• 11/20/2023

5 Easy Ways to Create Heatless Curls

heatless curls

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Suppose you’re trapped on a deserted island and can only bring five items with you. Many women would shudder at the thought of leaving their hair styling tools at home. However, it’s better for your hair if you attempt heatless curls every now and then. 

Curling your hair without heat might take longer than traditional methods. If you have free time or want to start the process the night before, heatless curls are feasible — and always look great.

Let’s give your strands a much-needed break from the scorching curling iron and create heatless curls instead.

Is Heat Bad for Your Hair?

Stacey Ciceron — hairstylist and Oribe Brand Ambassador — warns of the dangers of using high-temperature tools on your hair. As she puts it, heat could damage your locks beyond repair after one application. 

Common signs of heat damage could include the following:

  • Split ends and breakage
  • Dryness
  • Stringy, brittle and coarse texture
  • Knots and tangles
  • Flyaways

Many of us are guilty of turning on our hot hair tools to the highest temperatures. We also tend to hold heat to our hair for a long time. It’s best to stay between 200–300° Fahrenheit for normal hair and at 200° F for fine strands.

Keep in mind that heat damages every hair type, especially naturally curly or wavy hair. Excessive heat can compromise the curl pattern and permanently cause you to lose it. 

Get Heatless Curls in No Time: 5 Tips

The last thing you want to do is wind up with dry, dull curls with flyaways. If you’ve been using hot tools to style your hair for some time, try heatless curls. These five tips will help you get the bouncy, shiny, beautiful ringlets you’ve always dreamed of. 

1. Braid Your Hair

Sleeping on a braid is an excellent way to achieve a beachy curl or wave. These styles look more lived-in and casual — an easy technique when rushing to head out the door.

Take a shower in the evening and allow your hair to air dry about 80–90% before making a braid — a French braid is recommended for the best results. 

When you wake up the following day, unravel your braid and separate your gorgeous mermaid locks. Finish with a couple of drops of lightweight almond or coconut oil to help smooth any flyaways. 

2. Tie it in a Bun

One of the easiest no-heat styling techniques is to wrap your hair in a bun. This works particularly well if you have long hair. 

Since you want to improve your strands anyway, consider using a scrunchie to tie it up instead of a hair tie. Scrunchies add a layer of fabric between your delicate locks and the elastic band. You also don’t have to wrap scrunchies too tightly around your bun to hold your hair in place.

After a few hours, let your hair down and watch your beautiful curls bob. You can then finish styling your hair with nourishing products.

3. Use Hair Rollers

Hair rollers are an all-too-familiar styling tool for curls — however, traditional curlers use heat. Fortunately, plenty of hair roller products are on the market for heatless curls. 

You can purchase a pack of no-heat rollers in different sizes at a beauty store or online, making it easier to use at different hair lengths. 

Look for self-grip rollers to hold onto your hair better, and ensure they come with clips so they stay. Afterward, allow your voluminous curls to cascade.

4. Try Spiral Curlers

Spend any amount of time on TikTok, and you might have seen the Willabond Spiral Curlers — 28 colorful heatless curlers you slip one-inch wet strands through with a hook. 

The curlers are soft and stretchy — you can tie them back and leave them in overnight. Just keep your hair spiralized for 40–60 minutes for perfect ringlets. 

Like most heatless curling options, this may not be the best method if you’re in a time crunch. You should also prepare yourself to look silly in the mirror. But if you have time to spare, why not give them a shot?

5. Buy a Curling Headband

Of course, there is always the heatless curling headband. Wrap your hair around the curling rod and tie the ends with the accompanying scrunchies. This method usually works best if you start with damp hair.

Allow your wrapped hair to air dry or sleep on it overnight for luxurious, voluminous results in the morning. 

The flexible curling headband is ideal for all lengths and hair types, including poker-straight strands that are difficult to curl.

How to Repair Heat-Damaged Hair

Once you’ve damaged your hair, it’s too little too late, right? Not necessarily. Depending on how bad it is, there are a few ways to boost hair recovery from repeated heat damage. 

Enriching and reviving it with moisture is essential if you already have a natural curl or wave. Look for products with shea or argan oil. Conditioners should also include coconut oil, aloe vera or avocado to strengthen the follicles.

If you usually have straight hair, you might notice it becoming brittle the more you use hot tools. You could also become prone to split ends. Applying a hair mask is a good start. 

For instance, amika Soulfood Nourishing Masque is infused with jojoba seed oil and sea buckhorn to soften and nourish heat-damaged hair. The product claims to repair hair by 87%, leaving it seven times more moisturized.

However, a mask is just the start. It would help to use a deep conditioner to fortify your strands with essential proteins for greater strength and healing.

Heat-Damage Prevention

In the future, commit to heatless styling or safer use of hot tools to prevent damage. That might mean taking some extra time to prep your locks to withstand heat.

  • Rinse your hair with cool water to reseal the hair cuticle. 
  • Keep an adequate distance between your hair and your blow dryer.
  • Speed up your hair’s drying time with a microfiber towel.
  • Sleep on satin pillowcases to keep your hair smooth and cooperative.
  • Limit your use of hot tools to once weekly.

Always spray a heat protectant beforehand if you intend to use hot tools to curl your hair. L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Iron Straight Heat Spray is an affordable drugstore product that works well up to 450° F — although your hot tools should never reach that temperature.

Achieve Heatless Curls Effortlessly

Save your strands from the stress of heat damage by attempting heatless curls. You may need to try different methods to find the most effective technique for ringlets, but your strands will thank you in the end. 

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