Whenever I curl my girls' hair, which isn't too often, I get asked, "How did you do that?" So I'll tell you.
Using whichever type of curler you choose (type analysis to follow) take a section of hair and begin to wrap it on the curler, starting two to three inches from the scalp.Without letting go of the hair, wind it around the curler until the ends of the hair are wrapped. This will form a twisted spiral on the curler.
Now wrap the section of hair closest to the scalp over the ends of the hair, and around the curler, holding the ends in place. Fasten the curler in the normal way.Allow to set for at least the recommended time for the curler type. I have my girls sleep in the curlers.
In the above picture, I am using curlers I bought at Walmart several years ago. I like them the best for my girls' hair, but sadly, I don't have enough of them and can't find them anymore. They are a long cylinder of fabric filled with foam and have a snap on the ends to hold them together.
This is another type of curler that I got from Walmart several years ago. It is a rhombus-shaped pouch with a rectangle of foam in the center and a flexible wire going all the way through the long way. To close these, you twist the ends together like a twist-tie.
When I curl my own hair, since I can't stand to live with myself if I don't wash my hair every morning, I use hot rollers. The method is the same, but the setting time is faster.
For any of the above methods, to get a tighter curl, use less hair per section. For looser curls, use more hair and/or bigger curler size. I still recommend the same setting times.
The other reason I don't love Curlformers is that the curls are less spiral-like and more wave-like, without a tighter curl at the end. And, since I can make my hair wavy simply by not brushing it after I shower, I have no real use for them. But, as I said, my sister-in-law loves them, and you might, too.
To complete the do: Once the hair is curled, gently remove the curlers. DO NOT BRUSH HAIR, unless, of course your goal is to have a frizz-ball. Just finger-comb to separate curls. If you decide the curls are too tight, mist very lightly with water and gently pull down on the curls.