How to Curl Your Hair Without Heat

Curly hair can be fun and flirty, but if your hair is naturally straight, you might think you have to use damaging heat to get the curls you crave. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get curls without using heat! Pin curls have been used for decades to get curly hair without heat, and they’ll work on any hair length. You can also try cold rollers to style your hair into curls as it dries. If you’d prefer voluminous waves, pull your hair into a bun before you go to bed, or wrap your hair around a headband for vintage curls that work on any length!
[Edit]Steps [Edit]Trying Pin Curls Start with damp, detangled hair, and add styling lotion. Wash and condition your hair as you normally would, then gently towel dry it until it’s damp. Detangle your hair with a wide-toothed comb, then evenly distribute a small amount of styling lotion through your hair from the roots to the ends.[1]

If you have thin hair that doesn't hold a curl well, you might want to start with wetter hair. However, if your hair is very thick, it might be best to work with barely-damp hair to cut down on the drying time. If you don’t have styling lotion, use lightweight mousse instead. Don’t use heavy products, as this can make your curls look stiff and crunchy, rather than soft. Separate out a section of hair near your face. For your pin curls to look their best, you’ll want each section of hair to be approximately the same size. Typically, pin curls are made with about sections, which will allow you to wrap them easily.[2] If you experiment with pin curls, you may find that slightly larger or smaller curls work better for your hair! If you prefer, you can pin up the hair on the top of your hair and start the curls at the bottom, then work your way around to the front of your head.[3] Wrap the ends of the first section around one of your fingers 1-2 times. Place the ends of your hair against your finger, then loosely roll the hair around it a few times. Try to create a neat curl, with the ends tucked in, which will give you a smoother look when you’re finished.[4]

For bouncier curls, wrap the curl upward around your finger, or toward your face. For more voluminous waves, wrap downward, or away from your face. Don’t roll too tightly or it will be difficult to remove the curl from your finger without disturbing it. You can also roll the hair around the very tips of 2 of your fingers, instead, which may make it easier to remove the curl. Slip your fingers out of the curl and wrap the hair all the way up to your scalp. Carefully slide your fingers out of the loops you just made, holding your hair in the shape of the curl. Then, roll that curl all the way up the section of your hair until you reach your scalp. When you’re finished, you’ll see a circular curl resting close to your head.[5]

Don't twist the hair as you’re rolling the curl, as this will create frizz. This part can take a little practice, but be patient and keep trying! Secure the curl with a pin. Slide a pin onto the curl you just made, making sure it’s tight against your scalp to hold the hair in place. Pin-curl clips, which have 2 prongs, are the best for this, especially the ones that are slightly curved, as this allows them to sit more comfortably against your scalp. If you don’t have pin-curl clips, you can use 2 bobby pins in an X-shape instead.[6] Continue curling all of your hair. Pin curling can take a while, since you’re working with smaller sections of hair. However, this is the way to get the biggest, bounciest curls without using heat, so be patient and make sure each section is as neat as possible.[7] If you have any short hair remaining when you’re finished, like bangs or short layers around your face, pin it in sections around the curls. You can also sweep your bangs to the side and pin them in one curl.[8] Let your curls dry completely, then remove the pins. Traditionally, pin curls are done at night, which allows them to dry while you’re sleeping. Then, when you wake up in the morning, you can just remove all of the pins, and you’ll have a glam style that should last all day.[9] For big, fluffy, vintage curls, brush out your hair. Keep brushing until you get the smooth look you want, but keep in mind that it can take as much as 5 minutes of brushing to calm down the curls, so be patient.[10] You can also use your fingers if you’d prefer more defined curls. [Edit]Putting Your Hair in a Bun Wet your hair with water. If you want, you can wash and condition your hair. However, if your hair is already clean, you can just dampen it with water. If you’re starting with very wet hair, gently blot it with a towel to remove any excess water.[11]

Your hair might hold a curl better 2-3 days after your last shampoo, rather than the same day you washed it. Comb your hair thoroughly. To get smooth, sleek curls, detangle your hair completely before you put it up. Use a wide-toothed comb to get rid of any tangles, and part your hair with the comb if you’re planning on doing more than one bun.

