7 Style Mistakes That Keep Hair From Holding Curls

As a girl who was born with a thick head of curls, I've spent many years trying to smooth and tame my locks. To help with those hair woes, I've done plenty of research on ways to make hair hold curls better, which often can be done simply by avoiding certain styling mistakes. When you have the best curly hair products on hand to replace the ones causing you hair grief, your curly hair routine could see significant improvement.

Even if you have super-thin hair that fights you back on the reg, knowing how to make thin hair hold curls comes down to a few simple hacks. For starters, when choosing a shampoo and conditioner for your fine hair, you'll want to snag a lightweight conditioner and a shampoo that plumps up your hair before you can even reach for the blow dryer. When it comes to your hot tools, you may have been using the wrong iron, and choosing the right barrel size for your hair thickness could make holding curls for the whole day that much easier. (Plus, if you've never thought to stash a mini curling iron in your desk drawer, it will be a lifesaver come your next hair emergency.)

Read on, put your old styling mistakes behind you, and get ready to have curls that take you from mid-day brunch to late night cocktails.

1. Your Conditioner Weighs Down Hair, So Switch To Lightweight Formula

Redken Body Full Light Conditioner, for Fine/ Flat Hair, $15, Amazon

There can definitely be too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to heavily conditioning your hair. This ultra-light conditioner uses a unique Interbond conditioning system to detangle your hair and plump it up with a lot of body. The system contains wheat extract, cotton, and soy protein — all known to have amazing volumizing effects. If you're using a large handful of one that doesn't cater to your fine hair, you're not setting yourself up to have lasting curls after your hair dries.

...And Pair With A Body-Building Shampoo Full Of Biotin & Panthenol

Jason Thin-To-Thick Extra Volume Shampoo , $8, Amazon

A volumizing shampoo that contains biotin and panthenol (which boost hair strength and body), will pair perfectly with a thickening conditioner to make sure your hair is catered to in every way before you step out of the shower. This shampoo promises to eliminate product build-up with botanical surfactants that purify and cleanse the scalp, resulting in shinier hair that feels thicker and bouncier. One user gave this formula top ratings for taking her "straight, flat lifeless hair" to "cleaner, less weighed down, and thicker hair."

2. You're Not Prepping Hair — Apply Curl-Nourishing Castor Oil Before Heat

Sebastian Thickefy Foam , $14, Amazon

Any type of hair can easily loose its shape and fall flat after you've spent a grueling amount of time working a curling iron through it. To avoid seeing your hard work go to waste, prep your hair with a volumizing, thickening formula that has a convenient liquid-to-foam formula. You'll notice your hair have a surge of volume even before you apply heat, and your curls will hold easier when combined with the hydrating castor oil that's in this cruelty-free mousse. The best part about this lightweight foam is it won't weight down your hair, as many other mousse products tend to do.

3. You're Using The Wrong Barrel Size, So Upgrade Your Tool To Fit Curls

If you have a curling iron that was passed down from your mom, and you never put much thought into the size of your barrel when it comes to the type of curls that you want — keep reading. Your dream head of curls is one upgraded wand away.

For Large & Loose Waves, Use Tourmaline Ceramic To Curl

Conair YOU Big Waves Ceramic Wand, $35, Amazon

This clamp-free wand tool is perfect for creating large, loose waves when you're in a pinch for time (its barrel heats up in only 30 seconds!). To keep your hair strong and damage-free, it is made with tourmaline ceramic that keeps hair shiny, volumized, and healthy. Pro Tip: Simply wrap small sections around the barrel using the heat glove that's included with the iron (that's right, no more pesky curling iron burns!) One user praises this wand for being the only tool that will "curl her stubborn hair."

For Small, Tight Curls — Twist Hair With Multi-Zone Heat Technology

Kadori Small Size Professional Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand, $69, Amazon

If you want to have small, tight curls, but you're not achieving them with your regular tool, you'll want to switch to this traditional iron with a smaller barrel size. With whatever temperature you choose to use on your hair, the multi-zone ceramic-ionic technology in this iron will make sure that heat is distributed evenly throughout your hair, giving you healthy, lasting curls that stay locked-in. Plus, you'll never have to stress over whether or not you shut off the iron when you finally reach the office — the 60-minute automatic shut-off feature has you covered. One user says this wand is "worth every cent" because her "curl stays after many hours" when she uses it.

4. You're Not Letting Curls Cool, So Pin Them Up Using Strong-Grip Styling Clips

Hair Tamer Red Croc Hair Styling Clips, $6, Amazon

If you curl your hair and immediately let the strands fall to your shoulders, you're not letting them reach their full curl potential. These extra-grip styling clips keep warm curls in place as they cool, and when you release them, you'll see much more structured twists that can hold their shape longer. The double-hinged design of these clips make them ideal for any thickness or texture of hair, and users praise them for never damaging or ripping out hair as they keep strands in place.

5. You're Finishing With Hair Spray. Instead, Lock In Style With Texturizing Spray

Fekkai Coiff Bouffant Lifting and Texturizing Spray Gel, $25, Amazon

If your go-to finishing step has always been to mist some hair spray on your strands, know that a texturizing spray will give you much better results. This lightweight texturizer will give you a non-sticky hold that creates volume while it hydrates, which eliminates frizz from forming on your perfectly shaped curls. One user raves about this spray, saying it's the "best volume builder bar none" after she's "tried them all!"

6. You're Not Fighting Frizz & Fly-aways, So Mist Shine-Enhancing Spray On Curls

Citre Shine Mist, Anti-Frizz Spray Laminator, $6, Amazon

If you've ever left the house with soft and shiny curls, only to look in the mirror mid-day and see the elements waging war on your hair, you'll want to snag this mist asap. By first spraying this fruity smelling shine mist after you're done styling, you'll be able to prevent frizz and fly-aways from popping up later. What's this spray's secret? The citrus extracts, vitamins, antioxidants and a UV protectant all work to eliminate damage from styling, protect hair during the day, and keep frizz and fly-aways out of the picture.

7. You're Not Prepped For All-Day Wear — Keep A Mini Iron On Hand For Sharpening Up Style

Travel Smart by Conair MiniPro 1-in. Ceramic Curling Iron, $15, Amazon

This compact mini curling iron is perfect to stash in your purse, suitcase, or desk drawer to do a quick emergency touch-up. It has a ceramic 1-inch barrel and a 30-second instant heat-up feature, which make it easy to run into the bathroom to give your curls a little extra oomph in no time. Bonus: This iron has a travel case included for convenient storing.

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Images: Pixabay (1); Amazon (9)