I'm back to let y'all know about another one of my favourite hair tools - the "hair curling revolution" known as Curlformers. I had never used anything like Curlformers in my life, but once I got the hang of them, I never wanted them to go away! Let me start by showing you an "after" pic, and then I'll explain more about how I love these funny little things so...
Do you see those lovely ringlets? Let me tell you. Whenever I did a Curlformers set, I was NEVER disappointed (welllll, that's a lie - but I'll get to that later). First, let me answer the important questions:
What are Curlformers?
Curlformers are unique hair curling tools that look like mesh spirals:
Using a colour-coded system, Curlformers generally come in combos of short/long and narrow/wide, so you are able to get tighter or looser curls, keeping the length of your hair in mind. Salon kit packs (24-46 Curlformers) also come with a funky looking hook, which you use to pull your hair through the Curlformer.
How do you use Curlformers?
I won't lie - the first time or two that I used the Curlformers, I nearly threw them away in a fit of tears. Me being a generally clumsy and awkward person, I just couldn't get the hang of the Curlforming process. But I finally did, and if I can get it, you can get it. Trust me.
You use Curlformers after washing, conditioning, THOROUGHLY detangling your hair, and applying your choice of setting product. Split your head into four quadrants, and within each quadrant, you will section off small parts to be curled. For me, "small" meant no bigger than the width of my ring finger, but trial and error will always help you.
The key to Curlformers is that your hair is curled inside the tool, not on top of it like traditional rollers. Here's the quick process:
Sound complicated? It might be at first. Check this great video by Mae of Natural Chica to see it in detail (go right to 2:55 for the hooking process). Trust me - you will get the hang of it!
Once you have your whole head set, you might look something like this:
Now what do you do? You let it dry. COMPLETELY. There's nothing worse than setting your hair and getting impatient. You're left with damp, limp, frizzy, pitiful curls. If you're lucky enough to own a hooded dryer, use it! If not, you can blow dry (not my favourite for the whole head), or you can plan to spend a day at home and let them air dry. For me, I would pick a Saturday when I had nothing to do outside the house, wash and set in the morning, and wear them all day. For good measure I would sleep in the Curlformers, and take them out the next morning. They're not the most comfy things to sleep in, but you can work it. 99% of the time I air dry. I'm completely dry in about 24 hours, but you have to do what works for you. Again, it's all trial and error.
Once you've sufficiently dried your Curlformer set, it's time to take them out and rock your spirals! The take-down is easy:
And that's it! Shake the curls out to cover your parts, and you're good to go!
Lawd PLEASE forgive me for these bathroom photos...lol! These were just for my personal documentation back in 2009. If I had known they'd eventually be on my blog, chiiiiile...
- Ensure that your hair is wet enough to have enough slip to slide through the Curlformer. I would always have to re-wet my hair as I went along, as dry hair will not slide through and set smoothly.
- Try NOT looking in the mirror! Because of my poor coordination, I found it easier to Curlform my hair without looking in the mirror. I have a bad habit of telling my hubby to go left while pointing right when he's driving...so I have some directional issues.
- If you start removing your Curlformers and realize your hair is not dry, dampen it with some water and setting product, and re-curl it. You may have to get the blowdryer out to speed up the process, or spend a bit more time at home. For me, detangling and drying, even more so than any setting product, is the key to smooth, long-lasting curls.
- Don't make your sections too thick - you'll know, because your hair will not slide through the Curlformer. Plus, it'll take forever to dry!
- It takes time at first, but you WILL get it! And it WILL be worth it! My quickest set (not including wash/detangle time) has been around 45 minutes. Two episodes of Martin on DVD and I'm done.
Where can I find Curlformers? And how much are they?
I bought my Curlformers here in Toronto at Sally Beauty Supply for -gulp- $69.99. Yes, I paid that much. But 2 years later, I still have them, they're still intact, and they still work perfectly! You may find a better deal on eBay, but other online vendors I've seen are around the same price as Sally. Overall, I have to say Curlformers were definitely worth the investment for me!
Have you tried Curlformers? If yes, did you love them as much as me? If you're curious, but wary because of price/time/any other concern and want some more info, let me know!