How to curl hair without a hair curler

This article was co-authored by Sarah Kosakowski. Sarah Kosakowski is a Professional Hair Stylist and the Owner of Alba Salon and Spa based in Cincinnati, Ohio. With a decade of experience, she specializes in bridal and formal hair, blondes, fine hair, and men’s cuts. Sarah received her training at The Aveda Frederic’s Institute and is proud to be a Kevin Murphy Session stylist amongst other accomplishments.

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Soft, bouncy curls are a pretty look for any occasion. But sometimes you want curly hair and don’t have any curlers on hand — or you don’t want to run the risk of heat damage. Fortunately, there are several ways to curl your hair that don’t require heat or any special accessories.The next time you want to curl your hair and don’t have a curler in sight, you can do it with items you already have around the house.

Sarah Kosakowski
Professional Hair Stylist Expert Interview. 3 September 2021. Take the top section near the crown of your head first, and leave the hair at the nape of your neck and sides of your head for later. [6] X Research source

  • It’s best to use a natural bristle brush when you’re brushing your hair because it will reduce the amount of static and frizz.
  • It may help to use clips or hair elastics to section off your hair, so you don’t get confused about what you’re working with.
  • You can divide your hair into more sections if you prefer. The smaller the sections of hair that you use, the tighter your curls will be.

Sarah Kosakowski
Professional Hair Stylist Expert Interview. 3 September 2021. At the top, tie the sock or rag into a knot to secure it in place. [9] X Research source

  • Make sure to keep the hair as neat as possible as you roll it toward the top of your head, so you don’t wind up with any kinks or bends in your hair when you’re done.
  • You shouldn’t tie the knots too tightly when you’re securing the hair in place or you may have trouble removing the socks or rags later. [10] X Expert Source

Sarah Kosakowski
Professional Hair Stylist Expert Interview. 3 September 2021.

  • If you’re using rags to curl your hair, you should cut strips of fabric that are approximately 2-inches wide and 8- to 10-inches in length. [11] X Research source
  • While creating beach waves and curls with a hot tool is quick and simple with the correct method, you might want to avoid the heat and go for a less damaging option. It’s certainly possible: You can curl your hair without using heat in a variety of ways. Your best bet is to use overnight methods, which will provide you with longer-lasting hold and definition—all while you sleep! Discover some of our go-to heat-free methods outlined below, which come highly recommended by several celebrity hair experts.

    Bantu Knots

    Sarah Lund, a style master with Kevin Murphy, notes that these knots are best for those with already-curly and coily hair textures; using them will help you define the curls you already have. To create the look, she recommends fully moisturizing wet strands using a product like Smooth.Again by Kevin.Murphy ($36, Then, apply a mousse for definition (she likes Body.Builder ($34, before using edge control or a gel around the section you want to knot; apply the leftovers onto your hands and create tight twists until the section rolls down on itself. In the morning take the twists down and finish with an oil, like Curl Queen Royal Nectar Hair Oil ($52,

    Finger Coiling

    Finger coiling is another great way to give your existing curls more definition—and it can also help you retrain your curl pattern after pressing or straightening your strands. Nai’vasha, the founder of Curl Queen and a celebrity curl expert, recommends pairing this method—which simply involves coiling your curl around your finger and setting it in place—with her innovative hair tool, The Glove ($48,; it is designed to detangle hair, stimulate the scalp, improve blood circulation, and massage in hair and scalp products.

    Pin Curls

    Pin curls can also deliver curls and volume sans hot tools, explains Dr. Gaby Longsworth, a certified hair practitioner, Ph.D. scientist, and the owner of Absolutely Everything Curly. Simply roll strands around a finger and pin coiled sections with bobby pins or clips up to your scalp. Nai’vasha recommends attempting this style before bed, since results are best after a night of wear; cover your curls with a satin cap to protect the look.

    Scarf Method

    Dr. Longsworth and Lund both agree that this method is best for creating big, soft waves. Lund recommends starting with damp or dry hair and applying a holding product like Kevin.Murphy Hair.Resort($34, before grabbing your scarf. Next, clip the garment to the top of your head and lightly twist your hair around the fabric, away from your face. When finished, tie the two ends together and shake everything out in the morning.


    If you don’t have much time on your hands, all three stylists agree that braids are an easy in-a-pinch option. Lund suggests French braids if you are hoping to achieve beachy waves; sectioning the hair vertically into three sections—one on each side, as well as one in the back that runs down the middle—is best, she notes (doing so will result in consistent curls). Braid the ends loosely to avoid tangles and plait hair on damps strands for extra hold, says Dr. Longsworth. The hydrogen bonds in the hair break in the presence of water and reform after drying in the desired style, she notes.

