Sometimes, your hair just needs a break from the curling irons, straighteners, and the hot heat of the blow dryer. We have to admit—we love the way our hair looks freshly washed, dried, and curled, so giving up our beloved heating tools is never easy. But there are plenty of ways to make your hair look just as good without having to damage it in the process. So, we scoured the Instagrams of our community to find the best ways to style hair without heat for all types of strands. Below are eight heat-free hairstyles to inspire you when you’re in the mood to give your hair a break.
On your second or third day sans shampoo? Hide any grease with this heat-free hairstyle. Spritz a little bit of Drybar Triple Sec Scented 3-In-1 Texture Mist ($26) and make a simple braid down the side before pinning it with a couple of bobby pins behind your head.
Half-Up Top Knot
Start by working Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream ($38) through your strands and dividing up a small section of your hair at the top. Tightly french braid the hair you’ve gathered down the center of the scalp. Once you reach the back of the head, just twist it into a bun and secure with an elastic.
’90s Low Pony
This look is a super simple, but chic, which is great when you’re running late to class. Just start off with a little bit of It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product ($37) to detangle your hair and make it smooth. “I pull my hair back into a low ponytail and pull out two small pieces of hair in the front. That’s it!” says Erin Eagle, a student at Syracuse University. Consider this your new go-to look.
Textured High Pony
This is a super simple look that can easily get your hair off your neck on a sweaty day. Spritz a little bit of Ouai Haircare Wave Spray ($26) in your hair and scrunch your hair until it’s wavy and big. Then pull it up into a high ponytail on the top of the head.
Sleek Top Knot
Here’s a hairstyle you could probably do in your sleep. When you’re in a serious time crunch, work some Bumble and Bumble Curl Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil ($34) into your locks and pull the hair up into a high bun on the top of the head that looks sleek and sophisticated.
Classic French Braids
This one’s sure to keep you cool on even the hottest of days. Divide the hair into two sections before French braiding down each side and tying each off at the ends. Spritz with a little Rusk Thickr Hairspray ($16) to keep flyaways at bay.
Low-Key Claw Clip Bun
Sometimes two seconds is all you really have to pull a look together. So it’s a good thing this hairstyle only takes that long. For one of the best no-heat hairstyles, pull your strands into a low messy bun and clip it. Finish it off by pulling out a few strands of hair in the front to frame the face.
Rahma Ly, a student at Berkeley College, achieves this heatless style by pulling her Senegalese twists into a half-up style. Start by gathering your hair (it’s up to you how much you want to pull up), and secure it with a ponytail holder.
How do you style your hair without heat? Show us your go-to heat-free hairstyles on Instagram by tagging @cfashionista!
Opening image by Ellie Kim