10 Best Before-Bed Hair Hacks for Getting Curls

If I had a dollar for every hour I’ve spent blow-drying my hair, I could easily retire at the age of 25. But here’s a revolutionary thought: You can actually get great curly hair overnight while you sleep — and without any heat whatsoever — with just a few well-executed styling steps before bed. Let sleeping in be your styling secret, and wake up to great hair in the process.

While heat-producing tools are probably the most efficient ways to style your hair, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the only ones. Imagine this scenario: You employ a few of your favorite overnight hairstyling hacks for curls before bed, you wake up the next morning, you run your fingers through your hair, and you go. (In this hypothetical world, you might even have time to switch out that Pop-Tart for a fried egg.)

Wearing your hair naturally seems like the new "look," and that means giving up your straightener and hair dye in favor of habits that nourish hair instead of damage it (and if you can’t commit to that 100 percent of the time, every little heat-break helps). Here’s a list of the best ways to get curly, wonderfully styled hair while you sleep, no damage included.

Rejuvenate And Heal Damaged Hair While You Sleep

Alterna Caviar Overnight Hair Rescue , $22, Amazon

Fly-aways and split-ends can appear tamed when hair is styled with heat, but when hair is in a more natural state, that’s when the damage really shows itself. Alterna's Hair Rescue is an overnight serum that helps to refresh and revitalize hair, reversing damage from heat and color-treating. When left in your hair while you sleep, you’ll wake up with silky-smooth locks that are much easier to manage, especially when it comes to curling. Reviewers also say that it’s non-greasy and smells great, and (bonus!) it’s formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, phthalates, GMOs, or triclosan.

Use Sea Salt To Keep Your Locks In Place

Shore of Yourself Sea Salt Spray , $21, Amazon

If your hair is fine or particularly straight, you’ll need something to keep those curls in place. However, synthetic hairsprays often cause flakes and crunching, especially if kept in overnight. Shore of Yourself's salt spray is made with sea salt, sea kelp, and algae, which, when combined, moisturize, condition, thicken, hold, and nourish with amino acids. Curls won’t feel dry or crispy, but they will hold, and reviewers say that this spray helped any hair type, whether limp, frizzy, curly, straight, long, or short. When used alongside curlers or rods, hair will style especially well overnight, and stay in place all day.

Smooth And Enhance Curls With Shea Butter

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie Coconut & Hibiscus , $12, Amazon

To keep curls bouncy and neat, even while you sleep, consider running a little silk protein and neem oil through your hair before bed. This leave-in conditioner is packed with natural, nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera, and vitamins that define curls, prevent breakage, and tame frizz. Furthermore, because ingredients are ultra-healing and predominantly organic, they won’t create a crusty residue while you sleep, like other holding products. Reviewers say that their hair is significantly easier to manage, much smoother, and produces tighter, neater curls. Plus, this stuff smells incredible.

Personalize Your Curls With Rods

Nadula Hair Curling Flexi Rods , $15, Amazon

For loads of control when it comes to overnight curling, treat hair with a curl-enhancing solution, then secure in place using these top-rated curling rods. They come in a set of 30, which includes rods of five different diameters. (That means you can personalize how loose or tight your curls will be and have the option to switch things up). They’re made of a spongey foam material that feels comfortable against the head, but because there’s a wire interior, you can bend them into any shape that’s convenient and effective. They’re long, so they hold a lot of hair, and because there’s six of each, even people with the thickest hair can curl their whole head overnight.

Activate Ringlets While Reducing Frizz

Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream , $9, Amazon

If frizz is something you tend to struggle with when it comes to wearing hair sans heat styling, the right moisturizing curl cream can definitely help. This one has nourishing and smoothing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, mango seed butter, and neem oil, all of which are especially great at penetrating the hair shaft to hydrate and reverse damage. This cream creates a sleek, defined hold without causing hair to stiffen, and it’s great for both thin and thick strands alike. If you’re looking for instant moisture and curl definition, this might just be a game-changer.

Secure A Bun Donut Before Bed For Loose Curls By Morning

Wleec Beauty 3 Pieces Hair Donut Bun Maker , $12, Amazon

This three-piece bun set is a great tool when it comes to creating a large, volumized bun, but the pieces are also your best bet when it comes to getting loose, large curls overnight. They come in three different diameters for different-sized curls, and because they’re soft and cushioned (but are made of a textured material that grabs hair), they’ll stay out of your way while you sleep. You’ve got a choice of three different colors (black, brown, or blonde) to match your hair if you also want to use these during the day, and because there’s no abrasive elastic, your hair’s much less likely to knot or break.

Add Volume To Stubborn Flat Hair

Conair Big Curl Foam Rollers, $12, Amazon

If you have the type of hair that’s long and pin-straight, and you just can't seem to add any volume to it, here's your solution: Cue Conair's big curl foam rollers. This set comes with nine rollers, which are made from an extremely soft foam that has clips to secure. Although they hold and lock the hair in place, they give with pressure, so you won’t have any trouble falling asleep with them. Reviewers with self-described “hard to curl hair” say that when these are used correctly, they create the type of loose, beautiful ringlets that last for days.

Try A Comfortable Headband That Curls Your Hair

GlamWaves Roller Head Band , $23, Amazon

For a convenient, one-piece solution, try looping your hair around this roller headband. It’s essentially a thick and comfortable headband that you wrap around your hair, and you wake up the next morning with sleek, beautiful curls. It’s that easy. The head band is also constructed with anti-frizz fabric and has an adjustable Velcro strap, so one size fits most. Because it’s cushioned, you won’t be able to feel it while you sleep, and due to its no-heat styling tactic, reviewers say that this is now their new favorite way to curl.

Go Retro With Pincurls

Soft 'N Style Boxed Pin Curl Clips, $6, Amazon

Sometimes, the oldest tactics are the most effective. Pin curls have been around forever, and that’s because they’re the best way to get tight, vintage curls without any heat. Essentially, small sections of hair are wrapped into a circular pattern and pinned close to the head, and in order to do that, you’ll need strong, reliable, durable pins. These particular pin curl clips are ideal for a number of reasons: Firstly, there are a lot of them (80, to be exact), and because small clips are the easiest thing in the world to lose next to pens, it’s good to have backups. Secondly, they’re stain-proof, rust-proof, and give you an insanely strong hold. Reviewers say that they’re durable, comfortable enough to sleep in, won’t cause any unwanted crimps, don’t tangle, and create tight, retro ringlets by morning.

Protect Your Hair With A Silk Cap

One Real Silk Slumber Cap , $10, Amazon

Cotton pillowcases can cause frizz and breakage, as they’re pretty rough on hair — especially if you toss and turn at night. If your rollers tend to fall out before dawn, this silk cap might just make all the difference. It’s made with 100 percent real and natural mulberry silk, which keeps hair in place, protects it from damage, and evenly distributes oils throughout, so you can wake up with silky, defined curls. Reviewers say it’s super comfortable while they sleep, and hair feels awesome in the morning.

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Images: Fotolia (1); Amazon (10)