    Zero damage, all the volume

    Lived-in, undone curly hair looks good on almost everybody and gives your hair a healthy bounce; it’s one of the freshest hairstyles for girls. However, styles like waves and curly hair can be harsh on your locks because they require several heating tools, which cause split ends and dryness. Fear not, we’ve got a heatless method to get smooth, bendy-not-bouncy curls. Think of it as an easy, effortless version of a Victoria’s Secret model’s hair, and who doesn’t want that? Get this sexy look, sans the damage, by following our five-step guide.

    Step 1 to curly hair: Start with clean, dry, first or second day hair, section it out into top and bottom halves and pin it.

    Step 2 to curly hair: Next, apply a generous amount of wave or curl hair spray (depending on the curl level you want to achieve) to your hair from the middle to the ends of the strands. Products like the OGX Moroccan Sea Salt Spray or John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Curl Perfecting Spray work well.

    Step 3 to curly hair: Take a section of about two inches of hair and wrap it around two fingers, mimicking a curling wand, until you get to the base of your head. Secure it with a pin. Take the next section but wrap it in the opposite direction of the first one. Keep repeating these steps with sections of hair by alternating the direction of the wrap until you are done. Undo the top section of hair. Repeat the steps that you did on the bottom section of your hair to the top.

    Step 4 to curly hair: Spray your complete head with a weightless hair spray, like the Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray in Strong Finish to set your newly curly hair.

    Step 5 to curly hair: Finally, once you think your hair is dry, (after at least an hour) untie the sections for beautiful, wavy hair. The longer you wait, the tighter the bends will be. Find yourself tight on time in the morning? Do this before bed and wake up with completely done up curly hair!

    Don’t trust anything on the internet — until Mashable tries it first. Welcome to the Hype Test, where we review viral trends and tell you what’s really worth millions of likes.

    If you’ve stumbled your way onto Hair TikTok, odds are you’ve seen a heatless curling rod headband. Since the pandemic began, people have been itching to throw away their damaging hot tools and find alternative ways to curl their hair. And this headband, a long foam rod covered in silk, is one of the more famous options. You fasten the top of the headband to your head with the provided clip, then wrap your hair around each side of the headband, securing it with scrunchies so that when it dries, you’ve got springy, uniform curls.

    Between TikTok and Instagram ads, it’s hard to escape these foam rods that have taken the internet by storm. A heatless curling rod headband was even featured in Season 2, Episode 3 of Euphoria, “Ruminations: Big and Little Bullys,” as part of Cassie’s 4 a.m. beauty routine. I’m not sure what else she uses to keep her hair so perfect (I’m one of those people who keeps up with the show without actually watching it), but I’ve seen enough proof on TikTok to know that this headband is more than just TV magic. I eventually gave into all of the advertising and I decided to order one for myself.

    Now let me preface this by telling you all that I have weird hair. The top layers are kind of curly, and the bottom layers are straight. I’ve tried a ton of different products in hopes of getting the layers to match, and the only solution I’ve found is to let my hair dry in braids. It works well enough and at this point, I’m too lazy to find a new routine. If I want actual curls I usually break out my old college curling iron, but every time I see a beauty TikTokker shake out their perfect head of heatless curls, it makes me think I might be able to do it too.

    After a quick $9.99 Amazon purchase (opens in a new tab) and a trip to the drugstore for some mousse, I was ready. Armed with hair products, partially dried hair, and a foolproof TikTok-approved plan from creator Gabrielle Chase (@gabschase), I set out to achieve the heatless curls of my dream.

    The heatless curling process

    Once I acquired my heatless curling rod headband, the process was pretty simple. I washed and dried my hair as normal, then used some mousse and hair oil like Chase does in her TikTok. After letting my hair air dry for a while it was time to wrap. Other than a few of my layered pieces poking out, wrapping my hair was quick and painless. It took about 5 minutes from start to finish. There were no instructions on how long to leave my hair wrapped, but I assumed it was to be left in until your hair was completely dry. Chase slept in hers, so I decided I would do the same.

    Wearing this contraption while going through the rest of my nightly routine was pretty hilarious. Every time I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror I had a little giggle. I looked like a medieval maiden. I posted a video of myself wearing it to my Instagram Story, and a few friends even responded with the laughing emoji. Others wanted updates with the results because they, too, had seen the headbands all over social media and were curious how well they worked.

