Woman with dark blonde wavy hair working out in the gym

From wavy tresses to corkscrew curls, there’s never been a better time to rock curls. But getting curly hair that’s effortlessly tousled and defined can be tricky, especially if you’re ditching the styling tools and going for a more natural, heat-free approach.

The key to getting curly hair is making sure your hair’s treated to lots of moisture and hydration, including using the right products to defeat frizz. Here’s our definitive guide to obtaining heatless curls, as well as how to make your hair curly using styling tools.

How to curl hair with a straightener

Our trusty hair straighteners are a fundamental piece of kit to have in our arsenal. However, these hot irons aren’t just for keeping your hair flat, and can be one of the best ways to curl straight hair.

Before using styling tools, be sure to apply Heat Defeat Protecting Spray to preserve moisture and protect your hair from heat damage.
  1. Separate your hair into easily-manageable sections
  2. Starting at the front of your head, pick a section to curl and clamp your straightener down on a small section near the top of your hair
  3. Pull the straightener through as though you were straightening this section, but stop partway down
  4. Turn the straightener 180 degrees away from your face, wrapping your hair around the clamp, and gently pull the hair through
  5. Repeat for each section of hair
  6. Loosen the curls using your fingers for an undone, beach-tousled look
Now you’ve learnt how to curl your hair with straighteners, remember not to overuse your styling tools so you can preserve your hair’s natural curl. If you have naturally-curly hair which has had a little too much heat styling, here’s how to repair heat-damaged curly hair.

Woman with long dark hair having her hair curled with straighteners

How to curl your hair without heat

If you’re looking to enhance your natural curls or curl straight hair without using heat, here are our two favourite heatless curling techniques. 

How to curl straight hair without heat

  1. Wash your hair as normal with your favourite John Frieda shampoo and conditioner
  2. Avoid drying your hair roughly with a towel, which can crush and flatten your curls. Instead, allow your hair to dry naturally
  3. While your hair is still slightly damp, spray lightly with our Dream Curls Daily Styling Spray. If you have very thick or dry coarse hair, apply our All-in-1 Extra Strength Serum to provide hydration and help prevent frizz
  4. Braid your hair into plaits. Remember, the tighter the braids, the tighter the curls - if you’re after looser curls, try our guide to beach waves for a boho seaside aesthetic
  5. Fasten with thin hair ties - we recommend using thin, metal-free elastic hair bands
  6. Leave the braids in to get heatless curls overnight, and remove the hair ties in the morning
  7. Run your fingers through your curls to give your curls a natural, less-uniform look, and secure your new curly hairstyle with an intense hold hairspray

Brunette girl with plaited hair with pink tips

How to make wavy hair curly without heat

If your hair has a wavy texture rather than falling straight, achieving heatless curls is even easier. Here are a few tips on how to make your wavy hair curly naturally:
  1. Wavy and curly styles tends to be prone to dryness, so it’s important to use our Dream Curls shampoo and conditioner to enhance your curls. Wash and condition at least once a week to provide your curls with moisture and prevent product build-up
  2. Add definition to your wavy hair with a curl defining crème. Apply a small amount to your palms, and gently comb through with your fingers
  3. Finger-comb our daily styling spray into your strands to enhance your curl pattern and tame frizz
  4. Air dry or diffuse wavy hair to prevent frizz. Smooth any flyaways with Frizz Ease Dream Curls Curl-Nourishing Crème Oil to moisturise and define your waves
  5. Maintain your curly hairstyle with a frizz-fighting hairspray to protect against humidity and keep your curls secure
  6. Get regular trims to combat dryness and damage, which can reduce curl elasticity

Beautiful woman with long curly brown hair wearing a pink t-shirt

Tips for defining your curls

If you have naturally curly hair, keeping your locks defined, frizz-free and bouncy can be a real struggle. Here’s how to define your curls and keep your curly hair looking its best.
  1. The best way to enhance your curls is by keeping them moisturised. Shampoo your hair sparingly, and use a deep conditioner for curly hair at least once a week
  2. Dry your hair gently using a microfiber towel or a soft, clean cotton t-shirt. Rubbing your hair dry with standard cotton towels is too rough, and can cause friction and hair breakage
  3. Hairbrushes can pull on your hair and destroy your curl structure. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your locks
  4. Apply curl-defining products while your hair is still wet to lock in moisture. Once your hair is dry, avoid touching or messing with your curls, as this can break up the product and ruin your curl pattern
  5. Protect your curls while you sleep by wrapping your hair in a silk or satin scarf, or sleep on a satin pillowcase to protect against friction
  6. If needed, refresh your curls in the morning using a daily styling spray for curly hair

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