The Editors
Updated on February 16, 2024

Crimped hair is making a big comeback. But this post-80s go around is serving up some styles we’ve never seen before. What tops the list? Crimped updos and colorful hairstyles are the current new faves.

How to Crimp Your Hair

Crimped hair, that can be also sometimes called zig-zag or crinkled hair, is one of the newest trends in the world of beauty industry. Hair bloggers and celebrity stylists eagerly share images with inspiring wavy hairstyles. And these waves don’t remind us of traditional curls we are all bored by. Cute crimped ponytails, braids and feminine buns are possible to DIY, you just need to learn the basic technique of crimping. As always, we have interesting ideas, super-easy instructions and helpful tips for you!

To crimp your hair with a crimping iron, do the following steps:

  1. Wash, condition and dry your hair.
  2. If your hair is naturally curly, flat iron it. For girls with wavy hair – blow-dry your locks with a round brush.
  3. Spray your locks with a heat-protectant.
  4. Separate your hair into 2-3 inch sections.
  5. Take your flat iron (1- or 2-inch width), decide what strands to crimp.
  6. Crimp the chosen strands from the roots to the ends (close the iron for 3-5 seconds each time).
  7. Leave your hair loose or pull it back into an updo style.

Watch a useful how-to video:

Related Post: 25 Ways of How to Make Your Hair Wavy

Tips for Crimping Hair

Crimping hair will become easier with the following tips and tricks:

  • If you have a lot of hair, start crimping from bottom layers, clipping the rest of the strands at the top of your head.
  • For the maximum volume crimp all hair, then brush your locks gently with a wide tooth comb.
  • For more natural wavy look crimp just the upper layer of your hair.
  • For fine hair try root crimping. Crimp the under layers only near the roots to give the locks more volume.
  • To get a popular airy line-free texture backcomb the strand, then crimp it in chaotic directions and brush.
  • You may curl locks after crimping. To get a crimped ringlet just wrap the strand loosely around the large clipless curling iron.
  • To give your locks more shine either use a steam crimper, or define some locks with hair wax.
  • Use a flat iron for crimping, bending your strand up and down several times, starting from the roots.
  • You may try crimping with no-heat ways – overnight braids or wrapping your hair around pins. But be ready to get a slightly different, more beachy texture.
  • If you are working with hair extensions, mind the crimper temperature.

Crimped Hair Styles

Crimping in hair styling creates a fancy texture, builds up and helps to maintain volume of your hair. Fine crimping applied only to the roots is a nice solution for greasy roots – you can actually extend your time between shampoos this way. And here are ideas of hairstyles for crimped locks.

1. Lavender Goddess Hair

If you’re looking to get big hair (AKA notice-me hair) but are into something edgier than the classic wavy bombshell, this is for you. While a crimping iron with ridges is a nice addition to your collection of hairstyling tools, you can also achieve this with a straightener. Make ten or more tiny braids and then run your straightener over them.

2. Multi-Toned Crimped Updo

Depending on the texture of your hair, you can achieve crimped hair with braids and no heat (curly girls are more likely to have success). Try sleeping in mini braids, either in all of your hair, or just a few braids for accent. If you’re wondering how to style that pretty curls in the morning, try a cool braided updo that shows off highlights.

3. Unicorn Crown Updo

Looking through hair crimping pictures, we can also discover unusual hair color ideas. Have you seen anything this amazing? Probably not. A lot of work went into this look — from the five or so colored highlights through the mini crimping on long locks to the perfect fishtail crown. Dream hair, for sure.

4. Textured Dutch Braid

What’s really popular right now is pulling out your crimping iron before starting an updo. Not only does the texture achieved look cool and unexpected, but you also get the texture that makes your hair appear thicker, so that any braid or bun has a lot more volume that it would otherwise.

5. Cool-Toned Textured Updo

To discover how to crimp hair (but not spend all day on it), a hair crimper used on accent pieces will be the fastest way. Because the ridges are designed for crimping, the tool will work way faster than any other method. You can choose to do only certain layers or streaks that will show in your updo.

6. Berry Bliss Textured Crowns

Textured updos are stunning with just about any hair color, but if you happen to be experimenting with unusual hues at the moment, you should definitely try a style that will make your look even more unique. Create two crown braids next to each other by sectioning off the top hair and working on the crown braid at the hairline first.

7. Crimped and Braided Layers

Long crimped locks don’t have to be hidden in updos. If you love wearing your hair down but want to try something new, go for a half-up and half-down style that incorporates random crimped strands (remember that iconic partly crimped style Britney Spears used to wear in 2000?). This style has a voluminous topsy tail and a loose center braid.

