How to Get Heatless Curls: 10 Methods

If you have straight hair, you probably envy those lucky gals born with heads full of ringlets. You could turn to the curling iron or even get a perm — but those methods damage your locks. 

How can you get heatless curls? The following 10 methods will leave you with anything from springy spirals to beach-tossed waves with minimal, if any, harm to your tresses. 

1. Braids

If you want big, beachy waves, braids are the way to go. They’re also super-simple to master. 

All you need to do is separate clean hair into three sections. You can add your favorite sculpting product if you wish. Then, start weaving, crossing the left portion over the middle, then the right. Continue until you reach the end of your strands and secure with a hair tie. 

The size of your braids determines how big your waves will be when you shake your hair out. If you want more impressive waves, make your weaves small and tight. A single loose plait will leave you looking like you recently emerged from the ocean. 

2. Pin Curls

Nearly every woman has a jar of bobby pins that aren’t working too hard. Why not become a job-creator by using them to craft pin curls? 

Start with a small, clean section of hair and twirl it. Bear in mind it must be tiny enough to pin into place. Eventually, the swirl begins to wrap around your finger. When this occurs, secure it until it dries. 

3. Messy Buns 

That scrunchie you use to run to the store on windy days can create a gloriously wavy look. When you emerge from the shower, detangle your hair and add your favorite styling pomade or spritz. 

Then, pull your wet locks into a high ponytail and loop it under itself, creating a loose bun. Secure with the scrunchie — avoid damaging damp strands by eschewing rubber bands. Once it dries, you’ll have large, loose waves. 

4. Foam Rollers

Does the term “rollers” evoke visions of dusters, hairnets and ungodly sleeping positions?  Relax. Today’s versions are soft and squishy, making it a snap to get your beauty rest. 

They also come in various sizes, allowing you to craft a layered look. Create an eclectic mix of ringlets and waves for boho-chic that makes you the envy of your cubicle mates. 

5. Paper Towels

Hello? We’re in a pandemic, and money is tight. If you don’t have the sweet moolah available for a set of professional rollers, why not DIY? 

Cut paper towels into 1 ½ inch strips. Wrap a small section of wet hair around each one, rolling it until it gets close to your scalp. Gently knot it — they break easily — and air-dry. 

6. Straws

If you want tighter ringlets but still crave the DIY experience, use straws. Here’s your opportunity to repurpose those plastic ones the folks at the drive-thru toss in your bag despite your insistence that you carry a reusable one in your purse. 

You’ll also need bobby pins for this heatless curls method. Cut your straws into 2-inch strips. Twirl small strands of hair first, then wrap them around the cylinder. Secure at the top with a bobby pin. 

7. Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are phenomenal for creating kinky curls on short hair. The method is somewhat similar to making pin curls, although your objective is to craft a stacked knot. 

Section your hair and create multiple two-strand twists around your head. If you plan to sport this look in public before taking it out, it helps to have an extra set of hands to make your parts straight. 

Sculpt these into knots and secure with the band or device of your choice. These ties can tug on your hair overnight — give your strands a few days off between twists to avoid breakage.

8. Flexi Rods 

Flexi-rods are a form of roller that consists of several pieces of soft, pliable plastic. You can twist them into nearly any shape. 

The most frequently used technique is to wrap your hair as if the rod was a roller, then twist it at the end to secure. However, you can get crafty and fold the rods into S-shapes against your skull to create extra waves. 

9. Headbands

If manual dexterity is your middle name, you can use a headband to create a soft, wavy lift to thin, lifeless strands. Start by placing the headband around the crown of your head, but leave your bangs free. If you have long, thick locks, you might need two. 

Then begin wrapping strands around the band, tucking them in as you go. Don’t worry if your creation looks nothing like that Pinterest photo. Use styling spritz to add hold. You might wake up looking like Medusa, but you’ll have beachy waves once you free your tresses. 

10. Socks 

Here’s some more DIY must-have know-how. What if you tried the paper towel method, but no matter what, you couldn’t stop the stuff from tearing? Use a sturdier material! 

Cut old socks or T-shirts into strips and use them the same way you would the paper-towel method above. You can make the knots tighter, resulting in springier waves. 

Learn How to Get Heatless Curls With These 10 Methods 

There’s no need to use damaging heat or chemicals to style your hair. Learn how to get heatless curls using the 10 methods above.