How to Create “No-Heat” Paper Towel Curls

You all know that we love posting no-heat curls tutorials from time to time! This one is inspired by a rag curls technique our grandmothers may have used when they were young. My own grandmother used to do them!

No-Heat Paper Towel Curls

Rather than used a cut up t-shirt, we decided to use something just as effective, but something you would definitely have around the house… paper towels!

No-Heat Paper Towel Curls

To see your recreations featured below this video in our CGH App, please feel free to tag your own photos of this hairstyle with: #CGHPaperTowelCurls

Young girl outside with tissue wrapped in her hair


These paper towel strips work nicely, because they wick excess moisture from the hair and help set the curl. My girls wear them to sleep, but for this video we filmed the before and after on Brooklyn the same day, after about 5-6 hours at home. {If you want to expedite the process, you can choose a hairdryer on low heat.}

(After) Young girl modeling No-Heat Paper Towel Curls

(After) Young girl modeling No-Heat Paper Towel Curls (Back)

Young girl modeling No-Heat Paper Towel Curls

(After) Young girl modeling No-Heat Paper Towel Curls

These curls are beautiful and voluminous. They are perfect as is, or as a base for a hairstyle combination with braids, buns, twist backs, etc. You can also get about 2-3 days worth of curls/waves by doing this.

Hope you love the curls as much as we do! Enjoy!

Items Needed: Brush, rat-tail comb, spray bottle, 1 roll of paper towels, hairspray and accessory {if desired}.

Time Requirement: 30 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Begin by tearing paper towels sections into 4 equal strips {they should each be about 2 inches wide}…
  2. Now part hair where you normally would…
  3. Then, gather the large majority of the hair, except the bottom layer, into a clip and secure it out of the way…
  4. Take a 1-2 inch section of hair {depending on thickness} and spritz it with water. If your hair is already damp that is fine too, but it is important that they hair is not super wet.
  5. Next, take the hair and wrap the last few inches upward over, and around, the paper towel strip to secure the strand’s ends…
  6. Then continue to roll the rest of the strand upwards toward the head…
  7. When you reach the head {or wherever you would like to stop the curl}, To secure the curl, tie the paper towel as though you are tying the first step of tying a shoelace…
  8. Continue to repeat Steps #4-7 until you have completely wrapped all the hair, section by section, into paper towel strips.
  9. Now, allow the hair sit over night to achieve maximum curl {or you may decide to use a blowdryer if time does not permit}…
  10. The next morning take the paper towels out of hair by either untying them or gently ripping them…
  11. Separate the larger curls carefully with your fingers so that you do not create frizz…
  12. Then, if needed, use a tiny spritz of water to tame any super tight curls…
  13. Then add any hairstyle combo {braids, twist backs, buns, etc}, accessories, or hairspray to the hair {if desired}.

Please feel free to leave a comment below letting us know what you think of these No-Heat Paper Towel Curls! Do you have any other ideas for fun no-heat curling techniques? I am all ears!

Happy Hairstyling!

This week, Brooklyn uploaded a natural, everyday makeup look on the girls’ BrooklynAndBailey YouTube channel. I love that she did that, because it teaches young teens that makeup should enhance natural beauty, not cover it up. Simply click below to view the video…

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  1. I like it.
    My grandmother did it to me for my graduation, but she did use straws instead of paper towels. 🙂

  2. Hi Mindy,

    I tried to do these curls, the sock curls and the Merida curls but none of them work very well. I think I’m doing the hair to wet, but I don’t have a spray kind of bottle and I’m wondering if you know a substitute? Also, I’ve put this suggestion up somewhere else as well but could you do some partly crimped hairstyles with a mini crimper?

  3. The cutest part of the video is how outgoing Paisy is. I love how she always has a big smile on her face and answers to questions truthfully. I am 12 years old, and she is by far the most happy little 3 year old I have ever seen.
    I do have a request for a video. I have seen something called the Bohemian side braid or something like that, and it’s really pretty and does not look that complicated. I’m wondering if you guys could look into it? Thanks for any troubles!

  4. Hi. Love the hairstyle. One thing, completely unrelated. I’m trying to sign up for the news letter but I get an email telling me that there was an error. Please help.
    Thank you.

  5. My mom would use rags to do this !!!! Like a old towel ripped into strips . Then I could sleep with it !!

  6. the way you wrap the hair is like the way you did on the sock curls but the hair is more curly i love it!

  7. I curl my hair with magazines. I do this by ripping the pages out of old catalogs and magazines, rolling them up, twisting my hair around them, and folding up the edges of the magazines where my hair ends (I also use bobby pins to secure my hair at the roots and ends). Then I sleep on the magazines and unroll the curls in the morning.

  8. What a cool idea! I would love to be able to try this out on my own hair. I don’t do very well with a curling iron, but I think that this is something that I would be able to do to get that beach wave hair look!

  9. Love this method, use it on a regular basis. Have to say though, will stick with the cut up shirt as it is reuseable.

  10. I love your no heat curls hairstyles!! Can you post a video on how to style curled hair? Thanks Mindy!

  11. I used to do that with my sister when we were little, it was so much fun! We just used old newspapers, which I think is even better, because you can recycle it and don’t have to waste paper made of rainforest trees.

  12. Just wondering, after you untie the hair down, should you put hairspray on the hair or no? I’m not a big fan of hairspray.. What should I do??

  13. Love this!!!!! Going to try it on Wednesday for when i go to church at night!!!!! love tight curls and loose curls!! I am going to try it but halfway up my hair! Thx Mindy!!!

  14. Rag curls were so hard to sleep on, but I knew if my mom took the time to put them in then tomorrow would be a BIG party of some sort! So I tolerated it! These seem much more manageable and VIva towels might help if tearing was an issue…

  15. This hairstyle soooooo beautiful!!! I absolutely love tight curls! Definitely going to try this, thx Mindy!!! <3

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