Sock Curls Tutorial: How to curl your hair with socks

Curling your hair doesn’t have to be damaging, expensive, and challenging. There are hair hacks that can help you achieve gorgeous, curly locks at home.

If you find yourself asking “How can I easily curl my hair minus the damage?”, the answer is simple—socks. Believe it or not, you only need socks to get voluminous, salon-like curls.`

The sock curling technique has been around since forever, but it resurfaced as a TikTok trend recently. 

You can use socks to curl your hair in two different ways, by sock bun curling or sock curling. The first one involves turning your sock into a donut bun, while the latter doesn’t require you to do something to your socks; you can use it as it is.   


What is sock bun curling vs sock curling?

Both techniques use socks as curlers, but each of them uses socks differently.

Sock bun curling is a heatless curling technique in which you turn your socks into a donut bun before wrapping your hair around it.

Meanwhile, sock curling doesn’t require you to create a donut bun. Instead, it is a heatless curling technique in which you, quite simply, twist your hair around socks. It might sound weird, but we’ll talk more about the different ways to do it later.

Pros and Cons of using sock curlers

Compared to using curling irons, the main advantage of sock curling techniques is that it doesn’t use heat at all. As a result, it doesn’t damage the hair.

Using socks is easier than using curling irons, especially for those who are not savvy when using hair tools.

Also, sock curling is cheaper because socks cost less than curling irons, and socks don’t use electricity to curl hair.

However, using socks has its disadvantages, too. Unlike curling irons that give you instant curls, the sock curling technique takes at least 5 hours to achieve gorgeous and lasting curls. So, you can’t use this technique when you’re in a rush.

You also can’t control the curls much like you can when using a curling iron or flat iron.


How to curl your hair with socks

As a general rule in curling, always remember to curl your hair away from your face. Also, it is advisable to do this technique on damp hair. You may apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner before the curling process if you want to.

Here are different ways to do sock curls overnight according to hair length and texture.


Sock Curl X-Pattern

Length: Medium to Long

Texture: Any

Result: S-shaped waves

  1. Dampen hair with water. Make sure it’s not too wet, just damp.
  2. Section your hair into two manageable parts. Those with thicker hair should have more sections.
  3. Pick one section of your hair. Then, clip the toe end of the sock to the hair roots of the chosen section.
  4. Divide the hair section into two chunks.
  5. Place the sock between the two chunks of hair.
  6. Place one chunk of hair over the sock to the opposite side. Then, do the same to the other chunk. After this, you should see an “X” pattern.
  7. Place one chunk of hair under the sock and do the same to the other chunk to reveal another “X” pattern. Continue making “X” patterns around the sock.
  8. Secure the end of the braid with a hair tie.

Do the same process to the remaining hair sections and leave it overnight.

Sock Curl Twists

Length: Medium to Long

Texture: Any

Result: Coils, thicker socks result in wider coils, and thinner socks result in ringlet coils.

  1. Dampen hair with water. Make sure it’s not too wet, just damp.
  2. Section your hair into four manageable parts. Those with thicker hair should have more sections, while those with thinner hair may opt for fewer sections.
  3. Take a sock, place it parallel to your hair strands, and then wrap your hair around it. Make sure that no hair sections overlap.
  4. Secure the curl using a hair tie, then twist your hair up into a bun.

Do the same process to the remaining hair sections and leave it overnight.

Sock Curls for Short Hair

Length: Short to Medium, can also be done on long hair using long socks

Texture: Any

Result: Twisted curls

  1. Dampen hair with water. Make sure it’s not too wet, just damp.
  2. Section your hair into four.
  3. Start on one of the front sections. Pick a small strand of the hair nearest to your face and wrap it around the sock once. Make sure to twist the hair away from your face.
  4. Pick another strand of hair and unite it with the first strand. Then, twist the combined strand away from your face and around the sock.
  5. Continue twisting and uniting strands until the whole section of your hair is wrapped around the sock.
  6. Secure the curl with a hair tie or a small rubber band. Twist the whole section and put it up into a bun.

Do the same process to the other hair sections and leave it overnight.  

Sock Curls for thick and coarse hair

Length: Long

Texture: Thick, Coarse

Result: Soft S-waves

  1. Dampen hair with water. Make sure it’s not too wet, just damp. You may opt to add a leave-in conditioner to your hair before starting the curling process.
  2. Section your hair vertically into six parts or more.
  3. Start with the hair section that is nearest to your face. Then, place a sock parallel to your hair and wrap hair around the sock in the direction away from your face. Ensure that the sock’s toe-part is the one near your scalp while the sock’s hole faces the floor.
  4. After wrapping the whole hair section around the sock, slip your hand inside the sock’s hole and hold the wrapped hair from there.
  5. Turn the sock inside out so that the sock covers the wrapped hair.
  6. Tuck the edges of the sock’s hole to the sock’s toe part. It should be tight and secured.

