It seems that straight hair is by far the norm in the Goth world in general, but I suppose this is also reflected in the general population these days too. When I was in school in the early 90’s, it seemed like every other girl in my class had a poodle perm, but those born ten years later than me may have never curled their hair in their lives, which is a weird thought, innit. This forum lament agrees that curls and Goth are maybe not natural bedfellows, but when that’s what you’ve got, you have to work with it! However, this blog post claps back on that one with some excellent examples, so don’t lose hope.
My hair is naturally frizzy-curly, which means that its default setting is to look like crap, but it does also mean that with a bit of effort, I can go either way with it, straight or curly. I take a pretty low-maintenance approach to my hair in general other than dying it, and so I don’t spend my mornings fecking about with a blow dryer or straighteners to get it to behave.
So, I think that on some occasion I have tried pretty much every low-maintenance approach to keeping my curls under control without making much effort, and with this in mind, I’m going to share some of my successes and failures in the no-hassle, no heat curl stakes. If you’re a curly-haired Gothling and have a tip to share, hook me up in the comments.
Wash and go
If I just wash my hair, towel dry it and run some frizz-ease through it, my hair dries over the course of a few hours but gets a bit crispy on the top. When I’m just dossing around I’m not too arsed about this and rake it out with my fingers later, but the disadvantage is that after you’ve slept on it, it looks a bit nothing-y.
The day after-hair has no idea what it is doing.
Taking the same approach but then scrunching my hair with either frizz-ease or mousse and then leaving it alone returns the same slightly crunchy top, but again, I rake this out with my fingers, and find I have a more defined, separated head of curls that can stand up to a night’s sleep and still hold a curl the next day.
So, plopping your curls is apparently a thing, and if you have not heard of this, lemme explain.
You wash your hair, scrunch it, and then tip your head upside down onto a long-sleeved T-shirt or microfiber towel (regular towels are too thick, rough and drying) and wrap your hair up into a turban until it dries.
The point of this is to avoid the effects of gravity pulling on your curls and supposedly results in a big pile of defined, strong curls that will go the distance, and online reviews of the process for curly girls are very positive.
However, this didn’t really work for me, leaving the underside of it kind of straight and flat, with a bird’s nest of curls on the top. That being said, my hair is prolific but fine, and so if your hair is coarser, it may well work.
This video explains what to do in more detail:
The Pound Shop sells sets of eight bendy rollers (for £1, obvs…) so I bought two sets and thought I’d have a go with them. After washing and towel drying, you wind your hair up in the rollers, secure them to your head, and wait for them to dry, which many people do overnight. Afterwards, your curls are supposed to be very defined and ringletty, with lots of staying power.
I did manage to achieve this result, but tbh, I won’t be bothering to do it regularly. First of all, getting the rollers into your hair takes about ten minutes but feels like forever, and there will always be one odd bit that is determined to either corkscrew out of the top of your head, or defy the rollers entirely and fall straight.
When I was doing my Tesco’ing last week, I found a new addition to the Frizz-Ease range, called Air-Dry Waves Styling Foam, which purports to give you frizz-free defined waves without heat styling. I bought the fuck out of it, because if it works, this is just the product I have been waiting for.
The online reviews of the product are luke-warm, coming in at around three stars on average, with a few people agreeing it does what it promises, but many more saying it did nowt for them.
The texture of the product is like watery mousse, and when I scrunched it into my hair it turned it into surprisingly tight, ringletty curls immediately. When my hair was dry I did fear it would be crunchy, but nope-it produced soft, touchable curls that were much better defined and yet also looser than I have achieved scrunching with anything else. This one is a total win for me, and is my current favourite approach to no hassle curly hair.
However once again, if your hair is very thick, coarse or long, it may not do the job for you.