Smoothing lotions reduce frizz and loosen waves.

How to Get Heatless Waves Overnight

by Grace Riley

The best wavy hairstyles look gorgeous and effortless, but as many women know, creating such a hairstyle can be a tedious task. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to create head-turning, tousled tresses while you sleep, which reduces the amount of time and effort you have to invest in styling. By following the steps below you can have your beauty sleep do all of the wave-making work for you and achieve beautiful “bed-head” style that you'll actually want to show off.

Wash your hair according to your normal haircare regimen. Blot it with a towel to remove as much moisture as you can. Your hair should be damp but not dripping.

Apply a pre-styling product such as mousse or volumizer, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Comb or brush your hair to remove tangles.

Pull an elastic headband over your head. Pull all of the hair through the band, so that it hangs around your neck like a necklace. Slide the headband up toward your forehead. Orient the band so that it runs across your forehead in a hippie-esque style. Comb or brush your hair back, away from your face.

Separate a small 1 to 3-inch section of hair along your hairline at the front of your head to create small, tight waves; separate a larger section to create looser waves.

Wrap the section of hair over and under the headband until you've created a loop around the band, and then let go of the hair section.

Gather some of nearby, free-hanging hair pieces into a second section. This section should be about the same size as the first. Pick up the remaining portion of the first section, and combine it with the second.

Repeat the over-and-under looping process with the combined sections of hair. Do not overlap the first and second loops of hair on the headband. The loops should be side-by-side, hiding the band.

Continue adding more hair and looping it over and under the headband, working toward the back of your head. Stop when you reach the back center of your head and half of your hair has been looped.

Repeat the process on the other side of your head beginning at the front.

Remove the headband in the morning or when your hair is thoroughly dry. Style the waves with your fingers. The more you handle the waves, the looser they will become. Apply a smoothing lotion according to the manufacturer’s instructions, if desired.

Items you will need

  • Towel
  • Mousse or volumizer
  • Comb or hairbrush
  • Elastic headband
  • Hair smoothing lotion


  • For tight, curl-like waves, create small 1-inch sections of hair, and keep the loops close together on a narrow headband.
  • For broad, loose waves, create larger 3-inch sections of hair, and leave about 1-inch between each loop of hair on a wide headband.


  • Avoid brushing the waves in the morning, which can cause them to frizz.

About the Author

Grace Riley has been a writer and photographer since 2005, with work appearing in magazines and newspapers such as the "Arkansas Democrat-Gazette." She has also worked as a school teacher and in public relations and polling analysis for political campaigns. Riley holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in American studies, political science and history, all from the University of Arkansas.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images