How to Make Your Hair Curly Naturally: See 12 Ways to Get Curls Without Heat

Everyone has their hair type and texture. Your hair may be straight, wavy, or curly. With either of these types, it could also be natural or relaxed. While straight, sleek hair could be very easy to manage, you often find people with this hair type looking for ways to make their hair curly naturally.

You may find yourself always going the way of heat tools like a curling iron, but when you consider the safety of your hair, heat tools are not always a good idea. There are several other ways to get your straight hair curly naturally.

So, I have compiled a list of ways you can make your straight hair curly without using heat. Wonderfully, the materials required are inexpensive and are most likely things you have lying somewhere in the house.

1. Use Hair Rollers

  • You can either use plastic or foam rollers to achieve curls
  • Also, work with rollers in the size of the curls you want to get
  • Start with getting your hair clean. Stop drying your hair when it’s about 60-70% dry
  • Afterward, divide your hair into small sections and begin to roll
  • Tightly or loosely wrap your hair around the rollers (as you desire) and secure it with a pin to keep the hair from rolling off
  • You can apply hair mousse to give the curls more hold
  • Allow your hair to dry naturally so it comes out curly
  • When you’re sure it’s dry, take out the rollers and style as you like

2. Rag Curlers

  • Rag curlers are an improvisation for hair rollers
  • Get an old shirt and cut it into thin pieces but thick enough to make knots
  • Then, proceed to wash your hair and dry it until it is only damp
  • Afterward, divide your hair into a few sections. Remember that the size of each section determines how tight or lose the curls will be
  • Take one section at a time and apply a curl-enhancing product, especially if you have very thin hair
  • Beginning from the end of your hair, wrap the hair around the rag until you get to the root, then, tie the rag into a knot
  • Do this for all other sections and leave to dry
  • This method is best done overnight. This way your hair has enough time to dry and the rags can work effectively
  • In the morning, apply hairspray and other styling products, then, style your curls

3. Use Braids to Make Your Hair Curly Naturally

Braids are great for getting natural curls on straight hair and enhancing curls on wavy or not-so-curly hair. Cornrows do this perfectly and keep your hair from tangles of making box braids.

  • Work with clean, wet hair. That means you should wash your hair and towel dry until it is damp
  • For tighter curls, make smaller braids and for loose curls, make bigger braids
  • Divide your hair into 3-5 sections while it is still wet and braid to the back
  • Thereafter, leave your hair to air dry before you take out the braids
  • Then, apply hair gel or mousse to give the curls more hold and style

4. Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are the naturalista’s curl magic. They help to enhance curls and bring new curls into straight hair.

  • Wash your hair and blot out the excess water with a clean towel
  • Divide your hair into sections and apply styling gel into each section
  • Then, hold the roots and wrap the ends around your hair around itself
  • Secure it at the base with a pin to keep the hair from unwrapping.
  • Thereafter, leave the hair to dry (preferably overnight)
  • In the morning, remove the pins and unwrap your hair to unveil bouncy curls
  • Treat your new curls to products that will add shine and moisture

SEE: How to Get Natural Hair Straight: Methods That Work Without Heat or Relaxer

5. Twist Outs

If your hair is not so long to get Bantu knots, you can try twist outs for even firmer curls.

  • Make sure you’re working with clean, wet hair
  • Before you make twist outs, you should carefully and properly detangle your hair to remove knots
  • Afterward, you can begin to twist. Take a small section of your hair, work styling gel into it before you twist
  • Repeat this for each section and leave your hair to dry properly before you untwist your hair
  • Before you untwist your hair, apply oil to your hands
  • After unraveling, separate the curls to give your hair more volume

6. Perm Rods

  • Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner
  • Detangle properly with a detangling brush
  • Then, divide your hair into sections and apply a curl cream
  • Work with one section at a time. Take the perm rods and wrap each section of hair firmly
  • Afterward, wrap a silk headscarf over your head and allow your hair to dry
  • When you’re sure it’s completely dry, remove the rods and unravel the new curls
  • You can fluff them to add volume
  • Apply oil to replenish moisture and add shine

7. Straw Curls for Naturally Curly Hair

  • Wash your hair and leave it damp for straw setting
  • Apply leave-in conditioner and detangle your hair of knots
  • Afterward, apply setting lotion and comb your hair together
  • Take small sections of your hair and wrap them individually around the straws and secure them with bobby pins
  • Allow your hair to dry under a dryer in a cool setting
  • When you’re sure it’s dried, remove the pins and unravel small tight curls
  • Make sure you replenish moisture and add shine with a hair oil

SEE: How to Detangle Natural Hair Effectively [Step-By-Step Guide]

8. Wash ‘n’ Go

  • Wash your hair with shampoo and make sure you thoroughly rinse out the lather when using this method
  • Whilst your hair is still wet, part it into smaller sections and detangle properly to get knots-free hair
  • Thereafter, apply hair moisturizer and styling gel to give curls more hold
  • Allow your hair to dry before you style it

9. Roll ‘n’ Pin

This method uses bobby pins to make small, tight curls. Like the methods mentioned earlier, you should do this on clean, damp hair.

