Do you have stick-straight hair, but long for curls? Or are you looking to tame the curls you do have?

Well, you don’t necessarily have to reach for a curling iron. Actually – avoid reaching for it as much as possible!

You’re probably already aware that heat-styling, including using a curling iron, can be harmful to your hair.1 Heat-styling actually reduces the amount of moisture in your tresses. It also damages keratin – the hair proteins that help keep your hair strong.2 This water and protein loss can transform a head full of strong, shiny locks into hair that’s dry, wiry, and fragile. And this increased fragility can even lead to hair loss.3

It certainly makes you think twice about that curling iron, doesn’t it?

But forgoing a curling iron doesn’t mean you have to kiss the idea of curls goodbye. You can still get bounce, volume, and even ringlets without heat-styling. Here are three ways to get a head full of heat-free curls.

The Overnight Sock Bun 

An overnight sock bun is a quick, fuss-free way to get big curls. And it’s even comfortable to sleep in! Here’s how:

  1. Curl Hair without heat | JuveTressTake a long, thin dress sock, turn it inside out, and cut the toe off.
  2. Beginning with the toe-end, roll the sock into a ring until it takes on a donut shape. When you get to the elastic, stop rolling. Flip the elastic end in the opposite direction over the ring to secure the donut shape. It won’t look much like a styling tool, but it absolutely works.
  3. Start with dry hair. Flip your head over, and secure your hair into a high ponytail on the top of your head.
  4. Spritz your ponytail with water until it’s damp – not soaked. If your hair doesn’t curl easily, add a little mousse or lightweight gel for hold. Then, slip your ponytail through the hole of the sock donut. Hold the donut so that it’s about one inch from the end of your ponytail.
  5. Divide the ends of your ponytail into two sections. Take each section and tuck it under the donut, so that it’s secure.
  6. Now, fold the donut inside-out, over and over, so that it rolls down the length of the ponytail. By the time you get to the base of the ponytail, all your hair will be gathered into the sock bun.
  7. In the morning, gently unravel the sock and your hair, inch by inch. Don’t just pull the sock bun out – you want your curls to be nice and bouncy.
  8. Voila! You have soft, voluminous curls after a good night’s sleep.

Tip: If you have medium length hair, or shorter hair with layers, you may need to secure your overnight sock bun with a hair band. This will help keep any stray hairs from coming out as you sleep.

Bantu Knots

Heat-Free Curls | JuveTressReady for some bantu knot beauty? This classic hairstyle is seeing a resurgence in popularity. And while the simple, intricate knots are fun as a style on their own, they can also be used as a great way to get a healthy head of curls sans heat. Want even more good news? The curls work well on both chemically relaxed hair and hair that hasn’t been relaxed.

  1. Massage a little styling cream into damp hair to encourage smoothness and hold.
  2. Divide your hair into sections. Make smaller sections for shorter, thinner hair and larger sections for longer, thicker hair.
  3. Starting at the base of each section, twist hair in one direction. Then, take the twist and wrap it around itself near the scalp. Secure with a bobby pin.
  4. When hair is completely dry, gently unravel knots. If you like, you can put a little anti-frizz serum on your fingers as you unravel, to help maintain smoothness.

T-Shirt Curls

Heat-Free Curls | JuveTressFirst socks, now t-shirts – did you have any idea all these old, “bottom drawer” clothes could be put to hairstyling use?

Take a t-shirt and cut it into long strips, lengthwise, from the neck down. The length of each strip should be a couple of inches longer than your hair. For small curls, cut the strips about one inch wide. For bigger, looser curls, you can cut strips up to three inches wide.

  1. Start with damp hair, and divide it into one or two-inch sections.
  2. Then, take a sharpie and slide the end of a fabric strip under the clasp on the lid, lengthwise. The fabric strip should be lying perpendicular across the length of the marker.
  3. Take a section of hair and wrap it around the fabric-covered marker. Then, roll under continuously until you reach the scalp.
  4. Tie the ends of the fabric together to form a knot. When they’re secured, slide the marker out.
  5. When your hair is dry, untie the strips and loosen your curls. For tighter curls, gently comb through with your fingers. If you want looser waves, you can use a wide-tooth comb to separate the hair.

Heat-Free Healthy Curls

Keeping heat-styling to a minimum will do a lot to curb damage, dryness, and even hair loss. So think twice about plugging in that curling iron. Instead, try one of these simple styling methods to get a head full of vibrant, bouncy curls without the damage.

Learn More:

15 DIY Ways to Improve the Health of Your Hair (and slow hair loss)
Losing Hair? 6 Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make Right Now
6 DIY Tips for Curly Hair Frizz Control