How To Make Straight Hair Curly: Tips and Tricks

When it comes to our appearance (and hair type), we tend to want what we don’t have, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t have it. We just have to find ways to achieve what we want and practice to perfect it. Isn’t that what makes hair so fun?

If your hair is always straight, chances are you will eventually want to make it curly at least once in your lifetime, if not more.

Getting your hair to hold a curl when it is naturally straight can be difficult. You’ve probably tried everything you can think of and are frustrated beyond belief, but fret not! 

Continue reading to see what you can do to take your hair from your everyday straight hairstyle to those luscious curls you’ve longed for. Curl it, baby!

Can Curls Be Achieved Without Using Heat?

It is completely possible to take your hair from straight to curly or wavy hair without heat (or a wild perm). Applying heat to your hair can be damaging if not done properly or if it is done too often. 

If curling your hair is something you plan on doing as a recurring hairstyle, you may want to use a no-heat-necessary technique. Also, If you have thin or easily damaged hair, the no-heat route is the route you should be taking. 

And no, we’re not talking about air drying — although a spritz of sea salt spray can do wonders if you do. Here are a few of our favorite ways to make straight hair curly without heat.

Heat-Free Curlers

Another way to achieve curls with your straight hair is to use curlers, also known as hair rollers. These curlers require no heat, so they are not damaging to your hair.

There are so many different curler sets to choose from. You can purchase foam or plastic curlers as a set online. Plastic curlers have a greater chance of pulling on your hair while sleeping, so if you plan on sleeping in the hair curlers, you may want to opt for the foam ones.

Some curler sets also come in multiple sizes, so you can have a variety of different-sized curls. There is no need to purchase expensive sets, as the cheaper ones can get the job done just as well.

Curlers can be worn throughout the day or overnight. Sleeping in them all night will help you achieve better, longer-lasting curls. 

How Do You Use Hair Curlers?

All you need to do is twist your hair around the roller and wait. Waiting is key when using these products on straight hair. Once you have waited for a minimum of five hours, you can take them out. 

Simply spin the hair curler while pulling it down to remove the hair. This process should only take around 10 minutes. 

When all the curlers are removed, remember to spray your hair with hair spray to give the curls extra support for them to hold all day.

It is truly amazing how these hair rollers can transform your hair from straight to curly with such little effort (or damage). 

Can Braiding Your Hair Give You Curls?

One way to achieve a curly hairstyle when your hair is naturally straight is to braid it. Braiding your hair before bed is recommended so your hair has a longer time to sit in the braid and become the curls you desire. 

First, you’ll need to start with a shower. Wet hair makes it easier for straight hair to hold in a braid. 

Try to avoid washing your hair with your typical shampoo and conditioner meant to compliment straight hair. You will need to get yourself a curl-enhancing shampoo and conditioner. 

Once you are done washing your hair with your curly hair products, you can go about your night for a while. Watch your favorite tv show or eat a before-bedtime snack, as you should not braid your hair immediately. 

You will want to braid your hair once it is damp. You can towel dry it for a bit to help accelerate the drying process.

It’s time to braid your damp hair! Long hair can make this technique easier, but you can also do a french braid on short hair. 

Before starting your braid, you will first need to decide what curls you would like. If you want smaller curls, the braid needs to be tighter. If you are seeking bigger curls, the braids should be loose. 

You do not need to be a professional braider to do this kind of braid; a simple braid will work just fine. Comb through your hair and divide it into three different hair sections. Simply braid from top to bottom and towards the back of your head. 

Once the braid is complete, you can wrap your hair up in a silk wrap to prevent frizz while sleeping or leave it as is. 

Now, go and enjoy your sleep!! You can even blow dry your braids on low to help set the look. 

Once you wake up, it is time to take your hair out of the braid. There is no special way to take it out; simply undo the braid. You will be shocked by the beautiful curls you now have and how easy they were to attain. 

