Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Rag Roll Hair: Organic No Heat Styling Tutorial

How To: 
Rag Roll Hair
Organic No Heat Styling 

When I decided to really put some effort into growing my hair, I basically stopped using heat on my hair at all. I encountered some problems with this: my hair always looked messy... I couldn't wear my hair down because it looked so scruffy. Additionally, I was french plaiting my hair every night to keep the condition good and would end up with different sized kinks that looked pretty rubbish. 

The first time I came across the concept of rag rolling in the My Naughty Little Sister books and never forgot about this old fashioned way of styling hair. 

My tutorial for rag rolling isn't for tight ringlet curls, I just wanted loose waves and a controlled style: Therefore I use very thick rags and rather few of them. I've been doing this for such a long time I felt like I really should post a how to tutorial on how to rag roll curl your hair!

You will need:

  • Some old material (I cut up the legs of some old primark linen trousers)
  • Scissors
  • A brush

First cut your strips of rags. I cut mine to approximately 6cm wide and 25cm long (the longer the strips the easier it is to tie them at the end.

I always start with totally dry hair: I've experimented with wet hair and it's too unpredictable.... always too tightly curled, inconsistent, jaunty angles. 

Brush your hair through so that it's easy to section. 

I recommend starting from the top and working downwards: The top of your hair is the bit which is on show so making sure your top layers are split into equal sections is quite important. 

please excuse my bare face and attractive onsie pajamas!

Take a section of your hair: I take about 2 square inches (sorry for switching between metric and imperial, I'm so thoroughly English!)

I take a rag and pinch it between my two fingers (middle and pointer). I wind this around my two fingers from the end of my hair down to my scalp. I secure the end of my hair with my ring finger. I make sure to leave about an inch of the ends of my hair hanging out of the loop to make sure it hangs nicely in the morning. 

This next part is quite tricky: I secure the wound hair with one hand and tie the rag with my other (usually my left but which ever is easiest for you). There is no special easy method for this, rag rolling hair takes a lot of practice. Soon you will find that curling your hair this way is the easiest thing you've ever done!

Rag Rolled Hair

The pattern I tend to use is to start at the front (leave this if you have a fringe or bangs) and work backwards until I reach the crown. 

I then section the remaining amount of hair in two horizontally (two very large sections from one ear to the other).

I continue to work top down: splitting the top horizontal section into three and then two or three on the lower section depending on how much hair. I try my best to evenly section amounts of hair (I really hope that makes sense!)

Tip! If you can, place yourself in front of a mirror with another mirror behind you, angled so you can see what's going on at the back of your head. 

Rag Rolling Hair

Once all my hair is secured I go back over the rags pulling them tight. I also tend to pull some of the hair so that the loops created are as big as I want them - that comes with experimentation and personal preference. 

Then, I take myself to bed (in the pictured Christmas onsie!) and sleep on  it. It's not as uncomfortable as it looks!

*Warning* This look will NOT please your partner/boyfriend/husband (that goes for both the hair and the onsie)

When I wake up I usually get myself mostly ready to give my hair as much time as possible to become set. I often spritz over with a hairspray to give it optimum hold. 

I release the curls from the bottom up, gently winding them down. 

I give my hair another spritz of hairspray (I use Tresemme Freeze Hold - it's amazing!)

I then give my hair a bit of a jouje (that's wasn't a word before but it is now), separating some of the waves out and breaking up the sections. 

And this is the finished look - I do this about three times a week and it works really well as a style for the morning hurry. It saves me a shed load of time. 

Actual timings:
Night time rolling: 3-5 minutes
Morning unrolling: 1-2 minutes including the 'joujing' and spritzing. 

To keep the look more modern, I sometimes run some wax or putty through the ends and a little at the root to give it volume and keep the waves more separate. 

Would love to hear if anyone else has organic no heat styling tips!

Abi Girl x


  1. That's such an amazing trick, will try this ASAP!


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