Okay so admittedly learning about no heat sock curls won’t necessarily move your excitement needle nearly as much as finding out you won a trip to Disneyland.
Plus this technique isn’t exactly news either.
Still the results are pretty darn impressive making this something you should know how to do.
Besides any day you can produce drop dead gorgeous looking hair without heat is a day to celebrate, right?
Fact is sock curls are sometimes better than those you can get with a curling iron. <gasp> Although this article we wrote covering how to use a curling iron for beginners is loaded with helpful tips for getting curls to show off with that tool too.
Socks are also that much better if you are guilty of making any of the more common curling iron mistakes we wrote about. These boo boos are great for making your hair miserable too.
It’s enough to make you want to kiss that trusty hot styling tool good-bye. Or at least relegate it to a dark corner some place.
Quick Section Navigation
- Sock Curls Rules of the Road
- VIDEO: Ditch the Curling Iron and Save Your Hair
- Use Product To Rev Things Up Some
- VIDEO: Another Sock Curls Tutorial
- VIDEO: More Heatless Curling Your Hair With Socks
- VIDEO: How To Do Sock Curls: First Timer’s Perspective
- FAQ: Tips for Easy No Heat Sock Curls
Now to get that kind of definition, volume and lasting curl it helps to know the more critical…
Sock Curls Rules of the Road
Rules? Okay look at these more as good to know not iron clad must dos.
- Most will need four to six old socks. This could be the perfect way to make use of those socks without partners hanging around your laundry room.
- How many socks you use depends on how thick your hair is. I’ve seen some say this hack doesn’t work if you have thick hair. Correction. It doesn’t work if you don’t divide your thicker hair into enough sections.
- Also how many socks you use depends on how tight or loose of a curl you want as the amount of hair tied down with each will determine the shape of the curl. After doing this a few times you’ll have a good idea of how much hair to use with each sock to get the results you are after.
- Use longer socks for longer hair because you need enough sock to wrap your hair around. If you’ve got short locks you might pick up a pack of baby socks at Target to use.
- Another point that may not be obvious – thinner socks work better than like big, fat, wool socks.
Oh but if you prefer sock bun curls you can always check out what we wrote about those here.
Want another no heat option? If so check out this straw curls tutorial that show exactly how to get tight curls without heat with straws.
Alright already. It’s time to
Ditch the Curling Iron and Save Your Hair
In a mere three minutes this video clearly demonstrates the no heat curl hack in easy-to-follow step-by-step fashion.
Steal This Step By Step Plan
Step 1) Starting with clean, towel dried-to-damp hair is best. Slight dampness will allow your hair to dry when all wrapped up which sets the curl. If need be spritz already dry hair to that precise point of moistness.
Just to repeat since it’s important, the idea here is for your hair to be only damp enough to dry over night while you sleep. That what causes the curls to set. If it’s not dry when taking out the sock the curl will fail.
Step 2) Brush out your hair. You want to rid your strands of any tangles plus this will just make them easier to work with.
Step 3) Divide your hair into at least four sections or into a number equal to however many socks you are going to use. With four it would be center part, and then a front and back section on each side.
If needed you can section this further as you grab hair to wrap around each sock. Any sectioning you do doesn’t have to be anywhere near perfect. Close counts.
Step 4) Wrap each section of hair in its own sock coiling from the middle of each so you have ends left exposed to tie when done.
Roll each sock right up tight against your scalp. You want to get it as tight to your head as comfortably possible. This will get as much of the hair in that strand to curl.
Yes, you can stop lower down the strand. That just means the curls will start farther down which can leave the hair near the scalp looking a bit flat.
Step 5) Tie the ends of the sock into a knot. Just make sure it’s tight enough to make it through the night should your head toss and turn on the pillow. Better to overtighten than wake up disappointed.
You might alternate wrapping the hair forward and backwards around the sock to create a bit of variation in the curl pattern that develops.
However you do it, you’ll end up with a headful of knotted socks with hair wrapped around each.
If need be mist the wrapped up hair with a bit more water to dampen just a little more. But do NOT over wet it.
This bedtime prep should take no more than 6 or 7 minutes, ten tops, even if you’re super slow.
Nothing to do beyond that since the styling magic happens while you sleep. Awesome!
Best of all curls like this won’t harm your strands because there’s no heat. Well, doh!
So go ahead and sleep on it. Literally.
The next morning…
Step 6) When you wake up gently take the socks out (the order you do this doesn’t matter).
You’ll be left with the most amazing curls.
Voluptuous, wall-to-wall curls.
Step 7) Once all the socks are out, rake the coils with your fingers to break them up. And yes, it’s to be expected for the curls to be tighter at the ends.
