Heatless curls french braid 💁♀️Had this idea whilst laying in bed😂 also excuse the frizz, the weather isnt it #heatlesscurls #hairhacks #hairtipsandtricks #heatlesscurlstutorial #frenchbraidcurls #frenchbraid #heatlesshairhack ♬ Vibez - Niqo Nuevo
As a keen hair experiment-ee, hacks for salon-ready results are right up my street. From viral beach waves in under 10 minutes to Pamela Anderson's g-string updo, I will try anything that promises to give me an easy way of styling my hair. And TikTok is the holy grail of all hair hacks, meaning the various heatless curl methods doing the rounds on the platform have been on my radar for some time.
Having used everything from a pair of leggings to the Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set (£15), or walking around with a heatless styling ribbon wrapped around my head like the red teletubby, it's safe to say I'm dedicated to trying new methods to see different results. Which is why I had to try the new unicorn heatless curl hack after seeing TikTok creators wake up with tight, bouncy curls.
Named after the mythical creature with one horn on account of the styling rod being placed in the centre of your head, poking out at the front, I was intrigued. Sara Saadia, a hair and beauty creator on TikTok, garnered over two million views for her successful attempt at the unicorn heatless curls. (She calls them french braid heatless curls in the video, but the unicorn hack sounds way more fun.) Users in her comments boasted about the benefits for side sleepers and for those who want 360 curls, which some heatless techniques seem to miss.
Content creator Kenna McClellan's voluminous, mermaid-esque results convinced me to just go for it. After all, side sleeping, 360 curls, and no heat sounds like a win-win, right? Well, what I found when I put the technique to the test isn't quite what I expected. For starters, be prepared for aching arms.
Sara Strueby provided a handy TikTok tutorial on how to get the most out of the unicorn hack, which includes using a texture spray, or even some hairspray to help set the style overnight. In my case, I used the Moroccan Oil Frizz Shield Spray (£26). With its anti-frizz properties in mind to dampen my hair, I placed my satin heatless curling rod vertically in the middle of my head, secured in place with a claw clip.
This is where things got tricky. Doing a french plait on yourself can be a difficult task, but I tried my best before realising that this was going to look far messier than Strueby's attempt. Essentially, you need to wrap each small section of you hair around the rod, while also picking up more hair as you make your way down the braid. In my case, it was as hard as it sounds.
After several attempts, I eventually made it half-way down the plait, removed the claw clip without the whole thing collapsing, and securely completed the look, tying off the braid with a satin hair tie. But this is not a quick cheat.
Gruelling application method aside, the unicorn hack gave me a wonderful night's sleep, thanks to its vertical positioning, but it's important to note that I'm a side sleeper, so back sleepers, this one might not be for you.
By the morning, I was left a little flat with the immediate results. I carefully took down the style and found the midsection of my hair wasn't as defined as I'd have liked, indicating that I could've wrapped my hair tighter here. On a positive note, my ends were cutely flicked and I managed to maintain my fluffy voluminous fringe.
Overall, I achieved a shaggy, wavy style that looked more like natural curls than a bouncy salon blowdry, and throughout the day, the subtlety of the style oozed effortless, 'lazy girl chic' which I am all about.
If you plan on giving it a go, you'll need a 'rod' of some sort. For example, Revolution's Haircare Curl Enhance Satin Curling Ribbon (£6) is an affordable beginner option – firm enough to wrap your hair around – and a claw clip can be handy for keeping it in place. A bit of moisture, such as an anti-frizz or leave-in spray, or the Matrix Vavoom Freeze Spray Extra Hold, Fast-Drying, Ultra High Hold Hairspray (£13) usually makes the world of difference when doing heatless styles as it allows your hair to set and maintain your curls for longer.
While my results weren't quite the fabulous bouncy voluminous curls I'd been hoping for, the wavy style I created lasted for most of the day so it's worth a try if you're looking for a softer style. Plus, it didn't interfere with my sleep.