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How to Curl Your Hair: 16 Ways to Liven Up Your Locks

Curly girls have more fun. But as luck would have it, every hair type can get in on the action. Whether you're going for relaxed boho waves or soft and polished ringlets, these techniques are sure to put bounce in your hair and a spring in your step. Here are 16 fresh ideas for how to curl your hair.

Sky-High Curls

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Nothing beats big hair for a night on the town, so whip out this tutorial for your next GNO. With a little texture spray and a tapered wand you can create giant, bouncy curls—the perfect complement to a martini (or two).

Photo: Maskcara

Braid Waves

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Forgo the curling iron, and use braids to create fun waves. The Stylish Print shows you how to pull off this natural-looking style in a cinch. When you're done, try adding a little hair wax or salt spray for more texture.

Photo: The Stylish Print

Five-Minute Curls with a Wand

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It doesn't take much time to get playful locks. Use a wand to make perfectly polished curls in just 5 minutes. Finish with hairspray, and the look will last all day.

Photo: Kayley Melissa

With a Flat Iron

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When you don't have a curling iron on hand, try using a straightener to create loose, bouncy curls. The technique has been floating around the Internet for a while but can be tough to master. Dana from The Wonder Forest simplifies the trick with this step-by-step guide.

Photo: The Wonder Forest

Tight-on-Time Curls

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Get pretty quickly by sweeping your hair into a ponytail before you curl it. This time-saving trick is the fastest way to achieve soft curls. Use it to transform your look between work and the cocktail hour.

Photo: Floridian Weddings

No-Heat Sock Curls

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No heat? No problem. These voluminous curls are easy to achieve without stressing your tresses with hot styling tools. Simply roll damp hair in socks, and let it dry. Smaller rags (a cutup T-shirt works well) will give you tighter curls. Try the technique before bed—you'll wake up with glam hair and save precious time in the morning.

Hot Rollers How-To

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These aren't your grandma's hot rollers. The beauty technology has come a long way, so if you haven't tried them before, you have to check out this tutorial. Save yourself a trip to the salon because there's no easier way to create smooth, voluminous curls.

Photo: It's Judy Time

Glamorous Side-Swept Curls

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For a dramatic look, pair spiral curls with a deep side part. The side-swept style is perfect for a special occasion, and it's easy to do yourself. Blogger Negin Mirsalehi has the directions and suggests adding your favorite red lipstick for a maximum glam factor.

Photo: Negin Mirsalehi

Loose Waves

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No hairstyle looks more relaxed and effortless than big waves. The secret to the look is a large-barrel curling iron and a smidgen of hair oil. Try the soft, pretty waves for yourself, and you'll be feeling like an off-duty model.

Photo: Not Your Standard

Retro Curls

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Channel old Hollywood beauties with classic curls. Re-create blogger and hairstylist Steph Brikerhoff's glamorous look by setting big curls and gently brushing them out. The result is a dreamy vintage look perfect for a date night.

Photo: Hair and Makeup by Steph

Pinup-Girl Curls

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Some days simply call for bombshell hair. Give this vintage hairstyle a whirl when nothing else will do. The Freckled Fox creates these pinup-girl curls with hot rollers and a curling iron and finishes the look with winged-out eyeliner.

Photo: The Freckled Fox

No-Heat Beach Waves

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Breezy beach waves should be as easy to create as they are to wear. Song of Style's tutorial couldn't be simpler—just twist damp hair around your head, and let it dry. The no-heat waves will be your new go-to style.

Photo: Song of Style

Headband Curls

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There's more than one use for your sporty elastic headbands: They create killer curls. Ditch your curling iron, and wrap sections of hair around a headband instead for big, enviable locks. Billie Rose's video tutorial shows you how to master this nearly effortless styling trick.

Photo: Billie Rose

Natural Curls with a Diffuser

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If you've got naturally curly or wavy hair, play it up with a diffuser. The blow dryer attachment is a foolproof way of adding volume without the frizz. If you're new to diffusing, check out this step-by-step guide, and you'll be on your way to perfect ringlets.

Photo: Kouture Kiss

Sassy Waves for Short Hair

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Short-haired ladies can have fun with curls, too. Keiko Lynn gives her chopped locks a playful makeover in her wavy hair tutorial. You'll just need hairspray, heat protectant, and a curling iron. Bonus: The messier the better, so you can do no wrong.

Photo: Keiko Lynn

Boho-Babe Curls

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Somehow Rachel Zoe always has flawless hippie hair. Steal the look for yourself with a few simple tricks. The bendy, messy waves are the perfect frame for oversized sunnies.

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