Setting Curls

If you have resistant hair, or curls that fall out shortly after you finish styling, this tutorial will help! I’m simply curling my hair with the curling iron, which you can watch a tutorial of here, and slipping duckbill clips in to hold the curls in the spiral shape while they cool!

Refer to this post to see what products are in my hair. 
Setting Curls, Parts I & II

How to set curls
Pink Shirt: J.Crew Outlet, Grey top: Gap, Summer 2011, Jeans: J.Crew, Necklace: New York and Co.


  1. Lindsay Butler says

    It says the videos are private. I’ve never had trouble viewing them before…

    I hope you have a wonderful new year!

  2. says

    I found your blog through Pinterest. I think you’re terrific! I love that you share everything from recipes, to hair, to nails and outfits…outfits which, by the way, are completely adorable and “doable” for the rest of us. I love that you find things at Target and Old Navy (two of my favorites). I’ve also gotten myself and a friend hooked on Birchbox, as well as spread the word. And now I’m totally hooked on the idea of subscription gifts. AWESOME IDEA!! So thanks! You’ve got a good blog going on! :)

  3. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your tutorials are informative and very well done. It is extremely helpful that you detail what products you use and what can be substituted. I love your style and the fact that you tell us where you purchased your clothes & jewelry. Thank you!

  4. Anonymous says

    Thanks!! I have long hair past my shoulders and not many layers, thinking I need more layers added to really pull off this look!!! Loved the videos Great instructions!! Someday I would love to see how you keep all your products organized! :)

  5. Hannah says

    My hair is very long (half way down back, with layering starting above shoulders) with fine hair but a lot of it. My hair holds curl great, product normally weighs it down. Without any product I can curl my hair and still have great curl the morning after. But with that being said, my hair cannot be teased. I have tried countless times and it falls flat. It wont stay teased for 5 minutes.
    Any suggestions on what I’m doing wrong? Or an alternative to teasing to achieve body?

  6. says

    you’ve made me want to cut my hair… and actually style it.. I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! i’ve had the same hair.. for 26 years.. maybe it’s time for a change- but i’m to chicken!! 😉

  7. Anonymous says

    I love your blog! I check it nearly every day for something new =) I’m 25 years old and I’ve expirimented with so many products out there to find what works with my hair. I have very thick hair but the individual strands are very fine. It’s pretty long too, well past my shoulders and I am struggling to decide what size curling iron to buy. My hair is wavy so I use a curling iron nearly every day to do my hair like you wear yours in nearly all your videos. I can’t decide if a one onch is too small for the length and thickness of my hair. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you!

    • says

      For me this is a relatively easy qustieon, but has a pretty complex answer. The specialty I have actually looked forward to working with is OB/GYN. I find that the ability of a woman’s body to produce a child, endure the amount of abuse it takes during a pregnancy, and the amount of pain endured during delivery is amazing. The joy of being able to be present as life enters the world is truly one of the greatest moments in life. To me that would be the best possible option. I also would love working in the operating room with a surgeon. I have experienced the OR quite a few times, and have been on both sides of the table. I have to say I would love to work with any surgeon in the OR except for Orthopedics. The reason behind that is the surgery’s are pretty brutal when it comes to the skeletal system. Having been in the OR with an Orthopedic surgeon and seeing the use of the saws, hammers and other heavy equipment in order to perform the surgery just sends chills up my spine. I know that type of surgery is not for me. I think my favorite surgeries have to be that of the abdominal cavity. The specialties that I would least like to work for are few, and for simple reasons. Pediatrics is not a specialty for me since I have four children of my own. My Aunt is a neonatal nurse practitioner and I followed her in high school and saw the good, the bad, and the ugly so I can honestly say I could not emotionally handle that type of position. Podiatry is also an area I could not see myself working. The reason behind this is pretty silly, but here goes, I very much dislike other peoples feet especially if they are not well kept. I know in the medical field you will encounter feet on a daily basis, but I could not mainly work with feet on an everyday basis. My last specialty is Orthopedics for the reasons I noted above about the barbaric nature of the surgeries and treatments for the musculoskeletal system. Its just not for me.

