DIY on trial: Getting heat-free curls with a headband


It doesn't take much more than the faintest, wateriest slant of a hint of sun breaking through the clouds to make me wish my hair had a bit of a curl, or a wave, or any class of a kink to it. Anything at all that would make it possible to bend my straight hair to my will and into the kind of summery, beachy, tousled waves that I always hanker for at this time of year-.

Oh, and I will hunt down and shave the head of the first person to tell me something along the lines of I don't know I'm borned with my naturally straight locks.

Anyhoo. Since wishing and hoping and praying seem to make very little difference to my hair's texture, I've had to resort to trying to style it into spiral submission, and I'm afraid I've had very little success at achieving the look I'm after.

As in none at all.

GHD curls/ringlets/waves invariably end up making me look like I'm off to a debs; they're just a bit more "Do you think anyone will notice the naggin of vodka strapped to my thigh in this dress?" en route to a function room than I'm really going for. I'm sure there are other heated tools that would do the job, but I mislaid my barrel tongs in The Move and funds are a bit too tight to spring for a set of heated rollers or a curling wand just at the moment.

Scrunching surf spray into my hair and twirling it in small sections as it dries goes some way to taking the dead straight look off my hair, but I'm after something a bit more definite which is hard to get without the aid of a heated tool. And this is where the headband comes in. I've seen a few videos on YouTube of girls creating tumbling masses of pre-Raphaelite curls on damp hair with just an elasticated headband and a bit of patience.


I didn't have a headband to hand, typically enough, but I did find a length of elasticated gold cord that I reckoned would do the job well enough. (In hindsight, the leg of an old pair of tights would probably have been a better bet.) I also worked on dry hair.

  1. Per the billion or so videos I watched, I placed my 'headband' so that it encircled the top of my head like a crown, sitting about mid-way down my forehead, just above my ears, and an inch or so above the nape of my neck. I pushed the crown of my hair up a bit in hopes that it would help give the roots a bit of lift.
  2. Then, starting with the front of my hair and working from front to back, I took smallish sections about an inch thick and individually wrapped them once around my makeshift headband, so that the top of the hair was rolled around the headband and the ends joined the rest of the hair.
  3. I left the back of my hair until last and then did the same. At this stage my headband was pretty full so I needed to shunt some hair along to make a bit of room to do this last section, which I wrapped around and around to finish and then tucked the ends in as best I could. I needed to use a couple of hairpins to keep the back from falling down; I reckon that this would be less of a problem if you were actually using a proper headband.

I sprayed the whole lot with hairspray and waited. And then, because I'm impatient and desperately wanted to see if it had worked, I took my hair down ... all of an hour and a half after putting it up.

The videos recommend leaving it for several hours or sleeping with hair up for maximum curliness.

Unsurprisingly, I wasn't left with a head full of curls but there was definitely a bit of a boho wave in evidence after my curiosity got the better of me. I'm planning to try it again (and do it all properly) this evening!

UPDATE: As promised, here's one of the YouTube tutorials I watched. Hopefully this will help to illustrate the the process a bit more clearly (skip to about the 3 minute mark to see it.)


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