Today we’re often blasting our hair with blow-dryers, pulling our locks with high-heat flat irons, tugging and wrapping our hair around curling irons and sometimes crimping our hair with that crimper that’s been in our vanity drawer for a few years.
But what about the hairstyling techniques of the past? Those flawless vintage curls weren’t achieved with curling irons but often with no-heat techniques like homemade rollers. One of those methods is the hand-ripped rags or the “rag curls”.
Here’s how to get this beautiful vintage look without damaging your hair, but – you will have to damage an old pillow case or t-shirt!
Step 1: Get The Materials
- An old t-shirt / fabric
- Brush and Comb
- Hair clips
Step 2: Making the Rag Strips
Take the scissors and make strips 1 to 5 inches wide and 8 to 18 inches long, depending on the curls desired and the length of your hair.
Tip: A 1″ x 10″ rag will generally make a tighter curl than a 5″ x 16″ rag. You might want to make a variety of sizes so you don’t get frustrated if your hair does not take to thinner strips.
Step 3: Prep Your Hair
You don’t want soaking wet hair for this look. You want it to be between 75% and 90% dry.
You can spritz your hair with a water bottle or simply wash your hair, add some leave-in conditioner and let it dry.
Step 4: Making the Rag Knot
Separate your hair in the back as if you were going to braid your hair into pigtails.
Take a strand of hair and place it in the center of one of your strips. Curl the hair around the strip by rolling the hair upward with the cloth in the middle. (As if it were a curling iron)
Tie the loose ends of the cloth on top when you reach about 1-2 inches from the scalp. Tie a very tight and secure knot for best results.
Repeat around your head. Make several layers of curls if your hair is very thick or long.
Step 4: Let It Dry
You should let the rag curls stay in over night if you can. This will give you the best results. However, you can use a blowdryer to speed the process along if you’d like.
Tip: Do not take them rags out if your hair is still damp.
Step 5: Take the Rags Out
Once your hair is completely dry, remove the rags from your hair gently.
Step 6: Style
Style the curls to your preferred look. We recommend using a comb and conditioner to give your hair shine and gloss. Don’t be afraid to use some hairspray too!