If you’re only making one bun, comb your hair back away from your face. Create one bun for voluminous waves. Pull your hair back into a ponytail at the top of your head, then fasten it with a hair tie. Wrap your hair in a bun by twisting the ponytail 2-3 times, then wrapping your ponytail around the first elastic all the way to the end. Secure the bun with a second hair elastic or bobby pins.[12] You can also make a donut bun with a sock. Cut the toes off of a sock and roll it into a donut shape, then place the end of your ponytail through the hole in the sock. Spread the ends of your hair until they cover the entire sock, tucking the ends underneath. Then, roll the sock down the length of your ponytail until you reach the crown of your head, and secure it in place with bobby pins.[13] Separate your hair into 2 buns for tighter waves. If you want waves with a little more curl, try dividing your hair into 2 buns or twists, instead. Once you’ve parted your hair with your comb, pull each section into a ponytail high on the side of your head. Twist the ponytail tightly until it starts to curl around itself, then continue wrapping the ponytail around the base all the way to the ends. Secure each twist with a hair tie or bobby pins.[14] You can also tuck the twist into a wraparound cloth headband to secure it. For curls that start lower on your head, place the buns near the nape of your neck. Sleep in the buns. Since you’re wrapping your damp hair up tightly, you’ll need to let your hair dry for about 6-8 hours, or overnight. Luckily, this is a great way to get wavy hair while you sleep, and since your hair is pulled up, it’s more comfortable to lay on than some other styles might be. If you don’t want to sleep in the buns, try wearing your hair up all day, then take it down for a glam evening look. Take the buns out in the morning. When you wake up, gently remove the hair elastics or pins that are holding your buns in place. Use your fingers to loosen your hair, and enjoy your light waves![15] Use a little hairspray to set the waves, if you want. [Edit]Using Cold Rollers Choose wet-set rollers that are a little smaller than the curls you want. If you want larger curls, or if you mostly just want to add volume, opt for large rollers, like a diameter. If you’d prefer tighter curls, use small or medium rollers, which typically range from in diameter.[16] Rod-shaped curlers are great for creating spiral curls or defining natural curls. They're also perfect for curling short hair, since they tend to have a smaller diameter. If you don’t have rollers, you can cut strips out of an old T-shirt, instead. Make the strips the same width that you want your curls to be, and a little longer than the length of your hair. Foam rollers might get damaged if you put them into wet hair, so make sure to use a roller that’s designed to be used while your hair is damp. Also, look for a soft roller, like one made from rubber, satin, or silicone, if you’re planning to sleep with the rollers in. Dampen your hair. Wash and condition your hair, or just spritz it with water from a spray bottle. If you’re starting with wet hair, gently blot your hair with a soft towel until it’s damp. The curls will hold better if you start with damp hair, but if it’s too wet, it might not dry completely once you put in the rollers.[17] Do not apply serum or leave-in conditioner to your hair, as the curls may not set. Detangle your hair with a wide-toothed comb. Gently run a wide-toothed comb through your damp hair to make sure it’s perfectly tangle-free. If you have any tangles in your hair, your curls will look messy, and it will be harder to get the sections perfectly even.

Avoid brushing your hair when it’s wet, which can lead to breakage. Section off a small piece of your hair near your forehead. Separate out a piece of hair that’s about the same width as the roller, or just a little smaller. Typically, this will be about . Hold the section of hair away from your head vertically, then place the roller horizontally against the end of your hair, on the side facing away from you. Roll the hair away from your face, all the way down toward your scalp. Secure the roller with the included clips.[18]

