Hair Curling Techniques for Stubborn Hair

While I love my natural hairstyle, I've always wanted to be able to curl my hair for variety.  But curling irons are troublesome, time-consuming, fire-hazards, and messy (if you're using gel), and the one perm I tried did more damage than anything else.  Right now, I'm trying to find the best curling technique--preferably no-heat--which takes a minimal amount of time, trouble, and supplies.  Below are my reviews of hair-curling tutorials, with more to be added as time goes on:

Bandana Waves - Rapunzel's Resource

Difficulty:  Piece of cake.

Time Length:  5 to 10 minutes. 

Supplies:  One ponytail holder and 3+ bandanas OR pieces of fabric work nicely.

Pros:  This braiding technique is wonderfully quick and simple.  I washed my hair, braided it, and let the bandana braids sit overnight.  I was super happy the next morning to see real, defined curls in my hair.  Additionally, they lasted for 2/3 of the day, without gel.  Pretty awesome for hair that refused to stay curled.

Cons:  The braids can be rather uncomfortable for people who sleep on their side.  Also, if your braids weren't even, it shows, and if you try combing them out it may give you a bad hair day.  Thirdly (and the biggest problem for me), the ends of the hair tend to not curl, which looks inconsistent with the rest of the hairstyle.

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Overnight Rolled Bun - Lilith Moon

Difficulty:  Simple concept, fairly simple to do, even on your first try.

Time Length:  I have only done this once so far, and it probably took about 20 minutes.  EDIT:  I have since tried this again, and it now only takes 10-15 minutes.

Supplies:  One ponytail holder and a supply of bobby pins.  At the end, I also added a scrunchie to make the updo feel more secure.  EDIT:  I think the scrunchie does more harm than good, as far as keeping the updo secure.

Pros:  The results were lovely, despite my initial doubts.  This simulates curling-iron loose-waves hair, without the curling iron--overall, a more casual, elegant-everyday look than the bandana waves.  The ends of the hair were beautiful, too.  More comfortable to wear than bandana waves.

Cons:  After a couple of hours, my hair lost its curl.  But I liked the results so much, I will definitely be trying again, using gel.

JULY 2012 UPDATE:  This is my favorite hair-curling method so far.  Hairspray before removing the pins makes it last somewhat longer, and I've received compliments on how nice my hair looks this way!

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Beach Waves - Lilith Moon

Difficulty:  Very easy!  I was surprised.

Time Length:  5 to 10 minutes.

Supplies:  One ponytail holder and a few bobby pins.

Pros:  I tried this tutorial just once and did not try very hard to make it neat and tidy (it wasn't).  However, the results were amazing.  My hair was almost dry, and so my twisted crown braid was not very perfect-looking, but the next day my hair had very nice waves, more Eowyn-style--which I rather prefer!  A great everyday look.  Not only that, but it lasted practically the whole day. Also, this updo was pretty secure with just a few bobby pins, and super comfortable to wear.

Cons:  Nothing, really.