The 5 Best Ways to Curl Your Hair Without a Curling Iron

I know I go on and on about putting down the hot tools, going heat-free and generally giving your fried strands a break. I won't apologize — avoiding hair damage before it happens is one key to great hair.

But I know that another key to great hair is learning how to style it so it looks amazing. When you are on a heat-tox, especially, you need to have a few tricks in your arsenal to get the results you're looking for. Look no further. Presenting our picks of easy, quick ways to get gorgeous waves with minimal heat:

The Overnight Braid

Wash your hair in the evening and while still damp, apply a mousse (I like Bumble & Bumble's Curl Conscious Holding Foam) that will hold your style. Divide hair into sections. The size of your sections will depend on what style curl you are aiming for — loose waves need larger sections of hair, while tighter curls demand smaller, 1-2 inch sections. Make a tight plait on each section of hair and finish with an elastic. Upon waking, remove each plait and break the sections up with our fingers for a natural finish.

Bumble & Bumble's Curl Conscious Cream , $29, Birchbox.com

The Old School Roller

This method is a little retro, but still really effective. Again, the size of your curl will depend on which size roller you use — the larger the roller, the looser the curl. Choose a roller that’s foam- and velcro-based for comfort while sleeping, and apply to damp hair (after applying mousse again) before bed. Thicker hair types may find that hair is still damp after waking, so it may be necessary to dry your hair gently with your hairdryer on a low setting in the morning before removing the rollers.

Conair Big Curl Foam Rollers - 9 count, $12, amazon.com

The Hot Rollers

Scott Barbour/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Same premise, quicker result. It’s important to use a heat protectant (GHD's Heat Protect Spray won't weigh your hair down) before applying hot rollers; while you aren’t inflicting as much heat onto your strands as a curling or straightening iron would, there is some potential damage involved (especially if used on wet or damp hair). Apply to dry hair and wait until the roller has completely cooled down before removing — this will ensure the curl is completely formed. Depending on your look, either leave your curls in tact or gently shake out with your fingers for a relaxed vibe.

GHD Heat Protect Spray, $22, amazon.com

The Aveda Look

For Stella McCartney’s recent Fall 2014 Collection showing, the fashion house worked with Aveda to create a gorgeously “soft model off-duty” look. How they did it was genius: hair director Antoinette Beenders first prepped damp hair with Aveda's moisturizing oil to coat the strands, then used a blow dryer on a low setting while twirling small sections of the hair through her fingers and holding each section under the heat until it set. The result? Easy, relaxed, no fuss waves.

AVEDA Dry Remedy Moisturizing Oil, $30, amazon.com

The Soda Can Hair

When you are fresh out of rollers, have no braiding skills, and your blow dryer just broke, there is another option: Lady GaGa Soda Can Hair. Use empty cans in the same ways as you would foam rollers — start with mousse-prepped damp hair, then spritz each section of hair with hairspray before wrapping around the can and affixing with an elastic band or bobby pins. Spritz again with hairspray and either allow to airdry naturally or, if you do have a blow dryer around, gently dry on a low setting before unrolling. Hello, bombshell hair!

Images: Gennadiy Poznyakov/Fotolia; Lady GaGa/Vevo