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How to Get Straight Hair to Hold a Curl

Lock them in place with the right cut, colour and styling products.
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Welcome to our Hair Consultation column. To request an online hair consultation from celebrity hairstylist Bill Angst, follow the instructions here.

Q: I'd like to know what to do with my hair—what colour will be the best for me and what length. I've tried many different hair colours, but my real colour is light brown with red undertones.

From The Styling Edit Archives

Anastasia has tried many different colours, including red.

My hair is very, very straight. I'd really like to have curls, but when I try to curl it, it takes about five minutes for them to fall and then I have straight hair again. 

Anastasia has very straight hair that won't hold a curl.

I want to have a hairstyle that feels like it's in harmony with myself, because right now it's not and I am sad. Please help me. — Anastasia

A: Anastasia, your pretty and petite style is what movie stars are made of. There are very few people who can be as diversified with their hair colour as you can.

Dark, straight hair and a bang that is maybe a bit shorter than this photo will open up your eyes and cheekbones.

Camilla Belle's thick bangs.

This would be a strong look for you and would suit your natural straight hair.

On the other end of the spectrum is you having a warm shade of hair colour. Although I am sure you would be fine with most shades, this is my favourite for you.

Bella Thorne at the 2011 Kids' Choice Awards.

The narrower bang is essential so there are softer edges to curl. 

A few long layers will also give you ends to curl.

Now, the curling. It is very difficult for straight hair to hold any curl. When hair has been processed to a lighter shade like this, it will roughen up the cuticle. So your chances of getting a curl might be better. 

I would use a spray-on setting lotion with each section before curling with a wand. You might also want a coating of hairspray while the curls are super-fresh.

Never ever run your fingers through any precious curls you acquire. Treat each curl as a newborn. 


Bill Angst is one of Canada’s top celebrity hairstylists and the owner of Angst Salon at 240 Queen Street East in Toronto. Call 416-360-5942 to book an appointment.