Step 8) After you are satisfied with how loose or tight the tendrils are you might hit them with some flexible hold hair spray. Not a lot. But maybe some. Again let experience be your guide.
See? This is super simple and easy to do. Even better it’s a style that gives off a decidedly my-hair-just-does-this-on-its-own kind of vibe. Like this:
Use Product To Rev Things Up Some
The right products can effortlessly boost the curls you leave the house with.
For example you may want to shampoo with a volumizing shampoo.
Know too that styling, texturing or volumizing spray applied before rolling your strands into the socks can each produce somewhat different results. Bonus: The styling spray will also help to hold the curl.
You may also try running a tiny amount of your favorite argon, coconut or jojoba oil through those damp strands. This will give you polished curls that are smoother than a slip and slide and softer than a kitten’s tummy.
Or you can do nothing than just roll up your damp hair in the socks.
Oh and as already mentioned, if you find you aren’t getting an entire day out of your sock curls then be sure you do set them with a spritz or two or three of hair spray.
On the other hand you may find them still looking sassy enough for a third day if you take care when sleeping on them.
Another Sock Curls Tutorial
Just discovered this super helpful video.
I was struck by how straight her hair was with not the slightest hint of curl before it was kissed by the socks. But you can see when she’s done it is absolutely loaded with them.
Step 1) Detangle by brushing out and do a middle part with the same amount of hair on each side.
Optional Step: Apply curl enhancing product to get hair curled to the max. She uses OGX Curling Butter. (Amazon link) I’ve also seen others use Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie.
Step 2) Divide your hair into sections.
Step 3) Wrap each section around the sock. Simply put the sock behind your hair and wrap.
The trick here is you want to give each section of hair a twist with each wrap around the sock. So you’re both twisting AND wrapping. Continue doing that as you work your way down the section of hair.
Step 4) Tie off the sock when you reach the ends holding them firmly against the sock so nothing unravels. Tie it a second time to insure it stays tied.
If you sleep on your side you want the socks on the crown of your head (think like a Mohawk of socks) so they’re not uncomfortable to sleep on. If you sleep on your back situate the socks in the back lower on your head so you’re not exactly laying on them.
Tip: She feels somewhat thicker socks are better than thinner. I feel it’s something to experiment with to see what produces the best results with your hair. Thinner socks can mean tighter curls.
Step 5) Quick Fix. If you notice an end has come out, redo it. Applying product can help control the craziness of that one end gone wild.
Step 6) Sleep your hair curly.
Step 7) Unwrap in the morning to reveal your wondrous curls. Now when taking them out start the unwrapping from the top or end closest to your scalp. You want to unwind the sock out of your hair down towards the ends.
Tip: Others find that if you simply pull on the end of the sock it will glide out of your hair.
Step 8) Gently finger rake to loosen up the curls as much or as little as you like. Then flip your hair and do a final curl shake out. Viola! Major curls!
Step 9) Hairspray will insure your new found cascade of curls will last.
Heatless Curling Your Hair With Socks
Four things to know about this approach that may not be the same as others you’ve seen.
Know This: She does this on damp not wet hair.
Know This: She temporarily clips both socks in place using a big claw clip. Once wrapped she removes the clip.
Know This: Her technique is pretty simple. Wrap hair around the sock. Grab more hair. Wrap. Then grab more hair until, like with braiding, there is no more hair to add. Then just wrap the remaining hair around the sock and secure with a hair tie.
Know This: She sleeps with the two wrapped up socks secured with a scrunchie in the back of her head. Most using this no heat method tie the ends of each sock together leaving them with something like a bantu knot.
Of course at some point you have to go about …
Removing The Socks To Reveal Your No Heat Curls
When unwrapping she is relatively careful. But you can see the curls are super defined.
Know This: For some the tighter curls are perfect. Or you can shake out the curls and finger comb them to loosen them up. Maybe finger comb your roots too to tease out some volume. All to make your curls look more natural.
Next day you can always use dry shampoo applied using your fingertips to zhuzh up the roots just to bring back some of the volume into what will be a more lived in look.
How To Do Sock Curls: First Timer’s Perspective
Often YouTube how to videos are perfectly executed step by step masterpieces. With this one YouTuber Courtney learns how to sock curl on the fly. Showing that we all struggle when learning new things.
In fact the first 7 minutes of this video were pretty much a false start. So much so she had to start over. Didn’t include that.
If you care to watch her journey of sock curl discovery the timestamps of what happens where are noted.
This might be especially instructive if you are new or newer to heatless curling with socks and are having struggles. You can see what she figures out as she figures it out. Plus what she does to cure imperfections.
It all starts with precurling prep. In this case that included brushing out the tangles, applying dry shampoo and parting where you normally part your hair.
