Overnight curls: Discover 3 ways to create heatless curls while you sleep

Wish you could wake up every morning with perfect curls? Well, now you can! Keep reading to discover 3 tried-and-tested ways to master overnight curls.  

Love the look of curly hair but can’t face the hassle of having to create it every day? We feel you. But what would you say if we told you there was a way that you could achieve the curls of your dreams, all with minimal effort? Enter: overnight curls.

Nope, we’re not pulling your leg here, you really can achieve a perfectly-style hairdo while you snooze! And fret not if you don’t know how to do it, because we’ve put together 3 different step-by-step guides and a video tutorial. Each of which will give you unique and stunning overnight curls – now, where are our pyjamas?

How to do overnight curls: 3 simple ways to get the look


Overnight curls tutorial: The final look
Curls for days! Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Overnight curls method 1: Pretty plaits

If you’re looking for an ultra quick way to give your hair extra body and texture, the prettty plait method is the answer. They’ll give even the straightest of strands a gorgeously wavy texture and they’re so simple to do that even beginners will be able to get on board.

So, get ready to flex those braiding muscles and prepare to meet your new bedtime styling routine!

Step 1

Start with clean hair.

Overnight curls work best on freshly-washed, damp hair, so this method starts in the shower. To give your curls an extra boost, use a volumising haircare duo (such as the TIGI Bed Head Fully Loaded Massive Volume Shampoo and Conditioning Jelly) for pumped-up tresses.

Overnight curls tutorial: medium brown hair model with long straight hair
Step 2

Apply a setting lotion.

Once you’ve washed and conditioned your hair, towel dry and use a comb to work through any knots or tangles. This will make the braiding process a whole lot easier, trust us!

Then, to give your overnight curls a helping hand, apply a walnut-sized amount of setting lotion (we love the TRESemmé Make Waves Shape & Memorise Cream), through your lengths. The wave recall technology will help to enhance and define your curls for the best results!

Overnight curls tutorial: medium brown hair model with long straight hair applying a TRESemme waves balm
Step 3

Starting braiding.

Take a small section of hair and create a classic 3-strand plait.

Overnight curls tutorial: medium brown hair model with long straight hair dividing her hair into three to create a braid
Step 4

Secure braid.

Secure in place with a hairband and repeat the process until all of your hair is braided.

Overnight curls tutorial: medium brown hair model with long straight hair plaiting her hair
Step 5

Leave your hair overnight,

Next, it’s time to hit the hay! This should be enough time to your overnight curls.

Overnight curls tutorial: medium brown hair model with long straight hair leaving her plaits overnight
Step 6

Unravel your braids.

In the morning, apply a few drops of a serum or an oil (like the TRESemmé Oleo Radiance Oil Elixir) into your palms, which will help to prevent frizz and fend off any annoying flyaways. Then, slowly unravel each of your braids one by one and use your fingers to gently comb through your waves.

Overnight curls tutorial: medium brown hair model with long straight hair unravelling her braid
Step 7

Final look.

Finish up with a quick all-over spritz of the VO5 Ultimate Hold Hairspray, to ensure your overnight curls last all day. And it’s as easy as that – see, we told you anyone could do it!

Overnight curls tutorial: medium brown hair model with long curly hair spraying hairspray


Overnight curls method 2: Rope braids


brunette model at the sportmax ss16 show with her hair in a twisted rope braid
Perfect curls are just a twist away! Credit: indigitalimages.com

Thanks to stars like Shay Mitchell, rope braids are super on-trend right now. But did you know that they can also be used to create beachy-looking overnight curls, too? Yep, it’s true and we’re going to show you how, below.

How to get the look:

1. After washing your hair, apply a setting lotion of your choice to help create your curls. Then brush your hair back to create a low ponytail and secure in place with a hairband.

2. Split your ponytail into 2 sections of equal thickness and wrap them around each other to create a twisted effect, from root to tip. Secure in place with another hair tie.

3. Allow your hair to dry overnight to give your curls the optimal chance to set.

4. In the morning, take out the hair tie at the bottom of your rope braid and allow the twist to unravel. Then remove the hairband at the base of your ponytail to let your curls fall freely.

5. And last, but certainly not least, finger comb through your curls to give them an undone, lived-in finish and apply your favourite oil, to help add shine and fight frizz.

Et voila, your heatless overnight curls are complete! Admit it, you’re in love right?!

Overnight curls method 3: Cornrows


two models backstage with cornrow braided hair
The more sections, the tighter the curls. Credit: indigitalimages.com

After something a bit more glamorous? If voluptuous curls are more your vibe, we’ve got just the thing: cornrows!

Cornrows are perfect for creating heatless overnight styles and while they take a little longer than the previous methods, it’s totally worth the extra effort.

How to get the look:

1. Start by either washing your hair or spritzing it with a spray bottle of water to dampen it – this will help guarantee the best results for your overnight curls!

2. Then use a tail comb (or your fingers) to divide your hair into sections vertically along your head. The number of sections you’ll need will depend on how defined you’d like your overnight curls to be, but we recommend playing around with between 4 and 8 sections.

3. Taking one section at a time, work your hair into a French braid, bringing in extra pieces of hair as you weave. Not sure how to French braid? Check out our step-by-step guide, here!

Once you reach your neck, finish up your braid using the regular 3-strand method, right down to the tips. Repeat this for all of the sections until your whole head is braided.

4. In the morning, undo each of your braids one by one. Don’t be alarmed if your look slightly resembles a lions mane at this point, it’s normal!

All you need to do, is finger comb through your curls with a little hair oil to bring your look under control, finishing up with a spritz of hairspray if required. Now go forth and wow everyone with your bombshell curls!


And just like that, you’ve learnt how to do overnight curls like a pro! So, if you’re ready to put your newfound skills to the test, click over to our Curly Hairstyles page to discover even more ways to create covetable curls!

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