For a woman not blessed with luscious curly locks, curling irons may seem like heroes. However, after a few days of blow-drying and curling her hair into perfect formation, she may realize the irons merely add hours of work to the morning regimen. Once her arm has gone weary from stretching and holding the weighted iron at awkward angles, she will grow frustrated with the whole ordeal. For this woman and any others like her, there are painless ways to curl hair heat free.

The key to these methods is the dry time. Drying can take anywhere from six to eight hours depending on hair thickness and length. The best option is to let it dry overnight, so showering at night will be necessary. Women with straight hair should invest in a good mousse or curling serum. Of course, women with frizzy hair might want an anti-frizz product.

There are four methods to no-heat curling: T-shirt curling (also known as paper curling), Headband curling, the sock method, and the braid. Always remember that each process produces its own type of curls.

If tight ringlets are desired use the t-shirt method. Start by cutting strips of cloth or paper to the desired size, about 1 inch for ringlets 3 inches for large loose curls. Take a strip and a small section of hair. Starting at the end of the hair, roll the strip up to the roots wrapping the hair around the cloth. Then tie the cloth to keep the hair in place. Repeat with the rest of your hair.

For medium size curls, use the headband method. Wrap a cloth headband around your head. Then, start wrapping hair around it pinning it into place. Once all the hair is pinned, wait for it to dry (overnight), and unpin the curls. Use a mousse and light spritz of hairspray to keep the curls in place.

For large curls, the sock bun method is the best option. Cut the toe off a clean tube sock then roll it up into the shape of a donut. Tie your hair up in a ponytail with an elastic band. Pull the tip of the ponytail through the hole of the donut. Then, begin to roll the sock up the ponytail, wrapping the hair around it. Once it reaches the top, it should hold itself in place.

For waves, braid the hair. It’s that simple. Braid the wet hair tightly for small waves and loosely for big waves. Once it dries, untie it.

Use any of these methods for beautiful curls or waves, but remember not to brush it after the pins, wraps, or headbands are taken out. This will make hair flat again. Simply comb through it with fingers or a wide toothed comb, add some mousse, and leave it alone. Voila! No heat curls.

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