Over the years, I’ve all but sworn off daily heat styling. While I reach for my curling wand for special occasions, my daily styling routine consists of running an air dry hair product through my strands and letting my natural waves do their thing. As much as I love my lowkey styling routine, there are days when my natural texture could use some help (without completely frying my hair with hot tools).
Luckily, you don’t need to scorch your hair to achieve a stunning hairstyle. If you’re looking for a way to style your mane with as minimal heat as possible, you’ve come to the right place! We tapped Emily Alders, Pureology artistic director and stylist at Abstrakt Studio, who shows us her tips and tricks for achieving a low heat hairstyle that will keep your strands damage-free and make the perfect addition to your summer styling routine.
How To Get Soft Waves With Low Heat
If you want to achieve soft waves with minimal heat, follow Alder’s simple low-heat styling trick using a few staple hair products and tools. Begin with middle-parted freshly washed hair. If you’re searching for a shampoo and conditioner system to add to your routine, we recommend Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner. Then, create two simple three-strand pigtail braids starting right behind the ear on each side of your head while your strands are still damp. Planning to hang around the house while your hair dries? Alders loves to apply a hair mask like Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Tasking Deep Conditioning Mask through her strands before creating the pigtails. This multi-benefit mask smooths frizz, repairs damage, and restores lost moisture while also delivering 21 essential benefits to all types of color-treated hair.
“Something that’s really cool is you can just wear your hair like this all day long...So I can wake up in the morning, I can get my workout done, I can work in the yard...whatever is going on,” Alders says.
If you're planning to head out soon after styling your hair, swap the hair mask for an air dry cream like Pureology Hydrate Air Dry Cream to control, enhance body, and perfect texture while keeping hair soft and hydrated. Apply the product throughout your strands from the mid-lengths to ends before you create your braids.
“I take about a quarter-sized amount of product, I emulsify it in my hands almost like lotion and then just run that all through the hair,” Alders says.
Once your hair is dry, undo the braids, and use a texturizing spray like Pureology Style + Protect Texture Finishing Spray to add a bit more texture throughout your hair. This formula adds lightweight texture and body while protecting color-treated hair from fading, heat damage, and environmental stressors. Pro tip: Use a tail comb to create a soft zig zag part to give your look added movement.
“What’s great about this product if you didn’t know it is that it actually has a heat protectant up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit,” Alders says.
Now, it’s time to grab your curling iron. For this look, Alder’s uses an iron with a 1 and a quarter inch barrel. Pick up a 1-inch section of hair by your face frame. Clamp the iron at the mid-length of the hair and twist the iron away from your face. Repeat this step on the other side of your part. According to Alders, adding additional texture to the strands framing your face helps to add definition to the entire look.
“I’m not going to release the spring, but I’m going to unwind it, and then I’m going to twist it and then pull down...What’s great about this is I’m using a little bit of heat but only a minimal amount to create a little bit of additional texture,” Alders says.
Once this step is complete, you’ll have soft waves you can wear throughout the day. If you want to accessorize your look, Alders suggests trying a hair scarf headband.
Using a tail comb, place the pointy end of your comb two inches back from where your hairline and your forehead meet. Create a line down to the back of your ear on each side of your head and set your front pieces of hair aside. Using the remaining hair, create a low ponytail and secure it with a clear hair elastic.
Place your hair scarf at the nape of your neck and criss cross the loose ends at the top of your head. Then, twist the two ends around each other to form the look of a knot. Take the remaining loose ends and secure them under the ponytail. Apply a few more spritzes of texturizing spray to the front pieces of hair and tuck them in to the sides of the scarf to complete the look.
With Alder’s tips and tricks, you'll have the perfect laid back summer look with minimal hot tool usage.