How to Curl Hair Extensions

Ok, you have gorgeous hair extensions, they are straight, shiny, and beautiful! Now you want to take your new, long, luscious locks to the next level and curl up a storm! But where do you start, what do you need? 

My name is Bianca, and I’ve been wearing extensions in a variety of methods for about 15 years. I have 3 favorite methods of curling, which I’ll walk you through today.

This article will give you the information to curl your hair, in numerous styles from 50’s glam curls to beachy textured hair.

Sound good? Keep reading to perfect your curl-tastic hairdo!

2 Best Methods to Curl Hair Extensions (with Detailed Steps)

Here are the detailed steps of my most recommended methods to curl hair extensions.

Method 1: Using Hair Irons or Wand

Get these tools prepared before your hair curling extravaganza:

Tools Needed

  • A Tangle Teezer brush
  • Paddle brush
  • A long-tailed comb
  • Sectioning clips
  • Hairbands
  • Either hair straighteners or a curling wand
  • Extensions installed (either temporary or semi-permanent)
  • 2 mirrors (optional)

Detailed Steps

Follow the steps below, and you will curl your extensions beautifully:

Step 1: The first thing you will need to do is wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo. This gets rid of all the build-up and residues and leaves your hair very clean.

Put on a nourishing conditioner or hair mask. I just put conditioner from mid-lengths to ends and rinse until the water runs clear.

Step 2: Gently towel dries your hair and then put on a leave-in conditioner. Rough blowdry your hair with your fingers until about 80% dry and then add in a curl activator that is heat activated. Blowdry your hair straight, and until completely dry using a brush.

Step 3: Give your hair a good brush with the paddle brush to make sure it’s smooth and tangle-free. Section your hair with the top part of your hair in a high bun and secured it out the way with a hairband.

Section the sides out of the way with either hairbands or sectioning clips.

Section most of the hair at the back of your head out of the way with a sectioning clip. Leaving about an inch at the nape of the neck.

Step 4: Starting at the nape of your neck, split your hair into two pieces, and bring one over each shoulder, curl the hair away from your face with straighteners or with a curling iron.

Top Tip: Catch your hair in the curl or twist your hair into a curl and allow to rest like that for 10 seconds before you throw it over your shoulder. So it’s a Curl, Catch (curling iron) / Twist (straighteners), and Toss routine.

Step 7: Methodically repeat the process and work your way up the back of your head and through to both sides. Always curl away from your face.

Step 8: Once your whole head is curled, remember to use either a texturizing spray or hair spray on mids to ends. Leave to set for about 10 minutes depending on the type of curl you are going for (see FAQs for guides on resting time) and gently, with your fingers or Tangle Teezer, brush out the ends into glam waves.

Top Tip: Use a little serum or hair wax on the roots and ends to help with frizz and flyaways.

Method 2: UsingRollers

Get these tools prepared before your hair roller derby:

Tools Needed

  • A Tangle Teezer brush
  • Paddle brush
  • Hot rollers
  • Extensions installed (either temporary or semi-permanent)

Detailed Steps

Follow the steps below, and you will curl your extensions beautifully:

Step 1: The first thing you will need to do is wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo. This gets rid of all the build-up and residues and leaves your hair very clean.

Put on a nourishing conditioner or hair mask. I just put conditioner from mid-lengths to ends and rinse until the water runs clear.

Step 2: Plug in your hot rollers to warm up for about 20 minutes.

Step 3: Gently towel dries your hair and then put on a leave-in conditioner. Rough blowdry your hair with your fingers until about 80% dry and then add in a curl activator that is heat activated. Blowdry your hair straight, and until completely dry using a brush.

Step 4: Give your hair a good brush with the paddle brush to make sure it’s smooth and tangle-free. Take a finger-width section at the crown of your head and brush it out until smooth, take a hot roller and roll from the ends to the scalp, and clip to the head.

Step 5: Repeat until your whole head is in rollers. Leave rollers in for about 30 – 45 minutes. I usually take this time to do my makeup and get dressed.

Step 6: Gently remove rollers. If you want looser waves, play with the hair more. If you want tighter and more defined curls then don’t touch your hair too much after you have removed the rollers. You can see the difference here.

FAQs

Check out the below sections for curling your extensions beautifully, first time, and every time.

What are Some Top Tips for Making Different Types of Curls?

  • Want beachy waves? Grab different-sized sections of hair and curl in different directions with different-sized rollers or hair wands. Leave curls to set for about 15 – 25 minutes before brushing or shaking out. Finish with a salt spray for that course texture
  • Want big, glamorous curls? Curl large sections of hair around a bigger curling wand or a “half turn” with your straighteners, all in the same direction (each side of your head always goes away from your face). Leave curls to set for about 20 – 30 minutes before brushing or shaking out.
  • Want loose waves? Follow the tips for glamorous curls, but leave hair to set for about 5 -15 minutes before brushing or shaking out.
  • Want tight spiral curls? Curl small sections of hair around a smaller curling iron, small rollers, or a “full turn” with your straighteners, all in the same direction (each side of your head always goes away from your face). Leave curls to set for about 30 – 40 minutes before brushing or shaking out.

Why Won’t my Extensions Curl?

Some types of hair, especially from Chinese donors, are very healthy and very straight naturally. So they will need a little more time and a lot of help to get a curl. 

I suggest using a curl activator that is activated by heat after you wash your hair, and then letting the curl set for double the amount of time you would your normal hair.

And just remember, in cases like these; XX-Strong hairspray, not diamonds, are a girl’s best friend!

Do I Have to Curl my Hair Every Day?

No! I wear tape-in extensions and wash my hair once a week (thank you dry shampoo). I curl my hair once a week and then add a touch of serum (conditioning spray is fine if you prefer that), and curl my hair into a tight bun at the nape of my neck when I go to sleep. 

I wake up every morning, take out my spiral band and have beautiful, gorgeous waves falling down my back instantly. It’s exactly the same method for pretty much any type of semi-permanent hair extension method.

Wrapping Up

Do you have a preference between hair irons, hair wands or heated rollers?

I personally love all three, depending on the style I’m going for and the amount of time I have to get ready. There is a special place in my heart for heated rollers, though. It reminds me of old Hollywood glamour, fancy nightgowns and kitten heels slippers.

Let us know in the comments below, we love hearing from you!

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