    While the headband might not have been the most comfortable thing to lay around in before bed, ultimately it was fine. Since I was still new to the world of heatless hair curling, I was also being extra cautious so as not to jeopardize the final result, so I may have also just been overly aware of my head.

    The heatless curling results

    I was pleasantly surprised by how well my hair stayed in the curler while I slept. I’m not the most active sleeper, but I definitely move around a bit during the night, so seeing my hair mostly intact the next morning was exciting.

    After I washed my face and brushed my teeth, it was time for the big reveal. In a video worthy of any influencer, I pulled out the curling rod. Y’all, my hair was so nice! It was curly, it was bouncy, and not to brag, but it really did look TikTok perfect.

    One issue I noticed was that my hair was still damp, which meant the perfect curls wouldn’t be there for long. My hair isn’t that thick, so I didn’t think anything of wrapping it in the headband while it was still partially wet, but I guess it wasn’t as dry as it should’ve been, which may have been my downfall. I tried adding a little hairspray to see if it could save all my hard work, but I could already see my curls starting to fall. I fixed my bangs with a blow dryer and prepared myself for the sadness of another viral product that didn’t follow through.

    The experience wasn’t ALL bad. My hair still turned out pretty nice; it just wasn’t the curling iron hair-level that I expected. There were some nice waves on the top layers, but the bottom layers were still mostly straight. All in all it didn’t look much different from my normal hair routine.

    The heatless curling verdict

    The TikTok heatless hair curler is…fine. Did my hair turn out nice in the end? Sure. Is it fun to use for some laughs? Definitely! Is it the tool I’m going to reach for when I want beautiful hair for an event? Never. While the idea of saving my hair from some heat damage by using a heatless tool is nice, it definitely isn’t worth the whole routine of wrapping and sleeping in the curler. With a curling iron, my hair is done in less than an hour. But, hey, for $10 it was probably worth a try.

    Looks like it’s back to the curl drawing board. At least I know where to find some good options.

    So extremely privileged are the girls with curly hair and so lucky are the girls that have waves styled by nature for them! How women always envy the things that they always want and how true is the liking of the grass on the other side. The adorable curls are liked and loved by everybody. They are of course special. And the wavy hair is so intense like the waves of the ocean.

    The wavy and curly hair gives a dramatic look and feel to a women’s whole personality. Oprah Winfrey has lovely curls and she is a strong woman; looking adorable and strong is easy with curls! Lot of Indian women have almost fully-developed wavy hair and many others have the cute curls.

    How To Curl Your Hair

    If you have straight hair and you want them to look curly, you can certainly visit a hairdresser and get a ‘perm’. But that would be a permanent option. A better option is to get a curl at home making your hair stay curly for a couple of days. Here’s how to get a curl at home:

    Wet your hair and apply mousse or a light gel. The next step is curl your hair. There are numerous ways you can do this, depending on the duration of curls that you want and the amount of pain that you are willing to take. While curling, make locks by dividing your hair into five sections, one at the top of the head, two at the right and left hand side and two at the back of your head-

    1. How to Curl Your Hair Using Foam Roller-

    Place the foam curler beneath one thick lock of hair. Roll the lock around the curler tightly and start rolling the curler up from inside. Once you reach the scalp hold the hair with curler securely with a bobbing pin. Repeat these steps with the other locks. Use smaller rollers on the side and front of the face and larger rollers at the back. Blow dry your hair and keey the curlers on as long as possible.

    2. How to Curl Your Hair Using Straightener-

    Dry your hair and comb it thoroughly to smoothen it out.

    curling hair with straighteners

    Spray hair with a heat protectant spray so that your hair does not burn. Divide your hair into five sections. Clamp the straightener on one section near the scalp. Now twirl the straightener inwards making the hair take a U turn. Run the straightener slowly down the hair shaft till the end. Repeat with other sections. Spray some hair spray on your curls to make them last longer.

    If you are using a curling iron or hot rollers, do not wet your hair as the hot steam may damage your hair. Do read the safety instructions on hot rollers or curling iron before using them.

    Curly Hairstyles

    Depending on the length of hair that you have, you can have short, medium or long curly hairstyle.

    short curly hair style meg ryan

    Short Curly Hair Style

    Go for a short curly hairstyle if you do not want to spend too much in your curls while getting ready for the day. Even if you have straight hair, you can maintain a curl by curling your hair through hot rollers, spiral perm rods, one-inch round curling iron, small curl perm rods or straighteners.

    Medium Curly Hair Style

    With hair length coming to just above the shoulder, medium curly hair style is perfect for women who do

    medium curly hair style Charlize Theron

    not want short hair but also do not want the hassles involved in maintaining long hair.

