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How To Scrunch Your Hair and Get Natural Looking Curls or Waves

Updated on June 16, 2008

Hair can make or break an outfit. For some people (myself included), it has a major impact on how you feel about your appearance. A bad hair day might ruin your whole day. Well, I am sure other things might contribute to that bad day too, but you know where I am going with this! The problem with hair is that it can take a lot of time to do or you might get stuck wearing the same style everyday. If you want to try an easy style that is almost guaranteed to get a lot of compliments, test out my tips to scrunch your hair. And when I say scrunch, I do not want you to come out having hard or "crispy crunchy" looking curls. Depending on the texture of your hair, I want you to either come out having natural looking curls or waves that actually move!

Follow these essentials:

Do NOT use conditioner when you shower. Conditioner often weighs hair down. If your hair is in really bad shape, I recommend looking for a light conditioner. I find that when I only wash my hair with a clarifying or clear shampoo, my hair curls better!

Do NOT brush your hair when you get out of the shower. This was the biggest mistake I made for years. Brushing your hair will brush out most of any natural curl or wave that your hair has.

Get rid of the excess water in your hair. You do not want to scrunch your hair when it is sopping wet. Squeeze the water out of your hair and only towel dry it enough to get some of the dampness out. Do not overdue it though because hair will not scrunch if it is too dry!

Shake out your hair and start scrunching before putting in product. Flip your head upside down and put both of your hands underneath your hair to where you are touching your scalp. Quickly move your hands back for a few seconds. Start scrunching your hair by getting handfuls of hair and squeezing it. Repeat until you have covered most of your head and watch the curls or waves start to form!.

Flip your head back, put your product in, and continue to scrunch Depending on your hair texture and smell preference, you might have to experiment with a couple of different products until you find one you like best. I alternate between using inexpensive regular gel and curl boosting spray gel. The regular gel I use is either LA Looks or Dep, which can be purchased relatively cheap at any drug store. If you choose a gel, put it into your hands and resume scrunching. Put a little in your hands at a time so you do not end up getting too much in one section. If you choose a spray gel (I like Loreal's Studio Line Tightly Wound Curl Boosting Spray Gel. Wow, that was a mouthful!), spray it in your hair (making sure you get all sections), and resume scrunching.

I DO NOT recommend hair spray. If you are going for a natural look, I do not recommend hair spray. This is usually what leaves hair looking hard. If you want this look, then break out the AquaNet!

How your hair dries will depend on time. I find that letting your hair dry naturally without any heat works best. But if you have thick hair like me, it can take a couple hours on some days. If you decide to let it dry this way, DO NOT KEEP TOUCHING IT. You can keep scrunching occasionally, but if you keep feeling the curls, you will pull them out and they will not look as nice.

The alternative to letting your hair dry natural is to diffuse it. A diffuser is a hair tool that can be purchased on its own or as an extension to a hair dryer. If you want to purchase one but do not want to spend a lot of money, I suggest just buying it as an extension for your blow dryer. They can be found at most places hair tools are sold or on eBay. Use the diffuser by placing it on different sections of your head and holding it there. Do not forget to flip your head over and get the hair underneath! If you do not have time or money to buy a diffuser, but want your hair to dry quick, put your hair dryer on a low setting and use it as if you were regularly drying your hair while simultaneously scrunching it.

I hope these tips work for some of you out there to give you natural looking waves or curls! It is a great hairstyle for the hot summer months or for those really humid days. It is a reality that some people's hair just won't scrunch, but you will never know until you try!


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      christian d 2 years ago

      Ok so what i do is as soon as i get out the tub i towel dry it to where its not dripping then i flip my hair over then take the gel and put one sqirt on each hand and rub them together. then i put more in my hair and scrunch my hair then flip your head over and keep scrunching then wait until it all dries and spray it with hairspray and then your hair will be scrunched.

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      Taylor 3 years ago

      Moose doesn't make your hair look west but gel does .

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      Lia 5 years ago

      Uh oh im 13 and i used ur technique and my hair fell out completely.

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      didi 5 years ago

      I just tried scrunching my hair on my own and I found that it works to just towel dry my hair first and then put a little lotion on it. This is a good replacement for gel and mousse plus it smells good. Then you just take sections of your hair and clip them up to your head. After a half hour you take them out and they look nice and curly. Normally, as soon as my hair dries, it looks like it exploded. I have realy thick hair and this method worked for me.

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      Doreen 5 years ago

      Thank you!. Very helpful.

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      hannah 5 years ago

      What you can do is that once you get outta the shower pat your head and hair til no water drops come out and put moose on it and just rub against your scalp and TA-DA and blow dry .

    • profile image

      mayaaa! 5 years ago

      my hair is very curly! but i want it to look natural! like the ones on TV ! haha help

    • profile image

      sia 5 years ago

      worked a bit nice

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      Sally Morgan 5 years ago

      Wow! Thanks, that really worked!!

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      nilla gletter 6 years ago

      thanx ill try that my school dance is coming and i wanted to scrunch my hair and i tried just to c what it would look like and it would not stay!!so i will try it thanx for the tips!!! :)

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      Hannah71088 6 years ago

      I have tried all the things you said to do, and when my hair dries, (I've tried a diffuser and letting it dry naturally) and it looks like a freaking poodle exploded on my head. Is there any way I can stop this from happening?

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      Denise Urula 7 years ago

      I do braids, and I don't have hair gel. When I take them out, They're all frizzy and the ends are straight!

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      z95 7 years ago

      could anyone answer me pleaaaaaase :( ~ASAP , I'm going out tonight and I don't know if I should apply mousse :(

      does it give you a wet look ? cause I don't want that , and does it make your hair stiff ?

    • profile image

      z95 7 years ago

      can I use serum instead of gel ?

      and I want to ask, does mousse give you a "wet look " if it doesn't can I use it instead of gel ? :) thank you.

    • profile image

      Anne 7 years ago

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      Nina 7 years ago

      Wow, you use exactly the same technique as me! It works really well, right (:

      Sometimes if i really cant be bothered with all the waiting... I wash my hair and then put it in ONE plat (a tight one otherwise the waves will just fall out) and tie it with a thin hairband, thick ones leave massive kinks in the bottom. Try that one out and let me know what you think :)


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      chewchy 7 years ago

      wtf is wrong wit u. u suk at givin advice. i say this advice deserves a LOSER! lolz. haha

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      abbie 8 years ago

      thanks for the tips but i have one question... when it dries does it look wet??

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      Siara 8 years ago

      Okay. My hair is really really thick. and its not long but its sorta. I scrunch it, and then it looks fine. I don't touch it. But when it dries it gets all poofy and looks like crap. idk what to do!!

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      Luvy 8 years ago

      ok.. I get the who scrunchin your hair thing... But what if Your a Black Girl and Have very long thick hair and you want to scrunch your hair. I have tried doing it and i don't work for me. I really need someone to tell me how to do it.

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      Amie 9 years ago

      Thanks brill advice x x