  8. says

    I totally did this for my NYE hair style and it worked SOOOO Well!!!
    I am so proud of myself for being ahead of the curve… or well your blog curve!
    Hope you are having a WONDERFUL time skiing!

  9. Vanessa says

    Hey Kate! Love your blog, check for new posts everyday! I have a question. I got a chi orbit curling iron for Christmas. You know, the kind without the clamp. I’m just not sure how to use it. Do you own one? Any chance you could do a tutorial? Thanks!! :)

  10. says

    Hey Kate,

    I was wondering, do you have any hair tutorials on using hot rollers to curl hair? I have always wanted to use them but they seem so intimadating. Thanks so much! Happy New Year!

  11. says

    Thanks so much for your blog. I also am a hair stylist. I have been doing hair for almost 18 years and am also a licensed instructor, but it is nice to get some new ideas and inspiration from other people. I tell my students all the time that you never stop learning. I also have a ghd and love it. Thanks so much!


  12. says

    Hi Kate, thanks for the tutorial. I love your videos and blog. I’m a reader/viewer from France. Do you know if it is possible to find Hottools irons with French plug ?

    Thank you

  13. says

    hey Kate! Love your blog. I have long hair (5 inches past shoulders)and noticed you leave the ends out of your curling iron when curling. Should I leave more than an inch since my hair is longer. It just always seems to turn into one curl and my hair always seems to all end up in front of my shoulders in 2 chunks…thanks for any advice!

  14. says

    As one of your readers with “resistant” hair, I thank you! Can’t wait to try some duck bill clips. I have a friendly suggestion…ever thought about hanging a mirror above your towel rack? You would be able to see the back all of the time, and so would viewers watching your videos.
    Looking forward to hearing about Deer Valley!

  15. says

    @alyssa: you can find it here–
    @Anonymous & @vanessa: I have one and am working on a tutorial!
    @domestiCate: great idea. I’ll look into that!
    @Braziltrip: yes, try leaving 2 inches out. And finish with some flexible hold hairspray to keep the curls from joining together.
    @FrenchieLaVie: I’m not sure about that!
    @fringeaddict: check this list :
    @anonymous: look into a 1 1/4 size. I think that’s better than a 1 inch.
    @hannah: your hair may just be too long. Long hair, whether thick or thin, is challenging to keep volumized. Have you tried a root lifter? I like Aquage Uplifting Foam best!

  16. says

    I just wanted to tell you that I LOVE your blog. I have been reading it now for several months. I am so tempted to one day travel from Alabama to NC just so you can cut & style my hair!

  17. says

    Hey! I love your blog…I was wondering if you had tip on doing this look on a shorter hair styles? I went and had 13 inches cut off and donated to locks of love and the stylist cut my hair at an awkward length…between a Bob and your length and I have no clue what I can do with this. Tks!

  18. says

    Hi Kate,
    I wanted you to know that I found your blog on Pinterest and I am so happy I did. Without knowing it, your fabulous hair tutorials gave me the courage to cut about 10 inches off of my long hair. My hair is now shoulder length and I am SO happy with the change! I had been thinking about this change for years, don’t know what took me so long! So thank you! For this amazing blog and the time you put into your videos.

  19. says

    I absolutely LOVE your blog!!! I’m a preschool teacher and can pretty much wear jeans and whatever I want to school each day. Your ideas and outfits inspire me to get up and actually get ready each morning! Thank you for taking the time to share all of these ideas with us!

  20. Anonymous says

    Do you take requests? Lol! I’m “bangs challenged” and have thinning hair in that area. What advice would you give a client with these issues? Would love to see a post on bangs, thinning hair, and style suggestions for women over 40. :)

  21. says

    LOVE your blog! Thank you so much for this setting curls tutorial…I bought a smaller barrel curling iron (1 inch) and followed this tutorial. I’m loving my hair today!