  • After washing your hair, take a small section of your hair and wrap it in a circle
  • Make sure you’re wrapping your hair close to your head
  • Afterward, secure it with a pin
  • Repeat this until you have covered all areas of your head
  • Wrap a silk headscarf over your head and leave it to dry overnight
  • By morning, you have soft, bouncy curls
  • Apply moisturizing hair oil to keep your curls moisturized and shiny

10. Sea Salt Spray

Sea salt sprays are known for adding texture to limp hair. They are also good for scrunching your hair to make it naturally curly. This method is good for getting short hair curly naturally without the pressure of heat tools.

  • After washing your hair and removing excess water, detangle it
  • Then, spritz the sea salt spray all over your hair
  • Use your fingers to scrunch your hair upwards gently
  • Leave it to air-dry
  • Apply oil to your hair and style as you like

SEE: How to Make Curls Last Longer: Discover the Secrets to Ever-Bouncy Curls

11. Try the Shingling Method

  • Wash your hair to remove oil and dirt
  • Remove the excess water with a towel before you apply a leave-in conditioner to moisturize and aid in detangling
  • Thereafter, take small sections of your hair and apply a curling cream to them
  • While you work the cream into your hair, you can roll each section around your finger for well-defined curls
  • Then, leave your hair to air dry
  • When you are sure your hair is well dried, use a rattail or afro pick comb to give your hair a lift and add volume
  • Afterward, apply moisturizing hair oil to add shine and moisture

12. Use a Curl Sponge for Naturally Curly Hair

  • Curl sponges work best for very short hair that you need to get curly naturally. It could be energy and time-consuming, but it gives you well-defined curls eventually.
  • Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner to remove dirt and oil
  • Afterward, apply a leave-in conditioner and moisturizing hair oil to soften and moisturize your hair
  • Apply curl activator or styling gel all over your hair
  • Thereafter, begin to rub the curl sponge all over your hair. Do this in a uniform circular motion. Going back and forth can unravel the curls you already formed
  • This may take some time but it’s worth the stress
  • Stop when you’re sure you have well-defined curls

SEE: Best Hair Mask for Hair Growth

Tips to Help Keep Your Hair Naturally Curly

  • Comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb
  • Invest in curl enhancing products
  • Never downplay conditioning your hair to keep curls hydrated
  • Protect your curls before going to bed
  • Do not wash your hair too frequently
  • Alternate wet poo with dry shampoo
  • Always oil your hair when it is wet
  • Get frequent trims to get rid of split ends which can ruin your curls
  • If you must use heat, use it in a cool setting
  • Repeat the curling process after some weeks


Must you get a perm to make your hair naturally curly?

Perms are not the only options to make your hair curly naturally. Rag curlers, foam curlers, and scrunchies can also help you get curly hair naturally. Moreover, perms use chemicals that can damage your hair. These options are a way to escape the chemicals and potential damage.

Can you get straight hair to become naturally permanently curly?

Hair types are permanent characteristics. You can only change your hair type temporarily. After getting your straight hair curly, when new hairs begin to grow or when the new curls fall off, your hair will go back to being straight. To keep your hair permanently curly, you have to make a routine of curling it.

Can brushing wet hair damage your hair?

Brushing wet hair continuously can damage your hair. Wet hair is naturally fragile and prone to breakage. The pressure of brushing makes your hair break easily. If you’ll brush your hair when it’s wet, you should apply a leave-in conditioner and use a detangling brush.


There are so many ways to get your straight hair curly naturally without taking it through heat or causing any damage. Lying around your house, in drawers, and everywhere are materials that can help you get tight or loose curls.

Most importantly, when you want to get your straight or wavy hair curly, pick a method that works for your hair length and texture. Nothing produces the best results more than what works for you.

Thanks for reading.

Africana Fashion has more related hair care articles to help keep your hair looking healthy and beautiful.