We all love the look of bouncy curls, but overusing heat styling tools is definitely not the best for your hair’s health and natural appearance. Luckily, there is a number of techniques you can experiment with, in order to create those same fabulous locks without a touch of heat – and they are all super easy to master.
Curious to learn more about heatless curls? Read on and learn how to curl your hair without damaging it!
How does heat damage your hair?
Anyone who uses heat styling tools on a regular basis has likely noticed that their hair has lost some of its moisture, elasticity and overall health. These, along with split ends, frizz and breakage, are a few of the telltale signs of heat damage, which happens when exposure to high heat burns the surface of the hair, hindering it at a cellular level.
Although healthy hair is quite strong and can handle occasional heat styling, the more you use tools like curling irons (and the higher the temperature you set them at), the higher your chances of damaging your hair. The good news is, it is possible to curl your hair without subjecting it to high temperatures at all.
How to curl hair without heat
So, how can you achieve gorgeous, bouncy locks without heat? There are actually several answers to this question and finding the best heatless curling method for you is simply a matter of experimenting until you’re happy with the results achieved. Here are some of our favourite heatless curling techniques:
A hair curling classic, using hair rollers is an excellent way to add texture to your hair overnight. After washing your hair and once it is about 80% dry, roll it up into sections and be sure to secure them with bobby pins and a headscarf. When you wake up, comb your fingers to separate each section into smaller curls, et voilà, you’re all done!
For a 90s-inspired look, you can use velcro rollers instead. Simply wait 20 to 30 minutes while they do their magic to create beautiful heatless curls.
That’s right, you don’t actually need any hair styling tools to curl your hair – a good old stretchy headband will do the job just fine. For this technique, you’ll want to start with damp hair. Put your headband on as you typically do and then, take sections of your hair, tucking them into the headband. You can leave it as is overnight, but if that’s not an option, simply wait a few hours until your hair is fully dry.
Yes, socks! One of the most creative heatless curling methods, sock buns are an excellent alternative if you’re travelling and forget your curling iron (or if you’re just curious to confirm that your socks can actually double as a hair styling tool). Grab an old sock and cut the tip off. Then, roll it up to a doughnut shape and put your hair through it, as if you were doing a ponytail. Grab sections of your hair and put them through the doughnut – you should end up with a big bun. Leave it on as you catch some zZz’s for the most gorgeous overnight heatless curls.
One of the biggest hairstyling trends on TikTok in 2021, hair plopping couldn’t be easier, but it typically works best if you already have some texture on your hair, whether that it curls or waves. This heatless curling method will add definition to your hair and all you have to do is apply your usual products to washed hair and then wrap it in a cotton t-shirt. As you sleep, your hair will absorb all the nutrients from the products and in the morning, it will look as luscious as ever.
Wondering how to create heatless waves, rather than full-on curls? Easy – just dutch braid your hair after washing it, once it is about 50% dry. We recommend going for two braids, just to ensure the next-day hairstyle looks symmetrical. Leave your braids in overnight and you’ll wake up with effortless beachy waves. Not sure how to dutch braid your hair? We have just the tutorial for you: