22 Nov 2022

Heatless Curls 101

Everyone loves curly hair, and we all want those perfect curls and beautiful waves on occasion. But, for many of us, getting those gorgeous curls can come at a heavy cost to our tresses. We’re addicted to hot styling tools, but those tongs, irons and driers can make the mercury burst from the thermometer. By using them, getting the styles we crave can cause lasting damage to your hair. But fortunately, you don’t need to wave goodbye to curls forever. Say hello to heatless curls – the latest TikTok hair hack sensation! Read on to find out all you need to know to get stunning curls without the heat!

What Are Heatless Curls?

As the name suggests, heatless curls methods are designed to get those beautiful spirals and waves without exposing your hair to hot tools. Sounds unlikely? Well, heatless hair curling is nothing new – we all remember hair rollers! However, the new techniques trending on TikTok promise to make salon-quality curls easier than ever before.

How Does Heatless Curling Work?

Natural curls are down to genetics. While all types of hair have basically the same structure, the shape of the hair shaft dictates whether hair is curly, wavy or straight. Straight hair follicles are circular and curly hair is oval-shaped. And while changing the shape of your hair permanently is impossible, you can change it temporarily. Either by heat, or by manipulating damp hair. Your hair is made up primarily of a tough protein called keratin, held together by chemical bonds. Water breaks down these bonds, so wet hair loses its shape. However, as it dries the bonds reform, and your hair goes back to its natural shape. But, by manipulating hair while this takes place, you can temporarily lock in a new shape.  You can either do this with heat styling tools, or by heatless curling.

How To Do It

There are many methods of heatless curling going viral on TikTok, and there’s something for every hair type. But whichever you choose – make sure you follow these rules!

Your hair should be damp when you start. Either allow your hair to reach a damp state after a wash (air-dried if possible) or spray water onto dry hair. And by damp, we don’t mean wet! Soaked hair is almost impossible to set into any shape and with heatless curlers applied will take an age to dry. You should also make sure your hair is completely dry before taking the curlers out – even slightly damp hair means those chemical bonds will try and get your locks back into their usual shape!

You can try some methods on dry hair, if so, make sure you leave them on at least overnight, but note that the results won’t be as spectacular! Here are three great methods to try:

The Sock Method

@nadia_selene_ortiz Reply to @gasparag ♬ original sound - DJ Fortune

The humble sock makes a fantastic heatless curler! The hack is booming on TikTok as the results it can deliver are excellent and it’s really simple too. Divide your hair in the middle with a Hair Gain wide tooth comb then part into sections, wrapping the strands around the sock in the same way you’d use your curling irons. Twist (gently!) and grab and then secure into a bun. Repeat for the other sections then leave overnight – at least 8 hours and make sure your locks are totally dry before removing. Et voila – beautiful curls!

You can even control the size of your curls with different socks – the thicker the sock, the tighter the curl. 

Bathrobe Belt

@laurennicolewhite #bathrobechallenge #bathrobecurls #fyp #hairtutorial #blondehair #vegan #heatlesscurls #sockcurls ♬ Summer Days - Martin Garrix / Macklemore / Patrick Stump

For amazing waves and heatless curls and waves, a bathrobe belt also delivers great results. Take the belt from your bathrobe and place it on the top of your head, leaving an equal length each side. Then divide your hair into two sections. Working one side at a time, gently twist and wrap the section of hair around the belt, and secure with a hair tie or clip. Again, leave in overnight for best results.

French Braids

@.mary.liz the easiest waves #frenchbraids #heatlesshair #heatlesscurls #heatlesswaves #hairtok ♬ Betty (Get Money) - Yung Gravy

French braids not only look great, but they’re a very old hairless curls hack too! What’s more, the gentle braiding style can be done on fine and thin hair too. If you’ve ever left braids in overnight, you’ll know you’re normally left with wavy hair in the morning. But for longer lasting results, braiding your hair while damp and leaving to air dry as you sleep will deliver effortlessly tousled curls. Simply part damp hair in the centre then braid each side and secure the ends with a hair tie. Leave in while you sleep, then remove the tie and gently tousle the curls out. Beautiful heatless overnight curls!

Heatless Curls For Short Hair

Yes, it is possible to achieve heatless curls for short hair. While it may be a bit challenging to create tight, defined curls on short hair without heat, there are still several methods you can try to achieve beautiful curls or waves. Check out this great TikTok video:

@alyssarayelee When I tell you I have tried so many heatless curling methods and havent loved any of them until this one!! #heatlesscurls #shorthairstyles #finehairtips #finehairstyles #hairtips #hairtrends ♬ original sound - kardashianshulu


Final Thoughts

Like all styling methods, moderation is the best approach, especially if you suffer from thin hair or fall. Whichever heatless curling hack you use, never wrap your locks too tightly to avoid damaging them, and don’t do it every day! Your hair will thank you. And not only are you helping your tresses, but by dropping the heat styling tools, you’re helping the environment and your electric bill too! 

Hope you have enjoyed these no heat hair curling tips. Whatever style you go for, make sure you’re giving your hair the support it needs with Hair Gain’s scientifically formulated Hair Capsules and Gummies. And before you heartlessly curl, protect your hair and scalp with our hydrating Hair Mask.


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