How To Use A Sock To Get Beautiful Curly Hair Without Heat

Posted on Oct 26, 2011 in Featured, For Moms, Hair Help | 131 comments

If you are a mom on the go with long hair you HAVE TO try this.  It will  knock your socks off and have you wrapping your hair up in them!  This is all about how to make your hair beautiful with no heat and no time.  Curl your hair in your sleep with a sock.

Yup, you heard me right.  Have you heard of this sock bun?  You really can curl your hair in your sleep with a sock.  If you have ever ran out the door in a sweat, with two different earnings in, desperately trying to throw some bobby pins in your hair in hopes that you don’t look like a mess.  You know what I am talking about Mom’s – This is for you.  In my house I get everyone else in the family ready first.  They are all looking adorable for every function  before I have even given a thought to what I am going to do to with my own hair.  Any busy mom knows exactly what I mean.  Whatever time is left is what determines your look for the day (good or bad), right?

I was on Pinterest a while back and spotted this post about the sock bun which links you to her video on YouTube. I have to admit, I was very skeptical at first. Basically they were saying that you could wrap your hair in a sock overnight and wake up with beautiful curls.  Before I started staying home with my kiddos I was a cosmetologist by trade.  I am forever trying new products and styling techniques, and love all things that have to do with hair. Now that I am a mom of two, my hair is at the bottom of the list of things to worry about.  It’s more about looking presentable than having a great style each day. This blows me away.

Why?

Because:

  • It literally takes a minute to do
  • NO heat at all – just a soft little sock in your hair
  • No product (for me anyway)
  • You can sleep in it very comfortably
  • It works Marvelously and is simple beautiful

This is the sock bun before and after of my hair. I have long hair with a cut that includes a lot of layering.  I have a natural wave to my hair and would say it curls very easily. From what I have read, this works on hard to curl hair too.  I do not have to use product for this to work in my hair.

Here are the  step by step instructions on how to make this work.

First steal a sock from your husband’s dress sock collection (that is what I did anyway). I chose a longer, thinner dress sock. Cut off the toe of the sock.

Now roll the sock into a ring.  View my video on how to roll a sock into a ring for a visual. This is now your new favorite hairstyling styling tool, I promise you!  This is all you need to make the curls in the picture above. To do this you start with dry hair.

Put your dry hair into a high ponytail. Get it as high on top of your head as you can. I flip my head over and gather the hair to put into a ponytail.  Secure the hair with a hair tie.

Now spritz just the hair in your ponytail with water.  You do not want it to be  wet.  I would call it slightly damp.  Remember you want it to dry overnight – if it is too wet it will not dry completely.  After you have tried this a few times you will know the perfect dampness for your own hair.

Now grab your rolled up sock and put your ponytail through the hole.  Pull the sock straight up to the tip of your ponytail.  When you pull the sock to the top of your ponytail – slide it back down just a bit.  With the hair that is sticking out spread it all the way around the sock evenly.   After the hair is spread around the sock it should go up and over the sock and then get tucked under the sock.   You should now have all of the ends of your hair neatly underneath the sock ring so you can begin rolling the hair onto the sock.  Start rolling the sock down so your hair is being fed through the hole, then up and around the sock.

Now simply roll all of your hair onto the sock until you reach the base of your ponytail.  Try to keep the ponytail straight up while you roll so that the hair is taught.

When you are finished rolling the hair onto the sock you have a  bun on top of your head.  I’m not going to lie I have dropped off my son at school with the bun in my hair.  There is no need to secure it with anything else.  It will stay put perfectly just the way it is.  Now go to sleep and dream about how beautiful your hair will be when you awake!  In the morning remove the bun and TA-DA!!!  You have a head full of soft pretty curls.

This is my new go-to styling technique. I have been doing this at least four times a week to my hair.   It looks great all down, in a simple ponytail, or half up.  I would do this for a fancy evening out or to curl my hair for an up-do as well.  It gives me such natural looking  perfect curls.  So simple and so beautiful. Anyone can do this.  It is nice to be able to leave the house and not feel like a mess for a change.  This look is quite different from my normal hair in a messy bun because I ran out of time to do anything with it look – and it takes the same amount of time.

Video Demonstration

If you are more of a visual person, I have put together a short video to help show the process.

How To Put A Sock Bun In Your Hair Video

Sock Bun Inspired Hairstyles

If you are looking for a quick hairstyle using the sock bun curl technique, you can find one here:

Fancy Five Minute Hairstyle Using Overnight Sock Bun Curls

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131 Comments

  1. Trying this tonight! Can’t wait to see the results :) It looks great on you – really shows off your highlights!

    • Thank you! Hope you love this trick :)

  2. I just happened to have a sock on my floor, from folding laundry, when I took a break to Pinterest. Saw this before but thought I’d try it now. We’ll see how it works in the morning! Can’t wait!!

  3. I was wondering if there is any trick to taking the sock out? I have tried other no heat curling techniques, and I ended up having to cut the band out. Is it easier with the sock?

