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People Are Curling Hair With Empty Water Bottles—And It Works!

photo of woman with long curly hair water bottle curls

As avid beauty and hair lovers, we know a ton of different beauty hacks to create curly hair while utilizing minimal heat. From sleeping in a braid to using unconventional tools like socks and paper towels, we thought we’d seen it all. That is until the #blowthebottlechallenge showed up on our social media feeds. Whether you’re working with dark brown hair or peekaboo highlights, this hack seems to work for everyone. All you need is a water bottle and a blow dryer. Keep on reading if you’re curious to see how it works.

What are water bottle curls?

When it comes to styling, the idea is you can say goodbye to your curling irons and wands and simply use a water bottle as your newest styling tool. The result? The same buoyant curls we all know and love. It’s no surprise that these water bottle curls are going viral. Like most new trends, the world seems to go into a frenzy as soon as something intriguing comes to light and we’ve never seen anything like this before.

You start by cutting off the top piece of a water bottle which will act as a cylindrical placeholder for your hair. Then, cut a hole in the side of the bottle to place the nozzle of your blow dryer. Place your dry hair into the bottle with your blow dryer and turn the blow dryer on. The bottle keeps the hair contained, forcing it to turn within itself while it’s drying, which ultimately creates the curl effect. Not to mention—the bottle seems to act as a barrier that prevents extreme direct heat to the hair which may help reduce excess heat damage. Impressed? So are we.

Amanda Epstein, Matrix brand ambassador and stylist, credits the hack to a generation of beauty lovers who've grown up looking to DIY as much as possible.

I think everyone is looking for a quick fix and the easier, cheaper, quicker alternative—and then there are some that can’t use a typical curling iron so finding something more simple is appealing to them.

Before jumping to give this hack a try, it's important to consider if it's even worthwhile to do so.

Should you try water bottle curls?

As much as we love a good beauty hack, however, it’s important to consider some of the hazards that come with the #blowthebottlechallenge. While it may seem fun to test out, we don’t recommend you try this styling technique at home. By swapping your curling iron and round brushes for a water bottle, the hair dries without using any control which can lead to tangles and breakage. It’s also crucial to consider that we don’t know exactly how long it takes to achieve the curls. Therefore, you run the risk of melting the plastic bottle.

"I think the plastic water bottle is inconsistent, on top of the fact that it gets very hot and if you’re not careful or paying attention you could melt the plastic," Epstein says. "I try to teach my clients simple and easy ways to use heat tools so they can achieve the looks the want to at home. It’s important as stylists we educate our clients so they don’t turn to using plastic water bottles to curl their hair."

If you’re interested in finding new ways to style your hair, try the Dyson Airwrap. It may just be the answer to all of your extreme heat styling concerns. Dyson’s advanced technology uses the Coanda effect to curl your hair without extreme temperatures.

If you’re unconvinced by the latest buzz, you can always rely on no-heat styling tricks that curl your hair overnight. In all honesty, it’s probably the safest way to recreate your favorite curly look without heat. Plus, it allows you to get some extra sleep in the morning without having to worry about styling your hair. It’s a win-win situation that we highly recommend.

Looking for more styling tips for curly hair? Try our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you!