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Heatless Curls – 5 Ways to Beat the Heat

heatless curls

Heatless curls present the perfect compromise between obtaining the perfect, bouncy, playful look without exposing your hair to potentially harmful heat.

Damage from various heat tools, such as a blowdryer, straightener or curling iron, has become a growing concern in hair care, particularly if temperatures exceed  200°C

We get it. You want to achieve beautiful beach waves, glamorous movie star pin curls or the iconic Shirley Temple adorable ringlets, but how do you do it without causing irreversible damage?

While using heat to style now and then is unlikely to make or break your hair, excessive and repetitive heat application can result in negative consequences, such as dry hair, frizz and breakage. As long as you use a thermal protectant on the occasions you use heat tools, you will likely be fine.

Still, like all the best things in life, heat tools should be used in moderation. Ask any professional why your hair is so damaged, and one of the first questions they will ask is how frequently you use heat on your hair.

So, it begs the question, how do you achieve beautiful curls without frying the ever-loving crap out of your hair?

We’re glad you asked! Today, we will show you five different methods to obtain heatless curls to avoid unwanted damage and have your hair looking luscious, lively and healthy.

What are Heatless Curls?

no heat curls

Using common-sense will allow you to decipher for yourself what heatless curls are but, for those who may have missed the memo, they are curls created without the use of heat.

Shocking. We know.

Thermal devices, including a straightener or flat iron, curling iron, crimper, and blow dryer, can potentially cause damage to the cuticle and cortex of hair fibres. It does so by morphing and deforming the a-keratin present in your hair and breaking down the cortex’s components.

It is also critical to note that hair texture plays a crucial role in how damaging heat can be.

In this way, if you have fine hair that is already thin and more susceptible to damage, heat tools should be used sparingly. Since fine hair is already more prone to being weighed down and becoming greasy, these styles may not hold as well or last as long without having to wash the hair.

According to a study published in 2016 in the International Journal of Trichology, regular usage of heat and other processes, such as bleaching or dyeing your hair, can lead to changes in the hair shaft.

In this way, alternative approaches, such as heatless curls or heatless waves, present a promising compromise between heat damage and achieving your desired look.

But, how do you get heatless curls? That’s precisely what we’re here to tell you!

How to Get Heatless Curls – 5 Methods

The wonderful thing about this styling method is the various ways you can experiment with to get heatless curls.

If you find that one particular hair tutorial isn’t effective for you, that’s okay! There are other curls tutorial options to choose from. In this way, it’s all about experimentation.

We have compiled a list of some of our favourites. Below are five ways to get heatless curls.

Headband Curls

headband curls

The headband curls method may seem too good to be true, but prepare to have your mind blown.

It’s undoubtedly one of the most straightforward techniques that require the least amount of materials, which adds a heightened level of convenience as you likely already have them in your possession.


  • Headband 
  • Spray bottle
  • Brush/comb
  • Bobby pins (optional)


  1. Either have a shower, let your hair air dry until it is slightly damp or, take your spray bottle and spray dry hair until it is slightly damp, and divide your hair into two sections.
  2. Brush or comb your hair through to get rid of any tangles and smooth down flyaways.
  3. Stretch the headband around your head to form a crown. Note that the headband should not be pulled across your forehead but should instead rest just above your hairline. If you notice any flyaway strands at this stage, now is the time to smooth them down under the headband so that the top of your hair sits relatively flat. If you have them, exclude your hangs.
  4. Take a one-inch section of hair, twist it, and pull it over and through the headband. Repeat this process while continuously grabbing another section of hair, as you would when creating a braid. Continue doing this until all of your hair is wrapped around the headband.
  5. If you want to ensure that the curls stay put, you can use some bobby pins to secure it and spray your wrapped hair lightly with some hairspray.
  6. This technique is more effective the longer your hair is wrapped in the headband, so we recommend sleeping on it. The longer your hair is wrapped, the more voluptuous your no-heat curls will be.

When you wake up all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning, carefully unwrap the sections of hair from around the headband, spritz with your favourite leave-in conditioner, texturized or anti-frizz serum or spray, give your head a shake, and boom! 

You’ve got beautiful heatless curls as if you just stepped out of the salon.

Sock Bun

sock bun

One of the appeals about this curls tutorial is that it looks cute in its own right with the added bonus of producing gorgeous heatless curls.

Similar to the previous hair tutorial, this method does not require a lot of materials.


  • A sock, preferably a tube sock, but depending on your hair length, a regular ankle sock may suffice.
  • Scissors (don’t worry, they’re not for cutting your hair)
  • An elastic/hair tie
  • A spray bottle
  • Bobby pins


  1. Using your scissors, cut off the toe-end (only the toe) of the sock and roll it until it resembles a donut.
  2. Pull your hair into a ponytail and secure it with the hair tie.
  3. Pull the sock donut to the base of the ponytail, like a scrunchie, so that all of the hair is gathered inside of it. Then, pull the sock to the ends of your hair.
  4. Hold the ends of your hair at the centre of the sock and roll the fabric towards the ponytail base. Hair will continue to gather in the ring around the sock. Continue to rotate the sock down so that it is completely covered in hair.
  5. When the sock has reached the ponytail base, tug at the edges to adjust them so that none of it can be seen through the hair.
  6. Secure the bun in place with bobby pins.
  7. For an ideal, no heat curls result, go to bed and sleep on your sock bun. Alternatively, keep it in for at least five or six hours.