If you’re using a T-shirt, roll your hair the same way, then tie the ends of the strip to hold the curl in place. If you only want to curl the ends of your hair, stop rolling halfway up your head and tie the strips at the place where you want the curls to stop. Continue rolling the top section of your hair. By following a pattern when you’re rolling your hair, you’ll end up with a more symmetrical style, and it will be easier to keep the sections separate. Start by rolling the top section of your hair, or the mohawk area, all the way back to your crown. When you’re finished, you should have a neat row of horizontal rollers all the way along the top of your head.[19] This will give you plenty of volume at your roots. Roll the sides and back of your hair to finish. Once you’ve rolled the front section, take another section of hair near one of your ears. This time, hold the hair straight out from your head horizontally, and place the roller vertically at the end of your hair. Roll the hair all the way to your scalp and secure it again, then continue for the hair on both sides of your head.[20] Roll your hair under for curls that curve toward your neck, or roll it up for curls that bounce outward. You can arrange the rollers at the back of your head horizontally or vertically, depending on the look you’re going for. Using horizontal rollers will give you more of a voluminous curl, while putting in your rollers vertically will result in more of a spiral curl. Leave the rollers in place until your hair is dry. Since you’re not using heat, it will take several hours for the curls to set, so plan to leave the rollers in for at least 4 hours, although overnight is better. If you want your hair to dry faster without adding any heat, use a hair dryer set to its coolest temperature.[21] Hide the rollers by wrapping your head in a silk scarf if you need to go somewhere before your curls are set. Remove the rollers and loosen your hair. Once your hair is completely dry, take the clips out of the rollers, untie the T-shirt strips, or remove the bobby pins from your hair. Do this gently, especially if you want tighter curls.[22] For loose curls or big waves, gently run a wide-toothed comb through your hair. You can also run your fingers through your curls to fan them out, but do not brush them. Set the look with a little hairspray if you'd like. [Edit]Wrapping Your Hair around a Headband Start with damp hair. Your curls will set best if your hair is slightly damp when you put it up. Wash and dry your hair as normal, then blot it dry. If you don’t need to wash your hair, you can just spritz it with plain water from a spray bottle, instead.[23] Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair, as well. Place an elastic headband over your head. Pull the headband down so it sits low on your forehead and circles around the back of your head, over your hair. Your curls will start where the headband sits, so adjust it based on how you want your curls to look.[24] This is a great option if you want to go out while your curls are setting! Your hair will be pulled up in a soft, romantic style. Try picking a headband that will match your outfit for the day! Take a small section of hair and wrap it around the headband. Start on one side, working with the hair closest to your face. Choose a section that’s the same width you want your curls to be—about will result in soft, pretty waves. Wrap the first section up and over the headband, then tuck it behind the elastic. At this point, your hair will be looped once around the headband. Keep looping the hair around the headband until you get to the end of the section, then pin it in place with a bobby pin.[25]

If you don’t have bobby pins, you can just tuck the ends of your hair under the headband to hold them in place. Continue wrapping all the way around your head. Once you’ve wrapped the first section around the headband, take another section of hair that’s about the same size as the first one, and wrap it in the same way. Keep doing this until you’ve wrapped all of your hair around the headband.[26] To make sure your curls are even, you may want to wrap all the way around one side, then move to the front of the other side and work toward the back again. Let your hair dry in the headband. You’ll need about 4-6 hours for your hair to dry, or a little more if you have very thick hair. You can wear this style out, or you can sleep in it if you’d prefer. Either way, check to make sure your hair is completely dry before you take it down, or your curls might fall out. To speed things up, you can use a hair dryer on the cold setting to blow air over your hair. Remove the headband and shake out your curls. Take out all of the pins around the whole headband, then gently unwrap each section of your hair. When you’ve unwrapped all of your curls, slip the headband off of your head. This style will give you pretty, vintage curls. Lightly scrunch your curls with mousse or hairspray to hold them in place. [Edit]Video [Edit]Tips Avoid brushing your hair after you style it. This will separate the curls and leave your hair looking messy and frizzy. Instead, gently loosen the curls with your hands for a tousled look. [Edit]Things You'll Need [Edit]Trying Pin Curls Wide-tooth comb Pin-curl clips or bobby pins [Edit]Using Cold Rollers Curlers or a T-shirt cut into strips Towel (optional) Spray bottle (optional) [Edit]Putting Your Hair in a Bun 2 hair elastics for each bun Bobby pins Sock (optional) [Edit]Wrapping Your Hair around a Headband Circular elastic headband Bobby pins [Edit]Related wikiHows Curl Hair Style Curly Hair Get Curly Hair to Turn Into Wavy Hair Curl Hair Without Hairspray [Edit]References Videos provided by x3Haha

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