I have really long (at least mid back if not lower, though with some shorter layers around my face that are more like armpit length), really thick, really straight hair.  When a pro does my hair it will curl and hold it, but it'll also be hairspray stiff and I hate that.  I have tried to curl it myself so many times.  I have used hot rollers, rag curls, curling irons of varying sizes and price points, and even using my Chi to curl which I've seen give gorgeous curls to people!  Not me though.

Before I go further- I got no free products, none of these links are affiliate links, I'm making no money or any other sort of compensation for this review.  I just like to a) share products and stuff that I like, and b) share detailed reviews, especially if I've looked around online and couldn't find the info I needed, maybe someone else had the same thing to wonder about and I can help clear that up.

via www.curlformers.com

I rarely go to Sally's but recently when I did I noticed Curlformers.  I thought they looked weird and like they'd give the fakey ringlet cheerleader type curl, which isn't what I was going for.  I love big, bouncy, Victoria's Secret type curls.  While my store had a tiny selection, I did some research and noticed there are so many sizes.  There are 3 different curl types and 3 or 4 different lengths (the different colors are for clockwise and counterclockwise curls). I started googling reviews and it seemed like thick hair needed a ton of these things, so I finally broke down and ordered 40 of the Long Barrel Curls and it also came with hooks.  Now, if I wanted my hair curled near the root, I should have ordered the Extra Long Barrel Curls because with the Long ones, the shortest layer of my hair (right by my face, it's grown out long bangs) has about 1" or so hanging out if I have the Curlformer near the root.  I wanted the curls to start more mid-section though so it worked out OK for me.  Now, one thing that really does bug me is that I paid for 40 of them, but only needed 19 to cover my hair!  I have sooooo much hair that this really surprised me.

Putting them in was really simple but like I said I had done some googling and I watched some Youtube videos of girls with straight hair using them.  The hook is huge and all you have to do is slide the curlformer all the way onto the hook, then take a section of your hair, twist it in the direction of the curlformer (not all the way- just where you're going to hook it), hook that piece of hair, and then slide the curlformer towards your hooked hair, eventually pulling the hook all the way through and allowing the curlformer to spring into shape with your hair inside.  My hair takes forever to air dry but I had let it air dry for about 90 minutes, occasionally scrunching it inside a towel.  I didn't use any styling cream.  It probably only took me 20-30 minutes to do my whole head.  I was expecting longer for my first time.

Step 1.

after you have the curlformer on the hook a la photo #1, hook your hair and pull the hook back down through the curl former.  Easy peasy.
Am I really sharing this pic?

I wasn't sure how long I was going to leave them in.  Some people sleep in them but that seemed really painful.  I did try laying down and since I started them mid-hair I could kind of spread them out behind my head so it's possible you could get comfortable. They aren't hard and they are mesh but it's not exactly soft.  It was only about 4:30PM at this point so I figured even if I only left them in til bedtime that's at least 6 hours.  Well, the family had other plans, and rather than go out and get stared at, I started blow drying my hair at 6:40.  I did use high heat and I'm not sure that's recommended but I move the dryer around a lot so I wasn't worried.  I did this in between doing my makeup.  I blow dried for like 5 minutes (I really hate blow drying my hair..), did my base, 5 minutes, contour, 5 minutes, eyes.  When my hair was cooled I finally went ahead and pulled the curlers out.  I wasn't totally sure my hair was dry.  Air drying my hair straight would take forever to dry- I can sleep with it wet and wake up with it damn.  I'm guessing the combo of it being mesh, it separating my hair out, and 15 minutes of the hair dryer really helped, because it was dry!  And...curly!  And very soft!

I kind of smushed them a little bit with my fingers to get them to combine but very gently and sparingly.  I sprayed them with Elnett and that's pretty much it.  I used a fine comb from my part to the top of my ears or so to smooth out that hair.  I was so surprised by the results.

Shower- wet hair- about 90 minutes
Curlformer use- about 30 minutes
Drying time- about 2 hours later, 15 minutes of dryer
Total time from out of shower-removing curlers- about 4 hours 15 minutes

That sounds like a lot of time, and it probably is if you can use a curling iron to get beautiful barrel curls, but if you're like me and can't do so after literally a decade if not more of practice, and your hair never holds them anyway, it's awesome.  Obviously you can do other things during most of that 4.15 hour time span- putting in and drying would be the biggest time sinks.  Removing takes seconds.  Styling is up to you but as noted I barely styled them.

I took a lot of pics- this is around 2 hours after removing them, and much of that time was spent outside in the eastern NC humidity.

This is around 4 hours later, after I couldn't sleep and laid around in bed playing on my iPad

And this is next day curls with a little bit of styling help.  When I say little, I mean I twisted my hair back in the direction of the curl (away from my face on both sides) and sprayed lightly with Elnett again.  Again I fine tooth combed from my part to about the tops of my ears just to smooth that straighter hair.

Ok, so, I showered Tuesday afternoon, then did the styling thing.  Then woke up Wednesday and that would be the pics you just saw.  This is how I looked waking up on Thursday:

Even though I try to be really really gentle with my hair since I dye it red, I can't handle not showering more often than every other day.  My hair gets greasy fast.  I'm going to try some of the new Bumble & bumble Pret A Powder to see if I like it better than other dry shampoos, but I haven't grabbed it yet.  So, at this point in the hair curling experiment, I showered again.  Bye bye pretty curls!  They'll be back on Saturday when I have a dressy special event I'll need to style for.

*A few weeks later*

So I had been waiting on hitting Post on this because I decided I wanted longer curlformers.  I ordered a set of 29" and wanted to show the difference.  The one on the right, the 16" one, to get the end of my hair curled I had to set it where you see it.  The one on the left is 29" and not only is it at my roots, but it's not even full of hair.  If you look at the bottom curl of that curlformer, then go up to the 3rd from bottom, on the right side you can just see the end of my hair.  That's a LOT of growing room and I can still position them lower.  It doesn't make a difference to have empty curlformer at the end if you want to buy a longer length  and use on both long and short hair.

For reference, here's how long my hair is.  I possible could have been ok with the 22" length, but I'm still growing my hair.  I like it long.

Final thoughts, or tl;dr:  I have long, thick, straight hair that flat out won't hold a curl with a curling iron, flat iron, hot rollers, going to sleep with rag twists on wet hair, etc.  Using Curlformers (and occasionally I won't even use heat!  Sooo much better for my hair) I can get curls that look great and last at least 3 days if not longer (sorry, gotta wash my hair sometime!).  I don't even use styling products except for some light hair spray.  They are easy to use and while not 100% comfortable if you need to lay down, it's doable.  My hair dries faster than normal while in them, I guess because they're spread out more, and I really can't think of anything negative to say.  I love them.  I use them almost every time I wash my hair.

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