4 Ways to Get Lasting Curls without Using Heat Styling: The Secret to Healthy Hair Extensions

4 Ways to Get Lasting Curls without Using Heat Styling: The Secret to Healthy Hair Extensions

Um, what!? Did you know that heat styling is the number 1 reason for damaged hair extensions? 😱 And to think that all the self-inflicted trauma stemming from bad hair could be prevented with some easy heat-free styling techniques. If you're anything like us, you believe that there's always a better way to go about things while getting the same, if not better, results. So, if you're seriously done with hair damage but still want to rock some gorgeous curls, stick with us as we dive into 4 easy ways that you can get those curls you're after—without any of the unwanted side effects.

In this guide, we'll not only show you how you can give your hair extensions luscious curls without using heat, but we also take a look at other ways to preserve the quality of your extensions. So, are you ready to get some knockout curls while keeping your hair healthy? Let’s dive in...

Key Takeaways

  • By now you know that heat styling can cause some serious damage, meaning that your hair extensions will start to show lots of dryness, breakage, and loss of texture as you go about styling in the 'traditional way'. Going heatless, on the other hand, will preserve your extensions' integrity and your natural hair’s health.

  • Heatless curls can be created using simple. yet effective techniques including flexi rods, braids and twists, or foam rollers. These techniques are not only less damaging but will also help to maintain the extension’s health and color.

  • Prepping is everything when it comes to the long-term well-being of your extensions. Be patient with the air-drying process, and carefully maintain your curls so that you can get the best outcome all around.

Why Heat on Hair Extensions is No Good

Woman curling her hair with heat

Most of us have experienced the temptation of achieving quick and easy curls using a hot tool. I mean, 20 minutes with a curling iron leading to great curls... what's not to love? However, by now you and I both know that heat styling can cause significant damage to your hair extensions. Yep... applying heat can make your extensions prone to dryness, leading to a stiff and tangled mess. 😬 Even worse, the ends might start snapping off making them even more vulnerable to breakage... and probably not looking their best, either.

What you might not already know is that heat has the potential to permanently modify the pattern and texture of your extensions. Remember, hair extensions don’t repair themselves like our natural hair (and even then, natural hair needs a good trim from time to time). That’s why we at Foxy Hair recommend using lower heat settings with styling extensions - if you must use heat at all. BUT... why not go one step further? Why not fully embrace a heatless styling lifestyle? What's in it for you? Um, just keeping your extensions looking FABULOUS... and for way longer.

The Lowdown of Heat's Influence on Extensions And Natural Hair

Maybe you just use extensions from time to time. Or maybe not. Whatever the case, you might be wondering, “Isn’t heat damage just an issue for extensions?” Sorry... but no. 😞 The reality is that both natural hair and extensions are susceptible to heat damage, leading to:

  • dryness

  • loss of natural texture

  • lifted cuticles

  • increased dryness

The impact of heat on your hair is like a double-edged sword, causing damage in both extensions and natural hair.

And here’s the kicker, there may be a noticeable mismatch in texture between your natural hair and extensions when subjected to heat styling. They respond differently, after all. So, it’s time to consider heatless styling, it’s not just kind to your extensions, but your natural locks will thank you too!

Benefits of Heatless Styling

Stepping away from heat doesn’t mean giving up on style. In fact, heatless methods are gentler on hair, helping to maintain the integrity and health of both your hair extensions and natural hair. This is akin to providing your hair with a break or a vacation from all the heat and stress. And who doesn’t love a good vacation?

But that’s not all! Avoiding high heat can also prolong the life of the color in your hair extensions, preventing rapid fading. Plus, air drying enables a more seamless integration with natural hair textures and allows for trying various curl patterns without using heat-based tools. Now is the moment to say goodbye to damaging heat and welcome the numerous advantages of heatless styling.

Top Techniques for Achieving Heatless Curls with Hair Extensions

Heatless curls with hair extensions

Now that we’ve unveiled the secret behind avoiding heat, let’s explore some top techniques for achieving heatless curls with hair extensions. Here are a few techniques you can try:

  • The headband method

  • Flexi rod curls

  • Braid and twist methods

  • Foam rollers

Each technique offers a unique way to achieve beautifully defined curls.

Intrigued? Let’s delve into the specifics.

1. Flexi Rod Curls

Flexi rod curls are a popular method for creating heatless curls in hair extensions. What’s great about this method is that it allows you to control the tightness of your curls. Keep curls a little tighter initially to compensate for natural loosening throughout the day. This is akin to having a built-in setting for your curls!

To use flexi rods, simply wrap damp hair sections around the rods and leave them in overnight. In the morning, gently remove the rods and voila! You’ll have beautiful, bouncy curls that lasted through the day, without a hint of heat damage.

woman with flexi rods curling hair

2. Braid and Twist Methods

If you’re a fan of natural-looking curls, the braid and twist methods might be your perfect match. This technique creates heatless curls on hair extensions by:

  1. Braiding the hair from the roots to the ends while the hair is damp.

  2. Leaving the braids in overnight or until the hair is completely dry.

  3. Undoing the braids and gently separating the curls with your fingers.

This method transforms your childhood braiding skills into a trendy hairstyling technique for your own hair, including wavy hair and other human hair!

