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How To Style For Korean Curly Hair | 10-Step Definitive Guide

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Skye Rhodes

Cute curly hairstyles are known to never go out of style, so here we have a 10 step guide on how to style Korean curly hair.

People born with naturally straight hair sometimes happen to be so tired of the look of their hair, they are ready to spend up to several hundred dollars to get hair treatments or styling tools that would make their hair curly or at least wavy.

There are numerous ways to style curly hair, even though the idea of curly hair is interpreted differently in various cultures and countries.

There are a few reference groups when discussing hair research.

One of those groups is the ‘East Asian’ hair, which incorporates Korea, and is acknowledged to mean pin-straight hair; while ‘African’ or ‘ethnic’ hair group is known with the ‘curly’ or ‘very curly’ hair type.

This article will further explore the origins and differentiating factors of Korean type curly hair.

More importantly, it will focus on tips and secrets on how to style Korean curly hair.


History Of Korean Curly Hair

Sadly enough, being born with curly hair for Koreans is rare, plus curly hair isn’t a factor that a teenage girl or boy would be happy with.

Korean society incorporates some strict ideal beauty models and hairstyle isn’t an exception.

You might have seen Korean people in real-life, on television shows, or across the broad spectrum of the Internet, can you recall a male or female representative of the Korean nation having curly hair?

I’m nearly 100% sure that your answer to the question is no.

Interestingly, the reason for that lies among the accepted norms that the country has.

Even though curly hair (Afro curly hair) is considered to be unprofessional, people in Korea also aren’t very much fond of super straight hair, which in its place results in their massive interest in so to say “curly” (actually wavy) hair.

So, we understand that “curly” hair as Korean people define it is the ideal hairstyle, that isn’t too curly and not too straight and isn’t extra voluminous either.

The Attitude Towards Very Curly Hair in Korea

Even though real curly hair is a matter that can sometimes be viewed negatively upon, it’s important to be aware of the fact that Korean people know some sufficient methods on how to get their hair curly.

The broadly known method for achieving non-natural curls is called “perm”.

Many Korean people know that if somebody has got some defined curls, it can only be the result of using perm to curl the hair strands artificially.

I’ve already addressed that having super curly hair in Korea can be a reason for an unfavorable and dismissive attitude towards a person.

And if a person is just calmly walking down the street, they may be called out for looking “unprofessional” for having that much curly hair.

However, I would also like to emphasize the fact that like every other controversial issue, curly hair in Korea as well isn’t always considered something to be shameful for.

Indeed, there are many people there who think that having and wearing your hair curly daily doesn’t have any kind of negative impact on the person.

Opinions vary, but what’s more entertaining to know is that Korean people are known to the world for their extraordinary “staying-young” phenomenon, which makes many of us question the secret behind their beauty routines.

The 10-Step Definitive Guide For Korean Curly Hair

Many non-Korean people who seek to find all of the secrets that this East Asian nation’s beauty care includes widely recognize the 10-step skincare routine.

It’s fascinating to know that Koreans also have an acknowledged method to achieve their silky straight or slightly wavy hairstyles along with a step-by-step skincare routine which makes them stand out.

Before getting into some specific detail and steps to accomplish the hair look, let’s focus on an idea that makes us believe that there’s something in the Korean routine specifically that’s interesting and worth trying out.

I want to refer to the fact that gray hair might become a problem for many people who are only about to celebrate their 25th birthday.

It isn’t a secret that gray hair, in most cases, is a result of stressful events that an individual might experience.

According to studies, East Asian countries’ citizens pass a quite stressful life with pressure on having and maintaining a successful career path.

And here comes the question of how those countries, including Korea, can be known to have those prominent levels of stress-life but at the same time record noteworthy results when talking about their physical attributes, being it their flawless skin, silky, shiny hair, etc.

The only conclusion here is that both their skin and hair care procedure is super complete and effective and the fact that Korean people are taking these routines quite seriously is the reason behind their young-looking appearance.

Hair Care and Hair Look Connection

If you desire to achieve the beautiful looking Korean type of curly, effortless hairstyle, it’s important to acknowledge that you need to establish a particular Korean hair care routine for yourself.

Of course, you can always choose the short-term solution and follow the steps, which are listed below and enjoy the look of your hair for a couple of days.

However, if you’re more interested in finding a sustainable method and solution, be sure to complete at least half of the Korean hair care routine and only after that style your hair for more efficient results.

