By now, most of you know that daily styling of any kind can take a toll on your hair. Yes, I know those fierce curls look amazing on IG, but in real life, your hair might look and feel more fried than you realise.
Aside from deep-conditioning every night and coating your hair in heat-protectant spray every morning, there’s not much you can do to mitigate heat damage—unless, that is, you try a few new ~alternative~ styling tricks. Surprisingly, you can get amazing texture and curls without plugging anything in. Don’t believe me? I rounded up seven unique tutorials, below, to get bouncy, heatless curls on any texture. Get ready for some healthy hair days.
Trick #1: Bantu Knots
These super-simple bantu knots have been a naturalista staple for, like, ever. I love this method because it can be used on a variety of wet or dry hair types, including 4B and 4C textures. Let’s break it down for wet hair: Start by washing and conditioning as usual, then apply a leave-in conditioner or hydrating hair oil and detangle with a wide-tooth comb.
Working with one four-inch section of hair at a time, smooth a styling gel (look for one without alcohol) through the section before twisting and coiling it around itself to form a bantu knot. Secure with a bobby pin (if needed) and let dry for a minimum of 24 hours. To release, twist the knot in the opposite direction, then apply a serum for added shine and hydration. Finally, pull apart each section with your fingers to create as much (or as little) volume as you’d like.
Trick #2: French Braids
On damp or dry hair, apply a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair hydrated overnight. Then, split your hair in half and create two French braids on each side, tying them off before going to sleep. In the morning, take out your braids and blast your roots with a bit of dry shampoo for volume and texture. To minimise frizz, lightly rub a few drops of hair oil over fuzzy sections, or play up the undefined texture with a spritz of sea-salt spray.
Trick #3: Pin Curls
Yes, you read this right: This vlogger was up for the challenge of trying 100 pin curls. By all means, do not feel obligated to try this many, but know that the more pin curls you create, the more defined your curls will be. Start with wet or damp hair, which should be generously coated with a leave-in conditioner and/or setting lotion. Next, part your hair into two, four, or (if you want ultra-tight curls) eight sections, before wrapping half-inch sections of hair around your finger. Pin them in place with two bobby pins in a crisscross shape, repeating the entire process process until you run out of patience or bobby pins (just kidding—you gotta see it through!).
You can either let this set for two days, or cheat the time lapse by sitting under a hooded dryer for an hour (I know, it kinda ruins the whole heatless aspect, but it’s less damaging than applying direct heat to your hair). Make sure you allow your hair to cool before removing the pins. Since these curls are so small, there’s no reason to rake through with your fingers. Instead, try to avoid touching them as much as possible, and smooth any flyaways with a light misting of oil spray.
Trick #4: Curl Formers
Similar to foam rollers, curl formers help create a uniform curl texture, but without the discomfort of traditional hard rollers. To recreate the look, rake a dollop of styling creme and a few drops of serum through your damp hair, then brush it out with a paddle brush to distribute the product.
Then, using the same technique as you would when curling your hair, wrap three-inch sections of hair around the roller, securing the ends with the attached fabric strip. Allow the hair to dry completely before removing the rollers. If your results are a bit wonky from sleeping on them, touch them up with a curling wand… and we’ll just pretend this was a heat-free style.
Trick #5: Clean Socks
This hack is ideal for those with longer hair who are hoping to preserve their blow-out. Start with dry hair and clean cotton socks (not pantyhose) for the best results. Grab a section of your hair and begin wrapping it around the sock, rolling the sock up to your scalp and then knotting the ends in place to secure your hair. Sleep with a hair bonnet to avoid undoing your hard work, then, in the morning, simply untie your socks, shake out your hair, and get on with your day.
Trick #6: Drinking Straws
Take your hair from straight to curly using the old-school hack of drinking straws. What you need to start is a pack of rubber bands, a spray bottle filled with water (or if your hair is thick and curly, just use a spray leave-in conditioner), and a ton of plastic straws. Starting at the back of your head, tightly wrap a one-inch section of hair around the straw from root to tip, then bend the straw and secure the bend with a rubber band.
Continue rolling and rubber-banding until all your hair is wrapped. You will, BTW, look crazy, but anything for beauty, right? The next morning, unwind the straws one by one, then gently pull apart each curl with your fingers.
Trick #7: Three-Strand Twists
I love this method because it can be used on days-old hair without needing to hop in the shower again. Just mist your hair with water, then apply a dollop of hair butter (for thicker, coarser hair) or pomade (for finer hair). Layer on a leave-in conditioner to seal in all the moisture, then brush through with a paddle brush to distribute the product.
To create the twists, wind three sections of damp hair around each other, almost like a braid, twirling your ends around your fingertips to ‘seal’ them. Continue twisting sections until your head is covered, then allow them to dry overnight. Before unraveling the twists, smooth on a light oil and unwind the twists (don’t just rake through them). Separate the coils, pick out your roots with a comb, lay down your edges with gel, and enjoy your expert-level twist-out.
This post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com.
Read more beauty