12 Heatless Hacks For Great-Looking Hair
12 Heatless Hacks For Great-Looking Hair

12 Heatless Hacks For Great-Looking Hair

Everyone knows heat is bad for your hair, so thankfully these days there are lots of clever ways to take your hair from wet to dry without any tools. Here, two experts share their advice and a step-by-step guide to this affordable, better-for-your-hair technique…
By Sapna Rao
Photography: @SILKELONDON

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Tell Us A Bit More About Heatless Hair Styling…

“Heatless hair styling involves styling the hair to its desired finish without the help of tools like curling irons, hair dryers or straighteners. Most heatless methods will be pretty familiar and easy to do, while a few simple tricks will enhance the finish, including platting, scrunching and using heatless tools.” Mason Josh, senior stylist at Hari’s 

“Heatless methods can be so effective. I've always loved natural-looking hair and, with a few simple tricks, you can transform the hair’s shape and way it dries naturally. For example, you can opt for curling rods or you can braid the hair to form soft waves.” Syd Hayes, A-list hair stylist

Why Try It?

“There are so many benefits to heatless drying, be it less damage, less frizz or fewer tangles. It leaves the hair in its natural form, meaning the hairs won’t stand out from the hair shaft, and hair will look shinier and softer overall.” – Syd 

“Heat is undoubtedly damaging and will cause breakage and weaken the hair over time. Heatless methods, along with being better for your hair, are also much cheaper than investing in expensive heat styling tools. For example, you can use multi-use products and at home tricks (e.g. socks, leggings or simple braiding). There are several tried, tested and proven methods that have been around for hundreds of years which really work. Plus, the style usually has better wear and longevity. Creating a curl or a sleek straight look with heat tools drops more easily in comparison to setting the hair from wet to dry.” – Mason

The Hacks, Tips & Tricks To Know


Try Braiding

“For a simple but effective way to add a natural, heatless wave to the hair, try braids. Part your hair and braid into two pigtails on each side of your neck. Let the hair dry and for optimum results, sleep using a silk pillowcase to reduce the frizz. Slip is a great brand for this.” – Syd


Detangle Thoroughly

“For a sleek look, it's so important to make sure the hair is fully detangled first. A hardworking brush is key. My favourite has always been the WetBrush Pro Flex Paddle Black which is equipped with ‘omniflex bristles’ which flex in every direction to contour the scalp and keep the hair flat and smooth.” – Syd


Try The ‘Scrunch’ Method

“Whether your hair is straight or curly, the scrunch method promises extra definition. Start by washing and conditioning the hair, followed by a leave-in conditioner – I love Oribe’s SuperShine. Don’t be tempted to dry it with a towel – the key is to leave your hair as wet as possible. Then, tip your head to one side and start to scoop the hair from the end to the root in an upward motion. Think of it almost like a claw and squeeze all the water out as you go. Release your grasp and do this on the other side before repeating it all over the lengths every 10 minutes until the hair is fully dry. Don’t brush the hair at all in the meantime. If it’s a really sunny day, you can even do this outside to speed up the drying process. Once it's fully dry, shake the hair out a little and apply a texture spray or dry shampoo to give your strands a little more volume.” – Mason


Sleep With Satin & Silk Curling Sets

“Silk and satin tools are everywhere right now. They help preserve curls, as well as reduce frizz and tangles during the drying process. I love the Kitsch Satin Curling sets. This style of curling actually dates back to the 80s, but these newer versions are coated in a satin finish which encourages the hair to stay smooth, silky and frizz-free.”– Syd 

“Silk and satin are better at reducing breakage and eliminating frizz in comparison to cotton and other materials. I have had several clients make the switch and notice real results. To use these tools, place your curling ribbon, roller or wand on top of damp (or dry) hair and use claw clips to hold them in place. Then wrap half of your hair around and once you’re at the end, secure the ends with a scrunchie – then repeat on the other side with the other half. Let the hair dry overnight, and when it comes times to remove the roads in the morning, be sure to give the waves a nice tousle to give them a more natural finish.” – Mason


Give The ‘Ripple Flair’ A Go

“The Ripple Flair tool is ideal for anyone looking to create flattering, beachy waves. Although it’s fiddlier to use, the results are worth it. Start by dividing your semi-dry hair into small sections and thread the hair through the ‘Waveformers’. Let your hair dry naturally, then remove the curlers gently. You’ll be left with a unique, soft-crimped look.” Syd


Add Some Root Drag

“Whether you’re braiding, popping in rollers or silk hair tools – don't curl too close to the root. I always recommend using a little root drag to ensure a softer, more natural curl that stops you looking too poodle-like. Generally speaking, think about starting between your nose and eyes before working downwards.” – Syd


Try Some Straight-Hair Tricks

“To achieve a sleek and straight finish without any heat, you need to smooth the cuticle of the hair as much as possible. If you do have a natural texture to your hair and try to brush it out to achieve smoothness, this will only result in frizz. Instead, opt for a smoothing product and work it in with your fingers. Then, go in after the hair is dry with a tightly packed brush and some hair oil to reduce any residual frizz and give the hair a nice glossiness.” – Mason


Use Hair Products

“A great leave-in conditioner or detangling product will go a long way in achieving the best results. I recommend Sam McKnight’s Light Nourish Conditioner to ensure your waved hair stays soft to the touch. Sam McKnight’s Cool Girl Superlift will also set waves in place and add a little extra lift.” – Syd


Give At-Home Methods A Chance

“At-home hacks have a similar effect to rollers in that they’re all a version of stretching the hair, and forcing it to set into that position. Both socks and leggings have gone viral on social media as worthy athome alternatives. All you have to do is simply section your hair in chunks and twist them around your chosen tool. After leaving this overnight and letting the hair dry, it should result in a loose wave.” – Mason


Tuck In The Ends

“If you’re using classic curlers, silk rollers or even a sock, one of the most common mistakes people make is to not tucking in the ends of your hair. This will result in lovely waves, but an unnatural looking bend and straight ends. In some cases, this looks more lived in, depending on the length of your hair, but for the most part, you want to avoid this. Simply tuck the ends into your scrunchies or pin them in under your rollers before going to sleep.” – Mason


Keep Practising

“Practice makes perfect. At first, it may be hard to perfect the same polished look that heat achieves, but over time, using these heatless hacks will ensure healthier, stronger hair in the long-run – it’s well worth it.” – Mason


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