So since hair care is viewed as an essential and differentiating factor to achieve the specific type of Korean silky and wavy hair, this 10-step definitive guide includes a few steps about the care only after which you can find steps that discuss the curling method itself.

This much said on any background information, now let us proceed to the actual guided steps.

Step 1: Scalp Treatment

It turns out that Korean people are separating the hair routine into two parts: scalp and hair.

They are pretty much convinced that scalp and hair need separate procedures and it’s only the combination of these two that results in them to have shiny, glowy hair.

Just like for straight hair, these care routine steps are a way to get rid of the frizziness of naturally curly hair and achieve a beautifully defined curly hair look.

So let’s start with the first step.

Scalers are the very first step in the regimen, which acts as a cleanser for the scalp.

This kind of product is acid-based; it thoroughly cleans and exfoliates the scalp, helping to eliminate any excess oil build-up and remove dead skin cells.

This product’s usage is quite simple, requiring application only once a week or once in two weeks.

Before shampooing the hair you need to apply the scaler to dry hair.

After applying, rub the product to completely cover your head and let it stay for 15 minutes (you can section your hair when using the scaler, it will help you make sure it’s applied evenly).

After waiting 15 minutes, just rinse and shampoo your hair as you would typically do.

Step 2: Scalp Massage And Shampoo

After completing the cleaning process with a scaler for the scalp, it’s time to shampoo the hair.

An important step here is that the regular shampooing process should be combined with a thorough scalp massage, preferably using a scalp brush.

Before going on, I would like to mention that some people state that they have eliminated the step of shampooing the hair.

Instead of it, they use apple vinegar and water mixture, which as they say act as an even better cleanser than any shampoo that they have used.

For curly hair primarily, the latter is known to be working even better because people with curly hair tend to use several products for their hair, and the build-up from those, makes them need even more exfoliation for the scalp.

After all, whether you choose to use a shampoo or an apple vinegar mixture, the massage part is more important.

If you choose to apply shampoo, apply it by pouring a small amount to your hands, and right after that start gently massaging the scalp with a scalp brush.

Usage of a scalp brush helps to stimulate blood flow to the hair follicle and better get rid of dead skin compared to using fingers to massage the scalp.

Step 3: Applying Conditioner And Deep Conditioner

We know that the usage of hair conditioners helps our hair to detangle and feel a lot silkier.

However, sometimes those kinds of products are known to be drying out the hair, which is, of course, improper if you desire to achieve the beautiful Korean curly hair look.

So, choose the conditioner wisely, and when applying to be sure to leave it for 3-5 minutes.

to sink in and then just rinse the hair.

If you feel like your hair needs more moisture, try out a deep conditioner or apply hair essence which would ensure that the moisture stays in your hair.

Step 4: Heat Protectant

If you want your curls or waves to look not only perfect but also feel perfect, then you better not skip this step.

When the styling iron is on heat, it gets so hot that you can burn your finger if you accidentally touch the hot side of the tool and I think the damage of that heat to the hair does not even need to be proven.

After finishing up the steps of the care routine in the shower, air dry, or use a towel to remove the excess water from the hair and apply the heat protectant spray.

When you reach the step of drying your hair some days you might want to let it air dry; the other day you would want to use a blowdryer.

If you choose the second method, make sure to apply the heat protectant before beginning the drying process.

After having your hair 100% dry, it’s finally time to repeat the application of the heat protectant spray and turn on the straightening iron.

Step 5: Set Up The Temperature Of The Flat Iron

One of the easiest and quickest ways to style Korean type curly hair is to use a flat iron.

Even though many hairdressers use a flat iron to achieve curly looks, some people might find using a straightener to curl their hair challenging, but if used correctly this method works magic on hair.

The choice of the straightening iron also plays a substantial role.

When choosing to buy a flat iron, make sure to buy an iron with curved edges so that it’ll be easier for you to style and curl the hair.

Flat irons with square-like edges are hard to work with and might drag and severely pull your hair when styling it.

If the heat protectant is there you might think you no longer have to think about your hair being damaged, but I hurry to warn that the temperature of the curling tool is also quite crucial.

Experts say that the optimal heat for setting the flat iron is around 160 to 185 degrees Celsius.

So, set the flat iron anywhere between the optimal number and wait for it to warm up.

Quick tip here.

