Soft, glossy curls are always in style. If you weren’t genetically blessed with natural ringlets, you can still accomplish them at home with one of these easy ways to curl hair. These simple tricks for curling hair will give you awesome swirls and twirls–without a lot of effort.
Note that some of these methods do require heat tools, which can damage hair. ALWAYS use a heat protectant spray before styling with hot tools to minimize damage. We’ve also included some heat-free options on this list for anyone who is trying to avoid hot tools altogether.
5 Easy Ways to Curl Hair
1. Flat Iron Curls
It may sound counter-intuitive, but one of the easiest ways to curl hair is actually to use a straightener. In essence, with flat iron curls, you use the straightener the same way that you curl a ribbon on a gift. We love this method because it looks fresh and modern. Plus, it works great for shorter hair.
How to curl hair with a straightener:
- First, spritz hair with a heat protectant spray.
- Using a flat iron, clamp a small section of hair at the root, then twist the straightener 360 degrees and slowly pull straightener downwards. Be careful not to clamp your hair too tightly or the straightener won’t glide through your hair or create a smooth curl.
- Repeat step 2 with the rest of hair.
- Finger comb to loosen curls and finish the look with hairspray. It’s that easy!
2. The Ponytail Trick
If you only have a few minutes to style your hair, this is the curl hack for you. The ponytail trick works best on slightly dirty hair, so try this on a day when you haven’t washed your hair.
How to do the ponytail trick:
- Spritz hair with a heat protectant spray.
- Pull hair into a high ponytail.
- Curl small sections of the ponytail using a curling iron or curling wand.
- Remove the hair tie and gently finger comb hair to soften curls.
3. The Headband Hack
This heat-free method uses an elastic headband to create soft curls. We’re fans of the headband hack because it’s a comfortable, easy way to get gorgeous curls while you sleep.
How to do the headband hack:
- Place an elastic headband around head, underneath the hair (as if you were wearing it to the gym).
- Wrap small sections of hair around the headband, tucking them in and working all the way around the head.
- Leave the headband on just while you do your makeup to get softer curls. Or leave it on overnight for tighter, more defined curls.
4. Pin Curls
This retro hair-curling method uses bobby pins or small styling clamps to hold curls in place while the hair dries. Pin curls were very popular in the early- to mid-20th century before curling irons became the norm. We love pin curls because they’re a heat-free way to get long-lasting, defined ringlets.
How to style pin curls:
- Wash hair with volumizing shampoo and conditioner like Toppik Hair Building Shampoo and Conditioner.
- Apply mousse or gel to clean hair and allow to air dry.
- When hair is damp, take a 1-inch section of hair and wrap around your finger to create a loop. Remove the loop from your finger and pin to your head.
- Repeat step 3 with the rest of the hair, working your way around the head in small sections.
- Allow hair to completely air-dry in the pin curls. Or for longer-lasting ringlets, sleep in pin curls with a silk scarf tied around your head.
- In the morning, remove pins and lightly finger comb hair.
5. Heat-Free Self-Fastening Rollers
Rollers are a super easy way to curl hair because you can pretty much “set it and forget it”. The key to styling hair with self-fastening, hook-and-loop rollers is to choose the right roller size to reflect what you want your curls to look like. The bigger the roller, the looser the curl.
How to style hair with rollers:
- Apply a thickening serum like Toppik Hair Fattener Advanced Thickening Serum to clean, damp hair.
- Divide hair into sections and wind each section of hair onto rollers from the ends to the roots.
- Finish getting ready while your hair air dries. When hair is completely dried, remove rollers and finger comb curls for a soft, glamorous look.
Do you have an easy trick for curling hair? Let us know in the comments!