Do the same process to the remaining hair sections and leave it overnight.

Sock Curls on curly hair

Length: Short to Medium

Texture: Curly

Result: Coils, use thin socks for tight coils and thick socks for bigger curls.

  1. Dampen hair with water. Make sure it’s not too wet, just damp. Apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair before starting the curling process.
  2. Section your hair into six parts or more.
  3. Pick one section of your hair and twist it around a sock. Hold the tip of your hair to keep the wrapped hair in place.
  4. Tie both ends of the sock into a simple knot. Make sure that the wrapped hair doesn’t loosen.  

Do the same process to the remaining sections of your hair and leave it overnight.


Sock bun curls

Want to try a neater way of curling your hair using socks? You’ve come to the right place. Unlike sock curls that look messy, sock buns are an elegant hairstyle on their own.

Here are ways on how to curl hair with a sock bun

Sock bun tutorial long hair

To achieve larger curls, it is ideal to use thick socks for long hair. Consider using men’s athletic socks. For this method, you will only need one sock.

  1. Cut the toe part of the sock.
  2. Grab the newly-cut edge and roll it outwards so that the sock will look like a donut. Now, you have a sock bun.
  3. Dampen your hair with water. Make sure it’s not too wet.
  4. Tie your hair into a high ponytail.
  5. Insert your ponytail into the hole of the sock bun. Place the sock bun firmly on your ponytail.
  6. Pull a manageable (neither too thin nor too thick) hair strand from your ponytail and wrap it around the sock bun.
  7. Repeat step 6 until all of your hair is nicely wrapped around the bun.

You can rock this hairstyle even during the daytime! To achieve the curls, leave your hair in a bun for more than 5 hours before removing it.

Sock bun tutorial short hair

Note that it is ideal to use thin socks for shorter hair. You may consider using children’s school socks or ladies’ athletic socks. For this method, you will need a pair of socks.

  1. Cut the toe part of the sock.
  2. Grab the newly-cut edge and roll it outwards so that the sock will look like a donut. Now, you have a sock bun.
  3. Dampen your hair with water. Make sure it’s not too wet.
  4. Divide your hair into two sections and tie them into a ponytail that’s neither too high nor too low.
  5. Insert one ponytail into the hole of a sock bun.
  6. Pull a manageable (neither too thin nor too thick) hair strand from your ponytail and wrap it around the sock bun.
  7. Repeat step 6 until all of your hair is nicely wrapped around the bun.

Repeat the same steps on the other side. You can flaunt this cute and playful hairstyle during the daytime. To achieve the curls, leave your hair in a bun for more than 5 hours before removing it.


Sock bun curling vs. Sock curling

Sock bun curlingSock curling
Works better on long hairWorks well on all hair lengths
Requires you to cut the toe part of your sock; you can’t use your sock again once you turn it into a sock bun.You can curl your hair by leaving your sock as it is; you can reuse your socks
Looks neatLooks messy

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you curl hair with a sock overnight?  

There are three basic steps to sock curling. First, dampen your hair with water. Next, wrap small sections of your hair around a sock. Last, secure it with a hair tie. Leave it overnight. The way you wrap your hair around the sock varies depending on your hair length and hair texture.

Does curling your hair with socks work?

Yes, sock curling works! But it works best if you dampen your hair first and if you leave it for more than 8 hours. Also, make sure that the sock curling technique you’re using is appropriate for your hair length and texture.

Those with thicker and coarser hair may apply a leave-in conditioner first before starting the curling process to get the best results.

Can you do sock curls with dry hair?

Ideally, hair should be damp before sock curling, especially for those with thicker hair. But people with thin and manageable hair can still see results even when starting with dry hair.

Can you do sock curls with wet hair?

The hair should be damp but not wet before sock curling. If you try sock curls on wet hair, it will take more time to dry and won’t come out as curly as you like.

How do you curl short hair with a sock?

You can curl short hair with a sock by following the three basic steps of sock curling—dampen hair, wrap small sections of hair around a sock, and secure with a hair tie. People with short hair should wrap their hair around the sock from the roots to the tips to achieve more volume.

Last Updated: May 7, 2021

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