One of the many reasons curly hair is so beautiful is that it can create a halo-like effect of springy, bouncy curls around your head. But sometimes, this is easier said than done. If your hair is fine or low in density, it can dry like a wet blanket, close to your head, without the lift and volume we see with other curls. Luckily, curlies have a hack for this. It’s called clipping at the roots. We asked curly hair stylist Brianne Prince of Brianne Prince Salon to share her tutorial and tips for this technique.
If you’ve tried clipping at the roots before and failed, it can be tricky at first; you might find her description of ‘O’ Clipping helpful; it definitely makes the concept clearer and easier to understand.
What is O Clipping?
O clipping is a method of using clips at the root of your curls to gain height and volume. It adds lift and volume to heavier textures and can boost fine, limp curls. It can also help round out the shape depending on how many rows you place. The ‘O’ refers to your arm creating an O around your head when placing the clips in your hair; it just makes it easier to visualize.
I have so many clients that come in and tell me that they have tried clipping in the past and couldn’t get the hang of it. Usually, the reasons why are that they are using the wrong type of clip for their hair or that they are attempting to clip at an awkward angle, (either from underneath the curl or because they are crossing their arm in front of their face”. I get many complaints that the little hairs around the crown get caught around the top of the clip and cause snagging on removal.
All of these issues can be virtually eliminated by clipping in the example below:
Something that we used to talk about in beauty school was wrapping rollers “off base” to create more volume in the hair. Well, here we are using the same idea, allowing the hair to fall off base with your head tilted to gain maximum volume while leaving the clips’ heads exposed to hasten and simplify removal. One thing I did not mention in the video is how to approach the back, and that is very simple. Just looking way up at the ceiling, I almost arch my back and grab a section, aiming the clip down towards the floor. I never attempt too many at the back of the head because we do not have eyes back there! This portion of your head will have to be done by feeling, and you don’t want to be fishing clips out back there that got put in sideways or upside down. Less is more until you get the hang of it.
How to clip curly hair at the roots
You can find eight more tips on how to get more volume at the roots here.
This article was originally published in 2016 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.