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March 01, 2012

Rag Curls

So I decided to rag curl my hair last night on a silly whim. I've always wanted to try it, and last night seemed like a good time to do it because I didn't have work today. I couldn't try rag curling my hair for the first time when I had to get up the next morning and look presentable for work; overnight curls are too unpredictable.

For those of you who may not have heard of rag curls before, I shall explain: Rag curling is a no-heat, overnight curling method. This, and other similar methods, were used by girls back in the day to curl their hair. To rag curl, you take strips of fabric, roll sections of wet hair up into the strips, then tie the strips. When you're done tying the strips, it looks like this:

You would then sleep on this and unroll the strips in the morning.

Now, the finished look I was hoping to achieve was something like this:

You know, just some nice, cute ringlets. I was being realistic about this, though. There were a few reasons I knew it was unlikely my curls would turn out as nice as these girls': (a) I had never tried rag curls before, (b) I was doing the rag curls on myself, (c) my hair is significantly shorter than these girls' hair, and (d) my history of  doing cool things to my hair is not great. So I was well aware that this could end up being a hilarious mess, and I was looking forward to this hilarious mess. I'd say it was even better than I had anticipated, though. VoilĂ !

So gloriously frizzy!
Hi there.
I could not have been more pleased or amused with the outcome. 

I'm reminded of this:

My stars!

Or this:

Larry from The Three Stooges

So that was how it looked initially when I unravelled my hair from the strips. I think I may have ran a brush through it a bit too. But after that I wanted to play around with it a bit. I give you Afro Paige:

Just spectacular.

Afro Paige is one of the better Paiges.

You can kind of see here how some of the curls are a little ringletty, but for the most part it was just a wonderfully fluffy mess!

Afro Paige, you are an inspiration to us all.

This hair could have its own gravitational pull!

So hot right now.

And there you have it! My rag curls. In my opinion, it was a spectacular success. In terms of wearability, however, not so much. If I were to ever need an afro for a costume, though, it would be perfect. This hair could even work for a 1920s look like Clara Bow's, especially if I were to do finger waves or pin curls on the top of my head.
Clara Bow

Clara Bow

Clara Bow
Reese Witherspoon in Water for Elephants

Mae West, Reese Witherspoon, Jean Harlow

 It actually isn't far off from some of the Clara Bow dos as is! Man, too bad I wasn't alive in the 20's. I could have been something! I could'a been a contender!

I'll definitely give rag curls another try some day in hopes that I will get the intended and desired look. It'll probably be when my hair is longer, though. The back was so short that I couldn't get most of it up in the rags. And there will definitely be some tweaking needed the next time I give it a try.

And now I will try to not make any more hair posts for a good while.


  1. BWAHHAHAHAH! My stars- that won't do, it's all stringy and messy- you'll have to have a permanamanent! Bobby pins please. You are way too funny! I could see this with longer hair though- Whit should try it! SHe tried the tube sock thing and had about the same results! HAHAHAH! funny stuff!!

  2. actually- the picture just before Clara Bows that says magnificent under it...Dad and I kind of like this one- for real. It kind of grows on you- like mold kind of- no really- we thought you looked quite cute in that picture.

  3. Ha ha, I love that you and Dad liked one of them. I'm just like Curly Top Shirley Temple!

    Did Dad get a kick out of this post as well? Eric sure did.

    I guess I'll just have to keep playing around with this idea and other similar ones to see what I can come up with. I love any hairdo that I can do at night.

  4. Love it!!! It will work with your hair once it gets longer. I did it a few times in high school since it was the only way I could get my hair to hold a curl for longer than 20 minutes.

  5. bahahaha oh my goodness Paige this brought great joy to my dull day. I love it! I also agree though some of your afro pictures are kinda cute!

  6. Thank you, dear cousins! I'm glad you both enjoyed the post! :)

  7. love the afro my dear! I tried this once in high school with my super long hair - my advice - do it with medium length. Too much length = very uncomfortable to sleep on. Good luck with the next experiment...and keep the pictures coming.

  8. Thanks, Kel. I'm glad you enjoyed it as well. :)

  9. That was fantastic!! You inspire me to try! I did laugh right out loud!

  10. I stumbled across this blog while researching rag curls. Just my two cents, but I'd try using bigger and fewer sections, maybe only 3-5.

    (and I actually kind of like some of your shots, just not that first hilarious one ;)

  11. I do not know you and found this online when searching for 1920s hairstyles. But I LOVED reading this! I have curly hair and would like to do something different than my normal cut and am thinking of trying out the Clara Bow look...we could use a little vintage 1920s in Jersey ;) So thanks for basically showing me how to do it! Page bookmarked.

  12. Well, it's nice to hear from some new people on my blog! Thanks for the comments, Mary and Alex. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I'll definitely be trying rag curls again at some point -- the same technique for more hilarity as well as perfecting it so that it is actually wearable.

  13. I went to bed last night with hopes for the same soft curls. Woke up with an afro!
    Googled it and here you are, my long lost twin.
    Thanks for making me feel better! Wish I could post a pic here in your comment field. :)
    Great blog and hilarious post.

  14. I was telling my 9 year old daughter about rag curls and when I decided to google it I found your blog. YOU CRACK ME UP! We just had a really good laugh!!! Thank you so much.

  15. Im trying to get an afro, gonna try this tonight, hopefully it works! Thanks, very cute pics!

  16. I was also searching for rag curls for short hair to see what it looked like. I kind of WANTED my hair to look like a short curly afro for a costume, so this would be perfect IF I could get my hair to do that (I don't even think mine is as long as yours). But I would also like to say, aside from the hilarious picture where it's straight at the top and curly at the bottom, when you brushed it out, I thought it looked really nice. lol But I guess everyone has their own tastes!