If you want to eliminate the chance of getting something burned or melted around the area where you put the flat iron, use a silicone pad or a special container so that you can put the iron on it when it’s not on your hair.

Step 6: Brush and Section Hair In Parts

Brushing the hair before doing any drying or styling is super important.

It helps to eliminate any kind of detangles that might be in hair strands, and altogether it makes the styling and sectioning processes go more comfortable and smoother.

After brushing the hair, section up the hair into two parts and secure the upper part with a tie or a clip.

Remember that if you have thick hair you might want to divide the hair into more sections, while people with thinner hair should be fine with two-part sectioning.

Step 7: Curling The Lower Part of The Hair

Here comes the most crucial step, when you get the flat iron in your hands and should start the curling process.

It’s quite simple when you practice it a few times (you can do it with iron turned off, it’ll help you to master the technique).

So, you just pick a section of the hair that’s not more than the flat iron’s width, then put the hair section in the divided part of the straightener with one hand.

Hold the flat iron vertically, roll out the hair away from the face and gently move it downwards while holding the end of the hair with the other hand.

After getting the first piece done, move on to the other section of the lower part of your sectioning.

Repeat the same technique and you should get clearly defined and pretty curly looking hair strands.

When you finish one side, move on to the other and repeat the same technique to achieve the curls.

In this step, the curls might be looking even curlier than you would like them to be, but don’t get stressed, it’s straightforward to fix just wait until you finish up with all of the hair.

Also, you might have some strands of hair that curled perfectly while others might be curly at the ends but left straight near the roots.

In this case, what you should do is to use the iron to twist out the particular hair part that’s left straight and move on to other sections.

Step 8: Curling The Upper Part of The Hair

After finishing up the lower part, untie the upper part and again start to curl the hair in small sections.

It’s vital that even if you fail a few times don’t say that it’s hard to do, just practice, and achieve the desired result.

Just in case you still need extra help, try to follow the below instructions.

Get the hair section, put it inside the flat iron while holding the iron facing downwards.

Gently apply some pressure to close the straightener while having hair inside it.

Remember to need to work fast; otherwise, the iron may leave a line mark on your hair because of holding it in the same position for a few seconds longer.

After closing the straightener with hair in it, roll it out to nearly 180 degrees away from your face and gently move the tool towards the end of the hair.

When you let the hair out of the iron it sometimes may be quite hot to hold it with your hands so a suggestion here is to slowly shake the curl with keeping it at the end with one hand.

This helps the hair strand to cool down and lock up the shape of the wave.

Step 9: Curling The Front Pieces and Finishing Up

When you are left with only front pieces and bangs you should drag the straightener quicker so that the curls are less defined, of course only if you’re really into achieving the essential and effortless looking Korean type curly hair.

In the process of doing your bangs, twist the flat iron just like you did for other sections of hair; however, do this part a bit quicker because bangs are short and thin and they’ll get quite curly in much less time.

Right after you finish curling all of the hair sections you might want to go over some parts again.

When you use this technique you might see that some strands are very curly while some are straight, but as I’ve already mentioned you are free to re-do any section that you want to.

You can quickly run the straightener through the hair section that you want to be less curly or curl a piece if you feel like it’s too straight.

Step 10: Apply Texturizing Spray

Congratulations! You’re on the last step of achieving the most attractive Korean-like styled curly hair look.

You only need to complete the finishing touches and your hairstyle will be ready.

For the ultimate effortless look, gently brush through your hair with your fingers, apply a texturizer of your choice, or a hair spray.

Hair spray will make the curls last longer while the texturizer will texturize the curls and help to achieve the gorgeous, undone looking but at the same time put together a curly hairstyle.

Final Thoughts

You’re all done.

There you have it after completing these steps; the most effortless-looking, shiny, glowy, and wavy hair.

This article focused on presenting a detailed explanation and ten steps on how to style Korean curly hair.

Again, if your goal is to experience the Korean-type styled hair at its finest you should devote a considerable amount of time to try out and regularly use the hair care products that Korean people use for themselves.

Be aware that using hot tools for hair daily can be damaging for hair, and to compensate for those harmful effects, what you can do for hair is implementation of a proper hair care routine.

I’m sure that as long as you’re following a routine and not extremely overdoing hairstyles that require hot tool usage, you’ll be fine with the look and feel of your hair.

In case you still have any unanswered questions regarding this topic, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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