7 Easy Heat-Free Ways To Curl Your Hair

by Leah Rocketto

Tell me if this sounds familiar: In an effort to amp up your locks, you decide to give yourself some sassy curls. You set your alarm early to give yourself enough time to heat the curling iron and hairspray your do’ into place. But just as you’re about to create the first curl, your phone pings, signalling a series of emails that demand your immediate attention. Before you know it, it’s time to go, and your dream of perfect curls are deferred yet again. If this sounds like you, you’re in luck: There is another way. There are ways to curl your hair without any heat and with minimal effort, and I’m going to tell you how to do it.

Forget setting aside a half hour every morning to get Gisele Bündchen waves, and especially forget the risk of burning your scalp or face with a curling iron. Whether you crave loose waves or a tighter ringlet, all you need is a place to lay your head and a few hair accessories. So grab your brush, because you’re only a few steps and a good night’s sleep away from flawless heat-free curls.



Not only are braids a hot hair trend, they are also an easy way to transform your straight locks overnight. You can easily tailor them to create exactly the type of curl you’re looking for, too. Fewer, loser braids lead to looser curls, whereas as more tightly woven braids give tighter curls. When you wake up in the morning, gently run your fingers through your hair to create a more natural look.


Headband Wrap

Vintage curls have never been so easy to create. All you need is a headband, according to the blog It’s Just Laine. Simply place an elastic fabric headband atop your head. Then, working in sections, wrap your damp hair around the fabric and secure the ends with a bobby pin. Continue until all of your hair has been wrapped into the headband. Hit the hay and in the morning, presto!


Pin It Up

Time to channel your Betty Grable with a trick that pays tribute to those gorgeous pin-up gals. Before bed, part you hair into sections that you will twist into buns. Then secure the bun to your head using a bobby pin or aluminum clip. Rather than running your fingers through the curls in the a.m., simply shake your head to give your locks a little extra lift.


Twisted Buns

You can thank Princess Leia for this hair hack. For light waves, simply separate your damp hair into two sections, twist them into buns, and secure with a hair elastic. To add a few more waves to the mix, divide hair into four or six sections.


Bantu Knots

This traditional African hairstyle takes some time to create, but it’s the best way to get tight, bouncy curls. For best results, rock the Rihanna knots for a few days before letting the curls loose.



We promised no heat, and we meant it. Trade your hot rollers for their sponge counterparts to create a retro do. Although self-grip rollers are also a heat-free option, they aren’t as comfortable for sleeping. Opt for the pain-free route: go for the foam.


T-Shirt Strips

DIY-ers will love this heat-free method. Cut an old t-shirt (or paper towels) into long strips, making them as wide as you want your curls. Line up the strip along the end of you dampened hair section and roll up, going higher for a tighter curl. When you’ve rolled your hair, tie the ends of the strip together. The next morning, untie the strips to reveal your new do’!

Images: kazzakova/Fotolia; Courtesy of Wicker Paradise/Flickr; emilymichelleh, beautyandtheboy, yaya_viv, problack.princess, tinaimel, marni_beaucoup/Instagram