How to Rag Roll Hair - Curls Without Heat

When I was a kid, my hair was thin and straight.  Now, it's insanely thick and insanely curly.  I'm totally blaming my first son for my unruly hair because it happened while I was pregnant.  Crazy, I know.

When I was a kid, I wanted curly hair so bad.  It was the 80s, and everyone had a big, pouffy hair.  My mom wouldn't let me get a perm (thanks, Mom!), but she did rag roll my hair.

My daughter has thin, straight hair like I used to, but she wants curly hair like mom has now.  Bless her, she wants to be like me.  I rag rolled her hair last week, and she was so thrilled to have curls for a day.  She put on her best play dress and danced around all afternoon.  I have a feeling that we will be doing this often.

Rag rolling is really easy, and it doesn't take long to do.  You do have to wait hours or overnight for your hair to dry, but there's no damage from heat or expensive curlers to buy.

How to Rag Roll Hair

You'll need strips of cotton fabric for this.  I took a shirt that my son had outgrown, a size 6/8, and cut 2" strips off the bottom.  (Hint: The stripes on the shirt made it super easy to get mostly straight cuts.)  Then I cut each strip at the seams to make two strips from each segment.  If you use an adult shirt, you could probably get 3 strips.  Just make sure each strip is about 6-8" long.  You can do thinner strips for tighter curls.

I washed her hair and let it dry until it was damp.  I used a wide tooth comb to get out the tangles before we started.  You want to start with damp hair but not soaking wet hair.  If you want your curls to last longer, use gel in your hair before you start and spray them with hairspray when you take them out.

Then I separated her hair in to two sections like pigtails.  You don't have to be exact.  Just eyeball it.

Take a small section of hair and tie the rag strip on it.  Her hair is really thin, so I used a small section.  The smaller the section, the tighter the curl.  You'll just have to experiment with the size to get the right size curls.  Just make sure they are all about even.

I tied the strip in about the middle of the section of hair and then gently slid it down to the tips of her hair.

Next, roll hair over the knot.  You want to go down and not up.  When you get to the head, tie the loose ends over the knot.

Repeat all over until she looks like an alien.  

Now comes the hardest part of the entire process: letting her hair dry.  When I was a kid, I used to go all night.  I knew she wouldn't sleep with them in, so I did it first thing in the morning.  They started bugging her after about two hours.  Her hair wasn't quite dry, but it was holding a curl.  

Ta da!!  

(I apologize for the photos.  They are iPhone photos because, like I said, it was early.  My camera was in my craft room, and she was so excited to start.)

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