Heatless curls – Easy and Fun Hairstyle

Image: © m_m_a82 / Fotolia

The idea of creating curls without using heated curling tools would not have surprised my grandmother. Born over a hundred years ago, she delighted in sharing with me all the tricks used by the ladies of her generation to whiten their teeth, lengthen their lashes and curl their hair without the gadgets we have today.

The advantages of heat-free curls are obvious. If you’ve got colored or dry hair, avoiding heat is a definite bonus. If the temperatures outside are soaring, who wants to be using any extra form of heat? And, if you’re a busy person you can do something else while you’re waiting for the curls to take shape – even sleep.

The basic principles of all the ideas are the same. You need to brush your hair free of tangles, wrap your hair around something and dampen it.

Depending on the thickness and length of your hair and the size of the curls you are looking for in your end result hairstyle, choose the wrap around. There are plenty of commercial products available such as curlers and bendy soft foam strips, spiral curlers and a dozen others.

But what do you do if you’ve got no curlers but have suddenly decided to curl your hair or you want to try out a curly hairstyle before committing to a salon version? Or perhaps there’s no electricity and you’ve only got curling tongs. Then unless you’re prepared to reconsider your hairstyle, you need to make use of things you can find at home.

And here are some ideas using items available in most households:

  • You’re bound to have magazines lying around so pull out about ten pages, Cut each page in half from top to bottom and then fold each half lengthwise several times so that you end up with a strong strip the length of the page and a bit less than an inch wide (about 2 cm.) Dampen each strand with a spray and tightly roll your hair and the paper around each other up to the length you want the curls to start. Secure each curl with a hairclip (bobby pin).
  • If you prefer a hairstyle with smaller curls, then you can do the same, but substitute a drinking straw for the magazine strips, making sure to secure each one with a hairclip or bobby pin.
  • When all the hair is wound up, spray it with water and leave it to dry. If you want, you can add a little leave-in conditioner to the spray.
  • It is sometimes difficult to change your hairstyle when you’ve got short hair, but there’s no reason you can’t have curls. It’s an easy look to achieve if you divide the hair into 4 sections (two at the side and two at the back) and secure each with a hair elastic. Then take each pigtail from the bottom and twist it around itself. When you feel the whole thing is twisting against your head, then it’s time to secure it with a second elastic. Do the same for the other 3 sections. Spray and wait until it dries out.
  • If you want to sleep while your hair curls, you need to wear a net or a scarf to keep them in position.


When your curls are ready, start unwinding. Don’t be disappointed if the hairstyle of your dreams doesn’t emerge immediately. You need to use your fingers to gently loosen each curl. It may take a couple of attempts to get  the hairstyle you’ve got in mind, so experiment with different ways of winding until you get perfect curls!

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