In the morning or after the time is allotted, unwrap the sock and shake out the ponytail to reveal voluminous heatless curls!

Topknot Waves

Sometimes you don’t want tight ringlets or big curls and instead want to opt for a more natural, wavy look.

We’ve got you! Heatless waves can be a pretty and simple way to spruce up your everyday look and add a fun additional element.

Topknot waves are a simple yet effective way to achieve heatless waves for those with medium to long hair, and here’s how to do it:


  • Texturizing spray or cream product or mousse
  • Scrunchie
  • Bobby pins (optional)


  1. Dry your hair halfway and ‘scrunch’ in your favourite mousse or texturizing product
  2. Flip your head over and twist all of your hair and wrap it around itself to create a simple topknot on your head. Make sure it isn’t pulled too tightly to your scalp.
  3. Secure in place with the scrunchie. You can make sure it stays secure by adding bobby pins as well, but this is optional.
  4. Wait until your hair is dry, or sleep on it. Like with the other styles, this no heat curls look will be more effective the longer it stays in.

Once your hair is dry or the next morning, take out the bobby pins and remove the scrunchie. Flip your hair over and comb through your hair with your fingers from roots to ends. Voila! You have gorgeous heatless waves that look like you just came from the beach.

Foam Rollers

foam rollers

For classic pinup curls that are nostalgic and glamorous, this is the heatless curls method for you.

You don’t need to use a curling iron or hot rollers to achieve this look. Instead, this hair tutorial only requires foam rollers that don’t need heat to work. It’s the best of both worlds!

Not only that, but you can find foam rollers in most beauty supply or drug stores for relatively cheap. So, you can save yourself a trip to the salon and get more bang for your buck by using these again and again.


  • Foam rollers
  • Spray bottle (optional)


  1. Start by sectioning your hair into one-inch sections. Depending on your hair thickness and desired amount of curls, you may need to experiment in terms of the size of your sections.
  2. Either wash your hair and wait for it to dry, or use a spray bottle on dry hair. Either way, make sure that hair is 80% dry.
  3. Grab one section of hair and roll it up in the rollers from the ends to the top of your head. Repeat this step for all sections.
  4. Depending on the type of rollers you have, they may secure differently. However, make sure that they are secure enough not to unravel or come undone while you sleep.
  5. Venture to the land of dreams and slumber and let the rollers do the work while you indulge in some much-deserved beauty rest.
  6. The next day, unwrap each roller individually.

It is critical to note that your hair will be very curly when you first take the foam rollers out. If you want to loosen the curls for a more effortless, natural look, we recommend putting your hair in a low ponytail or braid for a few minutes.

That’s it! The rollers will do all the heavy lifting and have you waking up with stunning heatless curls.

Try the ‘Bathrobe Hack’

bathrobe curls

This last heatless curls hair tutorial has gained significant traction on the popular video-sharing social networking app, TikTok.

Who knew that you could use your bathrobe for something other than keeping you nice and warm and cozy?

It just goes to show that you don’t need to break the bank on expensive products and treatments to attain heatless curls. All you need is a bathrobe!


  • Waist cincher/belt from a bathrobe
  • Spray bottle (optional)


  1. Start with damp hair, as you want it to set in place around the bathrobe tie.
  2. Split your hair into two sections.
  3. Take the first section of hair and twist it around the bathrobe belt, from top to bottom, and secure it in place. Repeat this step with the other section.
  4. Sleep sweetly with the knowledge that you will wake up with gorgeous heatless curls.
  5. When you wake up in the morning, carefully unravel the curls and shake them out. If you want to smooth them out a bit, we recommend using a frizz-fighting oil, like argan oil, which will help soften your hair and make your heatless curls shine.

There you have it! It’s just that simple.

Heatless Curls –  Out of this World Curls

Whichever method you choose regarding ways to get heatless curls, we hope this article served as the sign or motivation you needed to understand that you can attain the same results without heat.

So, the next time you want to achieve breathtaking waves or romantic curls, skip the heat tools and opt to treat your hair and indulge in styling techniques that safeguard and protect it while still attaining your desired look.

An ideal element of no heat curls is the various possibilities of how to achieve them. In this way, you can determine which is most effective for you depending on your hair type, texture and thickness. After all, the fun is in the experimentation!

Give your hair a break and try out one of these techniques instead. Not only will it produce a stunning look, but it will also serve to promote the health and strength of your hair. It’s a win-win situation!