A Celebrity Hairstylist Weighs In On the TikTok Soda Can Curls Trend

Here's what you need to know before trying the latest hair hack.

Woman With Curly Hair
Photo: Getty Images

There are plenty of ways to achieve bouncy, retro-inspired curls, and you can count on TikTokers to try them all. Whether they're using actual styling tools such as curling ribbons or going more DIY (hello, heat-free leggings curls), TikTok users seem to have an endless supply of techniques up their sleeves, and the latest hair hack involves something you likely have in your fridge right now.

The most recent TikTok hair trend to spread on the app is #cancurls (aka soda can curls), and yes, it involves curling your hair with a soda can. Unlike the classic method that involves wrapping strands around a soda can to create makeshift hot rollers — seen on the likes of Lady Gaga in her "Telephone"music video, Brittany Murphy as Tai in the iconic Clueless makeover scene, and Ashley Olsen in the pages of Marie Claire — the new technique is slightly more involved.

TikTok beauty pros, including Jonathan Monroe, have demonstrated how to score soda can curls. The process involves taking thick sections of dry hair and inserting one at a time into the top of a soda can, based on popular videos. Some people have removed the entire top of the can before inserting their hair, while others snake their strands into the small, existing opening. They then swirl the can around in their hands with the hair still inserted, using heat from a hair dryer for 30 to 60 seconds to set the style in place.

Users seem to have mixed results: Some manage to create seriously bouncy, salon-worthy curls, while others end up with tangled strands caught in the can. TikTok user @Wigsbyvanity called the method a "waste of time," trying it out on a wig and deeming it too time-consuming for the average person. Though, they did note the aluminum can's ability to effectively conduct heat is what may result in bouncy curls for some.

While experiences with this hair curling hack may vary, this is one beauty trend you might want to skip, according to an expert. "I would not recommend inserting your hair into an aluminum can and heating it up," says celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein, who works with Monat. "It seems like a lot could go wrong here."

For instance, your hair could get snagged and tangled in the can (ouch!), and the heat from the dryer and the aluminum could burn your fingers or hands (double ouch!), notes Rubenstein. Even if you do manage to pull off the technique without injury, you'll likely end up with inconsistent curls, if any, she adds.

Rubenstein does cosign the soda can roller technique à la Clueless, Lady Gaga's music video, and Olsen's throwback photoshoot, but she also recommends using the many styling tools available to achieve an easy retro style the more traditional route. "I love a pin curl technique for bouncy curls," she says, noting that you'll need a blow dryer, round brush, and duckbill clips to try this method at home.

If you're really into the old school, retro curl look, you can always stick with tried and true hot rollers as another alternative. "I'm a huge fan of hot rollers. They're foolproof with great results," says Rubenstein. To amp up volume, start with slightly damp hair and apply a volumizing spray at the roots, she recommends. Then, brush the spray through to the ends before wrapping hair around the rollers and blowing dry. Gorgeous, glamorous curls will be yours…And you can toss your leftover drink cans straight in the recycling bin.

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