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Easy Hair Trick: No Heat Curls

I always love the look of big messy curls, but I have very fine, straight hair that makes it pretty difficult to achieve that look. For some reason, I can’t bring myself to buy or use a curling iron – it just feels unnatural to me, and the heat is definitely not good for my already-thin, dry hair. Luckily there is an alternative to the curling iron – you can still get those big curls — without any heat or tools! All you need is some hairspray, hair elastics, and a little bit of time.

hair elastics and spray

What you need: Some hair elastics – our elastic hair ties are perfect for this! They’re softer than rubber bands and won’t leave noticeable dents in your hair. In addition to these you’ll need some hairspray. If you want looser waves, you can use sea salt spray for this. If you want more defined curls, use a hair spray with more hold.

no heat curls

Spray your hair with your product of choice first, and then take small sections and twist them into small buns, one at a time, securing with a hair tie. The smaller you want your curls to be, the smaller your buns should be. Let sit until your hair is fully dry (if you want, you can do this before going to bed and you’ll wake up with a huge head of curls!).

no heat curls

no heat curls

As you remove the buns the hair will sort of stick together from the spray, so use your fingers to separate the strands of hair and mess up the curls a little bit.

no heat curls

And there you have it, curly hair without the damaging heat!

no heat curls

Got any great hair tricks? We’d love to hear them! Share in the comments :).

More beauty tips from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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Eva -May 30, 2013, 8:14AM

We can trade hair Julia…haha
I have big messy curly hair and I’ve always wanted – even if just for a day — >> straight hair :(
my daughter is 14 and she showed me a trick where she puts an elastic headband on her head like a crown and then tucks her hair around the elastic band. It will not damage your hair either. She sleeps with it and her hair the next day is beautiful ringlet curls/waves…

Christine Evolving -May 30, 2013, 9:23AM

I LOVE this! Natural all the way. I LOVE and strongly encourage making your DiY SeaSalt Spray as many harsh chemicals are found in most hairsprays – that’s why they work so well! *but anything we put ON us goes IN us*

Alexa Sonken {Invitations for Creatives} -May 30, 2013, 12:00PM

I love this trick!! Used to do it all the time as a kid :) Too cute.

Meg -May 30, 2013, 1:13PM

This turned out great! So easy and no heat damaging air. ;)

Stephanie -May 30, 2013, 2:37PM

LOVE LOVE should try it this summer :)


Alina -May 30, 2013, 3:34PM

this is indeed cute.
I have naturally very curly hair and I (of course haha) dont like it that way at all.
is there any way to get them straight without heat? I bet no, right?:D If yes, PLEASE let me know. xx

Andrea -May 30, 2013, 3:48PM

in the black community, these are called bantu knots, and if done correctly, can give you really nice spirals, too. Youtube it.

Angelique -May 30, 2013, 4:11PM

I uset to do this when I was younger! My mum would never let me use an iron because the heat will damage my hair. I came up with this method and I thought that I was the only one. Awwwww :-)

Anonymous -May 30, 2013, 4:24PM

these are called bantu knots no secret to women of color lol

Anonymous -May 30, 2013, 4:25PM

these are called bantu knots, no secret to women of color who wear their hair in it’s natural state .

Tif -May 30, 2013, 5:02PM

This is a really cool technique! how long would you leave the buns in for? and do you do it before bed? :) Thanks xxx

Elisa -May 30, 2013, 6:32PM

Before you go to bed wash your hair and after that curl in some paper napkins or curlpapers… The next morning your hair will be curly…

Grace -May 30, 2013, 7:00PM

i used to do this when i was a little girl….. like six! still do to this day…. i’m 25 now :)

Katie -May 31, 2013, 10:27AM

Does anyone know if it’s better to put tie the buns up with wet hair (like post-shower) or with dry hair?

May -June 2, 2013, 3:00AM

Good trick! I love it.

Marcelo -June 10, 2013, 10:35PM

I have a friend who hates using hot curling irons, because she has thin and dry hair as well and it just makes her hair frizzzzzzzyyyyyy! Thank you for posting this and I’m going to let her know about your advice right now : )

sarah -June 13, 2013, 5:17PM

i just did this and i put my hair up in the “long” ponytail!! i love love love it!! thanks so so much! I have pin- straight hair and it does not hold a curl, but this really worked! i used the sea salt spray instead of the hairspray and it was so beachy and fun!

Grace -June 22, 2013, 9:54AM

Love this trick! I too have naturally very curly hair, but one way that I’ve found to contain the curls, is to twist sections of my hair when wet. Then I’ll leave my hair that way until it dries, then separate the curls with my fingers and ta-da, loose effortless waves or ringlets depending on how much you pull the curl apart. I also use the Diva Curl shampoo & conditioner and a bit of their gel. Works like a charm every time, it’s my new secret weapon. :)

Vivi -June 28, 2013, 8:19AM

I have found the longer my hair gets the looser the curl because of the weight. One trick I use to bring back definition and volume is to let the curls air dry while supported by something like a rolled up towel or pillow. I figured this out once accidentally- reading in bed. I’ve also been known to flip sopping wet hair over the headrest in the car while driving. I have done the trick Eva suggested with the elastic headband. On dry hair you get ringlets on wet hair you can get crazy glam rock hair without back combing.

Cathy -July 9, 2013, 1:02PM

We used to roll hair in socks then tie the socks. Made long ringlets. However the sock knots were NOT the most comfortable things to sleep on!

alera -July 19, 2013, 2:13PM

if you don’t want dents from the hair elastics and you don’t have any of those har tie things then use bobby pins, 1-2 bobby pins per little bun works for me. but make sur your pinning it at the base so it holds well

Taylor -August 2, 2013, 2:05AM

Thanks! I’m always looking for ways to get up and go!

Franziska -August 2, 2013, 2:41AM

I have natural curly hair and always searched for methods without heat to get it straight and the BEST Method i found are BIG curlers, and i mean really big ;) i bought the biggest ones i was able to find in germany (78 mm diameter). After washing my hair i Put them in the wet hair and let it air-dry, and it works so great <3 and i normally have very curly hair :)

Anonymous -August 8, 2013, 7:20PM

Does your hair have to wet for this to work? Or can you do it on dry hair and just add the hairspray?

Amanda -August 8, 2013, 7:21PM

Can you do this with your hair dry and just add the hairspray? Or should your hair be completely wet?

Rachael -August 11, 2013, 10:23AM

Hey guys! I did this with dry hair and it worked great! If you decide to put it up wet and don’t wait for it to completely dry, you could have a mess!

Ashley -September 25, 2013, 8:11PM

Where can you find sea salt spray? Can you just mix water and sea salt?

Anonymous -September 27, 2013, 4:04PM

you can also use lemon juice as hair spay so when you take out the buns and go out side your hair will naturally lighten.

Elizabeth -December 2, 2013, 6:26PM

Hey!!! I really want to try this ……… HEY I’M GOING TO TRY IT NOW I’LL SEE HOW IT TURNS OUT!!!!!!!! :)

Elizabeth -December 4, 2013, 6:57PM

This made my hair tangly and jut look poofy! I even had to CUT one out it was so tangled up!!!!

Morgan -December 10, 2013, 8:33PM

I don’t have the elastics. but I’ll maybe using prewrap (underwraP for those who don’t know what it is)

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