The Editors
Published on June 05, 2021

Whether you want to curl your straight hair or enhance your natural wave, heat damage should not necessarily be an added bonus, as you can get tight, sassy curls and soft, big waves without a curling iron or a straightener! And it’s not only about the damage – most heatless curls are really easy to do and stay in your hair for longer.

Eager to know how to curl your hair without heat? See the compilation of video tutorials and read on for step-by-step instructions.

1. Easy Heatless Curls Using Socks

Wrapping strands around the sock results in loose curls, which are all the rage now. Besides, a simple hack allows using the same tool – yes, your sock – to secure the bun, so no pins or hard surfaces will disturb your night’s sleep. Here are the steps of the method:

  1. Dampen your hair or wash it and wait until it’s almost completely dry. You can plop your wet hair in a microfiber towel and shake it from side to side to speed up drying.
  2. Clip the cuff of a sock near one section of your hair and start wrapping this section around it, moving towards a toe part.
  3. Twist the wrap into a bun and use the cuff to secure it in place. Repeat the same procedure with other sections.
  4. Wait until your hair is completely dry and take the socks down. Better yet, sleep with the soft buns and get ready to wake up with awesome, bouncy curls in the morning.
  5. Take a few drops of oil on your hands and separate larger clumps, without brushing your hair over.

2. Spiral No Heat Curls with Curlformers

Curlformers have become a popular option for curling hair or playing around with your curl pattern, as the tool gives you very uniform, spiral curls. Each kit has hair curlers (often, in two colors to alternate strands that will be curled clockwise and counterclockwise) and a hook. Don’t worry, the application process is easier than it seems to be!

  1. Start with freshly washed damp hair. For best results, also apply some curl-defining cream on your wet hair.
  2. Push the hook inside a curler and hook a strand of hair near your scalp.
  3. Holding the curler near your scalp, take the hook out of the tube – this will make your strand be placed inside instead. An important tip is to take small sections; if you feel discomfort during the application process, you must have taken a too large section.
  4. Diffuse your hair or wrap it in a scarf and leave the curls to form overnight.

3. Heatless Curls with a Robe Tie

TikTok hair trends have recently made this method a real hit, and now, there is hardly a blogger who has not yet tested its effectiveness. The comfort of sleeping with a robe tie and the wow effect makes this method one of our faves. Also, if you want to get beach waves, this method might be the most suitable. Here is how you do it:

  1. Slightly dampen your hair or use a styling spray before you start.
  2. Part your hair in the middle, making sure it is parted at the back, too. Then place the robe tie on top of your head (you may secure it with a clip if it slides).
  3. Work on one side of your head first. Take strands of hair that lay at both sides of a robe tie and wrap them around the tie in the opposite directions. Gradually move down, adding lower sections of hair as you do, making a French braid.
  4. If your hair has a natural curl to it, wearing the tie for a while will be enough for nice curls to form. Otherwise, sleep with the tie and enjoy perfect heatless curls in the morning.

4. Loose Curls with a Silk Heatless Hair Roller

Roshpomsx has obviously taken the core idea of the robe tie method and took it to the next level by offering a roller with a silk coating, which reduces the damage to hair overnight. If you like the way digital perms look, you will love the method too. Here is what to do:

  1. Spray your hair or start with freshly washed damp tresses.
  2. Place a flexible roller on top of your head and clip it to avoid sliding. Make sure you have left equal length at both sides.
  3. Wrap your hair around the roller, moving away from your face. Start with top sections and gradually add new hair as you move down.
  4. Secure the ends with an elastic band (it makes part of the kit), and go to bed.
  5. Release your hair and run your fingers through it. A voluminous ‘do with soft trendy waves is ready!

5. Bendy Rods for Tight Curls Overnight

This method gives very lively, corkscrew curls; on condition that you work in small sections and use small diameter rods, of course (0.3 inch flexi rods might work best here). Mind that you’ll need a lot of rods, so a pack with a few rods of each diameter won’t help you here. Here is what to do next:

  1. Start twisting small sections of hair around the rods and fixing them in place close to your scalp by bending the rods’ ends. You may dampen your hair for better results. Make sure you wrap the section along the rod, not in several layers.
  2. Throw a bonnet or a scarf on top and go to sleep.
  3. Take the rods out of your hair and scrunch it with a bit of hair oil or a styling cream.

Flexi rods also work extremely well for curling very short hair. If you want to curl a pixie, comb and then wrap hair in the direction you want it to stay.

6. Soft Curls Using Large Curling Rods

If you straighten hair chemically, using heat to add a different curl pattern to it is never a good idea. No-heat curls save the day. If you aim at soft, flowy curls, using a few large curling rods (like 0.7 or 0.78 inch wide rods found in this pack) will be a great option:

  1. Divide your hair into four to five sections and twist each around the rod, fixing it in place close to your scalp by bending the rod’s ends.
  2. Put a bonnet or a scarf on top and go to sleep.
  3. Take the rods out of your hair and separate the curl clumps by running your fingers through the hair. Apply a bit of oil or lightweight cream to smooth flyaways and add shine to your locks.

