How to tame curly hair without heat

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This is something I’ve been meaning to share for a while because god only knows how much time this would’ve saved 14 year old me who used to sit and straighten out her curls for 3 hours a day… Not that this is straight or even wavy, but it loosens the curls to make them more manageable and adaptable.

I generally aim for Rita Hayworth curls, but it ends up looking a bit more beachy, which I’ve grown to like.

Note: My hair is naturally Victorian Child Ringlets, not an afro, not wavy, but I think this will make a difference to most curly grrls.

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Let’s jump straight in, first wash your hair with quite a deep condition to make it glossier (I used the Garnier Fructis shampoo & conditioner I mentioned recently although just ran out, so recommendations are welcome) then wrap it up in a towel for a while to soak up most of the excess water.

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Pat-dry your hair a little bit, don’t be too rough or it can get quite frizzy.

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Brush through the knots. I quite like brushing mine without a parting at the moment, I feel it looks very Cindy Crawford. Otherwise do a parting, although this may mean you could lose volume on the top of your head and you run the risk of looking like a pine tree.

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Once brushed, twist it all together at the crown of your head and position it downwards with a clip. I find this keeps more volume at the top too.

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Leave it for a few hours, I tend to work, eat, do yoga, whatever while it dries. Then when it feels mostly dry on top take it down.

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And brush through again!

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Try and lift the hair as you brush the top of the head to keep some body in it then leave for another hour or so in the same clip as before.

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I like this look anyway for something more formal but my hair flies out all over the place when it’s dry!

Once you feel like it’s dry enough, take it down and brush through with your fingers, again lifting the hair from the roots. I don’t know about you but I’ve heard a lot of similar cases with curly hair people that your hair doesn’t need washing so regularly?

I wash my hair every Tuesday and Friday and it’s more than enough for me, and since understanding what works forΒ my hair rather than following advice on everyone else’s, my hair is so much healthier for it.

I also avoid using heat but if your heater is on anyway you can speed up this process of course by sitting next to it. I personally hate using hairdryers as it turns me into Hair Bear, so I find a heater is much less forceful.

This photo below is old and unflattering but shows my natural curls quite well (I think I even tried taming them there too actually).


As I said, it’s not like it’s poker straight or anything, but it is significantly less curly than my natural hair and much easier to play with since there’s less ringlets going on at the top. I’m actually growing my hair at the moment so not focusing on much shape being in it, if you’re thinking it looks scruffy.

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Since I can leave it for a few days, I tend to brush it again before going to bed and then wear it in a bun right at the top of my head overnight (it’s a really sexy look, I can assure you). This means the frizz from rolling around on your pillow is moreΒ under the hair rather than on the top layer and it keeps some volume there for the next day too.

The bun helps to encourage the curls to combine, so usually by the third day it looks much more glossy and Veronica Lake-esque than in this photo above. Also twisting your hair together when worn down can have a similar effect if it’s not too humid.

I don’t know, this is just what works for me. No doubt this will be easily adaptable for those of you who fancy trying something different from your natural curls. I completely understand how stressful it is to try and style it so let me know if you give this a whirl on your curls!


16 thoughts on “How to tame curly hair without heat

  1. Yelena says:

    My hair texture is exactly like yours! It’s slightly longer though, and it gets super frizzy and puffy once it dries.
    I’ve been straightening the front part then letting my curls take place at the back, but it is so tiring and time-consuming, not to mention harmful!
    I’m gonna try out a few of your tips! πŸ™‚


      • Yelena says:

        It’s relatively easy to manage! Normally I just tie my hair up in a high bun when I’m home πŸ™‚
        I have really small baby curls at the front so I normally just use a flat iron to straighten them out in the morning, I’m pretty conscious about that. :/


      • itstartedinoxford says:

        Me too! Ha. I find my hair being in my face so frustrating, especially when it doesn’t stay put! I have these little baby curls too now my hair is getting thicker (some my hair fell out towards the end of last year where I was anemic so now it’s growing back there’s loads of whispy bits that can’t be tamed! Not that I’m complaining…)


      • Yelena says:

        Yes!! I Almost always tie up my hair! It’s so annoying when it falls down while eating it writing.
        Oh noo, I’m glad you’re better now! *hugs*
        Soon you’ll be having the same problem I do with so much baby hair. πŸ˜‚


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