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Twist Ties: Easy Overnight Curls for (Single) Lazy Girls

Sometimes it takes fresh eyes to highlight an old technique. Eleven-year-old E showed me the best, lazy-girl's way to curl my hair. Here, I've demonstrated on L, E's little sister.
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pretty waves from overnight twist ties

pretty waves from overnight twist ties

Know how sometimes you need new eyes to see something in a fresh way? I use 11-year-old eyes belonging to E. (That's her seven-year-old sister, L, above.)

E and I have been bonding over her high level of interest in practicing complex braided hairstyles and my high level of interest in letting her braid my hair a few times per visit (1: how very one-sided of me, and 2: real reason I'm reluctant to cut my hair short again). This past weekend, she wanted to try this new curling trick she'd learned. I'd seen the results Friday night on L, whose fine, thin hair was unusually all-a-bounce with corkscrew curls along the lower third of her hair, and wondered how E had managed to wield a hot curling iron on a fidgety seven-year-old without incident. But I'm brave. I was willing to let her try. Except it wasn't what I thought.

Remember how straight-haired women got curls before someone invented rollers? Waaaay before someone invented curling irons and bendy sticks? Women rolled their hair in scraps of fabric or paper, twisted them up and tied them in place before bed. Turns out E had used dry baby wipes to wind, wrap and tie L's hair before bed. So on Saturday night, re-using four of the (very strong yet soft) wipes she'd used on her sis the day before, E divided my hair into four large sections and wrapped my hair, rolling and tying them about a third of the way up.

twist ties in hair before bed

decidedly un-glam twist ties before bed

E then showed me her technique on L, so that I could try my hand at it (her Friday curls were all gone; she'd washed her hair Saturday morning). But instead of wrapping just the lower part of the hair, I divided her hair into eight, and twisted each all the way to the tip before winding it around the wipe (okay, one was a used Bounce sheet) and tying it in place at the base. I then wondered aloud whether L would be able to sleep with big knots all over her head. "I don't care, I want curls," she said, firmly. (This girl will suffer for curls.)

happy waves and curls

happy waves and curls

And this was the result on Sunday morning via Instagram, after I loosened L's curls up with my fingers. She added the jaunty little hat clip ("I wore it for French day at school," she told me); the flower with its big crystal centre is one of E's crafty faux-flower pens.

the night before and the morning after

the night before and the morning after

What a great, low-tech way to get stay-all-day waves and curls. A brilliant use of dried-out baby or makeup wipes (some folks use paper towels or TP, or strips of fabric), it works on dry hair (spritz with setting lotion or hairspray if need be) and takes just minutes to do before bed. I say it's a technique for single girls without nighttime company (not a sexy look) who just want to finger-comb their hair out in the morning and go. And a bright-eyed 11-year-old showed me how to do it.

Have you ever tried this route to waves and curls? Would you?

Apologies for the dim and blurry photos. I'd left my Fujifilm at home, so had to use my cel camera instead. Plus with this little monkey, ya gotta snap fast. (I'm dying over how insanely adorable she is in her polka-dot pjs and glasses, watching High School Musical 2 so alertly while all those curl-wipes stand up in the air.)