Many of us long for beautiful, effortless curls but struggle to find the time in the morning to sit down and style our hair.
While you could reach for heated styling tools, these can damage your locks when used daily and time-consuming when packed in amongst your morning workout, breakfast, or commute.
Well, never fear!
We have put together a list of fast, heat-free curling methods for short hair, so you can spend less time in front of the mirror each morning but still look fabulous!
Creating luscious curls without heat in just 5 minutes is a big ask.
So before we get to the methods, let’s take a quick look at the science behind creating curly hair.
Your hair is composed of various proteins, one of which is called keratin.
The keratin is held together by molecular hydrogen bonds, whose job is to maintain the shape of your hair. These bonds can be altered using either two methods – heat or water.
By applying heat or water to your hair, you loosen the bond between the hydrogen molecules, allowing you to alter the shape before the bonds return.
Therefore setting damp or wet hair into your desired curl pattern and leaving it to air dry will result in simple, damage-free coils.
Of course, different methods and hair textures may require longer than 5 minutes to set.
But for those of you with freshly washed tresses, taking the extra bit of time to prep your hair before bed will still allow you to quickly reveal the stunning results the next morning.
READ: The Ultimate Guide on How to Curl Short Hair
Let’s start with our fastest methods to achieve some quick curls.
If your short hair already has a slight natural wave, creating loose waves and curls is surprisingly simple. All you need are a few good styling products and your hands.
This method is by far the fastest way to create some effortless waves and texture in your hair, so you can look like you have just stepped off the beach in minutes.
The important thing to practice with this method is finding the correct balance of product for your hair.
Too much, and your hair will look stiff and have a crispness to it, but not enough, and your waves may not hold. So experiment and enjoy super simple beachy waves in minutes.
This method is just as simple and only requires some styling products and your hands to mold your damp hair into quick and easy curls.
Have a couple of hours to spare before you need to head out of the door but still want to keep your styling heat and damage-free?
These methods require minimal prep and can be left to set for just a few hours or overnight for beautiful curls.
Check Out: How to curl short hair using bendy rollers
Do you have an elasticated headband lying around?
This underappreciated hair accessory can do so much more than decorate your hair; you can use it to create lovely curled locks fast!
Let your curls set for a few minutes if you are in a hurry or a couple of hours for a long-lasting defined style!
Remember that the more water you apply to your hair, the longer it will take your style to set. If you are in a rush, just a gentle spritz of water will ensure the hair is pliable enough to create beautifully subtle curls in 5 minutes too!
While it'll take you less than 5 minutes to wrap your hair around the headband, it's advisable to leave it for at least half an hour to do its magic.
You can do you chores, put on makeup, cook breakfast or drink coffee while waiting for the curls to set. Aimee from A Mom's Take swears by this no heat, no stress 5 minute curls!
Instead of using headband, you can also use an old shirt for rag curls.
Using braids to curl hair is a method that has been around for hundreds of years, and if your hair is long enough, it is still a fantastic method to use today.
Although commonly worn overnight to reveal beautifully crimped locks in the morning, braids can effectively curl your hair in just a couple of hours with the addition of a few styling products.
This is an excellent method to use when heading out for the evening and taking your look from straight to curly with minimal effort. Simply pop in your braids and carry on getting ready, leaving 5 minutes in the end to reveal your stunning transformation.
While you can use headbands and braids to create beautiful curls and waves overnight, for a really defined and voluminous look, hair rollers are a fab option for short hair!
Check Out: No Heat Curls for Short Hair
There are many types of hair rollers available, each with its pros and cons (for an extensive list, check out our definitive guide). Still, when using overnight to set your hair, we recommend opting for something soft and comfortable to sleep in such as foam rollers.
While this method does take longer to prep the night before it can make your morning styling routine a breeze. With just 5 minutes in front of the mirror before work or school, you are ready to go with mesmerizing curls.
Curling your hair doesn’t have to involve heat.
When opting to use water to help set your hair, the key to speed is to not oversaturate that it takes too long to dry.
Work with lightly damp hair and ample styling products to set your curls fast, so you ready to rock your day in record time!