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Perfect Heatless Curls: Trying Out TikTok’s Viral Leggings Hack

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Heatless curls have dominated TikTok and Instagram all year long. We’ve seen the sock curls and the t-shirt curls come and go, and now it looks like legging curls are the top style this holiday season. Though I initially found the idea of stuffing my hair inside an old pair of Lululemon Align leggings utterly comical, I still felt intrigued by the multitude of tutorials on my FYP. Could I really achieve damage-free, dreamy locks without any fancy hair tools or products? Last night, I went out on a limb and tried out this absurd trend. Shockingly, the legging curls turned out better than I could’ve ever expected. If you are still dubious about this HairTok craze, here’s everything you need to know about pulling off the look:

The Process

Honestly, I feel that video instructions are best for heatless curls. Check out the wonderful tutorials below to watch step-by-step guides on properly manipulating your hair around the leggings. All I would add is that you should make sure to not start off with wet hair! This nuance can be confusing because most heatless curl techniques require beginning with damp locks. But, given the athleisure texture of leggings, moisture won’t help the curling process. Instead, I’d recommend just using second-day hair, so that the strands aren’t too slippery.


WILL THIS ACTUALLY WORK THO!??🤔#heatlesshair w/ LEGGINGS @courtneyy_travis

♬ Pink Venom – BLACKPINK
Erin Dugan Jurchak via TikTok
Meredith Welborn via Instagram

My Experience

I was quite skeptical of whether this hack would work for my hair type. My hair is naturally curly, but the curls tend to melt into frizzy, unpredictable waves as soon as I brush them. I’d only ever seen women with straight hair try out the legging curls, but I still wanted to achieve a uniform pattern that would last. So, I found a spare pair of Lulus, followed the tutorials above and wrapped my hair. The process was so much faster than other heatless styles I’ve attempted; it only took 5 minutes! Not only was I shocked by how quick and easy the steps were, I also loved how my hair neatly tucked up inside of the leggings. The waistband swaddling my head was cozy and comfortable and meant that I didn’t have to sleep on any bumpy pins. I kept my hair wrapped up in the fabric cocoon all night and simply unraveled the twists when getting ready this morning. I had to hold in a little gasp, as I watched the perfect ringlets fall into place. It took 30 seconds of floofing the curls with my fingers to shape the style, and voila! Voluminous curls—no heat or products (and frankly no skill) required.


In the interest of balance, I’ve got to break down this hack’s cons. Firstly, my hair did get a bit frizzy while wrapped up in the leggings. My hair gets frizzy on its own, but I also feel like the staticky texture of the athleisure wear might’ve exacerbated this hair woe. Secondly, the method of wrapping the hair up in the waistband left my roots looking a tad bit flat. While finessing your hair with a comb and some artful sprays of dry shampoo could probably solve this issue, I was a bit disappointed by how the volume was just horizontal. When weighed against the speed, ease and overall effects of the hack, these two downsides are pretty minor. But, you should still keep these pitfalls in mind if frizz or flatness concern you!

I’m now singing legging curls’ praises from the rooftops. I’m sending pictures to all of my friends, flexing my fluffy ringlets and trying to get everyone I know to join this TikTok bandwagon. If you’ve got a holiday party coming up or plan to go out on New Year’s Eve, I’m begging you to give this hack a shot. This hairstyle is simple, fast and gentle. What’re you waiting for? Go find some leggings!

Kate is a third-year English major at UCLA, hailing from San Francisco. When she's not editing articles for Her Campus at UCLA, she enjoys getting lost in a good book and experimenting with vegan recipes.