Heatless curls: how to get curls without heat (hair plopping, braids,…)

How do you get curls without heat? There are many methods used to make popping curls on your hair; for example, you can use a straightener, a hairdryer, or a curling iron to curl your hair.

There several other methods you may know of but are you aware that there are numerous other methods of getting curls on your hair without using any heat? We are thrilled to outline some of the most popular techniques you can use so that you can have curls without heat to make your hair healthy and strong.

Types of curls that don’t require heat

Why get curls without heat?

Why would anyone want to get curls without using heat? You must be aware that using all kinds of heating tools on your hair for curls isn’t advisable especially since it weakens your hair. Even if you use every type of heat protector available in the market currently, they will not offer 100 percent protection from the effects of heat damage. That is why it is a brilliant idea to get to know how other methods of curling your hair.

Before women invented hair dryers, curling irons, and straighteners they must have had some very helpful tips and tricks to have beautiful curly hairstyles. Therefore, it is great to look at some of the techniques and try them out and find out which method will be most suitable for you.

Rollers for curls without heat

Rollers are the most widely used and most known tools for getting curls into your hair without using any heat. Rollers are available in various types and sizes depending on the type of curl patterns you want for your hair.

Choose larger rollers for a voluminous look with a bit of slack in your hair; smaller rollers are the best if you want smaller curls with a clear definition. For the best results, ensure your hair is a bit damp but not soaking wet or, apply some hairspray or a little mousse in your hair before setting your hair in rollers.

Get the best foam rollers here

Braiding for heatless curls

As children, we probably used this technique more often than any other. Sleeping with braids overnight brought curls to your hair the next morning; take care not to sleep with damp braids since you won’t get the required results.

Big braids form big bumps in your hair while smaller braids form smaller and defined curls.

Hairbands for heatless curls

Are you aware that a hairband can curl your hair so easily? You need to practice quite often how to place your hair in the hairband; it is a very cool method of getting curls besides, you get to sleep more comfortably in a hairband.

I have tried out this technique a couple of times and it works and it is not annoying like waking up in the morning with damp hair or half of your rollers missing because they fell out at night.

Get colorful hair bands here

T-shirt for heatless curls (hair plopping)

Apart from getting curls with rollers, braids, or a hairband, you can also get curls that don’t require heat with a t-shirt. How does this method work?

Get a t-shirt made of soft cotton and before you start hair plopping, making sure your hair is wet from the shower; this method works perfectly with damp hair just untangle it before you dab-dry it. Never rub your wet hair with a cotton t-shirt.

Papillots for heatless curls

Papillots were very popular back in 2010 and 2011. Using papillots is another fantastic way to curl your hair without heat and currently, it still works. Remember that thinner papillots will make very tight curls while larger papillots will most probably form waves.

A tail for heatless curls

Another method that works well for me and is so easy is making multiple tails specifically high ponytails when my hair is towel dry.

Afterward, I wrap the tails around my fingers then secure the formed loops with bobby pins. I sleep in them overnight and wake up with curls; the method is comfortable to sleep in.

Straws for heatless curls

Well, I haven’t tried this method yet for heatless curls because there are no plastic straws in the house. In case you still have some straws lying around the house or you want to give them some use, you can try out this method; I would advise you not to buy plastic straws particularly for this reason since there are other ways to get curls as mentioned in this article. However, if the idea fascinates you, try it!

How do you start? Keep in mind that you will take more time with this method probably a few hours. Besides, get someone else to do this for you for the best results; get beautiful curls with this method.

Buns for heatless curls

With buns on your hair, you can easily make curls that won’t require heat. Currently, buns are trending, and wearing them overnight will give you coarse curls in the morning (check out amazing space buns hair trends).

Twisted buns or Bantu knots for heatless curls

Check out the video below to find out another way of making getting curls without heat known as Bantu knots.

Sock buns for heatless curls

Another very common method to use for heatless curls involves curling your hair with socks. Look for an old sock and cut off the toes of the socks; roll up the sock into a donut before using it. What a good of recycling an old sock.

Make a high ponytail then slide the donut sock over your tail bringing it to the tip of your tail; wrap the dots in the donut and start rolling up your hair slowly until you get to your elastic band. You can add a little hairspray to make your hair wet then finish the look with some bobby pins to fix your hair.

Pens and pencils for a heatless bun

Surprisingly, pens and pencils work great with curling your hair. They come in handy since you won’t miss having them in the house; first of all, make your hair damp a bit before twisting it around a pencil and a pen. Complete this look by fixing your hair in clips or some pins.
Don’t go to sleep overnight with pens or pencils in your hair; it is not a nighttime method.


I have never heard of curlfomers until the day I looked them up. With curlfomers, you can easily get curls and with this method, you get spiral curls. Once you have your spiral curls, you can keep them for a couple of days.

Baby wipes for heatless curls

Yes! You read that right; I came across this helpful tip on the internet and was as surprised as you are right now. Baby wipes do work! Guess what? I even tried the technique on my hair not with the baby wipes though since I don’t have them in the house. Still, I had some makeup wipes which didn’t go well with my skin so for the sake of this blog, I had to test them out.

How does it work? Wrap up your hair around a rolled-up wet baby wipe before you tie the ends; I then put on my swim cap over the wrapped and knotted up hair because I found it awkward to sleep with them. Funny enough it worked although I never liked how my hair smelled afterward.

Alternatively, it will also work when you moisturize old pieces of cloth preferably a t-shirt or if you first moisten your hair before rolling in pieces of old cloth.

Toilet paper for heatless curls

Did you know that you can use toilet paper to easily make curls on your hair? You need to place the paper in a few layers and twist some strands of hair (not too much) around the sheet of toilet paper.

Wet wipes for heatless curls

Similar to the baby wipes mentioned before, you can also use moist wipes to curl your hair like I did because I had no baby wipes. It only works if you leave in your hair long enough.

What are the various types of curls? Which curls can you make with these methods?

There are several types of curls you can make with all the methods mentioned above in the article. It all depends on how tight you will roll the curls to get these different types of curls:
Wavy hair
Spiral curls
Coarse curls
Slightly wavy hair
Coarse, dense curls

More hairstyling inspiration?

hairstyles 2022, hair colors 2022, short hairstyles 2022, bob hairstyles, hairstyles with bangs, thin hair hairstyles, wedding hairstyles


Which hair colour suits you? Test + the best tips!

How to keep your resolutions? (my 25 best tips for achieving goals)