Rag Curl Tutorial (for dry, frizz-prone hair)

As this is our first organized tutorial project, it took a little longer than anticipated to get it posted, but here it finally is. We learned a lot about putting something like this together and hope to streamline the process in future. Without further ado, here is Shed’s first tutorial!

For this particular demonstration we wanted to show you the steps for rag curl application on dry hair rather than damp. There are a few tutorials floating around for slightly damp application but that doesn’t work for everyone (specifically there are issues with the curls not drying completely while you sleep if you have overly porous hair or thick hair.)

In the interests of full disclosure, we chose a model with hair that has been through some rather extreme color changes as of late, and is therefore recovering from chemical damage. In the pictures below you will see in the before that the hair appears fluffy, dry, and a bit frizzed. If we were to set the hair with rags in that condition, the curls would also be fluffy and frizzy so it’s important to prep the hair before starting the process. In our case we did a deep conditioning treatment (which we will demonstrate in our next tutorial) and then flat-ironed the hair until it was smooth and shiny.

Next you will need to gather your supplies. You will need a pair of scissors suitable for cutting fabric, a sheet, pillowcase, or other bundle of cotton fabric, (we got ours from SCRAP ) and some hair spray.

Since your rag strips don’t need to be perfect, it’s easier to just cut a row of tabs along one side and rip them individually rather than meticulously cutting each one out. Your strips should generally be about an inch to an inch and a half in width, and about 6 inches in length. If your strips are too long you can always cut them in half. Once you have your pile of rag strips you are ready to get started.

Take your section where you’d like to see your curls.

Spray section liberally with hair spray. This will help hold layered hair in place while you roll, and make the hair less slippery. It will also help set the curls while you sleep.

It may be helpful to twist each section before rolling. Very layered hair may benefit from twisting. This will result in a crazier curl sometimes so experiment!

Once you have prepped your section, place the rag at the ends of the hair and roll under. It doesn’t have to be perfect your first time, you will get better at this as you go. Maintaining tension along the hair strand will help you a lot as you roll towards the head.

When you reach the base, tie the ends of the rag in a knot (or bow if you’re fancy) so that it is comfortable and secure to the head.

Continue in this fashion until you are satisfied that all of your hair is up in rags. Experiment with placement to compliment your cut or the style you are going for.

Sleep on it!

When you wake up and remove all the rags, your hair will be bananas. You will want to pick the curls out with a wide tooth comb or your fingers. Rag curls can be a little unpredictable, especially when you’re learning so it’s always good to have bobby pins on hand to pin your hair up that first day when it’s the most curly. The curls will relax over time and if you set them on clean hair you can wear them for a few days in between shampoos.

Step One: Seated in a chair, lean forward over your lap and swoop all your hair forward .
Step Two: Using bobby pins, secure your hair to the front of your head. 
Step Three: Sit up and admire your handiwork, adjusting any areas that are not smooth.
Step Four: Gently back-comb (rat/tease) the hair that sticks out.  At this point you can use a curling iron to create curls which can be pinned to hide the earlier bobby pins, OR you can simply pin the ends of your totally awesome frizzed out puffball. Feel free to adorn with flowers, feathers, random jewels.

Step One: Seated in a chair, lean forward over your lap and swoop all your hair forward . Step Two: Using bobby pins, secure your hair to the front of your head. Step Three: Sit up and admire your handiwork, adjusting any areas that are not smooth. Step Four: Gently back-comb (rat/tease) the hair that sticks out. At this point you can use a curling iron to create curls which can be pinned to hide the earlier bobby pins, OR you can simply pin the ends of your totally awesome frizzed out puffball. Feel free to adorn with flowers, feathers, random jewels.