How to crimp hair without a crimper

By: | Last Updated: February 11, 2022

Thinking of giving your hair a new style and texture?

Well, you’re in the right place because in this article, we’ll be talking about hair crimping! 

So what exactly is hair crimping?

Well, it’s about creating wavy and zig-zag texture on straight hair, with the use of a crimping tool. 

Unlike soft curls, crimping gives off that voluminous finish, making the hair look frizzy — in a good way though! 

Not to mention, you can do this in the comfort of your own home without spending much money. 

So without further ado, let’s look into this must try hairstyle! 

How to crimp hair without a crimper

The secret to crimping your hair is not just about using a hair crimper. 

No crimper? No problem! 

But before we go into that, let’s first talk about how you can prepare your tresses before crimping them. Proper preparation is important as this helps you crimp away your hair easily. It also makes the crimps last longer. 

First, properly wash and thoroughly dry your mane. Make sure it isn’t wet. 

Next, apply a generous amount of volumizing mousse. This will help detangle knots in the hair, making hairstyling smooth and easy. 

Once done, you can then start crimping your hair without a crimper. 

And that being said, let’s now talk about the different styling methods that will help you achieve those zigzags!

CHECK OUT: Perfect for flat hair: Voloom Hair Volumizing Iron Review

How do you crimp your hair naturally? 

Is there a way to crimp the hair without damaging them? 

Fret no more because fortunately, there are natural heat-free ways to achieve crimped hair. 

Braids, u-pins, curling rods and headbands are here for that! 

How do you crimp your hair naturally

How to crimp hair with braids?

The most common technique of crimping is braiding. It is by far the most traditional way of achieving waves in the hair. 

In traditional braid crimping, patience is a virtue because you’ll be leaving the braids on overnight. 

In doing this method, begin with braiding your hair from the roots, either loosely or tightly, depending on your preference. 

And for a longer hold, spray on some hair mist. Then wrap your hair with a silk or satin scarf and keep it on overnight. 

When you wake up, remove the silk scarf and completely undo the braids.

And don’t use a hair brush! Instead, gently brush your hair with your fingers and apply a holding spray right after. 

Can you crimp your hair with a straightener or blow dryer?

Can you crimp your hair with a straightener or blow dryer?

But wait there’s more! 

Thanks to modern technology, slight advancements were made to traditional braid crimping.

So what changed then? 

Well, you now set your braids with heat.

After sectioning your tresses into small parts and braiding them from the roots, you can either use a blowdryer or a flat iron and run it over on the braids. 

You can either keep the braids loose for softer waves or keep them tight for tighter crimps.

Make sure you apply a heat protectant beforehand to help prevent and minimize heat damage. 

And before undoing the braids, make sure it has cooled down. Never undo hot braids or else, it will be a total disaster. 

Most importantly, put on some hairspray for longevity. 

CHECK OUT: A Definitive Guide on How to Curl your Hair with a Flat Iron

The alternative 

On another note, if you’re not fond of braiding, you can simply press the flat iron onto the hair and bend the hair up and down for every inch. 

If you’re aiming for a subtle look, make sure the spaces between each crimp are wider. 

Which is better — with or without heat? 

It depends on your preference. 

If you want quicker results, then I suggest you set it with heat. And not to mention, it lasts longer than traditional braid crimping. The only downside is the risk for heat damage.

On the other hand, if you want something less damaging, then just go with good old fashioned braiding. Note, however, that you’ll have to wait longer for the end result. 

CHECK OUT: How To Curl Short Hair Without Heat In 5 Minutes

How to crimp your hair overnight?

How to crimp your hair overnight

Aside from overnight braiding, you can also use curling rods and headbands to crimp your hair while sleeping. 

Curling rods

In doing this method, your tresses must be damp. 

So you can either wash your hair or simply spray some water.

Next, section your hair and twist them starting from the root to the tips. 

Get your curling rods and wrap each section of the hair with it. If you want tighter crimps, tighten the wrap as much as possible. 

Once done, leave it on overnight. 

In the morning, gently remove the curling rods and brush them with your fingers. 

Spray on some hairspray so the crimps will hold much longer. And for a shinier look, you can also apply an anti-frizz serum. 


Same with curling rods, you should first dampen your tresses. 

Once damped enough, put on a fabric or sports headband around the head and make sure your hairline is covered. 

Next, section your hair into two equal parts. Start with the left side and divide them again into small sections. Afterwards, wrap and weave each section around the bottom part of the headband. Repeat the same with the other side. 

Leave your hair with the headband overnight. 

In the morning, gently remove your hair from the headband and finger brush them. 

Put on some hairspray and you’re good to go!  

What can I use to crimp my hair?

As mentioned earlier, you can either use a hair straightener, blow dryer, curling rod and headband. But wait, we forgot one more — U-pins

Crimping with U-pins

Before we delve into the process, let’s get to know U-pins first! 

What is it and what does it do? 

Well, from the name itself, U-pins are hairpins that are ‘U-shaped’ which means that the two sides do not touch each other. 

They are often used in keeping the hair in place. 

In crimping with U-pins, apply first a curl-enhancing and volumizing mousse and then section your hair into two equal parts. 

Next, divide these 2 sections into mini sections, about 5-6 will do.

Then get your U-pin and put them near your scalp. 

Gently wrap the mini-sections around the pin. Do this by weaving them in and out of the prongs. Also, make sure you secure the hair ends with a hair tie. 

Repeat the process until all sections are wrapped and weaved. 

Next, use a flat iron and press it around your wrapped hair for 3-5 seconds. Make sure you apply a heat protectant beforehand. 

Once done, remove the hair from the pins and gently brush them with your fingers. 

CHECK OUT: Top Picks: Best Hair Crimper Iron

The takeaway

Indeed, there are numerous ways of achieving crimped hair without using a hair crimper.

But whichever technique you’ll use,  make sure your hair is fully prepped. A tangle-free and heat-protected hair will make hairstyling quick and easy. 

Also, don’t forget your hair care routine. This will help maintain a well-nourished and healthy hair every after styling. 

So what are you waiting for? Go slay some crimps! 

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