    Long Curly Hair Style

    Some women have a combination of waves and curls that looks simply fantastic. The stunning actress Rekha has a combo of waves and curls that are long and black and beautiful. Blessed are they that have naturally beautiful hair.

    The waves may start just from the root that looks heavy, stylish and smart. The fall of wavy hair on one’s body is almost sensual. The waves must run long, long enough after the shoulder level. The bigger the waves, the better it looks. Wavy hair defines beauty in a subtle way.If you are the lucky girl having long flowing hair you can varying sizes and levels of curls to make your hair look just like those of models in the commercials. Take different sections of your hair and make them curls of different sizes and at different angles using tools such as large barrel curling iron. You can also add a touch of tousled look to your hair. Remember that long wavy curly hair makes the face look thinner so if you have a round face, long curly hair style is the best for you.

    How to Manage and Take Care of Curly Hair

    The curls might be heavily together, spring-like, or softly curled like delicate creepers. The curls of any length look spectacular and pretty. Separated by a partition or not, the curls automatically create magical look. But managing the curls is the most difficult job. Curls are highly sensitive hair and treating them to extreme stuff might spoil its strength and texture. The curls have to be managed with extra care and nourishment. Do not use a brush on curly hair. Instead use your fingers to untangle your hair. The plastic comb is to be avoided. Use a wide-toothed comb. The curls must be softly de-tangled with an appropriate brush. The curly hair can tend be frizzy and look like a bush on a bad hair day. The morning curls are almost scary. If one has a huge bunch of curls they have to tone them down with hair softener and hair moisturizers.

    Use a gentle shampoo and hydrating conditioner on your curly hair. But don’t shampoo your

    hair everyday. IT makes the hair drier. Shampoo it every other day. Do not use towel to dry your hair, use your hand to squeeze out the water of your hair. Curly hair tends to be dryer than normal straight hair. IF your curls are dry and frizzy apply a dime sized anti-frizz serum on your hair and then blow dry with a diffuser. Always keep a diffuser attached to your blow dryer. Also, do not forget to deep condition your hair once every week.

    The harsh hair gels and hair sprays must be avoided for the curls might loose their charm. While blow drying, one must take care of the curls or they end up being rough, fizzy and almost unmanageable. The curls have to be protected and hence before sleeping one must ensure that it does not get tangled by the rise of the sun. The curls have to be naturally natural and have to be maintained and conditioned well. But usage of harsh shampoos and harmful ammonia-based products might give trouble to the curls. To enhance the texture and shine of the curls herbal oils and mild shampoos may be used with good conditioners.

    Some women constantly crib about their curls and try to change it by straightening them. It is a very bad idea to frequently straighten the curls as it damages the hair and hair breaks off easily. As soon as the curls are washed, the required softening products might be applied to keep it shiny and glowing. In all good hair is a way to look ravishingly beautiful.

    We have a love-hate relationship with hot tools—they can help create gorgeous hairstyles, but at the same time, they can damage your tresses and end up doing more harm than good in the long run. Luckily, hot tools are not the only option when it comes to hairstyling, especially if you’re looking to revive your curls and get more definition. The best part? You can get creative with heat-free alternatives and use things around the house like towels and socks to help create magazine-worthy curls. So put down your hot tools, prep your hair, and read on to learn more about several easy methods for curling your hair without using heat.

    1. Bathrobe Curls

    This no-heat hairstyle has become a super popular hairstyling trend on Tik Tok and it’s a style we love. The only tools you need is a bathrobe (as the name suggests) and some patience. Start by applying a curl cream to your hair, like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Cream Leave-In, which works to lock in moisture and repair broken ends. Place the tie of the bathrobe over your head so that it comes down on both sides by your ears. Then, divide your hair in the middle, and twist each side around the tie. Secure both sides with an elastic and keep it on overnight. When you wake up and remove the tie in the morning, you’ll get gorgeous loose curls.

    2. Flexi Rods

    Natural hair gals and guys swear by this method, and we can see why. Using flexi rods will help you get a flawless set of voluminous curls that can also last you a few days when wrapped up properly at night. There are also various lengths and sizes, so we recommend experimenting with a few to find the perfect curl shape for you. For this style, apply a generous amount of styling product like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Extreme Hold Invisi Gel, and section off pieces of hair to wrap around each flexi rod. To make sure your curls hold, do not remove the flexi rods until your hair is completely dry.

