What it looks like when you curl your hair without heat

Three attempts later, I’d joined the Poodle Club of America and I was their queen


We all want what we can’t have. As someone with pin-straight hair, I decided to try out a few overnight, no-heat curling methods to liven up my lifestyle a little. In all honesty, I just want to know how it feels to put your hair in a ponytail without it immediately slipping out.

I referred to three different no-heat curling methods from various YouTube channels and attempted to emulate them as closely as possible on damp hair from my nightly shower before sleeping on them each night.

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My natural hair, split ends and all

Boxer Braid

I’d like to think I know my way around a french braid, so I decided to start off fairly easy by throwing my hair into a boxer braid as per the instructions on this YouTube video. It calls for two french braids on each side of your head that converge into one.

Here’s my best attempt at a boxer braid. It’s a little off-kilter but it does the trick.

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Below is the immediate result after taking the braid out in the morning. I’m a fan of a more casual, tousled look, so I was pretty happy with the wavy results.

But in all honesty, I’ve tried this before and just kept the two braids separate instead of morphing them together into one, and I like that option better because it gives more texture.

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9:30AM

Later on my hair started to look what my mom would call “ratty,” but overall it was a pretty good result.

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5:34PM

Headband curls

I tried these headband curls next.

Headband curls require that you spiral pieces of hair around an elastic headband and secure them with bobby pins.

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Next morning, I realized that I must have spiraled the right side tighter than the left, because it was a good 2-3 inches shorter.

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9:43AM

After some finger combing and some patience, it started to even out. But I thought the curls still looked spazzy as hell.

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10:59AM

But by the end of the day my hair was looking a little more relaxed and beachy, which was pretty chill.

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9:29PM

Pin curls

I decided that it was time for a challenge, so I tried out pin curls based on what I learned in this video.

“Wrap it, roll it, pin it,” she said. “It’ll be easy,” she implied.

I got most of the front of my head wrapped, rolled, and pinned, but I quickly ran out of arm strength and fucks to give.

Luckily I was visiting my parents this weekend, so I enlisted my dear mother’s help for the back and she begrudgingly obliged.

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This is what I call “close enough”

Expecting a sleepless night enduring the pain of bobby pins digging into my scalp, I tied a bandana over my pin curls to try and hold ’em in.

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*strategic hand placement to cover the pimple on my cheek*

The next morning I carefully began to remove the bobby pins. As more and more pins came out, I began to realize the situation was pretty dire. The curls were, um, aggressive.

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8:50AM

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The moment of regret.

I thought brushing them might help. It didn’t.

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8:55AM

As a last-ditch effort to preserve them until they calmed down, I stuck them into a hideous ponytail.

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9:00AM

Four hours and one beach walk later, the curls had sort of settled down but I still kind of looked like Robert Plant.

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12:56PM

Luckily I spent the rest of the day at home. By the end of the day, the curls had wilted a bit but still put up a damn good fight. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed by these.

I think my mistake was doing lots of small pin curls instead of a few larger ones with bigger sections of hair. Regardless, I won’t be doing these again.

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7:08PM

After the pin curl fiasco, I decided that my hair had been ravaged enough and it was time to throw in the towel. If I were to try any of these again it would probably be the boxer braid, but to be honest I’m starting to really appreciate my straight hair.

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