Starting the braiding process with damp hair aids in setting the hair into a curled pattern as the hair dries. Once the hair is completely dry, gently remove the braids and let your flawless curls loose. And the best part? No curling iron was needed for this loose wave hair transformation!

3. Foam Rollers

Foam rollers are a classic tool for creating heatless curls. They can be used on damp hair and are suitable for all hair lengths. Whether you want tighter curls or soft waves, foam rollers got you covered. Just remember, the amount of hair on each roller affects the curl size.

Before rolling, apply a styling product to the hair and section it using claw-style clips, spritzing with water to maintain moisture if needed. After rolling and securing your hair, cover it with a satin scarf or pillowcase overnight to ensure that the curls set properly. In the morning, you’ll wake up to gorgeous, heatless curls!

Additional Tips for Flawless, Heatless Curls

Achieving heatless curls involves more than just employing the right techniques. It’s also about using suitable tools, applying the right products, and, most importantly, being patient.

Here are some additional tips to ensure flawless curls in your hair extensions without heat, particularly when using curl hair extensions.

Prepping Your Extensions

Prepping hair extensions for heatless curls

Before any styling, prepping your hair extensions is a critical step. This can be compared to preparing your canvas before beginning to paint. Using a leave-in conditioner is vital for preserving the beauty, health, and lifespan of your extensions before styling without heat. Your hair should be clean, either freshly washed and conditioned or dampened with water or leave-in conditioner to achieve the right dampness for styling.

Next, comb your hair thoroughly to remove knots and tangles, preventing breakage and ensuring smooth curls when using foam rollers or other heatless methods. You can also apply a thickening mousse to provide additional grit and hold to the hair, facilitating longer-lasting curls when using heatless techniques.

With your hair prepped, you’re ready to curl your hair and start creating those flawless curls, including the classic pin curls!

Maintaining Your Curls

After your heatless curls have been achieved, the focus shifts to maintenance. Start by gently pulling apart curls with your fingers for desired volume and avoid using a brush or comb, which can disrupt the curl pattern. A light finishing spray can help hold the curls in place and prevent them from falling out.

Sleep is also a crucial factor in maintaining your curls. Use a headscarf or silk pillowcase while sleeping overnight to maintain curls and prevent friction and tangling, keeping extensions soft and healthy. And remember, avoid going to bed with wet hair extensions to prevent slipping and potential damage to the bonds, beads, or tape.

With these tips, your heatless curls can last longer and look fabulous!

Heatless Curls vs. Heated Curls: A Comparison

Both heatless and heated curls come with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Heatless curls provide a healthy alternative to heat styling, as they do not expose your hair extensions to damaging heat. On the other hand, heated styling methods, while potentially damaging, allow for more control over your hair’s curl pattern and can be executed more quickly compared to heatless methods.

However, heatless curling methods generally require more time but involve less active effort, often performed over several hours or overnight. The curl type and pattern achieved with heatless techniques can be less predictable, which might not meet the requirements for every hairstyle or occasion. Environmental factors like humidity may also make heatless curls less reliable than heated curls. So, when deciding between heatless and heated curls, consider your hair’s needs, your personal style, and the environment.

Tools and Products for Heatless Curling Success

Choosing the right tools is crucial in creating flawless heatless curls in hair extensions without inflicting any damage. Using tools like Kitsch Professional Hair Clips can protect your hair health during styling, while Velcro hair roller clips and foam rollers can create varying curl sizes from loose waves to tight ringlets.

It’s also important to take care of these tools. Here are some tips:

  • Regularly clean your hair roller clips with mild shampoo

  • Store them in a cool, dry place to maintain their functionality

  • Invest in quality styling tools to prevent hair damage

  • Consider using silk pillowcases, which can help in keeping heatless curls intact longer by retaining natural oils and moisture in the hair.

With the right tools, such as hair curler, curling irons, and a curling wand, and products, heatless curling can be a breeze!


To sum up, heatless styling is a healthier alternative for achieving gorgeous curls in your hair extensions without exposing them to damaging heat. Techniques like the headband method, flexi rod curls, braid and twist methods, and foam rollers offer unique ways to create beautifully defined curls. The key to success is patience, appropriate hair preparation, and the right tools and products.

So, why not give your hair extensions a break from the heat and try heatless styling? Embrace the world of heatless curls and enjoy the benefits of healthier, more vibrant hair. After all, your hair extensions deserve the best!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get heatless curls?

You can achieve heatless curls by using techniques like braiding, rolling hair in a sock or using rollers, and leaving them overnight. These methods will help you wake up with beautiful curls without the need for heat styling.

How do you curl hair extensions that won't curl?

You can curl your hair extensions by wrapping small sections around a curling iron or wand and holding for a few seconds, but keep in mind that the curls may not hold as well as with natural hair. Consider using a setting spray or gel to help them stay in place.

Are heatless curls bad for your hair extensions?

No, heatless curls are actually healthier for your hair extensions since they don't expose them to damaging heat. This can help maintain the quality of your extensions in the long run.

Which is better: heatless curls or heated curls?

Heatless curls are better for your hair's health and can also prolong the life of your extensions.

Can I go to bed with wet hair extensions?

No, it's not advisable to go to bed with wet hair extensions as it can cause slipping and potential damage to the bonds, beads, or tape.