    3. Hair Rollers

    Hair rollers have been used to create stunning curls for decades, and it’s a tried-and-true method we couldn’t leave off the list. Simply grab a set of rollers, the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse, and bobby pins. Take a section of hair and clip the rest out of your way. Apply a small amount of mousse to your hair, comb through, place the roller at the end of the section, and start rolling it toward your roots. Secure the roller in place, using a hair pin, and repeat until you have a mane full of rollers. Let your rollers sit for a few hours before undoing them.

    4. Sock Bun Curls

    The sock bun method is another excellent option for creating heatless curls. Start by applying a curl cream throughout your hair to give your curls some hold and definition. Section your hair and use an alligator clip to hold it in place, then grab a sock and place it place near the root of your hair. Wrap all of your hair around the sock and twist it up into a doughnut-shaped bun. Now, you can remove the clip and open up the sock to wrap it around the bun. Leave it on for a few hours or overnight and unravel it in the morning to reveal your new curly hairdo.

    5. Pin Curls

    While the classic pin curl hairstyle screams old-Hollywood glam, you can also use it to create beautiful heatless curls. Starting on damp hair, create sections that are about an inch in size. Take the end of one of the sections, tuck your hair around two of your fingers, and roll up until you reach the roots. Secure that section with a hair pin, and then repeat the process until your entire head is covered.

    Editor’s Tip: Wrap your hair with a silk scarf to help bring your heatless overnight curls to life sans frizz. Once dry, remove the scarf, pull out all of your pins, fluff up your strands, and spray your hair with the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Strong Hold, to keep your curls intact.

    6. Bantu Knots

    Not only are Bantu knots a popular protective style, but they can also be used to create heatless, frizz-free curls. To try the look, make one to two-inch sections in your hair and start twisting from the root to ends. Twist the section tightly around itself to form a tiny bun and secure it with a hair elastic. Repeat until you have a mane full of Bantu knots, then cover your hair with a silk scarf to protect them while you sleep. In the morning, undo each knot and gently finger-comb your hair to reveal perfect ringlets. Top it off with hairspray, and you’re all set!

    I believe straight hair never go out of season. But it can be tiring sometimes with daily styling even when your hair is short.

    I have short hair and it is quite heartbreaking when I am trying to rush off in the morning and most times I’m caught up in the web of trying to style my short hair perfectly!

    I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    A great way to style short hair and add volume is to curl it.

    There are plenty of hot rollers for short hair, and even curling irons. But I know many of you don’t want to add more heat which can contribute to hair fall.

    Curlers and rollers are okay to use from time to time, but not regularly.

    If you want to take a break from heat styling your hair, then you’ll be glad to know that there are many ways to get heatless curls for short hair.

    Most of what I’ll be sharing below involves leaving your overnight and waking up with gorgeous curls.

    These are easy to do, and require little equipment which you can just find at home or in your kitchen. Don’t believe me? Read on 😉

    Here are 4 ways to achieve no heat curls for short hair:

    1. Use a juice straw or pen

    One can never run out of juice straws especially if you are a sugar junkie like me! Haha 😀

    The length of the short hair would determine the length you would cut the straws into.

    The first step is to wash your hair properly with shampoo. After drying, get a gel or mousse (I use Tresemmé mousse), and divide your hair from the front of your hair down into two equal halves.

    Take a small portion of your hair, and twist it around the straw or pen. Then remove the straw or pen from the middle and use a hairpin to hold it against the root of your hair.

    Video tutorial: How to do straw curls on short hair

    Repeat these steps until you have curled all your hair. Leave hair to air dry for an hour or two (although mine lasted for more than a couple of hours – it’s that dang humidity!).

    If you don’t wanna wait, sit in front of a fan or use your blow dryer’s cold shot setting.

    2. Use pieces of cloth or socks

    My experience with hair curling has taught me that old clothes can be useful.

    I found a colorful old cotton shirt, and cut it into strips the same length as my hair and about 2 cm. wide.

    You can use pieces of cloth from an old shirt for beautiful rag curls or socks for sock curls, whichever you prefer.

    Sock Bun Hair Tutorial for short hair:

    The same procedure applies, as what I described above in using a straw or pen (washing and drying your hair, using a mousse or gel, then twisting the strips of cloth or sock round your hair, then removing the cloth and pinning down with bobby pins and leaving to dry).

    The only difference is that cotton shirts and socks gives you a soft and gentle curl.

    3. Weave your hair

    When I first started doing this, I asked a friend to weave my hair. You can get someone to help you braid your hair. Or if you can do it yourself, then the better.

    To get curls through weaving, wash and dry your hair properly since you would be weaving, and a wet weaved hair breaks easily. There are two results you can achieve while weaving depending on what you desire.

