How to Get Beautiful Curls Without a Perm

It’s practically impossible for straight hair to go curly without a perm, but if you are looking to rock some temporary curls or switch up your look. There are fun and easy ways to do that with little to no damage to your hair, and that’s a luxury a perm can’t provide!

Permanent waving, also known as a perm, is a chemical treatment that alters a hair’s natural pattern by breaking the protein bonds in the cortex. 

I would not advise you to go in for a perm majorly because of its intense damage to hair. However, It is undoubtedly a choice you make for yourself; just so you know, once your hair is permed, the only way to return to its natural state is to go in for a big chop and start all over.

Methods to Getting Curls Overnight without a Perm

Here are some popular ways to get curly hair without a perm:

1. Braiding and Twisting

braid curls
Instagram / @lyuba-tyshchenko

Braids and twists are a great way to appear cute yet get curls in a minute! Begin this process by having clean and damp hair, so you want to ensure your hair has been washed with a moisturizing shampoo and apply a leave-in conditioner, so it stays hydrated.

Divide your hair into small sections, grab a piece, split it into three, and braid by placing one strand over the other to the end. For a twist, grab a small section, split it into two, and twist by stacking the halves together. Doing other braided hairstyles like the French or Dutch braid would give similar results.

You could also do a twist and put it up in a bun. To do this, twist your damp hair, give it a good scrunch, and put it in a mini bun. 

2. The Heatless Methods

Curls Overnight without a Perm
Instagram / @morningglamour

These overnight curling techniques give you effortless curls and require no stress in carrying them out. The methods include rag rollers, hair rollers, sock curling, headband curls, and the list goes on and on. 

To start any of these processes, ensure your hair is clean and damp, and apply a styling cocktail – a mix of products ranging from leave-in conditioner, styling cream, or setting spray and a volumizing mousse.

Divide hair into small-sized sections using a wide tooth comb. 

Rag Curling Method

For the rag method, take old clothing and rip it with scissors into rectangular shapes the size of the sections divided and hair length. In a piece, gently rip a tiny hole in the middle. Next, insert a section of hair through that middle and wrap upward. Give it a good tie when finished. Remember that the smaller the sections and tighter you rag, the tighter the curls would be.

Using Hair Rollers

Using the traditional hair rollers, this is a process most of us are pretty familiar with. Begin by sectioning your hair into three bits– left, right and middle. Pick a section and divide it into smaller pieces; you could start rolling from the front down to the nape of the neck like a mohawk or from the back to front, whichever way works for you. Take a small section, comb upwards, attach its ends to the roller, and roll tightly. Secure with a clip.

Sock Curling

Got a neat pair of socks? Pick it up, and it’s time for some curls. For this sock curling process, divide your hair into four quadrants. Next, attach the socks end to the hair roots and clip. Take the socks and wrap the hair around them; on getting to the end, hold tightly. Remove the clip, and loop the wrapped piece in creating a sock bun.

Headband Curls

Now, for the headband curls. Divide your hair into two parts, place a headband over your hair, take a section, twist, and begin to wrap around the band. Do this for the other section.

Pin Curling 

You could also do some pin curling! Take a small section of your hair and wrap around two or three of your fingers and gently place it on your scalp. Secure with a bobby pin. 

With each of these techniques, you can do some blow drying to speed up the drying process, spritz on a heat protectant before using a blow dryer, or you could sleep with the rollers overnight. On unraveling, follow up with a holding spray or sea salt spray for more volume.

3. Using Heat Styling 

heat curls
Instagram / @nikkisbeautybar

Suppose you want some instant curls and do not want to go through the hassle of the heatless methods! Do some curls with a curling iron. After hair is completely dry, apply a heat protectant.

Divide your hair into a quadrant and split a section into smaller bits; this would make the curling process way more manageable. Start curling from the back; you might have to secure the front half of your hair with a clip or tie to do that. Remember to heat the curling iron before attempting to divide your hair.

Grab a small hairpiece while holding the curling iron firmly in place and wrap your hair around it, starting from the roots and away from your face. On getting to the tip of your hair, hold the curling iron in place for a few seconds and gently pull the iron away. Do this to all sections.

After each section has been curled with the iron, let it cool for a quick second, then wrap curls around fingers, pin to the scalp and allow to cool and set.

Wait as long as possible to remove pins. Bend over at the waist and gently shape out curls. Do not comb or brush them; to maintain their shape use fingers to arrange curls: spray light setting or shaping product over the finished style.

A Flat Iron

It’s possible to get curls with a flat iron too! Start by sectioning your hair to make the process much easier. To curl a small portion of hair, clamp the iron down near the root and gently glide the iron as if you were straightening the hair.

Then, precisely where you want the curls to be, flick your wrist to twist the iron in a 180-degree spin and drag the iron straight down. 

 4. Finger Coiling and a Scrunch

Finger Coiling
Instagram / @curly.brunettes

After washing your hair, follow the LCO or LOC method: liquid, cream, and oil or liquid, oil, and cream. So after drying your hair with a t-shirt or microfiber towel, go in with a leave-in conditioner, curling cream, gel, and other styling products. This would leave your hair damp; next, divide it into four quadrants, take a small piece, wrap it around a finger, and twirl. Ensure to twirl tightly at the root for defined curls.

Give your hair a good scrunch; the scrunch technique is cupping your locks and giving them a mild squeeze as you wrap upwards.

The Bottom Line

Curls are super cute, yes! But there’s a lot of work involved. Transitioning to curly hair overnight is going to be a lot to get used to; styling, spending loads on products, all these might be overwhelming. 

Using the above techniques allows you to experience what curls feel like anytime you wish to switch up your look and the best thing is you can always revert to your hair’s natural state; it simply is the best of both worlds!

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