8. Mini-Crimped Fishtail Braids

These cute loose fishtail braids have so much volume. The micro crimped texture was added to the roots. Then after braiding, the hair was pulled and fanned to create the maximum thickness. The result is the soft, romantic look.

9. Textured Fishtail Crown

Crimping all of the hair will result in a thicker braid with a cool-girl, modern vibe. Work in four or five sections to make it easier to manage. Do not brush your hair when braiding and styling it into this updo.

10. Crimped Bubble Braid

If you want to know how to style crimped hair, don’t limit yourself to banal tricks and tactics. This unusual look starts off with a french braid in the front and then devolves into a loose bubble braid with each section wrapped to create poofs. Girls with long hair should definitely get creative.

11. Colorful Crimped Bob

Crimping hair is an easy way to add extra style to a carefree look. For those with fun, lighthearted personalities, this is a must-try. Here, only certain sections of short hair have been treated with a crimping iron to create wavy accents that stand out.

12. Messy Textured Medium Hair

If you want to achieve a no-heat wild look without a crimper and other hot styling tools, that’s doable. Starting with your naturally wavy hair, simply add face-framing micro-braids and leave in for a few hours (or run over them with a straightener). If your hair is straight, do a combination of super tiny braids and larger braids for a mix of textures.

13. Micro-Crimped Tucked Braid

For maximum volume and elegance, try this updo style. Use a crimper with small ridges all over the hair. Next create a french fishtail braid with a loose tension and allow for some wispy strands. At the end, tuck the braid under or create a simple bun.

14. Textured Braids and Ponytail

One more styling option is a unique ponytail. After you crimp hair, make two zigzag parts. Then create three french braids that stop halfway. Next, simply grab a pony holder. You’ll definitely want to tease and pull the pony to get some cute, playful volume.

15. Crimped Formal Updo

While most crimped hairstyles tend to be fun and funky, they can also skew more formal. These looks have evolved to cover basically every event. Here, crimping has only been added to the mid shaft and ends. Then three braids were created and wrapped around each other.

16. Classic Crimp with Center Part

It’s really easy to learn how to crimp your hair. The best way to start is to take it slow and leave it down to show off all your hard work. Long crimped hair looks really great with a center part. Do the bottom layers first, starting at the roots. Then work through the middle to top layers. Crimped lines on dark black hair look adorable!

17. Crimped Pigtail Braids

For short or medium length hair, crimping is not out of the question. This super cute style features all-over crimping, a center part, loose and girlish pigtail braids.

18. Crimped Punky Pixie

Crimped hair also works on really short locks. This undercut-style pixie-bob gets a dose of urban chic with some shaved lines and cool micro crimping up on top. The texture definitely adds to the grungy appeal of the platinum hair.

19. Knotted Textured Braid

This kind of crimping can be achieved with braids or with a hair crimping iron. If you want to do the no heat method, you’ll just have to plan ahead! Once the crimping is in place, create a big ribbon braid that can be actually done without a ribbon!

20. Textured Five-Strand Braid

This stunning five strand braid boasts micro crimping that needs an iron to recreate. Section hair off and run a crimper over the top layer of each section. Then make a five-strand braid that will have your hair looking even thicker and lovelier than it already is.

Crimping Hair Tools

You may get that 80s crimped locks without heat or with the help of hot styling tools. If you want more defined waves, opt for the second variant.

#1. Hair Crimping Iron

Hair crimper creates the most defined small waves on your hair. This ceramic Conair Infinity Pro crimping tool is made with anti-static and anti-frizz protection. Micro-crimping plates will help you to achieve the desirable root boost. How to use it and more about advantages see on Youtube.

crimping iron

Price: $29.99, Photo: Conair

#2. Triple Barrel Curling Iron

To create more beachy waves, opt for buying the 3-barrel curling iron. Ceramic plates in this Diva beach waver are infused with argan oil, and this means that your locks will be silky and shiny. Watch a tutorial describing how to get perfect continuous waves on your hair.

#3. Zigzag Hair Iron

The newest Instagram trend is geometric zigzag waves. You can easily master them with the help of innovative Glampalm Zigzag Styling Iron. To get the avant-garde look follow the video-instructions published on the official Glampalm Youtube channel.

zigzag hair iron

Price: $220, Photo: @glampalmusa

#4. Twist and Crimp Styling Tool

Yes, crimping hair may be time-consuming. Especially if you want to make all your hair wavy. However, Toni & Guy hairdressing brand offer a simple solution to this problem. Clamp the barrels on your hair, rotate the barrels twisting the dial and get those crimpy lines in seconds. Watch a more detailed tutorial.

twist and crimp styling tool

Price: $115, Photo: Toni & Guy

Clearly, we’re obsessed with crimped hair right now. How could we not be? So many creative hairstylists have invented completely new ways to think about crimping. Happy experimenting!

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