    First, if you want to get curls towards the end of your hair, part your hair through the center, and weave two braids on both sides.

    If your goal is to get curls that would begin at the root of your hair, part your hair from the center, create two French braids on both sides of your head.

    After doing any of the above procedure, leave the braid on for hours or overnight, then undo them afterwards. When it was time to unknot my hair, I used my finger to gently and playfully comb through it and I added mousse to hold the curls.

    Check out these 8 hair rollers for heatless overnight curls!

    4. Bantu knots

    Yes I tried it, no side eyes. It was really amazing.

    Bantu knots is an African/ African-American style. The first thing to demystify about bantu knots is that they are really not knots but spiral rolls that resemble arranged tires.

    Bantu knot is a terrific method of getting curls without heat since they can be styled with your hands after loosening the knot.

    How to do a bantu knot on short straight hair:

    The first step to achieving a perfect curl is to properly wash the hair (shampoo and/or conditioner).

    There has been diverse opinion on whether or not to allow the hair dry properly or to leave it slightly damp before making the bantu knot.

    For me, I believe the texture and volume of your hair would determine whether it should be left completely dry or damp. I left my own slightly damp because I sorta have dry hair and that’s what worked for me.

    The size of your bantu knot would depend on whether you want a large or small sized bantu knot. But if your hair is really short, small portions of your hair should be twisted.

    Gather small portions of your hair and twist twice or thrice depending on the length of your hair in between your fingertips. While twisting, make sure you don’t do it too tight to prevent hair breakage.

    Remove your fingertips from the centre of the twisted knots and use hair pins to hold the knots in place. Repeat procedure until the rest of you hair is knotted.

    Here’s a great step by step tutorial by Latonya Staubs over at A Beautiful Mess (go check it out!)

    Since my hair was slightly damp, I left it to dry all through the night and I wore a shower cap to prevent the knot from loosing.

    In the morning, I carefully unwrapped the knots without pulling or tugging to avoid getting frizz.

    While unwrapping the knot I added my mousse to hold the curls. I also used my fingers to slightly detangle the curls without affecting the sections or partings. The bantu knot was an exciting experience for me and I would love to try it again.

    Overnight heatless curls are great, but.. there a way to do it faster?

    No heat curls do take some time to set, but there are hacks to curl short hair without heat in 5 minutes! We’ve dedicated an entire article for that. Go check it out 🙂

    Also, curling short layered hair might be tricky if you’re using any of these heatless curling methods.

    Have you tried any of them?

    I hope I have been able to help you give your hair another look, save time and stress of styling your short hair daily. I can’t wait to hear which of the tips was your favorite.

    PIN For Later!

    Featured Image Credit: Deposit Photos

    Say hello to effortless curls and waves.

    The greatest Tiktok hair trend I’ve seen recently? Heatless hair curlers. Listen, I was suspect at first (like how could you possibly make your hair hold a curl without using an actual curling iron or wand?!), but after reading all the reviews on social media and seeing how well these curlers worked for the people on my feed, I knew I needed to give them a try. Fast forward a few months of me experimenting with different heatless curlers—from rollers to flexi rods and headbands—and I am fully hooked on the styling method. Personally, I like using heatless curlers on my damp hair before bed to create beachy waves without causing damage (remember, exposing your hair to high temps can lead to split ends and breakage), but there a bunch of different techniques you can do to create various types of wavy and curly styles. Ahead, the best heatless curlers on the market, plus the dos and don’ts of using heatless curlers at home according to expert hairstylists Alex Brown and Andrea Hans.

    Do no heat hair curlers work?

    Yes! As the name implies, heatless hair rollers and curlers are specifically designed to work their magic *without* exposing your hair to heat. They’re a great option for anyone looking to avoid the potentially damaging effect of hot tools, like flat irons or three barrel wavers. These hair rollers and heatless hair ribbons are a popular choice for setting spiraled styles and adding voluminous movement to your hair.

    That said, heatless curlers do however work differently on every hair type, says Alex Brown, a Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist and owner of Space by Alex Brown whose clients Rebecca Black, Kendall Jenner, and Chrissy Teigen. Her advice? Think about your hair texture and the look you want to achieve. For example, naturally curly or textured hair won’t achieve smooth waves with a satin wand, but it may help minimize frizz and flyaways. Fine, flat hair may not get mermaid waves from rollers, but they can def help give hair some lift and body.

    If you have thicker hair, Brown suggests either rough drying it or waiting until it’s nearly dry before using a heatless hair curler because your hair may not fully dry when wrapped up. For fine or very straight hair, prepping with a texturizing wave spray is a must for getting your curl to hold.

