How Do I Make Spit Curls?

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  • Written By: Andrea Cross
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2019
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Spit curls, originally named due to the material used to style them, consist of a curl that is pressed flat against the cheek, temple, or forehead. Very popular in the 1920s and 1930s, this vintage look is still worn today. It is easy to make spit curls at home and an easy style to do yourself. Spit curls can be created with any hair type, although they tend to work better on shorter styles as smaller curls stay in place better. Wavy or curly hair also works best as it provides natural curl.

To make spit curls, wash your hair the day before you want to wear them if possible. Second-day hair tends to hold its style better than freshly washed hair due to the increased amount of sebum. If your hair is very fine or very straight, you should apply a setting lotion to help it keep the curls more easily and for a longer time.


Style the rest of your hair how you want it, whether it be pinned up or in finger waves, keeping small sections aside for your spit curls. You can have as many or as few as you want. Common looks include one curl on either side of the cheek, temple, or forehead, a couple of curls on just one side, or a single curl anywhere along the hairline. The curls can be as big or as small as you want. If you have short hair, a full curl is not required because this style still works well with curled spikes.

Mist the spit curl sections with water so that they are just damp, not wet. Comb the sections so that they are smooth and tangle free. Apply product to the sections, and comb it through, making sure it touches all the strands. You don't have to use spit; mousse, gel, or pomade works just fine. Curl the strands around your finger, but do not curl them too tight as you need to be able to remove them intact.

Slip the hair off your finger, while keeping it curled, and using a bobby pin, pin the curl close to your head. Let the curls dry naturally, or speed up the drying with a hair dryer. Leave as long as possible to let the hair set. Remove the pins, and give the curls a spritz with maximum hold hairspray to give them some extra staying power. Dorothy Dandridge, eat your heart out!


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