There are a variety of reasons why your hair might be having trouble forming (and staying in) a curl. Regardless of your hair texture or volume, this is a fairly common problem that can happen to almost anyone! In this post, we’ll discuss some of the most common reasons why your hair might not be curling, as well as what to do about it.

Hot, humid weather

Hot, humid weather can be the culprit for this issue. Everyone’s hair has a natural growth pattern, and in order to reshape it into curls or waves, you have to break the hydrogen bonds in your hair strands (via the heat of a styling tool). These bonds reform after you style your hair, hypothetically holding it into your desired shape. However, hot, humid weather causes these hydrogen bonds to break again, loosening your hair from its style.

If you’ve noticed that your hair won’t hold a curl on hot, humid days, we recommend taking extra measures to prevent the weather from ruining your look. Try using a styling spray before you use a heated tool on your hair, and then following up with a hair spray or another setting product to lock in the look.

Your styling tool isn’t hot enough

As discussed above, heat is required in order to break the hydrogen bonds in your hair strands, which in turn allows you to re-shape your hair. If you’re using a styling tool on a moderate setting, or if it just doesn’t turn up to a very high level, you might want to consider upping the heat in order to achieve your desired style.

If you do decide to opt for a hotter product (or just turn up the heat on your existing product), we recommend that you take care to protect your hair strands from the heat before styling. Try using a protective, styling spray before your tool in order to prevent the heat from damaging your hair.

You just washed your hair

When your hair is clean, it’s actually more difficult to get it to hold a curl. You might want to plan ahead so that your shampoo days don’t line up with curling days, as having a bit of grit in your hair may actually help it to form the shape you’d like. If skipping shampoo some days isn’t your thing, you could try to create a comparable effect using a sea salt spray. We recommend Not Your Mothers’ Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray, an easy-to-use product that can be applied to wet, dry, or damp hair.

You’re using the wrong tools

People with especially fine, thin, and/or straight hair might find that they have better results with old-fashioned hair curlers than with a heated styling tool. You can set your hair in curlers overnight, giving it plenty of time to ease into your desired shape. All you have to do is remove the curlers in the morning, loosen your curls, and follow up with a finishing spray if desired!