How to style your hair without using heat this winter

There’s nothing worse than dry, damaged hair.

Much like our skin, our hair is more likely to become dry and frizzy in the colder months thanks to the drop in temperature and dry air coming from central heating. 

Using heat tools on top of that can make things even worse – so it’s no surprise that more people are looking to style their hair with no heat in a bid to mitigate some of the damage. 

But how do you get the perfect do with no heat? Here, experts share their know how…

How to straighten your hair without heat

While it’s easier to curl hair than to straighten it without heat, it’s not impossible.

You just need a microfibre towel, a fine-tooth comb, bobby pins and a silk scarf or bonnet. 

‘Use a microfibre towel to absorb as much water as possible without rubbing or squeezing the hair,’ says Lynn. 

‘Then, use a smoothing product and comb your hair with a fine-tooth comb to get it as smooth as possible. 

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‘Working in sections, hold your hair taut and bring it to the opposite side of your hair to where it usually falls. Pin it tightly to the side of your head, and repeat. 

‘Secure your hair with a silk scarf or bonnet to keep it smooth and frizz-free and leave it ideally overnight or for at least a few hours. 

‘When it’s dry, carefully take down each section, and use a little hair oil and hairspray to tame any flyaways.’

Get a wash-and-go haircut

If you’re not too fussed about styling your hair, Lynn recommends getting a wash-and-go haircut which will look great even after air drying.

‘The best wash-and-go style will depend on your hair,’ she says, ‘so speak to your hairdresser to work out what will be best for you.’

For long, thick hair, Lynn recommends adding some long layers: ‘this will remove some of the weight and bulk to speed up drying time and use less heat.’

For shorter hair, she suggests trying a choppy bob for an ‘easily managed style that can be achieved without drying at all, just add a little texturising spray to damp hair.’

For thinner hair, she says a blunt bob might be better – ‘this will add the illusion of thickness, without much effort needed to style it,’ she says. 

And if you have a natural wave, try a long bob.

‘Scrunch your hair with a little bit of mousse while damp and it can air dry or blast the roots with cool air from the hair dryer for volume without heat,’ she says. 

How to curl your hair without heat

If you know the pain of sleeping in rollers, we understand why you might be adverse to heatless curling techniques. 

However, stylist Lynn Chambers, from ClipHair, recommends using an old pair of tights to get the perfect heatless waves, 

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‘While your hair is damp but not too wet, drape a pair of tights on your head like a headband and secure it at the top with a clip,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

‘Divide your hair into two sections on both sides of your head, four sections in total. 

‘Then, French braid the tights into your hair, using each leg of the tights as the third section. 

‘Secure with a scrunchie, and sleep on it.’

Undo the braids when you wake up and voila, you have the perfect wavy hair – no curlers necessary.

How to protect your hair when styling with heat

Can’t part with your straighteners? Lynn shares how to minimise heat damage as much as possible.

  • Invest in a good heat protectant
  • Use the ‘one and done’ approach when styling your hair – just do one pass over each section of hair instead of going over the same bit again and again
  • Get regular trims (every six to eight weeks) to keep the split ends in check and stop the damage travelling all the way up the strands of hair
  • Wash your hair less
  • Combat the dryness with a high-quality conditioner
  • Use a hydrating hair mask once a week
  • Avoid products with drying chemicals like alcohol denat, benzyl alcohol and ethanol
  • Look for hydrating ingredients like cetyl, cetearyl, stearyl and lauryl alcohols, which come from vegetable oils like coconut oil

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