    4 top-rated heatless hair curlers according to Cosmo editors:

    “My limp, fine hair loves these rollers. I twist my dry hair around them in 1-inch sections before bed on dry hair and in the morning? I look like I used tha expensive AF hair tool everyone raves about (ahem, Dyson Airwrap).” —Beth Gillette, beauty editor

    “When my curly hair gets pulled out, wavy-ish, and blah, I’ll spritz my hair with a moisture mist before bed, wrap my hair around this headband, and wake up with a smoother, curl-wave hybrid that didn’t require a re-wash.” —Chloe Metzger, deputy beauty director

    “This silk headband/scarf combo looks ridiculous, but it’s clutch for giving my straight hair loose waves overnight. My best advice? Watch a YouTube video to figure out how to use it (words cant just explain) and use it on hair that’s about 80 percent dry.” —Lauren Balsamo, deputy beauty director

    “After I give my hair a good wash, I’ll get ready for bed and after about 20 minutes, roll my hair up into these pillow rollers. In the morning my hair looks and feels super soft and smooth—the satin is a game changer!” —Valeriya Chupinina, freelance beauty assistant (oh hiii, that’s me!)

    How do you curl your hair without heat?

    According to Andrea Hans, master stylist and owner of Broome Street Society in NYC, a popular way to curl hair without heat is to “set it into rollers, socks, rags, braids, flexi rods, and other such texture enhancing options”. You can wrap your hair in or around all of these styling tools while it is slightly damp and then remove the tools when your hair has completely dried (many do this overnight). Her master tip if your hair has already dried? Use a spray bottle to mist moisture on already wrapped hair—this will allow your hair to reset and take new form.

    For larger, bouncier curls, Hans suggests using larger sections and larger rollers but allow for more time for damp hair to dry. After removing the curlers, sock, or rods, brush them out to combine and add volume.

    If you want to go for smaller, defined curly pieces, use smaller sections on the size of the roller you’d like to see in your curls. “Just be careful not to use sections that are too small and put unnecessary pressure or weight onto each hair strand,” warns Hans.

    How long do you keep heatless curlers in?

    The amount of time you spend leaving your hair in a heatless hair curler depends on the method you utilize. According to Brown, velcro hair rollers should be left in hair for around 20 minutes. Satin wands can be left in until hair is fully dry, or you can even sleep with the wand in your hair. This stylist’s bonus tip? Use a turban or headscarf or headwrap to help keep the wand in place as you sleep, especially if your hair doesn’t hold a curl as easily or is on the thicker side.

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    As much as I love and have perfected running a curling iron through my hair to produce a quick-styled head of curls, I can’t help but cower in fear at the smell of burning hair or coming to the realization that I’ve run out of my favorite heat protectant. I have pretty thick, long hair, and keeping it healthy at this length is one of my top priorities. Enter: heatless curl methods. I’ve tried heatless curling methods before, mostly in high school or middle school with plastic straws (yikes) or scarves and robe belts. The results were never super great or long lasting, but a quick search today results in so many new methods and ideas.

    I was mesmerized by the mesh curlers I was seeing on TikTok and wanted to give the old methods I used a new try. Most of the videos I watched said to try these methods out on damp, washed hair, but I noticed that I got better results the dirtier my hair was and it lasted way longer.

    Below, I embarked on a journey of trial and error, tears, frustration, success, and triumph. Follow along to see what curl methods worked best for me and what I would recommend most.

    Type of Curl: Crimped Waves
    Ranking: 1/5

    I did half of my whole head with these before I realized that I had a whole other half of my hair left and no more curlers. Oops! These mesh curlers were definitely not thick-hair-friendly. I had to use extremely small strands of hair to thread through. With the hook that came with the set, you thread your hair through the curlers and pull through for them to sit neatly in the mesh. It took a little tinkering, but it was easy to catch on after a couple of tries. I ended up braiding the remaining hair that was left out of the curlers. I also had to double up because the curlers were too short for my long strands (that’s on me though).

    These weren’t very comfortable to sleep in, but compared to the other curlers I used, they were only slightly better. The results were underwhelming, which disappointed me because I was most excited to use these curlers. Some strands of hair seemed more crimped than others, though I put them all on the same. If you want to achieve this look, I’d suggest just braiding your hair and sleeping in it overnight instead of using this method (a single dutch braid and some hairspray is my personal favorite). However, if your hair is finer or shorter (as opposed to thicker or longer), I do think this method would be a bit more successful and fun to explore.

