It’s time to unplug, and we’re not talking about your devices. Put down your curling iron and try this technique for imperfect waves.
A trick for laid-back waves, no curling iron required
PREP AND PRIME
A great place to start a no-heat style: in the shower, when your hair is dripping wet, says celebrity hairstylist Bridget Brager. Wet hair is more easily manipulated, and clean hair holds waves longer. After you shampoo, apply conditioner, then smooth snarls with a wide-tooth comb, such as the Hair Edit Detangling Shower Comb ($5; ulta .com). To minimize breakage, comb the ends first, inching up your strands until you’re starting from the roots, Brager says. Grab a microfiber towel or an old cotton T-shirt— both are gentler than a terry cloth towel and will absorb more moisture. Scrunch hair instead of rubbing. Spritz on a heat protectant, like Herbal Essences Argan Oil & Aloe Mist ($6; at drugstores), then roughly blow-dry. If you have fine hair, boost volume by flipping strands back and forth at the roots while drying. If you have a thick, curly texture, Brager suggests not touching your hair too much, so you can reduce flyaways.
DO THE TWIST
When your hair is about 75 percent dry, part it down the middle and separate it into two sections, as if you were making pigtails. Reach for a bathrobe belt, a silk scarf, or even a tube sock, though a belt or scarf works better on longer hair. The thicker the fabric, the looser the waves. Drape the belt or scarf over your head and secure with a clip (see step A, left). Try Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Makeup & Wave Setting Clips ($18 for 6; dermstore.com). Starting on one side, wrap about one-inch sections of hair— smaller for tighter waves, larger for looser ones— around the fabric (step B). Hold on to wrapped pieces while you grab the next one, working your way down your head (step C). Don’t stress if it’s a little messy and loose—haphazardness will result in perfectly imperfect waves. Once all your hair on that side is wrapped, secure ends with a scrunchie, then repeat on the other side. Kitsch Satin Sleep Scrunchies ($8 for 5; mykitsch.com) are soft on delicate ends and absorb moisture.
TOUSLE IT OUT
Sleep with the twists overnight and undo them in the morning when hair is dry. To speed up the process, you can blow-dry your hair with a diffuser while it’s still wrapped, Brager says. If your hair doesn’t hold a curl well, the longer the twists are in, the better. Run your fingers through strands to break up the pieces—this will give you a more lived-in texture, instead of the prom night curls you may see immediately upon undoing. If the spirals are still too tight, loosen them with a boarbristle brush. Let any damp pieces air-dry. For grit and hold, add a shot of texturizer, like Sachajuan Ocean Mist ($31; amazon.com).