Curling Iron Who? The Best Heat-Free Curl Tutorials

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embPhotographed by Mark Iantosca.
It’s official, friends: The tundra is no longer, and summer is nigh, which means if you’re anything like us, you’re already planning weekend trips to the beach and dreaming of frolicking in the sunshine. One thing we don't have time for in our jam-packed summer-fun schedules? Messing around with heat styling.

Going heat-free for the summer is an easy way to save time on your styling routine and protect hair from further harm — you'll be getting plenty of rays from all that aforementioned sun-frolicking anyway. Not to mention, this totally gives you a chance to amp up your creative hair game; there are so many inventive ways to curl and wave your hair that it's slightly overwhelming trying to sort through them all.

To help you make the most out of a heat-styling-free summer, we went ahead and did the hard work for you. Here, you'll find the four best how-tos currently on YouTube, starring four of our favorite tutorial stars: Carly Cristman, Kayley Melissa, Sarah Nagel, and K.L Cao. Read on to find out how you can achieve luscious curls sans the heat tools, and then tell us: Do you have an awesome heatless-curls method?


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The Headband Method
Carly Cristman teaches us how to achieve gorgeous loose curls by using a headband? We’re game.

“It’s best to start with your hair 80% dry," she explains. "Then, place a soft headband around your head, from forehead to the nape of your neck. I prefer to use a cloth/workout style so they don’t leave a dent in your hair like a harsher one would."

“Do this until your hair is completely wrapped up in the headband. If you have thin hair, you can wear this while you finish doing your makeup, getting dressed, etc. If you have thicker hair, you may want to sleep on it overnight. The curls will be tighter the longer you leave it in,” she says.

Check out Carly’s video for a more in-depth look at this process.


The Dish-Sponge Method
Can you really get lust-worthy curls with the same sponges you use to clean your plates? K.L Cao tells us how.

“There are so many ways you can curl your hair with the items around your home,” she says. "I cut up my dish sponges, and I glue a piece of elastic to it so I can secure it after I wrap my hair. The best way to get a long-lasting, frizz-free curl is to add some kind of oil" — she recommends argan — "into your damp hair."

“Then wrap a section of hair around the sponge, secure with the elastic, and wait for it to dry. The sponge helps soak up some of the water from your hair so it dries much faster, and when you unravel, you get big, beautiful curls,” she says.

All you visual learners, check out K.L’s tutorial for a closer look at how she achieves this heat-free style.


The Pin-Up Method
Did you know that shaping hair into a curl and allowing it to dry is just as effective as using heat tools, if not more so? Kayley Melissa confirms this by sharing her favorite heatless method.

“Starting with slightly damp hair, take a two-inch section of hair — if you have thick hair or want a tighter curl, use a slightly smaller section," she says. "Then wrap the hair around two or three fingers, just next to the roots of your hair in order to create a doughnut shape — the larger the doughnut, the looser the curl."

“Pin the circle of hair against your head using bobby pins or a single-pronged clip. Continue until all of your hair is in pin curls. I like to start next to my part and work my way down in rows so that I’m sure to get all of the hair."

“If you want, throw on a bandana or a wide headband to protect your curls overnight. Allow the curls to dry while you sleep, then remove the clips. Lightly tousle the curls with your fingers to break them up, and you’re done."

Now, go watch Kayley’s tutorial to see how she got these bombshell-babe curls.


The Flexi-Rod Method
Flexi rods are crazy-cheap and create gorgeous curls. Just look at Sarah Nagel’s bouncy ringlets and you, too, will be using these miracle rods in no time.

“All you will need for this method are flexi rods, a spray bottle filled with water, a brush, and hair oil," she says. "Start by brushing out your hair to remove tangles, and then apply a small amount of oil to the ends of your hair to keep the curls soft. Spray your hair so that it’s damp, and then begin sectioning off your hair to be rolled.”

“Start at the ends of your hair and twist your hair around the rod. Bend the ends of the rods to secure your hair in place on top of your head. You can leave the rods in for a few hours or sleep with them overnight, depending on how curly you want your hair to be. In the morning, remove the rods, and finger-comb your hair to loosen the curls. Finish by spraying your hair with hairspray or a shine serum,” she says.

Check out Sarah’s tutorial to master the technique, then go ahead and find a nice, safe storage space for your curling iron — you won't be needing it for a few months.


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