Headband curls vintage hairstyle long haircollage

With all this extra time at home, you can become a masterchef, but you can also become your own personal hairstylist. A few weeks ago I joined a 14-days vintage hairstyle challenge on Instagram (a blog about that challenge and previous vintage hair challenges is coming up soon). Since the most recent challenge I’ve been on a (creative) roll.

I’ve been using my curling iron a lot lately, because I was practicing some more with vintage hairstyles. For me, the curling iron was the easiest and fastest way to create vintage inspired waves. Although I can stand the heat, my hair probably can’t on the long run, so I searched for an alternative way to curl my hair.

I don’t use rollers. Years ago, I tried those oldskool bristle rollers. My hair’s worst nightmare, because they got stuck and it took me an hour to remove. I’ve also tried papillottes several times, but there are also no succes stories there. Foam/sponge rollers could be an alternative, but I wanted to find a method without spending money. More importantly, a method with the least amount of effort and maximal result. This actually sounded like a mission impossible to me, but my best friend Google told me otherwise. I discovered the headband curls method. Also on Instagram, I saw some ladies who tried this method, with luscious waves as a result.

The headband curls method

What is the headband curls method?

You put on a headband or bandana (above your ears) and wrap your hair around it. After that it’s time for your beauty sleep and the next day you get: curls, curls, curls!

What do you need?

A headband or bandana is basically the only thing you need. You can use bobby pins to make sure everything stays in place and an anti-frizz product if you prefer.

How long does it take?

With my hair length (currently until my hips), it takes me max 15 minutes. As a comparison: Curling with my curling iron takes me about 25 minutes.

I started with the headband curls method on Monday night. The original plan was to try it once, but I loved it so much that I continued for five days. Each day I did something different, which led to slightly different results. Presenting: my headband curls diary.

Day 1: accidental Diana Ross inspired 80s look

If you follow most headband tutorials, then the first step would be to either make sure your hair is towel dry or you need to dampen your hair. I only did that this very first day, because I just washed my hair. I skipped this step the following days, because my hair tends to curl easily anyway. So with this first attempt, I divided my hair in four sections. Two front sections (one on each side) and two back sections (also one on each side).

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I started wrapping the hair around the headband, while also twisting the hair section. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I secured it with a few bobby pins and a bandana. Slept like a baby and the result was:

A natural 80s perm with very tight curls. My first thought was: wait what, that’s was not the plan? I also forgot to add an anti-frizz product. These first day curls where impossible to brush out without creating even more frizz. So, I just left the curls unbrushed and I had an unexpected Diana Ross inspired 80s look on Tuesday. I added some volume powder and hairspray, because if you’re going 80s, you gotta go big, right?

Headband curls day 1 - back to the 80s and Diana Ross style

Day 2: Tropical loose waves

The next day, I made four sections again and added Suavecita setting lotion. I skipped the twisting part and just wrapped it around the headband: tight, but not too tight. I secured it again with the bandana and went to bed. I woke up with tight curls, but I could brush them out a lot easier than yesterday. I was in the tropical tiki mood that day. So this was the end result: a Tiki inspired style:

Headband curls day 2 - Tropical loose waves

Day 3: Workout proof curls

On this day, I decided to do something different. Instead of dividing my hair in four sections, I divided my hair in two. After that, I took a small section from one side, wrapped it around the headband, and kept adding new sections as I was wrapping it around. The girl in this video can show you exactly how that works.

When I woke up the next morning, I had a virtual workout session and I can proudly announce that these curls survived the workout session. I just put all the curls on top of my head and secured it with bobby pins. I added a bandana and these curls were ready for some serious crunches. (But I wasn’t, hello serious muscle soreness).

On that same day, I had a virtual pubquiz and I decided to dress like I was really going to a pub, because you gotta make it fun yourself, right? I didn’t brush the curls. I only pulled them a bit, used hairspray to set the curls and added a hair flower. I put on a colorful retro dress and poooof…instant retro glamour!

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Day 4: Fake it, until you make it (to the hairdresser)

I repeated what I did on day three with one exception. I added Olaplex no 6 (bond smoother /leave-in conditioner) before wrapping the hair around. Yes, I put this product in dry hair, because apparently that also works on my hair.

Headband curls day 4 - Fake it until you make it

The unexpected result: fake shorter hair. Of course we can’t go to the hairdresser at the moment and my hair is definitely getting long, but with this little trick I can fake it until I make it (to the hairdresser).

In the afternoon, I decided to do a full retro glam look. I brushed the curls out a little bit and secured some waves on top of my head. Next to that, I added a flower bouquet, a vintage hat, some blush and of course red lipstick. I changed my top and within 7 minutes, I went from casual chic to full glam!

Headband curls day 4 - vintage hair - full retro glamour

Day 5: Minimal effort, maximum result

On this day, I was kinda lazy. I secured my waves on top of my head with a few bobby pins, added a bandana and went to bed. In other words, this took me less than 2 minutes. The next morning, I woke up with similar waves as day 4.

I was in the mood again for a full retro glam look, but with the minimal amount of effort. So, I made a barrel roll, set the rest of the waves with some hairspray and was ready for some serious TikTok performances ;-).

Headband curls day 5 - minimal effort, maximum result


Although, it took me until 2020 to find out that this method existed, I can conclude that this method definitely works for me. I seriously love the fact that it only takes me 15 minutes (or less) to create these curls/waves.

The only disadvantage I can think of is that you can get some frizziness (depending on your hair structure). Frizz is not so bliss, but you can control that by adding an anti-frizz product before you wrap your hair around the headband.

More importantly, I don’t have to use heat, get tighter curls than with my curling iron and they also last longer. In other words, it’s a win-win-win situation. The fun part is that people will actually think that you spend a lot of time in front of the mirror, while in fact you snooze but you don’t lose #truestory. Or to sum it up with my favorite morning slogan: minimal effort, maximum result!

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