Heatless techniques for stretching and curling hair

Curl hair

Heat styling tools, such as flat irons and curling irons, can be damaging to your hair if used incorrectly or in excess. Fortunately, there are several heatless techniques for stretching and curling your hair that are equally effective and far less damaging to your hair.

In this article, we’ll go over these techniques and give you some pointers on how to achieve the looks you want without using heat.

Stretching Methods

Stretching techniques can help you elongate your curls and reduce shrinkage if you have curly or kinky hair. You can try the following heatless techniques which even work with real hair extensions.


Banding involves stretching your hair with small, elastic bands. Divide your hair into small sections and wrap an elastic band around the root of each section to band it. Then, a few inches down the section, add another elastic band, and repeat until you reach the end of the hair. Remove the bands in the morning to reveal stretched hair after leaving them in overnight.


Twist-outs are a popular heatless stretching technique for curly hair. To make a twist-out, divide your hair into small sections and tightly twist each section. Twists should be left in overnight and unravelled in the morning for stretched, defined curls.

Knots of Bantu

Another heatless technique for stretching curly hair is bantu knots. Divide your hair into small sections and tightly twist each section to make Bantu knots. Wrap the twist around itself to form a knot, and secure with a small hair tie or bobby pin. For stretched, defined curls, leave the knots in overnight and unravel them in the morning.

Curlformers and Flexi-Rods

Curlformers and flexi-rods are both excellent heatless options for achieving curly or wavy hair. Flexible rods that can be twisted and wrapped around sections of hair to create curls are known as flexi-rods. Curlformers are similar to rollers, but they do not need to be heated. Check out some options available in various sizes online, and enjoy creating tight or loose curls.

Curling Methods

There are also heatless techniques available if you prefer a more defined curl.

Curls on the pins

Pin curls are a tried-and-true heatless curling technique. Begin with clean, damp hair and divide it into small sections to create pin curls. Roll each section tightly and pin it in place with a bobby pin. For defined curls, leave the pins in overnight and remove them in the morning.

Straw Curls

Straw curls are a one-of-a-kind and enjoyable heatless technique for creating tight, defined curls. You’ll need a pack of straws and some bobby pins to make straw curls. Begin by sectioning your hair into small sections and tightly wrapping each section around a straw. Leave the straw in place overnight with bobby pins. In the morning, remove the straws for tight, defined curls.

Coils for the Fingers

Finger coils are yet another heatless method for achieving defined curls. Begin with clean, damp hair and a styling product to create finger coils. Wrap a small section of hair around your finger tightly, working your way down to the end of the hair. Hold the coil for a few seconds before releasing it. Repeat this process all over your head, then let your hair dry completely. When the coils are dry, gently separate them to reveal defined curls.

Conclusion: Heatless techniques for curling hair

Finally, there are many safe and effective heatless techniques for stretching and curling your hair. There are numerous options available depending on your hair type and desired style, ranging from banding to flexi-rods to pin curls. Experiment with different techniques and products to see what works best for you, and remember to prioritise your hair’s health by avoiding overheating styling. You can achieve the same gorgeous curls and stretched styles without damaging your hair with these heatless techniques.

Remember to always begin with clean, moisturised hair before attempting any of these techniques. To hold the shape of your curls or stretch your hair without using heat, use a leave-in conditioner or styling product. Check out some natural hair care brands like Olaplex to avoid frizz, be patient and allow your hair to completely dry before removing any twists or knots.

If you’re not sure which technique to try, consult with a hairstylist or do some online research. There are numerous tutorials and articles that can walk you through the process step by step.

Further reading: How to choose hair extension that are right for you.

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