Crimped Hair: How To Rock This Old School Look In 2018

Trending Styles To Wear Every Day

Crimped Hair: How To Wear The Throwback Trend Without Looking Like It's 1982

10 August 2018
photo of woman with crimped hair
Jelani Addams Rosa

Jelani Addams Rosa

Associate Editor,

As an employee of L'Oréal, Jelani brings her knowledge and passion for hair care to Before joining the team, she spent time at Celebuzz, Seventeen, and Cosmo for Latinas.

If you’re looking for a little blast from the past, look no further than this latest hair trend: Crimped hair is back and it’s better than ever! Over the last few months, celebrities have been slaying this retro style on the red carpet and we couldn’t wait to get in on the fun.

As much as we love old trends, we don’t really want to look like we stepped off the set of a 1980’s workout video. Lucky for us, there are tons of ways to slay this trend without looking like you’re ready to get physical. Keep reading to find out how your hair can party like it’s 1982 and still look totally modern in 2018.

photo of all over crimped hair

All-Over Crimped Hair

It just so happens that one of our favorite life mottos is also one of our favorite hair mottos: Go big or go home. No style personifies that more than crimped hair. An all-over crimped look is not for the faint of heart, but those willing to take the plunge will be rewarded with a show-stopping look. Your friends won’t be able to stop talking about it.

Crimping hair is a lot like flat ironing it, but it requires more patience. To begin start at the back of your head working with 1-inch sections of clean, dry hair. Spray each one with a heat protectant before clamping the base of the section with your crimper. We recommend Redken’s Hot Sets 22: Thermal Setting Mist which is formulated to protect your strands from heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and boost shine.

Once clamped at the base, hold your crimper in place for 10-15 seconds as the crimped pattern sets. Slowly move your crimper down the section, clamping each part of your hair for 10-15 seconds to lock in the texture. Continue moving down the section of hair until the entire piece is crimped. Repeat the process until you’ve crimped all of your hair. Once you’ve crimped your entire head, set your style with a firm hold hairspray like Pureology’s Lock It Down Hairspray. Formulated with olive oil and Pureology’s exclusive AntiFade Complex, this hairspray will keep your look in place with natural-looking hold and control.

photo of jumbo crimped hair

Jumbo Crimped Hair

If you can’t decide between crimped hair and waves, the jumbo crimp is perfect for you. Jumbo crimped hair is best achieved with a flat iron as opposed to a traditional crimper, allowing you to create angled waves as big as your heart desires.

Start at the back of your head, working with 2-inch sections of clean, dry hair. Spray each one with a heat protectant before clamping the base of the section with your flat iron. Once clamped, flip the flat iron down and hold for 15 seconds. Then, move your flat iron down the section of hair, flip the flat iron up, and hold. Continue twisting the flat iron up and down until you reach the bottom of the section. Once you’ve crimped your whole head, set your look with a flexible hold hair spray.

photo of braided crimped hair style

Braided And Crimped Hair

Once you’ve crimped your locks, take your ‘do to the next level by styling it in a fun, voluminous braid. The compliments will start rolling in once people get a look at this eye-catching style.

photo of brushed out crimped hair style

Brushed Out Crimped Hair

We all know the day after you get your blowout is when your hair looks its best. It’s still clean, shiny, and bouncy from the day before, but it has a lived-in quality that just oozes sex appeal. Day two crimped hair is no different. The crimped waves are a little loose from the previous 24 hours and yet they manage to look even better than before. If you don’t have a full day to let your hair do its thing, gently brush through your crimped locks to get a loose, barely-there crimp you’ll love.

photo of accent crimped hair style

Accent Crimped Hair

If an all-over crimped look is not for you but you still want to take part in the trend, opt for a crimped accent. By just crimping a few sections of your hair, you’ll add a cool visual and textural element to your style without fully committing to a crimped ‘do. Who knows, maybe a few accents is all you’ll need to convince yourself you can totally pull off an all over crimped look.

photo of heat free crimped hair

Heat-Free Crimped Hair

If you don’t feel like digging out your old crimper from the attic but still want to slay the style, we’ve got the perfect hack for you. A simple braid out is the perfect way to get a crimped look without applying heat.

To get this look, begin with damp hair (or dampen your hair with a spray bottle) and begin braiding your hair in 1-inch sections. Once you’ve finished your entire head, allow your braids to dry or speed the process along with the help of a hair dryer. When your strands are completely dry, remove the braids. Your hair will be perfectly crimped—leaving you ready to slay a girls night out on the town.

Create Volume At Your Roots

We love to see the way people have re-embraced crimped hair in 2018. But if you ask your stylist, they’ll tell you crimpers never actually went anywhere. While you may not have seen anyone with crimped hair walking down the street in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, you could find a crimper in every major stylists’ tool kit. When crimpers aren’t being used to create beautifully textured styles, stylists use them to create major volume at the roots of their client’s mane.

Much like backcombing, crimpers create much needed texture at the crown for sky-high hair-do’s. While backcombing can oftentimes be stressful and somewhat damaging on your strands, when used with a heat protectant product, crimpers can create volume and texture with minimal damage to your strands.

Cleanse and condition your hair with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner, then prep your hair with the appropriate volumizing styling product. We recommend L’Oréal Professionnel’s Serie Expert Volumetry Shampoo and Conditioner. The system is formulated with a combination of purifying salicylic acid and HydraLight, for a volume effect. Hair looks volumized, feels cleansed and lightly moisturized. Followed by L’Oréal Professionnel’s Serie Expert Volumetry Anti Gravity Effect Volume Spray. The professional formula, infused with Intra-Cylane and HydraLight, provides body and fullness to hair from the root, for voluminous hold. Once your hair is completely dry, section off the hair at your crown and flip it over so that it hangs in front of your face.

Then, crimp the roots from the section of hair underneath. Once you’ve crimped all of your roots, flip the hair from the crown of your head back over and gently comb the top so it looks smooth. This technique is great for making braids, updos, and even blowouts appear thicker and fuller. To ensure your volumized style lasts all night, set your look with a firm-hold hairspray like Pureology’s Lock It Down Hairspray.

Looking to add a crimper to your arsenal of hot hair tools? Keep reading to check out a few crimpers we love below.

DryBar Big Crimpin’ Crimping Iron

This crimper’s ionic technology helps to seal the hair cuticle for less frizz and tons of shine while styling, for a sleek take on crimped hair you won’t be able to get enough of.

DryBar Big Crimpin’ Crimping Iron, $99.00 MSRP

Bed Head Waveaholic 2'' For Tight Waves, Volume & Crimp Like Texture

If you like your crimped hair to look a little more like a cross between a crimp and a wave, this is the perfect tool for you. The wavy, rippled plates to transform your look into sexy volume with beachy, crimp-like texture throughout.

Bed Head Waveaholic 2'' For Tight Waves, Volume & Crimp Like Texture, $34.99 MSRP

Interested in personalized advice about how to get the curls of your dreams? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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