Curl Cast: How To Make Or Break One For Your Desired Hairstyle

Even people with natural curls have to put in the work to achieve their best hair goals. So it's not surprising that, from a young age, people with curly hair curate a finely tuned routine to keep their mane healthy and bouncy. This is because, for all of its volume, curly hair can actually be quite delicate and prone to breakage.

Probably the biggest hurdle facing curly-haired people is hydration. Curly hair should only be washed when absolutely necessary to keep it from drying out. For most people, this isn't even once per week! Overwashing will strip its natural oils, causing those curly locks to become a frizzy mess. When washing can't be avoided any longer, it's critical to use a moisturizing shampoo that's specifically designed for curly hair, as well as a conditioner. Once that's all washed out, a leave-in conditioner is a great idea as well. All that said, the styling process is just as important to curly hair success. One of the issues that prove most challenging, but also rewarding, for many people is curl casts. Done right, they can turn into a vision of cascading curls. But the unpracticed hand can also turn out some truly rigid curl casts.

What curl casts are, and how to break them the right way

The vast majority of curly-haired ladies and gentlemen know that gel applied to wet hair will help their curls achieve the ultimate sought-after definition. Per Naturally Curly, as the hair dries the gel stiffens into a cast of sorts (hence the term, curl cast). Anyway, once the gel and the hair are nice and dried, it's important to break the cast, albeit gently. This is done by carefully hand-scrunching the hair in bunches. If the whole process has been done correctly, the maneuver should fracture the cast so that the curls look less hard and more flowy and natural.

However, sometimes people overshoot the margin on gel application. Too much of the good stuff will make the curls too hard and product-laden. Failure to break the cast at all will definitely give the hair a texture that is less curly and more crunchy. Crunchy really is an adjective better suited to things like chips or popcorn. Hair, not so much.

How to produce the best curl casts

Curl casts can be something of a trial and error situation, but eventually you'll find the sweet spot for your hair. If you're certain that you're not using too much gel, but the casts are still way too hard, try applying the product when the hair is really good and wet. This will help to spread out the gel, says Curlbox. Or, you can try mixing in some serum designed for curly hair. This product should help to dilute the gel just enough, while adding some curl-friendly properties into the mix. Or, you can apply some hair oil to your hand before breaking the cast, which will help to soften the curl.

Other people turn to a hair diffuser to really let those curls loose. It's critical to only use this appliance after the hair is completely dry, however. With the hair dryer on low speed (warm or cool air is fine, says Curlsmith), gently scrunch the hair. Do this until the cast is gone and only gentle, soft curls remain.