    Heatless Wave Curlers

    Type of Curl: Tight and Bouncy Curls
    Ranking: 2/5

    I cried when trying to figure these out. I was so excited to try these when they came in the mail, but it took me multiple days and countless hours into the night. But they did come in a cute clear carrying case adorned with tropical flowers, and I’m a sucker for cute packaging.

    Initially, I hooked a piece of hair at the top of my head to the hook that came with the curlers. Yes, a hook! You needed a hook to essentially thread your hair through the hollow curlers. It was not simple to understand, at least for me. I learned quickly that the more hair you used in your strand, the less it works, as all your hair will get bunched up and stuck halfway through the tube. This was a major issue because I have a lot of hair. If I had to use extremely tiny strands of hair, I knew I was going to have to use an excessive number of curlers. But nevertheless, I dove right in.

    Another one of my initial issues was that when I pulled my hair through the curler, it literally felt like I was being scalped. Finally, after a night’s rest and multiple videos sent to my best friends filled with tears and deep-breathing exercises, I dove back in. I wet my hair a bit and put some leave-in conditioner in to make it easier to work with. Instead of just hooking my hair in all willy-nilly, I twisted the root and hooked the twisted piece at the top of my head in the hook, then threaded the strand through horizontally instead of vertically. It worked! It took me 30 minutes to do one half of my head and 10 to do the other after I got the hang of it. I had maybe 30 curlers in my head at least.

    After going through all that, I was at the point where I’d rather just reach for a 0.5-inch curling iron. I don’t know what was worse: sleeping in these curlers or trying to figure them out. If I had to pick, I think I’d say sleeping. It was impossible to get comfortable—there was practically no use for a pillow. The minute I woke up, I was ripping them out. I couldn’t do it fast enough. But as much as I hated the process, I really loved the results. My mom has a head full of curls, and these looked exactly like her tresses I have always envied. I separated them and combed through them a bit, and they were so bouncy and full. I do wish that I had also curled my bangs because they looked weird compared to my really curly head. I’m not sure I would do these curls again, but after the reception of everyone around me, maybe I’d reach for the difficult spiral curlers again. The curls were beautiful, but unless I really, really wanted these curls for a specific day or look, the process was just way too much.

    Sick of spending hours curling your hair for a night out? Sick of dealing with breakage from too much heat?

    Say hello to your new hair styling bestie.

    Simply dampen your hair, curl it around the heatless hair curler, wait till your hair dries. and voila! Curls that will last all day. Not to mention the 100% mulberry silk curling ribbon will combat any frizz or breakage. It really is that easy.

    1. Dampen hair & secure ribbon

    Lightly dampen your hair and place the ribbon at the top of your head, securing it with the claw clip.

    2. Twist hair

    Beginning at the top of your head, twist your hair around the ribbon, incorporating more hair in the twist as you move down to the ends of your hair.

    3. Sleep!

    Secure the ends with the scrunchies and repeat on the other side. Then all you have to do is remove the clip and sleep!

    4. Reveal gorgeous curls!

    Remove the scrunchies and lift the ribbon up, shaking out your curls as you lift.

    Have a question?

    Yes! You can certainly wear hair extensions with the curling ribbon. The curling ribbon is suitable for all hair types.

    The body of the curling ribbon is soft, which makes for a comfortable sleep when you lay on it at night time. You also take the claw clip off before going to bed, so it doesn’t poke into you while you sleep.

    Absolutely not! We have seen great results from wearing it for 2-3 hours in the day. You can also use a hair drier to speed up the drying process.

    The pack includes:
    1 x silk curling ribbon
    2 x white satin scrunchies to secure your hair at the base
    1 x super cute clear clip to secure your hair while you twirl it in place

    The heatless hair curler comes packaged in a clear bag.

    All orders are shipped with Australia Post. It is important that you provide us with a secure address as the courier will safely leave your parcel if you are not home. All orders will be processed within 24 hrs between Monday to Friday.

    Free shipping is available on orders over $100
    Standard shipping: $9.95
    Express shipping: $12.95

    Other countries please visit the shipping page

    Although we hope you will fall in love with the curling ribbon straight away, we are happy to offer you a refund or exchange. However, due to hygiene regulations the product must not have been worn overnight. You may send your product back to us and we will process a refund within 2 business days.

    The two sizes we offer relate to the type of curls that you want to achieve. The normal Heatless hair curler is 20mm wide and will create tighter curls (this is the size of most curling irons). The thicker HHC is 30mm and will create big bouncy curls that will look more subtle, especially when brushed out. The only other difference is the thick barrel is a stuffed silk barrel, so it’s a little bit more flexible than the normal barrel.