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The Best No-Heat Curl Methods to Give You 90s Julia Roberts Hair

Lately, a lot of my recreational time has been spent fawning over vintage fashion, beauty, and pop culture icons from the 80s and 90s. One of the biggest trends I’ve noticed is the signature volumized curly hair, and for some reason, Julia Roberts has been the celebrity that has really drawn my attention. I mean, just look at her. Absolutely stunning. And that red color? Even more amazing.

But it doesn’t just stop at her – Mariah Carey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mädchen Amick, and so many more women from the 90s fashion scene are iconic for sporting their curly locks. But what if you aren’t committed to a perm? What if you want to minimize the amount of heat damage you put your hair through? Look no further than no-heat curls. Let’s break down some of the best methods you can use on your hair tonight that will help you achieve some of the best and most vivacious curls reminiscent of those iconic 90s hair looks.

Method #1: The “Cocoon” Method

From my steadfast research, I’ve decided that this is one of the most realistic, straightforward, and gratifying methods out there to achieve curls similar to the actresses mentioned above. You take a section of hair, wrap it around two fingers once, wrap the rest of your hair around the section on top of your two fingers, and then pull that “cocoon” down to secure your hair. You do this all the way around your head, and then keep it in for as long as possible.

The trick to this method is a lot of separation for maximized volume, as well as spraying the ends of your hair with water or a curl activation to keep the ends looking tame. This video helps to give a visual also!

Method #2: The Sock Method

This one’s gotten some more attention recently, so why not give it a shot? Take a longer sock, two sections of hair, and basically braid your hair with the sock as the third portion. It’s a little different from braiding, but instead of trying to aimlessly describe it in writing, check out this video that really details how to properly do the sock method.

Method #3: Tight Dutch/French Braids

This no-heat hairstyle will result in more tight waves than curls, but it’s still worth a shot anyway. If you need a refresher or basic lesson on how to go about a Dutch or a French braid, check out this video. When you do your braids, make sure your hair is wet and make your braids as taut as possible. When you wake up, you’ll be met with some really amazing waves to start your day off. Similar to the first method, it’s probably best to wet your ends with water, gel, a curl activator, or hairspray.

Method #4: If You REALLY Want Heat…

Sometimes the best methods end up falling back to using heat tools at some point or another, and it’s okay to use them every once in a while. If you want to use heat, consider using a volumizing mousse and running it through the shafts and ends of your hair. Then use a diffuser head on your blow dryer, scrunching up your hair in the process. If you don’t have a diffuser, buy this inexpensive, universal one from Walmart online.

Also, I love using hair rollers on occasion to get a volumized, 90s bombshell blowout look. This video from Brad Mondo, a YouTube hairstylist god, is pretty much my go-to to make sure I’m getting the most out of my hair. Also, hair rollers are a staple of vintage hairstyles, so this is pretty authentic, no matter the size of the rollers you use.

No matter which method you choose, I’m rooting for you to get as close as you possibly can to Julia Roberts perfection. No pun intended. Good luck!

Caroline Val

Columbia Barnard '24

Caroline is a first-year at Barnard hoping to major in Psychology and English with a concentration in Film Studies. When not advocating for mental health awareness, she's also extremely involved in all things theatre, film, and writing (especially poetry). She can be reached on Instagram @cxrol.v!
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