11 Tips, Tricks and Hacks for Getting the Curly Hair of Your Dreams

When it comes to hair types and textures, has there ever been any one desired as much as curls?! We think not. After all, looking back over centuries of hair styling reveals all kinds of tips and tricks for creating the perfect ringlets, waves and curlicues, from cushion curlers to the ubiquitous curling iron.

Time for an update, yes?! Agreed, and that’s why we’ve rounded up all of our best hacks for turning any and all hair types into the gorgeous curls of your dreams. Bonus: none of them require walking around your home with hot pink curlers in your hair. There’s at least one or two on this list that are perfect for you, so read on and get curling!

  1. Use paper towels!
    Use paper towels to do overnight no-heat rag curlsCute Girls Hairstyles

    Yup, paper towels! This household product you’re nearly guaranteed to have already is the perfect tool for curly hair. Bonus? The technique is both no-heat AND an overnight trick. You know how our grandmothers and even older generations would do “rag curls”? This idea is inspired by that classic technique— and doesn’t require you to sacrifice any clothing!
  2. Repurpose a flat iron.
    Woman makes waves with her flatiron.Good Housekeeping

    If you’re anything like us, you haven’t gone for the ultra-flat-super-straight hair look since sometime in the very early 2000’s— and that means your flat iron hasn’t gotten a lot of play. Don’t throw it out, though; repurpose it to make curls! It’s totally possible and really easy. Simply braid and/or twist your hair, gently run a flat iron over the braids/twists, and voila! Loose, casual “beach” waves in under 10 minutes.
  3. Add some tin foil . . .
    Use tin foil and flat iron to curl hairBrittney H

    No, we haven’t bought into any conspiracy theories— just the craziest and coolest way we’ve probably ever seen to achieve our long-awaited curls. If you like the idea of repurposing your flat iron, but don’t have any braiding skill – I’m in your club! – you’ll love this idea. Wrap your hair around your fingers to make a loop, then wrap that in a small piece of tin foil. Pinch each little foil-and-hair packet with the flat iron, then slide off the foil to see your curls!
  4. . . . or just start turning that flat iron.
    Use flat iron as a curling ironliveloveGlam

    Another way to reuse that flat iron? Just flat out use it as a curling iron! All you have to do is wrap your hair and turn the iron the right way to achieve the curls you want. One less tool to clog up the bathroom!
  5. Braid it.
    Sleep in boxer braids to get curly hair@andressaagusmao via Brit + Co

    Don’t have a flat iron? Braiding your hair will still work for you! Just braid whatever area of your hair you’d like to see curl, go to sleep, and wake up with waves. This technique is a great, classic go-to.
  6. Go formal with a curling iron and a ponytail.
    Use a ponytail to help curl hair with a curling ironKayley Melissa

    A braid’s not the only style you can reappropriate to give you glorious curls. A regular old ponytail can help you, too! When you use this trick and combine it with a traditional curling iron, you not only get perfect curls, you get them in only FIVE minutes.
  7. Knot it.
    Twist hair for curls like bantu knots or pin curlsREAL BEAUTY by Cynthia

    “OK,” we can hear some of you saying, “I’m sure these tricks work great for those lucky women born with at least a little curl or wave in her hair, but what about those of us with completely straight locks?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with another natural overnight technique— no heat or chemical perms required. Just twist, coil and pin your hair into tiny buns all over your head, then go to sleep. This technique is similar to both classic Bantu knots or retro pin curls.
  8. Combine some tricks!
    Tie hair into bantu knots and press with flat iron to get curlsRefinery29

    If you find that some of these ideas aren’t working well enough for your particular hair on its own, try combining them! Tying your hair into the Bantu knots and then also applying a flat iron will give you wild curls you’ll love.
  9. Do a “Friar Tuck”.
    Curl hair overnight by tucking into headbandAunie Sauce

    Love the no-heat overnight method but don’t really feel like you have the skill (or the patience) to do pin curls, Bantu knots, tiny buns or rag curls? Fear not! There’s an even easier method that also takes its inspiration from retro tricks: the “Friar Tuck.” (And no, we don’t mean the Robin Hood character.) All you need to is take a stretchy headband and put it around your head, then twist and “tuck” pieces of your hair through, under and around it. Go to sleep, and wake up with gorgeous curls!
  10. “Plop” your hair overnight.
    All of TipHero's favorite hair-curling hacks, tricks and tipsDonata White

    Yes, we said “plop” your hair into curls. We love this easy trick because it a) let’s you use the hair care products you already own and love, and b) does its magic overnight while you sleep! How great is that? All you need to do is “plop” your freshly-washed hair into a clean T-shirt, wrap the T-shirt around your head, and go to sleep. You’ll wake up with frizz-free, gorgeous curls.
  11. Maintain your curls with “pineappling.”
    Style hair like a pineapple to maintain curly hairBrit + Co

    OK, so after trying all of these tricks to get perfectly curly hair, you want the style to actually, you know,stay for awhile, right? Then you need to try “pineappling”! It sounds – and, frankly, looks – a little crazy, but this method of styling your hair in a pineapple-shape before bed is the perfect way to sleep soundly while maintaining your ‘do. It’s also a great option for naturally-curly-haired ladies, too!

We’ve got many great options, any of us can have curly hair! So now, what do you think? Have you ever tried “plopping,” “pineappling,” or any of the other tricks we’ve mentioned here? Are there any curly hair hacks you know that we didn’t mention? Share with us and with each other!