We've all fallen victim to a moment of curl envy, no matter how happy we are with our curls, coils and waves. Pinterest and Instagram will do that to you! So when I first heard about Strawllers my interest was piqued - I can have tighter, pretty ringlets without a curling iron? I'm afraid of curling irons (ever since this incident) so I had to give Strawllers a try.
I was thrilled to have textured hair specialist, Owner and Creative Director of Hair Love Art, Aeleise Mitchell work her magic on my hair at America's Beauty Show in Chicago.
You can get curls from straw-sized ringlets to big beachy waves with Strawllers (Aeleise calls them Kardashian curls) but because my hair was wavy to begin with, I wanted to see a drastic difference.
When I was younger I had a tighter curl pattern and thicker hair, I've always wondered what I would look like now if it had stayed that way. I loved the results and even felt a shift in my energy when my curl pattern changed.
Before You Start
To begin the process, Aeleise started by detangling my hair. My hair was extra tangled because I had flown on a plane the day before, and my hair always gets dry and tangled when I fly!
Typically you would start with soaking wet hair, but because we were at the show, Aeleise simply sprayed each section with a water bottle to wet it.
Section the Hair
Then Aeleise used duckbill clips to section my hair into 3-4 sections. This will make your hair much easier to work with.
When sectioning the hair, part it diagonally so that the curls aren't in obvious layers. This creates a natural look.
Take a small, 1-inch section of hair and coat it with two pumps of the Foam Wrap and Set Lotion. Strawllers makes both a Foam and a Spray Gel, but the Spray Gel would have been a bit heavy for my hairtype, and would have felt crunchy. The Foam is a lighter option and better for my hair.
Wrap and Roll
When wrapping your hair around the Strawller, be sure to start the Strawller right at the end, tucking the end of your curl under as you roll. Aeleise said mine was the longest hair she's done with Strawllers, so we used the 8" ones for my hair.
Roll the Strawller all the way up to the root and secure it with a hair clip or pin. You can use a roller clip, a duckbill clip, or even a bobby pin. I was worried there would be a crease where the bobby pin was placed, but I checked afterwards and there were no creases.
For loose, beachy waves roll the Strawller halfway up the section.
Mix and Match
To avoid the uniform look of a roller set, use two different sized Strawllers for a naturally curly look. Plus it's more interesting that way. We used the orange, finger-sized Strawllers as well as the blue, Sharpie-sized ones for variety.
It took about 25-30 minutes to wrap my whole head of curls. This will probably vary based on the length and thickness of your hair.
All Wrapped Up
Once you've wrapped your entire head, you could just let your hair air dry while you do other things around the house. There are little holes in the Strawllers that allow air to circulate and hair to dry faster.
But if you have high porosity hair, or your hair generally takes a long time to dry then you probably will want to use a dryer.
I sat under a dryer hood for about 20 minutes. It typically takes 15-30 minutes for the hair to dry completely.
At home you could use a diffuser. Don't hold the diffuser too close to the curls, and be sure to point it down the curl shaft.
Remove the Strawllers
Be very careful when taking the Strawllers out, so as not to disturb the curl.
Turn them clockwise to unroll them.
Separate the Curls
This will leave you with very perfect ringlets - too perfect. You'll want to pull these ringlets apart with your fingers to create a natural looking curl. Divide each ringlet into 3-4 separate curls using your fingers.
Shake Them Up
Finally, shake up the curls with your fingers right at the roots to loosen them up. Remember, the key is to look natural, not perfect.
Right after this photo was taken I went out into the rain and it took 20 minutes to catch a cab. I was worried that my new curls would frizz and loose definition but I found that they just grew, and then I loved them even more!
2nd, 3rd, 4th Day Hair
The Strawller set was done on my second-day curls, and I wore them from Chicago back to Austin and to work the next day for everyone at the NaturallyCurly offices to coo over. You can always depend on them for a good curly reaction!
When I got back I hit the ground running as SXSW had just begun. I wore my curls to work, then out to cover SXSW, and on to the concerts at night! They held up surprisingly well! When my roots started to look less than fresh I did a quick headband braid at the crown and they lasted another day.
Thank you to Aeleise and Strawllers for helping me achieve the drastic curl makeover I was looking for. Not only did my curl pattern change, but my hair looked about nine inches shorter, talk about shrinkage! I love my waves, but it was so much fun taking a quick vacation from them too.