cut and the tools you used, I was inspired to try this myself and just see if it would work on my hair. It did! You are a miracle worker. Thanks again!