5 Easy Ways to Create Heatless Curls

Keep calm and step away from the hot tools for this one.

It is commonly known that subjecting the hair to tons of heat causes damage, whether in the form of split ends or brittle, lackluster tresses. Not to say that you should completely swear off curls and waves forever, either. Enter: heatless curls! Heatless curls have become so popular over the past year, and there are actually so many different ways you can achieve this style. Keep scrolling to check out five different ways to create heatless curls.

We are talking about curly styles that work with your hair type to encourage waviness, all without the help of hot tools.

1. Pin-Curl Method

girl with blonde pin curled hair and red lipstick
Go for an old Hollywood look and try out pin curls.

Popularized during World War II, pin-curls were a way for women to style their hair in the popular curly looks of the decade without the use of heat. In fact, they rarely used hair products at all, since these were heavily rationed during the war. Most vintage hairstyles from that era used pin-curls as a starting point.

If you’re looking for a tighter heatless curl, try pin curls!

Start by dividing your hair into 3-inch sections. Spritz your hair with some detangling spray, like TRESemmé Pro Pure Detangle and Smooth Leave-In Conditioner, then brush hair out to remove any knots.

Follow by wrapping hair around one finger, curling it up towards your roots. Secure each curl snugly, affixing a bobby pin at the seam. Repeat on all curls. You can opt to gently tie on a scarf to protect hair while it sets, or while you sleep. Remove all pin-curls the next morning, carefully shaking out the curls and brushing lightly if desired. For a vintage effect, use a comb to align the bends.

Finish with a hair spray that helps protect against frizz, like TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Level 2 Hold Curl Hair Spray.

2. Braid Waves

girl with long dark wavy hair

Super easy and very effective braiding has always been a non-fuss way to create waves. As a result, you’re left with effortless heatless waves. All it takes is some basic braiding know-how, the proper products and you’re all set.

Create a center part on your hair, then use a duckbill or darby clip to clamp the other half out of the way. Prep hair for a braid by taking a large portion from the top of the head and dividing this into three equal sections.

Create a French braid by alternately crisscrossing the side sections over the middle section, incorporating strands from the head as you go downwards—doing this will secure your braid to your scalp. Secure the end with a hair elastic.

For tighter waves, make your braid tighter and smaller. However, for looser, romantic waves, slightly pull out the weaves (a.ka. “pancaking”) to create more slack.Remove the clamp on the other side of your head. Repeat the French braid process to fully create heatless curls via braids.

Unfurl braids carefully by first removing the hair elastic and then gently tousling them out. Finish with a lightweight texture spray such as Suave Dry texture Finishing Spray for added texture and light hold.

3. Donut Bun

girl with black voluminous curls
A donut bun can help you achieve voluminous curls.

Foam donut buns are one of our favorites heatless curls tricks. This method will give you heatless curls that are looser and more voluminous. For instance, coiling hair around a hair donut creates a bigger bend, and wearing multiple hair donuts can result in a head full of big, sexy waves.

Apply some curl-enhancing mousse, such as Suave Captivating Curls Mousse Cream, onto your ponytail length. Loop hair into the donut until it reaches the base of the ponytail. Divide the ponytail into two ends and curl each around the donut until you run out of hair and the donut is completely covered.

Leave for around 2 hours. Meanwhile, tie on a scarf for protection, or if you plan to go outdoors. Uncoil the hair around the donut and gently remove your hair elastic to uncover loose, sexy waves.

4. Twists

girl with natural black and purple twisted hair
Use twists to achieve heatless curls.

Creating twists in hair can result in strands that have some built-in texture (at least until their next wash!). For example, rope twists or even twisted updos can unfurl into natural-looking waves that can easily transition from day to night. If a more defined curl is what you’re after, opt for twists.

On clean, freshly washed hair, apply a curl-enhancing mousse or gel, such as Suave Define & Shine Serum Gel. Then, brush through evenly. Next, section hair into four parts: down the center both vertically and horizontally, parting behind the ear.

Starting with the left and right bottom sections, twist hair in one direction from root to tip. After that, secure with an elastic. Repeat on the left and right upper sections, making a note to twist away from the hairline for a more flattering look.

Leave for two hours, then unfurl gently. Shake your waves out and mist with a light hairspray for shine, such as Bed Head by TIGI Headrush.

5. Fabric Twist

heatless curls
Finished heatless curls.

Did you know you can achieve heatless curls just by wrapping your hair around fabric? We know, it sounds too good to be true, but it really works! Learn how to achieve these curls below.

Start with freshly washed hair. We love using Love Beauty and Planet Volume and Bounty Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Shampoo and Conditioner because it helps to add lightweight volume to your hair.

Once hair is washed, apply a serum to help eliminate frizz. We love Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smoothing Hair Serum. Grab either an old pair of tights or a tie from a robe. While your hair is wet, put the tights or robe tie over your head and split your hair in half to begin wrapping it around the ends.

Take the front section from one-half of your hair and wrap it around one side of the fabric. Make sure to wrap your hair around the fabric so the curl forms away from your face.

heatless curls technique
You can use tights to wrap your hair around to create heatless curls.

After wrapping the front section once, start wrapping the back section of hair around the fabric, starting the curl going towards your face. Keep wrapping both sections around the tights until you reach the end and secure with a hair tie.

Next, repeat steps 4-6 on the opposite side of your head. Leave your hair like this overnight. In the morning, remove the tights, and you’ll be left with gorgeous heatless curls!

Let us know which method you’ll be trying!

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