7:05 Clip the toe end in the middle of your head just past your part. Position it not too far back yet not too close to the front. Or just right.
7:20 Grab a small section of hair wrap around the sock away from the face and then grab more. The process is not unlike braiding.
Tip: Try to keep the sock close to your head so more hair gets around the sock.
9:00 Tie the ends together on the top of your head. Note how she slips the open end of the sock over the whole shebang.
Tip: Remember the more socks you use the tighter curls you’ll end up with.
13:26 Done. All wrapped up.
13:53 Fast forward to the next afternoon. The great unwrapping.
15:55 Tight curls sans socks put on display pre fluff.
16:45 All finger combed and ready to face the world.
17:37 Later that day the curls have relaxed and stretched out some.
Tip: Sometimes a root fluff can help with the frizz.
19:29 Next morning – after pineappling.
Tip: Second day sock curls don’t necessarily respond well to brushing.
FAQ: Tips for Easy No Heat Sock Curls
Here’s some commonly asked questions you may be wondering about too!
Can you do sock curls with wet hair?
You can. Just remember the wetter your hair the longer it takes to dry. And for curls with staying power you want them to be 100% dry.
This is why some feel it works better when you hair is just on the damp side. It not only dries faster but the resulting curls may come out with more definition than if they were 100% dry when wrapped.
Tip: Here’s a different trick to dampen dry hair. Wet your brush and run it through your strands. You may find that dampens things just enough. Or just the least little bit.
Do sock curls work on dry hair?
As seen in the video just above this FAQ section, they clearly work in dry hair.
If you’re not satisfied how they turn you can always spritz dry locks with water just before wrapping.
Or do like she did in that video and use styling products.
What products should you use for sock curls on straight hair
Styling products are 100% optional. But you may find they leave you with curls with better definition and less frizz. Think curling cream, butters or maybe custards. The downside is they can also extend the drying time. Just saying.
Others report good success with a volumizing mousse. (Voluminous and curly – oh my!)
Others still apply a bit of coconut oil to ends that are parched.
How do you do overnight sock curls?
With careful placement so you can sleep. That’s basically how to do overnight sock curls.
It’s kind of a beauty and the beast kind of thing.
The beauty of heatless overnight curls using socks is how quick they are to do and without any risk of heat damage.
The beast is they can be hard to sleep on.
For some the trick for getting sleep is to keep them as close to the top of your head as you can. For others keeping them lower on the back of your head is.
How long do you keep sock curls in?
Eight or nine hours should about do it which why so many do this overnight.
Or to give your hair extra time on the socks you may do them a few hours before bedtime so you end up with maybe 12 hours on the socks.
Do sock curls work on thick hair?
Absolutely. And before you ask most want to know “How many sock do I need?” too.
As you’d expect the how many answer depends on the type of curls you’re going for and how thick your hair is.
More socks usually means more but smaller sections. That will mean tighter curls.
More socks may also be what you want to do if you have thick hair.
So for sure sock curls with thick hair are doable.
Here’s one of the biggest tips for sock curling hair.
It’s one those with a sensitive scalp can appreciate. When wrapping don’t pull them too tight at first so they stress your strands. Not only can that mean an unwanted headache, much like pulling a ponytail too tight it can also mean an unwanted bald spot eventually.
There’s no advantage to doing the socks too tight. Better to have a little slack near the scalp with enough tension so it’s secure. That’s it.
Any other tricks to this sock curl hair method?
Aside from making sure you’re got the sock situated right at the roots, you might spritz with hairspray before wrapping to insure longer lasting curls.
Whether that’s light or strong hold depends on your hair. You’ll want to try different strengths to find out what’s best for your hair.
Let’s Review the Advantages of Heatless Sock Curls One Last Time
There are several advantages that make this hack an obvious no brainer.
The first being easy no heat curls form effortlessly while you sleep so what’s not to like?
Another advantage is this works great with second day hair.
Sure, some may need to spray in some dry shampoo on the roots for a hair revival, but honestly few will be looking at your roots. They’ll be mesmerized by all the totally natural looking curls you’ve got framing your face.
The third advantage is it takes next to no time to take the socks out. So sock curls will give you back your morning or let you treat yourself to a few extra minutes of sleep.
So yeah go ahead. Hit the snooze button a time or two as you will definitely save time in the morning. No rushing around trying to shower, put on your makeup, get dressed and deal with styling your hair.
Final Reminder: As brought up before the size of the sections of hair wrapped determines how tight your curls are. In other words more socks, more sections equals more tightly defined tendrils. Fewer socks, fewer sections of hair results in looser curls or wavier hair instead.
And if you’d like more hacks, tricks and tips like this please follow our curly hair board on Pinterest.