As a final touch, put some hair mousse or hair spray on to your hair to assist in holding the curls for a longer time, and you are good to go! Mousse can ensure you aren’t dealing with frizzy hair all day. And braids can lead to more natural curls or loose waves — a win-win situation. 

Are There Any Unusual Tricks That Curl Your Hair?

Did you know you can curl your hair with straws? Yes, the same straws that you drink from can change your straight hair into curly hair! Using straws in your hair can lead to a full head of small tight curls. 

This trick for curling your hair is an unusual one, but it is an effective one. This method also requires no heat, which means it will not damage your hair.

You will need a pack of plastic straws, which are easily attainable. Then you will need to get your hair damp again. Remember to use curl-enhancing shampoo and conditioner instead of your everyday products. 

When your hair is damp, divide it into many sections with a comb. Then proceed to wrap small strands of hair around the straws; once the hair is wrapped around the straw, use a bobby pin to secure the hair onto the straw.

Now it is time to wait again! You can sleep in this style or watch a few episodes of your favorite show. Once you have waited a few hours, you can remove the bobby pins and the straws and see your full head of curls. Spray your hair with some hairspray for that extra touch.

How To Use Heat To Curl Hair

Of course, it is ideal to use the no-heat method when curling your hair, but it is not always practical. Curling your hair without heat is not for you if you are running on a tight schedule. 

Using a hair curler on your straight hair is not only a fast option but also gives you full beautiful curly hairstyles that will have others questioning your hair routine.

Heat Protector

The most crucial aspect of using heated tools in your hair is protecting it. Having a heat protectant for your hair is vital. You gotta protect that hair!

You are good to go if you spray this styling product before curling it. It is such an easy yet important task to keep your hair healthy.

How Do I Choose a Curling Iron?

The second greatest benefit (behind time-saving) of using a heated hair curling iron or curling wand is there are so many different sizes to choose from. You can get hair curlers with small, medium, and large rods. 

Unlike the other hair curling methods, you cannot use a curling iron while your hair is wet; hair must be completely dry before using. When your hair is dry, apply the hair protectant spray and start sectioning your hair. 

When the hair curler has heated up to your desired heat, depending on your type of hair, you can now use it. Use small to medium strands of hair and wrap it around the rod. Hold the hair there for a few seconds before untwisting it from the rod. 

This is where trial and error will come into play. You may need to test how many seconds your hair will have to be on the curler to create your desired look. Once you remove the hair from the curler and are satisfied with the curl you have created, spray it with a holding spray and continue on the next strand of hair.

There are also hair wavers for the beach wave look. They are like hair curlers but have three prongs that curl your hair. You do not need to wrap the hair around the prongs, but move the hair waver every few seconds until you reach the bottom.

You can even achieve curls with a flat iron. This takes a bit of trial and error, but hair tutorial videos are available to assist. 

What Products Should Be Used After Curling Your Hair?

For all hair curling methods, whether by avoiding heat or embracing it, it is important to have the right products to help your curls hold. 

As mentioned previously, applying good hairspray to your finished style is essential. If you wash your hair before curling it, avoid products that aim to assist with straight hair. 

Once completed, you should also have an anti-frizz serum to put on the curls. If, after styling, you realize your curls are too tight, you can loosen them. 

You can do this by combing it out. Avoid using a brush to attempt to loosen up the curls. A brush is made for straight hair as it focuses on individual strands of hair and can ruin your curls. 

Curl It, Baby

Curls are not out of the question if you were born with naturally straight hair. Not all straight hair is the same, so not all hair will respond the same, even if using the same hair curling routine. Some of these suggested techniques won’t work for you, but others will. 

Keep experimenting until you find the best way to get your specific straight hair to become the curls you envisioned. 

At Better Not Younger, we want to offer tools and resources to have you feeling good, inside and out. So, curl it baby! 


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Why Do Some People Have Curly Hair and Others Straight? | JSTOR Daily

The biology and genetics of curly hair - Westgate - 2017 - Experimental Dermatology | Wiley Online Library