I Tried 3 DIY Heatless Curl Methods—Here's How It Went

sock curls before and after

 Ashley Rubell/Design by Cristina Cianci 

I have wavy hair and—even though I'm a professional hair stylist—I don't do that much to my hair. I have a very gentle approach to my beauty routine, which goes to say, heat styling is not a part of my daily grind. Don't get me wrong, this isn't total styling neglect. I use my hot tools on occasion and I test new products and tools all the time, but my hair's health and integrity is always my main squeeze.

Natural Texture
Ashley Rubell

I've found a "less is more" technique that gives my hair what it needs to be wavy (yet calm) with minimal effort. But when it comes to curls, I haven't yet mastered a method that puts my hair's health at the forefront and doesn't take some dedicated time. So, I decided I'd test out three viral, DIY hair curler methods for getting heat-free curls. To my surprise, each method took me less than 10 minutes and gave pretty impressive results. Keep reading for a breakdown of how to get sock curls, robe curls and headband curls and the results I found from these three popular DIY curling methods.

01 of 03

Headband Curls

Headband Curls - BEFORE


This method required the least amount of supplies - I only needed a headband and some product. I tested this method at first without the use of any product and it had zero effect. I began by placing the headband around my head to smooth down my roots where I naturally part and wear my hair. Then, I spritzed my hair with a little water and some of NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Volume Texture Mist. My hair was split in two, haphazardly straight down the middle. I picked up pieces of hair that were roughly 1" thick and twisted them up into my headband. I found that twisting each section before wrapping them into the headband made it easier to keep sections neatly separated. I continued wrapping each section around the band until even the ends were hidden and the hair felt secure and out of the way.

AFTER-Headband Curls

The trickiest part about this method was fine tuning once I took my hair out. I slept with my hair in the headband and woke up to some wonky Shirley Temple ringlets that needed a lot of brushing and combing out. I also applied some of Virtue's Unfrizz Cream to help eliminate the frizz effect. The end results were low, bouncy curls. Since I would never style my hair this way with heat, having all the volume falling to my ends, I'm giving this method a 3/5 star rating. It was definitely the most low-maintenance method, but the results were my least favorite.

Star Rating: 3/5

02 of 03

Robe Curls

Robe Curls - BEFORE


For this method, I used the tie from my bathrobe, two hair ties, two scrunchies and a very light amount of Virtue's Volumizing Primer to help my hair hold the curl. My hair was 90% air dried when I began. I split my hair down the middle and draped the robe tie evenly over the top of my head. Beginning at the front, I took sections that were slightly larger than 1" wide and twisted it back away from my face and around the robe tie. As I worked my way down and around, I added a new section of hair from the front each time. I continued doing this until I used all the hair on each side. Then, I gave my twisted robe braid a nice tight last twist before securing it with a hair tie and leaving out my ends. I twisted the robe up and back to create a Princess-Leia style bun. I used a silk scrunchie to loosely secure each bun simply by placing it on top for a little extra hold.

After - Robe Curls

The trickiest part about this method was tying and untying an elastic around each side of my robe sash, which was way longer than my hair. The second time I tried this method I used a regular, thicker hair tie and it was much easier to work with. This style was a too obstructive to sleep on so I tried it on for size in the 2 hours that my son was napping. The results I got were bouncy, tight curls. Not something I would personally want to wear every day, but definitely would wear for a special occasion, like a friend's wedding or NYE celebration.

Star Rating: 4/5

03 of 03

Sock Curls

Sock Curls - BEFORE


For the sock curls method, I needed a pair of long socks since my hair is quite long, a couple of small elastics, and a few no-crease clips to hold the socks in place. I split my hair down the middle and brought my hair forward on both sides. Then I gave my hair a light spritz of water and sprayed a generous amount of Virtue's Volumizing Primer. Using the no-crease clips, I secured the socks in the center of my left side and right side and split my hair on each side in two. Using the sock as a third, center piece, I criss crossed my hair in front of the sock and then behind the sock, alternating crossing in the front and back until I got to the bottom and secured with an elastic. I left some of my ends out (as I would on any braid) to avoid curly, flipped ends.

AFTER- Sock Curls

I did this look on second day hair while I was stuck inside during a snow storm. The results I got were soft, easygoing waves. I left the socks in for 2 hours while my son napped. A gentle finger comb to shake things out once the socks were removed and I was good to go. While I'm no-fuss when it comes to my own hair styling, I loved the results and would totally do this again just to spice up my week.

Star Rating: 5/5

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