Woman with crimped hairstyle

Crimped Hair: 3 Easy Ways to Get The Look

Crimped hairstyles are making a huge comeback. Learn how to nail the style in 3 ways

We are all about finding modern ways to revive old trends, and we couldn’t be more excited about the resurgence of one of our favorite ’80s trends: crimped hair. And really, how can you not love those teeny tiny, defined waves with their jagged edge? So cool! But great crimps aren’t don’t appear naturally — you have to create these chic waves with a crimping tool (or alternative heatless methods) and the right hair care products.

Read on to find out how to master this vintage hairstyle (and give it a modern update) to make it your new go-to look for any occasion.

Crimped Hair: The Origins

This hairstyle was invented in 1972 by Geri Cusenza, while she was styling a famous singer for her album cover. Since then, it became one of the key styles of the 80s and has made various comebacks over the decades, thanks to popstars and celebrities constantly updating the look.

But what is crimped hair? This technique involves the use of a hair crimper or crimping iron, that looks like a straightener but has wave-shaped ceramic instead. The final result is a zig-zagged, wavy texture that is uniform across your strands. While the 80s look was more dramatic, modern crimped hair consists of looser styles and mermaid waves, so you can enjoy experimenting with different patterns and wave widths.

The Top 3 Methods to Crimp Your Hair

1. Crimping Tools

Woman with long crimped hair
Photo credit: Shutterstock

So one of the easiest ways to crimp your hair is with a crimping iron. This tool looks like a hair straightener but the ceramic inside is ridged with small waves.

How to Crimp Your Hair with a Crimping Tool

You’ll want to start off by protecting your hair as your strands will have high contact with heat while using this tool. We suggest spraying Dove Style+Care Smooth and Shine Heat Protection Spray throughout your hair to create a protective barrier between your hair and the heat.

Next, section your hair into more manageable sections. Then, beginning at your roots, clamp the hair crimper over your strands and hold for 5-10 seconds before moving your way down the hair shaft. Continue all the way to the ends of your hair until the length of these strands is crimped. Continue until all of your hair is crimped and finish off with a mist of Suave Extreme Hold Unscented Aerosol Hairspray to hold your style in place.

2. Overnight Braids

beautiful blonde woman with braided hair contemplating the morning
Photo Credit: The Stock Company/Shutterstock.

If you’re looking for a heatless option for creating crimped hair, you’ll want to consider overnight braids.

How to Crimp Hair with Overnight Braids

Wash and condition your hair, then allow it to air-dry until it’s roughly 80 per cent dry. Run The Good Stuff Volumizing Hydration Foam throughout your strands from the roots to the ends. Then section off your hair and create small braids using one-inch sections of hair.

Make sure to braid all the way to the ends of your hair so the crimped waves will stretch to the very end. Sleep in the braids overnight. When you take them out in the morning, you’ll be left with gorgeous crimped-like waves.

If you’re looking for a quick and thorough tutorial to get crimped hair with braids and an air dryer, we’ve got you covered with this styling guide.

3. Straighteners

hairstyles for thick coarse hair: crimped hair
Crimps are back. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Do you not have a hair crimper? Maybe you are short on time? Not to worry, you can use your flat iron to quickly crimp your hair.

How to Crimp Hair With Straighteners

Want to know how to crimp hair with a flat iron? Create the same small braids all over your head but this time start with dry hair. Use your hair straightener and run it over the braids to restyle the hair around the strands as they’re folded into the braids. When you take them down and run your fingers through the waves, you’ll be left with a beautiful feathery crimped style.

hairstylist using hair crimper to make waves on brown hair
Photo Credit: Laboko/Shutterstock

Tips for Crimping Hair

Considering trying the look? Here are some tips to achieve the best crimped hair possible:

  • If you have thick hair or lots of hair, start crimping from the bottom layers and working your way to the upper ones.
  • You can use a hair crimper to give volume to fine and thin hair. Simply crimp the hair around your roots for an instant puffy boost.
  • For a dramatic crimped style, gently brush your crimped hair with a wide-tooth comb to reach maximum volume.
  • Use some hair wax before styling to add even more shine to your crimped locs.
  • If you have extensions, keep your crimper’s temperature lower to avoid any damage.

How To Style Modern Crimped Hair

stylish young woman with blue outfit and brown crimped hair
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

So how to make crimped hair Y2K chic? The trick is not to go too extreme when you’re creating the waves. Modern crimped hair calls for looser curls, like mermaid waves that are perfect for any hair texture, or you can crimp smaller sections of your hair for a faux-frizzy, bed-head feel. Crimping also works well to spice up ponytails and braided updos.

Now you have three different techniques to create crimped hair and the best tips to nail the look! Have fun recreating the trend and bringing the 80s back with a modern flair.


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