Photo: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
Loose soft curls are a romantic look, whether you're heading for a casual day out or a special date. Curling irons and small rollers can result in tight or frizzy curls, not soft and pretty ones. Big rollers, whether you opt for foam rollers, Velcro rollers or hot rollers will produce the big curls you want. If you don't have rollers, old-fashioned rag curls can give you the same curls without a shopping trip.
Hot rollers are a convenient way to get big, loose curls. Look for medium or large rollers, rather than small ones. Soft, flocked rollers are easier to roll and may stay in your hair better than slick, plastic rollers. Allow the rollers to preheat completely. Brush your hair out, and roll 2-inch to 3-inch sections of hair around the rollers. Roll medium-length hair from the ends to the roots. Use smaller sections for longer hair, placing the roller in the center of the length. Roll from the center to the end, before rolling the curler from the center to the roots. Allow the rollers to cool completely as you go about your morning and remove them. Handle your curls carefully as the hair cools.
Velcro rollers are a heat-free option for soft curls. Blow dry your hair or allow it to air dry until it is 90 percent dry. If you're starting with second-day hair, dampen slightly with water or a mixture of water and a light setting lotion. Roll your locks onto large Velcro rollers. Curl your hair in three sections, one for each side and one in the center from front to back. Leave the rollers in place for 45 minutes while you dress and finish your makeup. If you're rushed for time, hit your hair with a blast from your hair dryer. Remove the Velcro curlers and finish your hair with aerosol hairspray.
Foam rollers are a comfortable curler, especially if you are aiming for a long, slow set. While you can't sleep in a Velcro roller, you can sleep in foam if you'd like. Skip the sets of tiny rolls in favor of oversized foam rollers. Work mousse or your favorite styling product into damp hair. Roll the hair onto large rollers, placing the plastic clips of the rollers parallel to your head to reduce discomfort during the night. Sleep in your curlers, then enjoy romantic, long-lasting soft ringlets. Save this style for the night before date night, as it's not the best choice if you're not sleeping alone.
Rag rollers offer another overnight setting option for loose curls. There's no investment required for this style, making it a worthwhile experiment, even if you're not normally a curly girl. Tear cotton fabric, like an old pillowcase, into 2-inch by 10-inch strips or use odd knee socks for even larger curls. Roll 2-inch to 4-inch sections of hair around each strip of fabric. Smaller sections of hair may produce overly tight curls and leave you with frizz, rather than bounce. Tie each strip into a secure knot and leave your rag curls in place overnight.