Five Heat-free Curl Methods

Curly hair is a fun look for all occasions, but curling irons and other heated styling tools can cause damage to your hair over time. Below are five heatless hacks recommended by HBK for beautiful curly hair that include zero risk for hair damage.

Hot Tips for Heatless Curls

  • All heatless methods work best on damp hair.
  • Use your regular leave-in products, adding mousse or gel for extra hold.
  • Let your hair dry completely before releasing each style in order for the curls to hold.
  • Use smaller sections for tighter curls.
  • Always roll hair away from the face for a more sexy, modern curl.
  • Roll towards the face for a more romantic, period curl.
  • For thicker, coarser hair, work with smaller sections; in general, thicker hair doesn’t hold curl as well as finer hair.

Heat-free Curling Techniques

The Twist

The twist technique is great for medium to long hair types, very similar to braids. There are two types of twists: the regular twist and the French twist.

Regular Twist: Take two sections of your hair and twist them in opposite directions around each other, continuing till you get to the ends of the hair.

French Twist: To execute the French twist, apply the same concept as a French braid. As you wrap the sections of hair around each other, pull another section of hair in. (Pictures may be easier to follow)


Braids work best for medium to long hair and are one of the most common heatless hacks for curls. While your hair is damp, apply your normal regimen of product. For extra hold try using a mousse such as Wella EIMI Boost Bounce which will provide a medium hold with a touchable feel. Adding regular braids will create waves throughout the mids and ends of your hair. French braids will add waves and volume near the root. Remember, the thicker the braid, the looser the wave; the thinner the braid, the tighter the wave. My two favorite methods are adding two regular or two French braids for loose waves or four total braids of either type for tighter waves and extra volume.

Use a Headband

Using a headband works great for short to medium-length hair.

  • Start with your hair down and slightly damp.
  • Part your hair in accordance with how you’d like it to fall.
  • Place an elastic headband around your head on the top of your hair like a halo, the headband should fall horizontally across your forehead.
  • Starting with sections of hair in the front around your face, wrap a half-inch thick section of hair up and over the elastic headband and then down behind it, creating on loop around the band.
  • Next add another half-inch section of hair.

Repeat this process until there is no hair left or if you make it to the back of your head. If you’ve reached the middle section of the back of your head, go back to the front and start working the other half, moving towards the back of your head using the same wrapping process. Keep the wraps in place overnight. In the morning when your hair is dry, take the head band off and release the beautiful heatless curls!

Use a Sock. Yes, a Sock!

The sock method works best for medium length to extra long hair.

  • While your hair is slightly damp, flip your head upside down and gather all your hair together.
  • Place a long tube sock on top of your hair, perpendicular to the hair, and begin wrapping and rolling the hair away from your face, starting the wrapping from the tips of your hair all the way to the top of your head.
  • When you reach the top, take both ends of the sock and tie them together firmly.

Sleep with the sock in your hair or let your hair dry completely with the sock in place. Once the hair is dry, remove the sock revealing sexy voluminous waves! For less volume, try the same technique with your head upright and roll up to the base of your neck.

Rag Curls

Using rags to curl the hair was the original method employed before curling tools were invented. You’ll need two-inch strips of rag which can be fashioned from an old clean tshirt or clean soft dish towels. Creating rag curls should be done to damp hair, with the intention of letting the curls dry overnight. If you are applying rag curls to dry hair, dampen your rag strips first.

  • Begin by taking a section of hair about an inch and a half to two inches wide and wrap your hair with the rag horizontally starting from the tip of your hair, rolling upwards.
  • When you reach the base of your hair, tie the two ends of your rag together.

When the hair is try, untie the rag releasing the soft curls.

Have fun with your new, sexy, heat-free curly hair!