Curly locs? Here’s how!

Valerie June and her beautiful curly locs

Curls are all the rage in locs these days as a beautiful styling option for short, medium and longer lengths.

How do you achieve them? Curls work best on freshly shampooed and conditioned locs. Towel dry your hair to remove excess water, but leaving it wet enough to curl. There are a few options on what to use to curl your hair. Here’s a few:


This is a styling tool that can be left in to allow the curls to dry naturally, then removed for long-lasting spirals. It comes in three lengths: small, medium and large. When left in, you have shorter, twisted coils that only you know have the Wrap-a-Loc applied inside. You can wear this look as a style. Remove them and voila, curls, curls and more curls. Go to for more information and for a directory of locticians who use them.

Pipe Cleaners

This is also a way of curling your locs with beautiful results. First, choose a color that closely matches your hue. Apply to wet hair (setting lotion is optional). Fold the ends of the pipe cleaners inwards to keep sharp edges from scratching you or snagging your locs. Take a pipe cleaner and roll up small sections of hair damp from the end to the root. Fold the ends of the pipe curler up and twist it around to secure. Continue rolling until the entire head is complete. Let it dry fully and a head full of romantic soft, curly locs are yours.

Perm rods

Here’s another way to curl your locs. Instead of small sections, you’ll do two or three locs at a time to wrap around the rods. You can just curl your locs from mid-length to the ends and still achieve a curly style.

Braided styles/updos

Here’s another trick: when you take down a braided style, you’ll also have waves that will last a while. One good style: cornrow locs in small sections up towards the crown (up and over in the front, straight up in the back and all around). Twist the braided ends into coils at the crown and secure with bobby pins. The result will be a twisted bun at the crown. Once done with the style, remove the bobby pins and unbraid the cornrows. You’ll have a head full of beautiful waves. (See Double Duty on for pictures — scroll down, there’s a lot of content there!)

You can also straw set, use bendable rods and sponge rollers to curl your locs. Just take care to allow to dry fully, and if using sponge rollers, you’ll want to use setting papers to avoid lint.

Have fun with your curls!

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