I Tried Headband Curls To See If They Really Work

by Melodi Erdogan

The headband curling method is one that requires no heat whatsoever, does not damage your hair in the slightest, and only takes a few minutes before bed to orchestrate. If that sounds a little too good to be true, prepare to have your mind blown. I tried the headband hair curling method personally to get to the bottom of this almost unbelievable approach. While I was fascinated by the promise of long-lasting curls via an easy, safe, and quick routine, the beauty pessimist in me was skeptical that it could really be that easy.

As someone who lives and breathes all things beauty, I've come to learn that certain things take a lot of time, effort, and practice. Your first cat-eye probably isn't going to be perfect, and it'll require some serious focus to not poke yourself in the eye when applying mascara for a while. The same goes for curling hair. Whether your mane is naturally curly or not, taming, curling, and styling curls is an art form. So it was hard for me to believe that a method like the headband curling approach — something so simple and quick — could be legitimate.

Regardless, I was determined to discover whether or not headband curls were a myth, and the results of this seemingly unbelievable method were pleasantly surprising.

The Research

This is how my hair normally curls, with the help of product and heat tools, of course. I initially heard about the headband method when researching non-heat approaches to curling hair. For years, I've been blow drying my naturally curly, frizzy hair to straighten and relax it, before putting it to a curling iron or a set of hot rollers. But I recently found myself tired of going through an hour-long process multiple days per week.

In 2015, beauty vlogger Malika Godt uploaded the video above, in which she shows the step-by-step process for achieving gorgeous, bouncy curls. She wrapped small sections of hair around the headband on both sides of her head until everything was up. She then slept on it. The next day, she unwrapped her mane to reveal stunning, bombshell-like ringlets. Even though she touched her 'do up with a curling iron, I thought her locks looked great without it.

The Method

I was prepared to make headband curls happen. With the necessary materials — just a simple headband and my head — I began the process.

After washing my hair and blow drying it straight, as I normally would, I parted my mane in the middle and combed it out. Then, I threw on my headband. With the headband in place, I began working my locks around the band in small sections and working towards the back.

I gave my best attempt at wrapping my hair as tightly as possible around the headband until it was all off my neck. Let's be real: Most beauty methods and approaches truly do involve making yourself look somewhat ridiculous.

With my headband-wrapped hair, I proceeded to go to bed.

The Results

By morning, I was eager to see what my hair would look like. I rushed to the bathroom and discovered that during my slumber, my locks went from looking like a hair crown to a disheveled mess. But I was hoping that this wouldn't affect the results too much.

As I slowly unraveled my hair from around the band, it obviously wasn't a problem. Even with my tossing and turning overnight, my locks still curled. And I looked quite glamorous and chic — with soft curls that started right around my jawline. They were somewhat frizzy, but I loved the looseness. Plus, they gave off an I-woke-up-like-this look that even Beyoncé could appreciate.

I loved how soft the curls felt, and that bed-head aesthetic. I could definitely tell that some strands had been wrapped tighter around the headband than others, since there were some parts of my mane with tighter ringlets. Actually, the first strand I wrapped was by far the longest-lasting curl I had all day.

I snapped the photo above in the late afternoon at work. Some of the curls at the back of my head had definitely fallen out because of wind. But there were still some soft and pretty waves.

By the end of the night, that first curl was still as curly as ever, but the rest of them had pretty much fallen out. However, I still thought my hair had more texture to it than it would normally.

While the results weren't stiff, tight curls that lasted all day, the process still gave my strands some life and character. Ultimately, I was amazed that so little effort could yield such beautiful curls.

Should You Try This At Home?

Headband curls are an effective, casual approach that requires little-to-no-effort for soft curly hair. Because my mane is quite long and frizzy, I am used to its curls falling out by the end of the day. While this method didn't exactly give me tight, spring-back-into-place curls like hot rollers or a curling wand might, they at least created nice texture, volume, and gave my locks the personality that I love. And considering all it took was a headband, absolutely no damaging heat, and only a few minutes of my time, I'm all for this.

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Images: Melodi Erdogan