How to style your hair from wet without using heat
Trying to take a break from the blow drier, straightener or curler? Now is the perfect time to with more of our days being spent at home! Giving your hair some time off from heat is a great way to promote hair health including longer, thicker, and stronger hair but, it can be tough to manage unstyled hair when you have a lot of video meetings for work or other commitments. There are, however, heat-free methods you can use to bring some style your hair and we’ve rounded up a few of our tried-and-true favourites to keep you looking and feeling great no matter what you have on for the day!
#1: perfect waves with French braids
French braids are one of the most traditional ways to style your hair without heat and it’s for good reason – when done properly, they can help you achieve the perfect wave! The key is to use the proper number of braids for your hair thickness (too many and you’ll end up with crimped hair, too few and you may not achieve a wave at all). Trial-and-error will help you figure this out but in general, thicker hair will likely require more than one braid while thinner hair may need only one.
To style your hair using French braids, let your hair air-dry naturally until it’s only a little damp, then divide into sections and French braid. Secure with a gentle hair tie like a scrunch or a thin elastic. We like to leave the braids in overnight to give them a lot of time to secure the style. In the morning we simple take them out and spray our waves with a bit of texturizing spray, like Quay Wave Spray.
Note: for curly-haired girls, you may need to apply a bit heat using a blow-drier to flatten out the natural kink in your hair prior to French braiding.
Never French braided your hair before? Check out this guide from Elle.
#2: sleek and straight with careful drying
Ok, this one may not work for all hair types - you’ll definitely need to have naturally straight or wavy hair. The key to achieving straight hair without the flat iron is to avoid using a towel to dry it, as the fibers in a towel are tough and can cause breakage and frizz. While there are more delicate towels available on the market specifically for hair, we find that an old, cotton t-shirt does the trick as well.
To dry your hair using the t-shirt, simply put your head through the head hole of the shirt, twist as you would a towel, and tie the arms to secure it in place. Leave it tied for about ten minutes to remove the bulk of the moisture, then apply a styling cream like Aveda’s Smooth Infusion Style Prep Smoother. Then, continuously brush your hair until it is fully dry and voila! You’ll have smooth, straight hair without the use of a straightener!
Note: For curly-haired girls, as mentioned this is likely not a viable option for you. If you want to achieve straighter hair without a ton of heat, try limiting your styling tool to a blow-drier. With the right brush, like a round brush with very tight bristles, you can get smoother hair than your natural look and without a straightener! Try also turning the heat down on your blow-drier!
#3: bouncy curls with a bathrobe
There are a lot of methods circulating around the internet for how to curl your hair without heat, but the one we’ve found to work the best is actually a method that went viral on TikTok (yes, TikTok). All you need is the belt of a plush bathrobe and some gentle hair ties, like scrunchies. We've also read that chunky tube socks are a great alternative if you don't have a plush bathrobe.
You can watch the full tutorial here, but effectively you fold the belt in half and place it on top of your head so that it almost looks like a headband you haven’t tied. You then work to increasingly curl your hair around the belt, remembering to alternate directions, then secure at the end with the hair ties. Like waves, this styling technique works best when left overnight and when done to damp hair that has been allowed to partially dry in advance. We like to apply some flexible hair spray to help keep the hold in place!
Note: For curly-haired girls, this styling technique should work without any blow-drying in advance but you’ll need to make sure your hair is tightly wound around the belt. It’ll help you achieve a larger, bouncier curl than you likely have.