As nice and glossy as straight hair is, we all need a change sometimes, and beach waves and perky ringlets are always enviable, especially with celebs like Love Island‘s Lucie Donlan and actress Lily James absolutely rocking the curly look. If you’re not blessed with natural curls though, curling your locks can seem like a lot of effort, especially considering the damage repeated use of straighteners and curling irons can wreak on your hair. There are ways to give yourself curls without heat application though, so although straighteners will always be a crucial part of our hairstyling arsenal, why not ditch them for a while and try out these five game changing ways to curl your hair completely naturally!
1. Tie it up!
A great way to give your hair a bit of a twist is to tie it up as soon as you get out of the shower. As basic as it sounds, rather than attacking your locks with the hairdryer, brush through it and give yourself time to let it air dry (ideally over night). Separate your wet hair into strands, and twist each strand back up off your face, either by wrapping a lock around your finger, or wrapping two strands together. Pin each twist onto your head, working your way around your face, so that by the time you have twisted all the strands, the twisted strands are hanging in almost a ponytail shape. Grab a bobble, and tie the hair up into a ponytail. Retwist any strands that have fallen out of curl, and then twist the whole ponytail around the bobble, up into a bun. Leave until your hair is completely dry, and then carefully take out the bobbles and grips, to leave your hair with a soft curl.
2. Twist-it Braid Crown
Now here’s a tip if you want proper bouncy ringlets that will last all day long! As with the previous hack, this one works best on wet hair. Comb your hair through while it’s wet and separate it into two sections: tie up the hair at the crown of your head, and leave the other half down. Brush the wet hair so the front part falls over your eyes; you should have wet hair falling down in a curtain around the whole circumference of your head. Place a stretch material hairband around your head, about an inch in from your hairline. (It’s a good idea to pin it in place, as it can slip on the wet hair.) Take a strand of wet hair from in front of your face (this can be any thickness, but the thinner the strand, the tighter the curl) and pull it over the top of the hairband then loop it back underneath, so that it is wrapped round, and hanging down in front of your face again. Pull in a second strand next to the first, and this time wrap them both around the hairband. Continue to wrap strands of your hair around the hairband, gathering more hair as you go. Continue this all the way around your head, until all of the hair you had left down is now wrapped around the stretch hairband. Pin it in a couple places to secure it. Place a second stretch hair band behind the first (so that it is closer to the centre of you head), and pin it in place. Then, take the second half of your hair that you had tied up on the crown of your head down, and repeat the process, wrapping the rest of your wet hair around the hairband. Once all of your hair is wrapped around the headbands, make sure it is completely secured with bobby pins. Sleep on it (it will take at least eight hours to dry and work completely), and in the morning, remove the pins. Starting with the outer ring of wrapped hair, at the front of your head, gently pull your hair from the hairband, strand by strand. If the curls have not set the way you like them, twist them around your finger as you take them down, and use your hands to gently spin them around away from your face, so that the hair forms a more defined ringlet. Depending on how tight you want the curls to be, you might want to leave them a while to drop a little, but you’ll have a full head of curls that will last the whole day! (Tip: for less intense curls, wrap the whole of your hair around a single hairband, rather than separating it into two sections.)
Here’s the most straight forward way to curl your hair known to humanity: braid it! Obviously there’s a million ways to do this, French Plait, Fishtail, Plain Braid, but if you’re plaiting your hair in order to get curls, the best thing to do is to plait your hair into two braids either side of your natural parting. That way, you know that your waves will fall the right sides of your face, without the trouble of pesky strands that are on the wrong side of your natural hairline.
As with the other hacks, using rollers works best if you do it on wet hair. In order to ensure a better hold, it’s often a good idea to brush your hair through with a little bit of styling gel or wax. Then, separate your hair into inch wide sections, and starting from the ends, wrap a strand around a Velcro roller, winding it up towards your scalp, so that once the roller is in place it sits underneath the strand of hair, rather than on top of it. Once the hair is wrapped tightly around the roller, it should sit firmly in place against your scalp, but if it feels loose, secure it with a bobby pin. Repeat this step until all of your inch-wide strands are wrapped up in rollers and secured against your head. For more height, you can wrap several of the front and middle strands so that they sit at the top of your head in a row, rather than on the sides. Keep in for at least half an hour before carefully unwinding your hair from the rollers, but remember, the longer the rollers are in, the tighter the curls!
5. Rags to Riches
Now, this is a very old-fashioned hair-curling technique, but it doesn’t mean it works any less effectively than any of the others! Find an old t-shirt, and cut it into strips, or rags, about an inch wide. This works best on damp hair, so let your hair air dry a little, before dividing it into sections, again about an inch wide. Take your first strip of material, and tie it near the root of your first section of hair. Wrap the lock of hair around the strip of material, until it is all twisted: this should cover about half the length of the material. Then, take the remainder of the material strip, and wrap it back up around the twisted lock of hair, and tie it securely at the root of the twisted lock. Repeat these steps with each section of hair until all of your hair is tied up in the rags, and leave it to dry, ideally overnight.