Dream Curls: Why You Need Flexi Rods In Your Life

The no-heat, no-damage way to get the hair that everybody wants right now.
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Annie
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The no-heat, no-damage way to get the hair that everybody wants right now.

OK, so maybe the subhead is a bit of a hyperbole. But I promised a big announcement today, and it's coming straight at you in the form of an Official Beauty Editor Decree:

Curls are in.

I LOVE curls and need to stop being okay with having regular sexy hair and instead try to reach my full potential by always having curly sexy hair. I'm seriously considering a perm in the hopes of effortlessly waking up to it each day, but for now this look is quite a process.

I've got two things not in my favor: my length, and the fact that styling--especially curl styling--usually involves heat. My ends have been dead for probably a decade at this point, and while they're hanging on, they can't take much abuse. I don't like to think of them as "damaged," but rather like a really beautiful, really fragile beaded '20s flapper dress. Vintage, ya heard?

The **FLEXI RODS** are the answer for hair like mine.

I used the 3/4'' and 11/16'' rods--two packs of each. 

I used the 3/4'' and 11/16'' rods--two packs of each. 

They're long foam tubes that come in varying thicknesses, containing a wire down the middle. You roll your hair around the shaft starting at the ends toward the roots, and bend the rod in place.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Use a mousse applied to wet hair for weightless, evenly-distributed hold. I'm totally down for blowPro's Body by Blow Volumizing Mousse, which holds the curls but doesn't feel crunchy or sticky at all.
  • Hair should be basically dry before you start rolling it. Like

    just dry, to where you can still feel some of the cool wetness, but your hair doesn't stick together with too much water moisture. If you hair is even a little wet in the rollers, the curls will fall. The foam is NOT porous and the moisture will not evaporate, even overnight.

  • Smooth the ends down over the curler before you begin rolling, and as you roll the first two rotations, make them over the ends to secure them in place before you use the rest of the length of the tube to curl the lengths of your section. This will ensure that the ends have some curl and no kinks from being haphazardly rolled into the tube any other way.
  • Don't roll too tightly. The foam shouldn't crimp under the tightness of your hair wrapped around it. If you wrap too tightly you'll get weird, unevenly wavy curls with little crimps, and this could potentially damage your hair.
  • Secure the curlers by bending any way that stays and is comfortable to you. I bent them in little twists, but I've seen photos of women who use them completely straight, with just the ends bent over to hold the rolled hair in place.

Using slightly different-sized rods will give more texture and body to the final look. 

Using slightly different-sized rods will give more texture and body to the final look. 

  • These are NOT comfortable to sleep in, but this is probably your only option as you need to let them set for at least 4, but at best 8 hours. I'm itching for a dome hair dryer and may or may not have ordered a vintage blue on one Etsy.

Again, not comfortable to sleep in. But worth it. 

Again, not comfortable to sleep in. But worth it. 

  • Upon removal you'll be all, "WTF I am a Toddler In Tiara."
  • Be sure to spray each curl with a light misting of hair spray as you remove the roller. I like to do this in conjunction with a finishing coat. Any less hairspray and you might as well chop off all your hair and eat it with room temp whole milk like a sad bowl of cereal. Hairspray: lots of it.

The curls will look like cheesy ringlets when you first remove the rollers. 

The curls will look like cheesy ringlets when you first remove the rollers. 

  • That's okay, because you'll brush them out with a boar bristle brush. Or anything resembling boar bristle--many are made from nylon. But for me, nothing compares to a Mason Pearson. The layered bristles grip hair more gently and effectively than a brush will uniform bristles. It always leaves my hair that perfect angel-like fluffy and not awkwardly frizzy. I like the mini-sized for styling and keep it in my bag if I wear my hair curly.

On my left are the un-brushed ringlets, and on my right are glorious, fluffy, angel cloud curls.

On my left are the un-brushed ringlets, and on my right are glorious, fluffy, angel cloud curls.

  • Use a volumizing hair spray for bigger, fluffier curls. I'm obsessed with how Sally Hershberger's Major Body spray volumized my hair. I didn't even think it was possible for my curls to look so huge and beautiful. Thank you, Sally.
  • Be hot.

Deadstock 90's photo-real wrap crop tops are the only thing you are allowed to wear with this hair. 

Deadstock 90's photo-real wrap crop tops are the only thing you are allowed to wear with this hair. 

The slightly different-sized rollers make a huge difference. Having some sections tighter than others adds to the fluff and width. 

The slightly different-sized rollers make a huge difference. Having some sections tighter than others adds to the fluff and width. 

The second-day curls are almost even better than the first. Almost. I just wake up, get out of bed, and watch Matt Lauer move his dreamy face while I add a half-pea sized drop of Sally Hershberger's Salon Mineral Cream through the lengths and ends, and then a bit more if needed.

Then I take selfies with my remote:

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Let's talk more about perms and please include a photo of your gorgeous curly hair if you got it!