Forget bed head — this trendy haircare trick can give you salon-level curls overnight. And it’s pretty easy to do once you get the hang of it.
The power of a good hairdo is obvious. Freshly cut, blow-dried, curled hair can have you feeling like a Real Housewife straight out of glam.
But let’s face the facts: Hot tools damage hair. And it’s hard to get that fresh ‘do feeling without healthy hair.
So how do we get that TikTok-worthy hair without surface-of-the-sun heat? Enter: Sock curls.
This trendy haircare trick isn’t much of a secret: All you need to do is weave socks into your damp hair, and leave them there while it dries. It doesn’t even look (that) weird and is pretty easy to do — once you get the hang of it.
If getting fabulous beachy curls while keeping your hair looking healthy (while also putting the humble sock to work) sounds appealing, keep reading.
So how do you pull off the perfect sock curls? And just how many pairs of socks are you going to have to buy?
Straightforward answer: Probably none, unless you exclusively own ankle socks. But let’s take a look at what you’re gonna need before we start getting into the deets of how to do it.
To get those perfect curls, you’re going to need:
- 4 to 6 socks (possibly more if you have thick hair), which are about the same length as your locks
- a hairbrush
- hair clips
- hair ties
- a hair dryer (optional, and mostly if you want a bit more volume at your crown)
Everything in place? Excellent. Let’s get curling!
1. Make sure your hair is clean and damp
Give it a good wash, and towel-dry your hair until it’s no longer dripping wet — but just nicely damp. You could even use a spray bottle and just give it a good spritz if you prefer not to go through the whole washing routine.
2. Brush your hair through
Curls with tangles caught up in them? No thanks. Brush your hair now in order to avoid this tragic fate, and to make your hair easier to work with.
3. Divide your hair
If you’ve got fine to medium hair, you can probably divide it into at least four sections (front, back, and two sides). The thicker your hair is the more sections you’ll need, and therefore more socks.
Use your hair clips to keep these sections in place until you’re ready to weave in your socks.
4. Secure the socks
Choose one of your sections, grab your first piece of footwear, and use a hair clip to attach it at the toe end as close as possible to your scalp.
Don’t worry too much about placement here — you’re just trying to keep the sock nice and secure so you can weave your hair around it.
5. Weave each section of hair around the socks
According to TikTok, you’ve got two options for this part:
Option 1: Crisscross your hair around the sock
Divide the hair in the section into two halves, so you’ve essentially got two strands.
Weave them around the sock, one strand going over the top, with the other going underneath.
You’re curling them around the fabric, so your strands of hair are crisscrossing over each other. If the sock begins to look like a tube with a bunch of Xs down the sides, then congrats — you’re doing it right!
Option 2: Wrap your hair around the sock French-braid style
For this method, you’ll wrap each section of hair in one direction all the way down the sock.
Start with a 1-inch section of hair and wrap it around the sock away from your face. As you wrap and move down the sock, you’ll grab additional small sections of hair — kind of like you’re doing a French braid.
6. Tie it off
Once you’ve reached the bottom of your hair, you can tie it off in one of two ways:
Option 1: Wrap the curl up in the entire sock
If your socks are long enough, you can grab the open end of the sock and pull it over the entire curl to secure it. You don’t technically need a hair tie to do this, but it might fall out if you sleep in them.
Option 2: Secure it with a hair tie
Easy peasy. Just use a hair tie to secure the end of your hair to the sock.
8. Repeat for every section of hair
Unless you just want one curly section of hair (and that would be a choice), do the exact same for the other sections of your hair.
Grab someone to help you if doing the back section is tricky, and remember to tell them to start the weave as close to your scalp as possible, unless you’re going for curls that start further down the length.
9. Leave to dry completely
You can sleep with your new socky friends, or simply leave them in and go about your day, assuming that you don’t need to run to the grocery store, or have a Zoom meeting with your boss (camera off — they’ll never know). But make sure it’s totally dry.
Remove the socks carefully, and admire your new gorgeous hair! Run your fingers through the curls in order to break them up a little, and use a little dab of hairspray just to keep them looking fab.
Sounds great, right? But does it work for everyone?
Pleasingly, the answer appears to be a resounding yes — every influencer in the land has seemingly given this a try, with hair types ranging from fine to thick and curly, and they’ve all had great results!
Fine hair seems to take to it best, and with the least amount of effort, but even people with thick hair have had their heads transformed.
If your hair is being particularly stubborn, using a long sock, then turning it inside-out to cover your hair once you’ve crisscrossed it, seems to tame even the most ferocious lock.
And best of all, there’s absolutely zero need to use any kind of heat on your hair — definitely a boon for our poor frazzled hairs. You can certainly use a hair dryer to get the whole process finished a bit faster (particularly nifty if you’re getting it ready for the day ahead), or if you want to add a bit more volume at the crown of your head.
But otherwise, you can absolutely braid the socks into your hair before you settle down for the night, and simply sleep your way through the whole thing while your hair dries sans heat.
Socks aren’t your only option, bestie. Here are your other options:
- Self-grip hair rollers. They’ve been around a while for a reason. These take some time to learn how to use properly — and might not be very comfy to sleep in — but they can help you achieve a blowout look without a trip to the blowout bar.
- Twist rollers. These are a comfier alternative to self-grip rollers. They also make tighter curls.
- Curling ribbons/headbands. These have gotten a lot more popular recently and a bunch of brands are creating their own versions. These are easy to use, comfy to sleep in, and the results are pretty good (this is our fave alternative to socks!).
Using socks to curl your hair might sound (and look) like fake news at first. But once you’ve seen the results from this TikTok trend, you’ll change your mind faster than Ross changed when he broke up with Rachel.
Simply braid those bad boys into your hair and leave it to dry off completely. Gently let it all out again, and you’ll be left with bouncy, beach-vibe curls that’ll have everyone thinking that you splurged on a salon trip or expensive curling iron — when it didn’t cost you a single penny.