Like many people, I find that my hair texture and wave pattern can fluctuate — one day I’ll step out of the shower with moisturized little ringlets, and the next wash day my good friend Humidity will leave me with limp, frizzy strands. So in an effort to get an even, overall curl, I’ll end up using a curling wand to get the uniformity I desire. While this isn’t the hardest hair routine in the world, constantly turning to heat styling products can end up damaging your strands, leaving you with fragile, dry hair. Of course you should always use a heat protectant spray when you’re using hot styling tools on your hair, but repeated exposure to high heat won’t be doing your hair health any favors. Lucky for me (and anyone else who wants to achieve beautiful, easy curls without always turning to a curling wand), there are several ways that you can get heatless curls — and the best part is that most only require a few products!
Here are some of the easiest ways you can achieve heatless curls. From beach waves to ringlets, no matter which tutorial for these hairstyles you choose to try, using curly hair products is a smart base to help your hair resist humidity, fight frizz and bring elasticity back to curls, no heat required.
This is the technique most of us are probably familiar with: if you braid your hair when it’s wet and let it sit for a while, you’ll be left with a head full of waves. Just remember that the smaller the braids, the smaller and tighter the waves, so those looking for typical “loose mermaid waves” hairstyles might want to just stick with two braids on each side of the head.
This was one of the most valuable tips my hairdressers ever gave me when it comes to effortless curls that don’t add any extra time into my morning routine. As it turns out, your hands are actually a pretty nifty styling tool to curl your hair, no irons required. Here’s a quick tutorial on finger coiling:
Throwback time! This tutorial is a classic for a reason: Tara’s signature heatless (or heartless, as she calls them) waves are 50% prep work, and 50% sleeping. A winning combination if you ask me.
I have a vivid memory growing up in the late 90’s/early 2000’s of my mom’s hot pink set of hair rollers. While she preferred the hot kind (how else would you get that signature 90’s volume?) you can also use curlers (aka hair rollers) in this easy heatless curl tutorial.
You know how wearing your hair in a bun is an easy way to give your hair some lift right from the root? As it turns out, altering this hairstyle slightly can also leave you with beautiful waves and curls. After parting your hair, divide it into the desired amount of sections — just like with braids, the smaller the bun, the tighter the waves. Twist each section into a bun, pin or secure them with an elastic, and voila! You’ll have beautiful waves when you take them out the next day.
Another retro hair classic, the pin curl technique is another simple way to get beautiful, heatless curls. All you’ll need are some bobby pins, styling product and a mirror to watch your work.
Our last hair tutorial will leave you with bouncy, voluminous curls, and all you need is a headband!
If you’re noticing that your curls and waves are looking a little limp after a day or so, try applying a curl revitalizing spray to fight frizz and add elasticity and volume. Sometimes oil can be a culprit in making your hair look limp, so a spritz of dry shampoo at the roots will also add volume without damaging your curls. If defined curls aren’t really your thing, and you’d just like some movement and piecey texture, a beach hair spray is a great way to get tousled, casual locks. And to keep your curls looking their best when you wake up each day, swap out your cotton pillowcase for one made of silk or satin. These materials allow your hair to glide over the surface of the pillow, which minimizes the chances of frizz, damage and breakage. Be sure to read our other blog posts “How to Make Your Curls Stay” and “How To Get Beachy Waves” for additional help in getting perfect curls and waves.
We hope these heatless curl techniques will leave you with shorter morning routines, healthier hair and beautiful looking curls. If you have any additional techniques that have worked for you, be sure to let us know in the comments!
By Lauren Hannel, staff contributor
cover photo by Cassell Ferrere