How to Do Sock Curls: Easy DIY Steps on Short or Long Hair

A cute young Caucasian female with thick hair wearing sock bun curls created with a curling iron on longer hair.

If you’ve been on social media, you might have come across a new trend taking the beauty world by storm – sock curls.

Sock curls are exactly what they sound like: heatless, gorgeous curls created with little more than a fresh pair of socks! If this sounds too good to be true, just keep reading!

This article will explain how to do the sock curls method.

We’ll walk you through all the steps to curl your hair with socks and take a few minutes to answer some of your other questions about how sock curls work. 

Here’s How to Do Sock Curls

One of the best things about sock curls (and trust us, there’s a lot to love) is that they’re super easy to create. All you’ll need is a few styling products and some socks.


Ready to get started? We’ll break down the steps below. 

A joyful white girl with tighter curls and a type 1 straight hair natural texture created tight curls by sock curling.

Shampoo and Condition Your Locks

Starting with freshly washed hair will ensure your curls are soft, supple, and shiny. So, to begin, wash and condition your hair as usual. After applying the conditioner, comb or finger detangle your strands.

After all, you don’t want any knots or tangles to ruin your curls. Plus, detangled hair is much easier to manage. After you rinse, dry your hair thoroughly with a microfiber towel

Create Your Sock Curls

After towel drying your hair, let it air dry for thirty minutes or so. Once your hair is about 60 to 70% dry, divide it into four or more sections.

Keep in mind that the more sections you create, the tighter your curls will turn out.

Secure all but one of the sections with a hair clip. Brush or comb through the loose section one last time to ensure you’ve removed all the tangles. 

Apply a mousse or setting spray to the section and comb it through to ensure it’s evenly distributed. Grab two or three pairs of socks that are roughly the same length as your hair.

Starting with the middle of your section, wrap the sock around your hair. Next, go back and wrap your ends. 

A Caucasian female with ringlet curls on dry hair strands created with thin socks and an ouchless hair tie.

Once your ends are secured, keep rolling upwards until the sock is nestled against your scalp. Carefully tie the ends of the sock together tight enough to it doesn’t come apart overnight.

Just be careful not to tie it too tightly, so you can easily remove it in the morning. Move on to the next section, and repeat the process until you’ve run out of loose hair. 

Let Your Hair Dry

The most time-consuming part of getting sock curls is waiting for your hair to dry. Even the slightest bit of moisture will ruin your definition and increase frizz.

So before removing your socks, make sure that your hair is 100% dry.

Both the socks and your hair hold onto moisture, so we recommend leaving the socks in overnight. Just go to sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase, so the material doesn’t damage your strands. 

A female with bouncy waves created with two socks is wearing a casual blue and white striped shirt.

Remove the Socks and Style Your Hair

Once your hair dries, unroll your socks. Spread a little shine-enhancing serum or oil onto your hands and gently tousle the curls with your fingers. That will help break them up, so they cascade down in gorgeous waves.

While you can use a wide-tooth comb instead, using your fingers will help ensure your curls don’t drop later in the day. Sock curls look fantastic with a ton of volume, so you should consider switching up your part.

You can also throw your hair into a stunning half updo or add a few chic accessories to your mane. After carefully crafting the perfect ‘do, lock it in place with a few spritzes of finishing hair spray. 

A stylish young female with a great smile tried a new style with her hair wrapped around socks to create beautiful curls.

Do You Brush Out Sock Curls?

After you curl your hair, you’ll probably have to break up your curls. That will prevent them from being too perfect and stiff and help them fall in a more flattering way.

Most experts recommend using your fingers, but you can also use a wide tooth comb. While you might be tempted to use a hairbrush, don’t do it! 

Hairbrushes have a ton of bristles that grab and tug on your strands and pull them out of shape.

They also lift your hair cuticles, which decreases shine and increases frizz and tangles. If you brush through your curls, you’ll end up loosening them too much. They’ll fall and leave you with a poofy mess rather than soft curls. 

A female with damp strands after using a spray bottle to enhance her heat-free sock curls and voluminous waves.

How Long Do Sock Curls Take?

Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, sock curls are almost effortless to create. You can probably finish wrapping your hair within twenty or so minutes.

However, waiting for your hair to dry will take significantly longer.

Once you finish installing your sock curls, they’ll take a minimum of five to six hours to dry. That’s why most people choose to use sock curls overnight. 

How Long Do Heatless Curls Last?

Now that you know how to create sock curls, you’re probably wondering if they are worth the effort. Depending on your hair’s ability to hold a style, sock curls tend to look best within the first three to four hours.

After that, they’ll slowly start to drop.

The good news is that spritzing your curls with a lightweight holding spray will help them last throughout the day. And with the proper nighttime routine, you might even be able to wear your heatless curls for two or three days!

A cute white female with a great smile has thick hair with tighter curls created with a DIY sock bun and hair ties.

How to Make Your Curls Last Longer

After finding out that heatless curls may only last for a few hours, you might be left wondering if there’s anything you can do to make them last longer.

We’re happy to tell you that the answer is yes! We’ll share a few different methods you can use to lengthen the lifespan of your sock curls below. 

  • Handle your curls gently – Instead of reaching for a brush or comb after taking out your sock curls, gently tousle them with your hands. Run your fingers through your hair, and scrunch them up as you go. Although your curls may initially look too tight and bouncy for your liking, they’ll gradually fall as the day wears on. And since your curls will drop more slowly, you’ll get to enjoy them for much longer! 
  • Blast your curls with a blow dryer – Sock curls are a heatless method of curling your strands. But you can make them last longer by using heat strategically. After you install your sock curlers, briefly blast them with a warm blow dryer. The heat will encourage definition and help ensure your curls stick around all day. 
  • Start with damp hair – When using the sock curl method, it’s important to start with damp hair. Damp hair curls better than either dry or wet hair. Additionally, sopping wet hair may not dry properly, even if you let your hair air dry overnight. 
  • Use the right hairspray – Hairspray exists for one reason: to hold and preserve your hairstyle! The more hold a hairspray has, the longer your curls will last. However, you don’t want the spray to leave your curls hard and crunchy. For the best results, use a lightweight holding spray that allows your hair to retain plenty of movement and flexibility. 

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Sock curls are an excellent, heatless alternative to curling irons or wands. They’re also incredibly simple to create. Just wrap freshly washed hair around a couple of clean socks, and let them dry.

It literally couldn’t get any easier! And even though the curls only take a few minutes to create, it’ll look like you spent hours crafting the perfect ‘do. We hope you found this article helpful!

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