How to do Heatless Sock Curls

There's a hair hack going around social media that preserves the health of your hair while creating curls without the need for hot tools. We’re talking about the viral sock curl trend — a heatless curling method for perfect no-heat curls using only a pair of socks. And the best part? No hair textures are off-limits when it comes to sock curls, you can even do them on curly hair to help define your curl pattern. If you’re looking for an easy way to style your hair while giving it a break from split ends and heat damage, you’re in the right place. We’re telling you how to curl hair with socks ahead.

You'll Need Some Long Socks

The sock curl tutorial has circulated extensively on social media as of late, but this budget-friendly hair styling technique isn’t new to the hair world. Using socks or similar strips of recycled fabric for curling has been around since the 1950s, repurposing everything from chopsticks to bathrobe ties. Today’s version uses socks so the first step is to assemble the right supplies for this DIY hack. The primary ingredient for sock curls is, unsurprisingly, a pair of clean socks. Sock curls can be achieved on any hair texture and length (the longer your hair, the longer sock you'll need. Thick socks will achieve large, bouncy waves, whereas thinner socks or stockings will create thinner, more '90s-style curls. You may need several socks to style your whole head of hair; it just depends on your own texture and thickness—more hair equals more socks. Opt for tube-like socks for optimal results. These should be made of a soft material to prevent any discomfort while sleeping or going about your daily routine.You'll also need a water spray bottle to dampen your hair before styling. This ensures that your hair is pliable and ready to hold the curls. Having a few hair ties or clips on hand will help secure the sock curls in place as you sleep or go about your day.

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Preparing Your Hair

The process of how to do sock curls begins with preparing your strands. Start by thoroughly washing and conditioning your hair with products formulated for your hair type. Clean, hydrated hair provides a smooth canvas for the curls to form and helps them hold their shape for a longer period of time. Start with semi-damp, detangled hair. If you are starting on dry hair, mist your strands with a little water before. Apply a small amount of a lightweight styling product, such as a leave-in conditioner, mousse or curl-enhancing cream to enhance the curling process. You can also incorporate a volumizing spray for added definition. Make sure to distribute the product evenly to achieve consistent curls throughout your hair. This will help your hair dry in uniform waves.

Rolling Techniques

Ready to learn how to curl hair with socks? There are a few methods you can use to get sock curls, but the basic gist is to divide your hair into sections and roll each section around a sock, securing it in place as you go. Starting with slightly damp hair, divide it into sections. If you’re using two socks, make two sections; for four socks, make four, and so on. Clip one sock to the top of one section (toe-side up) or just hold it in place and begin wrapping your hair around it. Be sure to keep the wrap tight. Once you get to the bottom of the sock, flip the ankle of the sock up to cover your wrapped hair and secure it with a hair tie, scrunchie or claw clip. Repeat on the other side, or repeat three more times if you are using four socks. 

Another way to achieve the sock curl look is to cross a strand of hair from in front of the sock over a strand from behind as you wrap it around the fabric. This should look like a bunch of crisscrosses of Xs down the sock. You don’t have to pull the ankle of the sock over the wrapped hair at the end with this method. Instead, just wrap your scrunchie or hair tie around it at the bottom. If your hair is shoulder length or above, you can use the same methods, but skip curling the bottom layers that are shorter and more difficult to wrap. The top layer will fall over it and cover any straighter pieces. Don’t clip the sock too far back on your head, and wrap your hair tightly around the sock for the best results. You can sleep with the socks in, and in the morning when you pull the socks out of your hair, you’ll be left with curls and waves that you’ll fluff with your fingers. Experiment with different rolling techniques to achieve various curl sizes and textures. Whether you're after loose beachy waves or tight ringlets, mastering the art of sock curls opens up a world of DIY heatless styling possibilities.

Curly hair how to sock curls

Unveiling the Curls

You can wrap your hair before bed and sleep on your socks for an easy overnight style, or wrap it in the morning and wear it all day before a night out. If you have very thick hair, you may need to let it dry longer in the morning, or wrap it earlier in the evening so it can set longer. As long as your hair has plenty of time to air dry and curl, when you start the style is up to you. Once your hair is dry (around 4-6 hours depending on your hair type) it’s time to unwrap and style your heatless sock curls. Be sure your hair is fully dry before removing the socks, then do so gently. When you do take them out, pull the sock upwards so the curls can naturally slide out. Run your fingers through the curls to break them up for bouncy, natural waves and curls. Set your look with a mist of your favorite hairspray, and shake your head a bit to loosen them up even more. And voila! Cool-girl curls without heat damage.

Final Thoughts

The sock curl trend is the latest beauty hack to go viral on Tik Tok, and for good reason. The heatless curling method preserves the health of your hair while creating cool-girl curls without the need for hot tools. It’s easy to DIY and budget friendly- all you need is a pair of socks and a few hair ties. No hair textures are off-limits when it comes to sock curls, you can even do them on naturally curly hair for extra volume and more defined curls. Follow our tutorial above and use only the highest quality wave-enhancing products for your sock curls, like the ones from Davines. All our formulas are free of harmful toxins, use many natural ingredients, and are made with renewable energy and packaging that minimizes the environmental impact. Our hair care isn’t just good for your hair, it’s good for the planet. Have questions about your hair? Book an appointment with a stylist near you for an assessment and custom treatment plan.

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor

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