Heatless hair curler offers decent alternative to traditional iron, especially for those looking to avoid heat


Kitsch’s heatless hair curler, including rod and scrunchies

Written By Rachel Ross, Co Features/A&E Editor

Over spring break, I came across a hair product, of which I am always on the lookout, that caught my eye: Kitsch’s heatless curling set. I find a lot of fun and enjoyment in styling my hair, whether it be in straightening it, curling it, diffusing it, painstakingly making Princess Leia buns to watch the “Star Wars Holiday Special”, etc. However, sometimes I’m lazy and don’t feel like going through all that effort, a decision I ultimately end up regretting the next day when my naturally wavy hair gets all frizzy and out of control. 

Enter the heatless curling iron: the idea is that you wrap your hair around it after you get out of the shower, and it curls it without you having to do anything else. The Kitsch website boasts that it takes as little as five minutes for “gorgeous curls”, but that it can also be worn overnight while you sleep; the longer you keep it in, the better the curls should be. I had seen the product once or twice on social media with impressive results, but I was still a bit skeptical since, you know, it’s social media. But it was only $16 and some change, so I decided to try it out. 

You can tell just from taking it out of the box that you’re going to look ridiculous in this thing, but I didn’t realize how much until I actually put it in. Basically, it’s a long tube with a bendable wire at the center, surrounded with foam and then covered in satin. It is pretty soft, a point that the box proudly draws attention to. 

The instructions on the back of the box include four steps; you start with securing the curling rod on your head like a headband with a clip (the clip is not included). Next, you part your hair into two sections, and wrap it around each side of the curling rod. Then, you tie scrunchies, which are provided, around the ends of the rod to keep your hair tightly wound around it. From there, you just wait as long as you see fit, then take it out. 

The morning I decided to try it, I washed my hair as normal, just shampoo and conditioner. After drying my hair with a towel for a few minutes, I went for the curling rod. Wrapping my hair around it wasn’t exactly effortless, which I anticipated; the box and the people online always make it seem easier than it is. Once I had it on, I knew there was no way I was leaving the room wearing it; originally, I thought I might be able to for running errands around my building, like getting dinner or mail. But no, this is something you put in if you know you’re going to have a few solid hours in your room or a night in. 

When I took the rod out this first time, it wasn’t really a success. My hair was still very wet, to the point that the rod hadn’t curled it much at all. 

I tried to throw it back on the next morning, wetting my hair lightly before I did, only to have the same lackluster results. 

The third time was more so the charm. I showered, then dried my hair partially with a hair dryer, leaving it just slightly damp. I understand that this defeats the whole purpose of the “heatless” process, but I don’t really care. I never cared about the heatless thing; I’m lucky that I have strong hair, and so I usually don’t worry about heat damage. This might come back to spite me in the future, but whatever, that’s future me’s problem. 

After drying it slightly, I went to put the rod in. This time, I had my boyfriend hold it in place as opposed to using the clip, which worked a lot better. I was able to get my hair wrapped a lot tighter and neater around the rod. I’m sure with practice the clip can work, but it’s definitely an easier process with two people. 

From there, I left it in for several hours, a little longer than the runtime of “The Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition,” which is what I watched that night. When I took the rod out, I was genuinely impressed with the results; they were nice loose curls. I mean, they weren’t as nice or tight as if you used an actual curling iron, but still passable. 

As is usually the case with any product like this, it doesn’t exactly work as advertised. Not only does it work better when you have a second pair of hands to help you, but if you use heat first. It was pretty comfortable to sit in, definitely more so than curlers. I wouldn’t run a marathon in it, but it was somewhat easy to maneuver around in. 

I would not however sleep in this thing, which is a bummer considering that was a prospect I was originally excited about. As someone who, for better or worse, regularly sleeps on their stomach, wearing this thing to bed is not a possibility. The only case where I could see someone wearing this overnight is if they sleep on their back, perfectly still like a Disney Princess. 

It was nice to be able to put this thing on and just sit back and relax, but I’m not completely convinced yet that it’s totally worth it. I’m not sure that the inconveniences it causes, although minor, are really all that much better than just taking a few extra minutes to get out a curling iron. 

This definitely has more appeal for someone who is concerned about frying their hair; this is a suitable alternative to that. But for someone like me, who went into it more for the convenience aspect, I don’t know that it delivers the same way. I’ll definitely hold on to it and use it again, but it feels like something I have to plan ahead for; I have to use it on a night or a morning I suppose where I won’t be doing anything or going anywhere for an extended period of time, and although not needed but helpful, that someone else is around to lend a hand. 

Overall, the product does work, but it’s not as effortless as it’s made out to be. Thankfully it’s not super expensive, so even if you buy it and decide you don’t like it, it’s not like it’s a huge loss. However, it’s worth considering whether or not it really seems worth it enough for all the extra conditions and effort it requires.