7. Braiding Wet Hair for Heatless Curls Overnight

Braiding hair for sleep makes it wavy in the morning, nothing new here. If you want a really impressive result that lasts throughout the day, here is the recipe:

  1. Wash your hair and remove excess moisture to start with very damp but not dripping wet hair.
  2. Apply the Monat Air Dry Cream or Don’t Blow It from Bumble and Bumble for a perfect air dry without the added fizziness.
  3. Braid two Dutch braids and go to bed to let hair dry overnight.
  4. The curls are going to set in 5 to 6 hours so a night’s sleep will be enough to see some stunning bouncy curls in the morning. You may still give in to the temptation to wear sassy Dutch braids for another day before switching to curls, though.

8. Curling Hair With Toilet Rolls

We know, this sounds a bit odd, but toilet paper rolls can give you gorgeous and voluminous no-heat curls within an hour or less. You’ll have to see it to believe it! Here is the tutorial:

  1. Start with freshly washed, towel-dried hair and add in your favorite styling cream.
  2. Grab a few toilet paper rolls, wrap sections of your hair tightly around each roll, and secure with a pin or a clip.
  3. Let your hair dry naturally and remove the clips with the rolls. Spay your curls if you want a better hold or just apply a few drops of hair oil to the ends.

If your hair is low porosity and it takes ages to dry it naturally, let it air dry while you are doing your chores and then use a blow dryer to make it completely dry. After all, medium heat of a blow dryer is not as harmful as using a curling wand and applying heat directly on your hair.

9. Rope Twist into a Bun Method

Rope twist method might be the easiest way to curl hair overnight. Here, you are twisting hair around itself (not a robe tie or heatless hair roller), so the curls will eventually be tighter. Also, the ends will be tightly curled, which looks very cute. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Start with slightly damp hair and, preferably, a curl-enhancing product in it.
  2. Part your hair in the middle and start twisting hair at one side to the back. Each time, grab a lower section and release the strand you have taken before to add more hair from the bottom to it and bring it over the wrap again.
  3. When you reach the nape of your head, split the hair into two sections and twist them around each other. Then, proceed to twist it into a bun and secure it with an elastic.
  4. Do the same twist at the opposite side and go to sleep. Then just untwist and scrunch the hair with a bit of water or oil in the morning.

10. Overnight Curls with a Headband

Another useful method of curling hair overnight is using a headband:

  1. Start with slightly damp hair. If your hair becomes frizzy when left to dry naturally, apply a product for smooth air drying.
  2. Put a headband onto your crown (if you look like a hippy, you’ve done this the right way).
  3. Take one section at the front, then tuck the thumb and the index finger under your band to hook the strand and pull it under the headband.
  4. Take the same strand and a bit of extra hair and repeat the same process. Twist hair around the headband again and again, moving towards the back of your head.
  5. If you have long hair, wrap it around the headband several times till no hair is left, secure the ends with clips, and go to sleep.
  6. In the morning, release the strands and comb them through for loose flowy waves like the ones below.

11. Finger Coils Overnight Using Straws

Ok, so we can achieve loose and tight curls with a variety of no-heat methods. But what about the finger coils? These are also possible thanks to an unexpected tool – a plastic straw! Here is a step-by-step tutorial to follow:

  1. Start with half-dry hair and spritz it with water every now and then so that it remains damp.
  2. Wrap a small section of hair around a straw like you would using a rod. When you are done, bend the straw and secure it with a rubber band or a bobby pin. Repeat the process, alternating the direction of wrapping, until you have no more sections left.
  3. Leave the straws in until your hair is 100% dry. It is perfectly ok to sleep on the straws, but be sure to wrap your hair in a scarf first.
  4. Remove the straws and separate the hair. You will be shocked to see perfectly bouncing spiral curls!

12. Bantu Knots for No Heat Curls

Another way to curl hair without heat is by sleeping with Bantu knots – a pretty protective hairstyle for natural hair.

  1. Start by sectioning the hair and twisting each section around itself until it forms a tight bun on top of the section. Secure the bun with an elastic or a bobby pin.
  2. If you don’t start with damp hair in the first place, generously spray the knotted buns once they are ready.
  3. A normal next step is to put a bonnet or a scarf on top and go to sleep. However, since it is not the most comfortable method when it comes to sleeping, consider letting your hair dry in Bantu knots during the day, when you don’t have to go out.
  4. Untwist the strands and separate them using your fingers and a few drops of hair oil.

As you can see, there are so many cute ways to play with heatless curls. From Flexi rods to straws and Bantu knots, the options are endless. Take a break from the heat and try out one of these tutorials for happier, healthier, and curlier locks.

Featured Image via Instagram

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