How to achieve the perfect beachy summer look with heatless curls

Give your tongs and straighteners a summer break because this year, we're doing our beachy summer waves with nothing but a dressing gown belt and some hair bands. The heatless curl trend has taken social media by storm, proving that there are dozens of inventive ways to create tousled waves with things you already have at home.

Our experts have given their best tips to help you achieve a perfectly bouncy boho beach wave at home; no heat needed!

The benefits of going heatless

Let's face it — no one wants to sit under a hot styling tool when the summer heat is already causing a sweat. More than that, repeated heat styling on unprotected hair can dry out your strands and may lead to split ends, breakage, and dullness.

The temptation to turn our hot tools up to the maximum setting or make multiple passes over one section of hair could increase the chances of damage. This is especially true if you regularly skip the heat protectant stage of your hair routine.

Heat styling is effective because it forces the hydrogen bonds in your hair's cortex to reset into a new shape. Fortunately, water can also reset the natural bonds in your hair. By wrapping your damp hair into curls and leaving them to air-dry overnight, you're gently resetting the bonds as the hair dries.

By swapping your tongs for heatless curls every so often, you can help keep your hair in good condition while still achieving the same finished style. Better yet, the heatless method gives a smoother, glossier finish compared to heat styling, and curls tend to last longer, too! 

Before you go heatless, there are a few things you'll need to know. Begin by choosing a heatless curling method best suited to your hair type. Next, we recommend tailoring your products to the finished style you want and the type of hair you have. This will help your hair set and hold a beachy wave all day long. 

Finally, always start the styling process with freshly washed hair. The secret is to leave your wet hair until it feels cool to the touch but is still quite damp. The inner core of your strands will still be wet and pliable (like putty) and will only become rigid again once the hair dries fully in its new position.

How to create heatless curls for short hair 

Think you can't get a good heatless curl with shorter hair? Think again! We've found two viral styling methods that work well for mid-length and shorter styles. Pick an option and then skip to the products section to find out how to keep the style in your hair type.

Creating heatless curls using scrunchies

This heatless styling hack walks the fine line between rag rolling and curlers. The number of scrunchies you'll need will depend on the thickness of your hair and how tight you want your curls to be. We recommend using silk or satin scrunchies to prevent your hair from being snagged or torn.

  1. Pick up a small section of hair and wrap it around your scrunchie. The scrunchie should be pinched flat at one end so you can use it like a hair roller. Be careful to leave a small section of the scrunchie visible at one end as you wrap your hair.
  2. Open up the exposed end of your scrunchie and lift it over your curled wrap to secure it in place.
  3. Repeat this all over your hair, working in small sections, winding your hair away from your face to create a uniform, flattering wave.
  4. Leave your scrunchies in overnight.
  5. Carefully release and unwrap your scrunchies, then style your curls however you like.

Heatless curls with a dressing gown tie

Creating heatless curls with a dressing gown tie is one of the most popular viral TikTok hair trends. All you'll need is two hair bands, a hair clip, the belt from a dressing gown, and a good French plait technique!

  1. Part your hair down the middle, separating it into two sections. Next, place your dressing gown belt on top of your head, two inches back from your hairline. The centre of your belt should be on the top of your head, leaving you with two even-length pieces to braid with.
  2. Slip a Kirby grip or clip into the top middle of your belt to stop it from moving around while you work.
  3. Using a french braid technique, take one section of hair from the top front of your head and take it over and under the belt.
  4. Keeping hold of that first twisted section, pick up a new piece of hair from the back of your head and bring it over and under the belt. Work down your scalp in your 'French twist', incorporating hair from the front, then the back.
  5. When you reach the lengths of your hair, continue the criss-cross pattern, taking each piece of hair over and under your belt, alternating the sides.
  6. Use a hairband to secure your hair to the belt and repeat step 4 – 6 on the other side.
  7. Sleep with the dressing gown tie in your hair overnight to ensure the curls are thoroughly set.
  8. Untie the hairbands and gently unravel the hair from the dressing gown tie.
  9. Use your fingers to gently comb through the curls, breaking them up into soft waves, and finish with your chosen styling product.

How to create heatless curls for thick hair

Long hair and thick hair types can still get a great curl without heat. You'll need a few more tools and a little extra time, but the results are worth it! Here are some methods you can try...

Heatless curls using socks

You can use anything between four and six pairs of socks, depending on how thick your hair is. Try to choose socks that reach at least halfway down the length of your hair.

  1. Split the hair into four or six sections (depending on how thick it is) and clip it up so you can work more easily.
  2. Clip the toe of your sock to the root of your hair and begin to wrap your hair around the sock, twisting the lock as you go. Wrap your hair backwards away from your face to create a flattering curl pattern. Secure your hair in place with a hairband.
  3. Leave your socks in place for five hours or overnight before gently removing them.
  4. Run your fingers gently through your curls to break them up.
  5. Finish with a light mist of hairspray to help your thick locks hold the style. Careful not to overdo it — we want our waves soft and touchable, not hard and crunchy!

Top tip!  Prevent crinkled 'hairpin ends' by ensuring the ends of your hair are incorporated smoothly into the twist or wrap before you secure with your hairband. 

Products to style heatless curls

Without heat to help reset the bonds in your wet hair, you might find that adding curl-specific products into your hair routine will help you achieve a smoother, bouncier curl and a longer-lasting finish to your look. Pick the products that suit your hair type and the finished style you want to achieve.


Help your heatless curls set to perfection by bringing the right product into play. 

Shu Uemura Awa Volume
Perfect for fine, flat hair, Awa Volume will give your waves a silky finish and long-lasting hold. Apply to damp hair before you begin to wrap your curls.

Tsuki Shape Spray
Add body without adding weight! This spray helps you keep a natural feel to the hair but gives body and lift to curly styles.

Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Hydro Texturising Mist
For textured, tousled, beachy waves, spray Muroto Volume onto damp hair and allow it to dry slightly before starting your curls.


Tailor your finishing product to your hair type and make sure your heatless curls suit your summer style while staying intact. 

Shu Uemura Essence Absolue
Warm a little of this oil in your hands and run it through your curls to smooth frizz and tame flyaways while giving shine and gloss to your finished waves.

Kérastase Laque Couture
A medium hold fixing spray designed to protect your style without leaving a crunchy, stiff residue. Tip your head upside down and run your fingers gently through the curls to break them up before you spray, then allow your hair to fall back into place.

Davines More Inside Curl Mousse
Help maintain the bounce and structure of your heatless curls by carefully scrunching More Inside Curl mousse through your finished style

And that's all there is to it! So, gather your supplies, treat yourself to a few products from our online shop, and give your hair a break from heat styling this summer. Want to get your hair into good condition first? Book an appointment with us today