Perfect Heatless Curls With A French Twist + A Video Demonstration!

Perfect Heatless Curls with a French Twist - offbeat + inspired

My lovely sister (R) recently relocated to the happy little city of Lexington, and I could NOT be more thrilled about it. She’s staying with us while she gets settled in, and clearly all we’ve been doing is our hair. That’s not entirely true, but whenever she’s doing her hair, I’m kind of hovering in the doorway asking her to explain her genius methods! She always has new tips to share about hair health and styling, so I asked her to demonstrate this great heatless curling technique, and she obliged. We even filmed it!

If you’re like me and need video AND pictures AND text to get something like this down pat, you’ll find detailed step-by-step instructions below, brought to you by R!!

Hello, world! My name is R… pretty much…, and I am very excited to have been invited to share this technique with you. As my sister mentioned before, I have sort of a hair health fetish and have therefore banished every tool with the word “iron” in its title from my sight. So, I’ve had to undergo extensive exploration, experimentation, and exasperation to land on an alternative that I love. All you need is a jaw clip and about a dozen sectioning clips. I hope you find this method as useful as I have!

Perfect Heatless Curls with a French Twist [Steps 1-10 of 14] - offbeat + inspired

Before I begin, I blow-dry my hair on its lowest heat setting so that my naturally frizzy curls don’t disrupt the program. If your hair is thick like mine, it is important that your hair be completely dry before you twist it up, or else it will take forever to dry completely. As soon as I’m done blow-drying, I start with Step 1:

1. Divide your hair in half, making sure your part is lined up where you want it. Clip one section out of your way (I like to use a jaw clip that won’t create dents). To make these instructions easier to follow, let’s go ahead and assume you clipped the left half back and will be working on the right half.

2. Grab a two-inch section from the front and divide it into a front half and a back half. Cross the front half toward your part, as pictured, then cross it behind the back half.

3. Your original front piece should now be on your right, while the back piece should be on your left. Keep these pieces separated in your left hand.

4. Grab the next section with your right hand — it should be about one inch wide and should extend from your hairline to your part.

5. Divide this new section into a left section and a right section. The left section should only be about one inch by one inch. This will keep the twist close to your part so that when you let your hair down in the end, the curls will begin at your roots. (You’ll see what I mean later.)

6. Add these two new pieces to the ones you are still holding in your left hand so that the left pieces become one left section, and the right pieces become one right section. Keep these two new pieces separate in your left hand.

7. Now you have two sections again: one on the right and one on the left.

8. Cross the right section over the left section and toward your part, as pictured, then cross it behind the other section.

9. Keep these two pieces separated in your left hand while you pick up a new (one-inch wide) section with your right hand.

10. Repeat steps 5-9 until you’ve reached the nape of your neck.

Perfect Heatless Curls with a French Twist [Steps 11-14 of 14] - offbeat + inspired

11. When you reach the base of your hairline, twist your last two sections around each other in the same direction you’ve been going until you reach the end of your hair.

12. Secure this loose twist to the French twist with a sectioning clip. If your hair is long, you may need more than one to secure the entire length of it. If you do not have sectioning clips, you may be able to use bobby pins instead, but I’ve always been scared of bobby pins making little dents in my ‘do. In the photos you’ll notice that I have an unruly little piece popping out without permission, but since the little guy was already a little curly-looking, I let it slide.

13. Secure any sections of the French twist that feel loose with sectioning clips. To do this, hold the clip open at a 90 degree angle to your head and let it close on the loose section of hair.

14. As you let the clip close, guide the hair in the direction of the French twist and push the clip underneath the twist and away from your part. (This step might be a little clearer in the video.) Once you’ve secured all the hair to your satisfaction, repeat steps 1-14 on the other half of your hair. (Remember that since you’re doing the other half now, you’ll have to substitute “right” and “left” for “left” and “right” respectively.)

Heatless Curls with a French Twist - offbeat + inspired

Let your hair set for at least an hour before you remove the clips. (You may need more or less time than that depending on the thickness/type/texture of your own hair.) If you’re doing this in the morning, you can do your makeup, take over the world, and/or eat your breakfast while you wait. I like to set up my hair in the clips before I go to bed and take them out in the morning. One of the perks of this technique is that it is very comfortable and easy to sleep in! When you’re ready, take the clips out and separate the twists with your fingers. You can manipulate the curls into whatever style you want by separating and reforming the curls with your fingers or a paddle brush. Always twist your hair away from your face when reforming the curls so that you aren’t fighting against what you’ve created. (One more helpful tip: make sure move your hair around in back so that the part you originally created doesn’t show up back there.)

That’s all for now, so thanks for reading! And thanks for letting me be part of your day!

Perfect Heatless Curls with a French Twist - offbeat + inspired

Well I hope you enjoyed meeting my amazing sister! I can’t wait to introduce my youngest sister, B. I’m sure she’ll be guest posting some of her wonderful DIY/art projects here (hopefully soon)!

Do you have a favorite heatless curling technique? Please share in the comments below!!

you might also like


  1. Jacque says:

    GAh once again a stunning video tutorial! Man I wish I had hair that would hold curl like that … errr curl at all! What a beautiful hair style!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Thank you!! :D You should definitely try it because no-heat techniques can hold much longer sometimes even for stubborn hair!

  2. What a great method for curls without using an iron of any sort .. you are some seriously talented sisters!

  3. Wow, super cool. I wish my hair would take curl. I remember being little and using sponge curlers – man, that hurt! this would have been way better! :)

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Aww haha! I’ve never been successful with curlers! My hair doesn’t hold curl very well, but no-heat methods work way better than when I use my curling iron! Woops, don’t tell R I said “iron”! :P

  4. I am so trying this on Kate’s hair and possibly my own! Or…maybe I can talk Rachel into doing it…she is good!

  5. Oh I want to try this asap! My hair is straightened with Keratin so I’m not sure it will keep the curl without some sort of product though. It’s worth a try though!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Yess definitely try it! Hopefully it works! I’ve never tried heatless curls on straight treated hair but I’m curious about how it will turn out for you, please let me know! :)

  6. jenny says:

    fantastic tutorial – thanks for sharing! i hope i can do this to my hair which is about four times as long!! :O

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      I hear ya! My hair is much longer than R’s but it works great! The emphasis for us long-haired gals is on that final twist at the end.

  7. Courtenay says:

    Oooooh my goodness I love your videos so much. Can you please just go ahead and make one everyday for me to watch? I’ll be happy forever!

  8. Sissi says:

    Thanks so much! Everyone else who does heatless curls uses techniques which only suit longer hair. I recently cut mine short(er) so this really helps!

  9. martha says:

    this is the best tutorial i have seen so far. Finally find a tutorial that is for short hair,has pictures,videos and explanations, my hair is very similar, i have also have naturally frizzy curls, but the thing is that my hair is weird, it is really curly like on my neck and a lil bit in the front and the rest is like wavy/ frizzy so its always hard to style,im so trying this right now :)

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      I’m so glad you found it helpful! My sister (the one in the video/pictures) has very frizzy and inconsistent curls as well! Hoping this works for you as well as it did for her! :)

  10. vivianna says:

    Thank you! That was awesome! Hope it works for me :)

share something