  22. says

    Hi, I also found you blog through pinterest. And of course I am loving it. I have such a hard time explaining to the stylist what I want done to my hair. Do you have any tips. How would you explain to a stylist how you would want your hair cut. My inch is usually 2 inches to them. My idea of long layers is usually not enough layers to me. THANKS!

  23. says

    I’ve been considering purchasing a curling iron like you use in your tutorials. I’ve been using a Sedu straightener to curl my hair like a curling iron. Before I spent the money, I was wondering if you had a preference for one or the other, a straightener or a curling iron? If one was quicker/easier to style with? Thanks!

  24. April Basinger says

    I love watching your tutorials your such a sweet natured woman! I have tried curling my hair and it looks great for the first ten min then falls flat. My hair is about mid back length and I was wondering if you had any suggestions to make longer hair hold curl better.

  25. says

    Really enjoyed this tutorial. I have never been very good at doing my hari (more like taking the time I guess), but you inspired me. Thanks so much!

  26. says

    You are just the best teacher about hair styling! I love you! I have learned so much from you. Here I am 40 something years old and have always been the “hair person” in my circles…but YOU are brilliant! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. xoxo

  27. says

    I love your tutorials about curling hair! Who would have thought that at almost 30 years old I am finally learning how to curl my hair in a way that makes it FINALLY look good! I am going to try this next because I have fine hair and curls tend to fall out easily. My hair is long (about to middle of my back). What products would you recommend to help me hold a curl other than hairspray? Thanks!

  28. says

    I am loving all your tips on stlyes, i found the site by googling and i haven’t stop reading past posts and all the updates! very exciting to try out new things and even try make up tips!

  29. lindsey strom says

    I love all of your tutorials on youtube! Please do a video showing how you style your bangs! Thank you for sharing all of your tips!

  30. Anonymous says

    Your like my fairy-hair-godmother. You tease curled hair!! Amazing. I want to be just like you when I grow up (i can still say that at 17 right? :) Do you have any prom-worthy half up hairdos? My hair is almost to the middle of my back and Im hoping to do it myself. Thank you Fairy-hair-godmother!! 😉

  31. Corinne says

    I love your blog!!! It’s so inspirational!!! I can’t get my hair to stay curled!! I bought aquage uplifting root mousse, I then blow dry my hair upside down, section my hair off, spray with a light mist of aquage hair spray then curl with a hot tools curling iron and put the duck bill clips in. After I am all done I let it cool for 10 min and when I take all the clips out and “rake” my hair out.. it is straight! HELP! How can I get the curls to stay after I put all that work in?!

  32. says

    You hair looks so light and fluffy after removing the duckbill clips, my hair must be thicker, so it looks and feel heavy. Anything you can suggest to help with that?

  33. says

    Hi Kate! I love your blog and videos. You have helped me improve my confidence with my new hairstyle. One question. In your curing videos I and II what type and brand, size iron do you use. I am having issues with finding a good iron the holds my hair tight enough to curl from the root like that. Any suggestions??? TY Wendie

  34. says

    Your blog is AWESOME! I have a cut similar to yours (maybe half an inch shorter) but I have naturally “poofy” hair and it’s pretty curl and straightener resistant. Will def give this a try!

  35. says

    As you’re sectioning off each curl BEFORE you even spritz it with hairspray, your hair looks kind of stiff… Do you use some kind of leave-in product, or heat-treatment product prior to blowing it dry? I have very fine/thinning hair and have been letting my natural color come grow in from a darker brown and MAYBE put heat to it 1-3 times a month – it’s naturally wavy/curly, so i usually mousse and go – But I’ve grown tired of these unruly random waves and want to try and tackle a style like yours, BUT when I sick it with a curling iron, the curl falls out almost instantly, hairspray or not. Naturally curly, but won’t hold an artificial one – go figure.

  36. amanda fitzpatrick says

    love it. My hair’s super fine so I’ll try this…love your Martha Washington comment, I laughed out loud. Needed that today 😉

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