    • Do you have a ton of hair? If so try more than one sock. One on top of your head and one directly underneath. The sock can be any thickness that you like depending on the length of sock you choose. I feel like if the sock ring is thick enough your hair should not be able to get tangled up in it. It should be easier for you! Hope that helps.

  4. Great tutorial. This is actually how the women Marines do their perfect buns… I always wondered how they got it so perfect… I will definitely use this technique for the curls.

    • I had no idea that is how they got their hair so perfect – very cool!

  5. Kim, I just discovered the sock bun method and tried it this past weekend. I use hot curlers in my hair after washing and blow drying it. So the first night I tried this, I was only interested in retaining the curls I had through the night. I didn’t spritz the pony but just rolled it around the sock as I rolled the sock to my head. Next morning, gorgeous curls! And it even worked a second night! Now it’s time to wash my hair again and this time, I’ll do the spritz. This sock bun method to “Disney Hair” curls is unbelievably easy!

    • That is a great idea! A great way to make curls last! I love it. Thanks for sharing – i will try that myself.

  6. I am trying this right now and had my husband roll it for me I am so excited to see if this works :)

    • What a nice hubby!

  7. tried this last night. My hair got frizzy, and the curls are kinky. It was NOT cute! :(

    • Sorry to hear that it didn’t work for you. I can’t say why I think it didn’t work because I don’t know what your hair is like (everyone’s hair reacts so differently), but I hope you will give it another go! Perhaps you need a longer sock, or a different level of dampness to your hair when you start to avoid the kinky curls.

  8. I tried this last night, worked pretty good. need to grow my hair out some more plus we had some west texas wind today. But another tip. With the extra sock, I cut the band off to use as my pony tail holder. It’s soft and doesn’t leave the dent that some were worried about. Then I used the toe part, cut about 6 inches and used that to cover my bun so my hair wouldn’t fall out! Worked like a charm! My bun cover was still in place this morning!

  9. I will be trying this ASAP! I have hair that is fine but quirky ie. some curly parts, some wavy parts, and some straight! I usually end up having to use a curling iron to get it to look decent but most days I have about 5 minutes to get ready and I just can’t get to it. I love this idea and look and can’t wait to try what looks like a huge time-saver!

    Thank you!

  10. does this still work for extremely layered hair but that’s still long?

  11. Amazing! Did you ever think you would become the “Sock Hair Bun Lady”? LOL! I can’t get the link to work about how to roll the sock into a roll. I looked through the comments and saw where you explained it a little, but I still am not clear how to make the sock roll. Thanks so much. My daughters will LOVE this! Lisa~

    • Oh my – I had no idea that this would be such a popular post! I really hope that it helps a lot of ladies. I did a little tweaking to the video and it should be up and running without any issues! Hope you will check it out again! Sorry for the inconvenience!

  12. Simply Gorgeous!!!!!

  13. When I was a little girl, many moons ago, these ‘rolls’ were very common. My mother would put my hair up in one when a special occasion came around. But neither she nor I have ever been able to control my curly, frizzy hair. She would take the roll out in the evening and invariably would shriek “you’ve got Medusa curls!” The roller bun would multiply my curls tenfold!! Nowadays I don’t use the roller, but I do roll my hair in ‘rag’ curls (strips cut from a cotton sock). It’s better for my hair than to use heat sources to curl. Your idea is a great one because it uses a recycled product.

  14. My daughter is in ROTC and the girls with long hair use the sock bun to keep their hair up and sleek as required by regulations.

  15. thank you for showing how to do this! Super simple and I tried this on my slippery straight hair this morning (I sped up the process with my blow dryer, I just couldn’t wait until tonight!). And it looks great! I plan to do it again tonight and add a bit of mouse to my hair to help hold the curls for longer and smoother. I share a pic of my ‘do on my blog and added your link there. Let me know if that is not ok! thanks

    • Awww – I am so glad you that it worked for you! Thank you for sharing my link along with your photo! Appreciate that for sure!

  16. The only problem I see with this is I always have a dent in my hair from hair ties..especially if I’m going to spray my hair to make it damp. I’d have a straight line right above all my curls!

    • I would use a “scrunchie” type hair tie or try wrapping the ponytail with a small section of hair and securing it with a bobby pin to see if that works – I think it will.

  17. This kind of sucked. I have long, layered hair, but it made a nasty crimp line where the ponytail started. Even used a loose scrunchie, dry hair. Doesn’t look natural. Totally disappointed. I guess different hair types can’t have fun with socks. 😉

    • sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you :( A few other readers suggested that you cut the hair tie out carefully after the bun is in place or try wrapping the pony tail with a small section of your hair instead of a hair tie and bobby pinning it. If all else fails you could run a straightener through the top of your hair and still have the curls. Just thoughts! Glad to hear you gave it a try though.

  18. I saw this on Pinterest and tried it last night. I did it on day old hair that had been straitened. My hair is mid back, but kind of fine).
    I got the hair tucked into the bun pretty well after a couple of tries. I found it easier to not look in the mirror while doing it, and not worrying about if it is perfect. The end result of the bun was pretty poofy, not super tight.
    In the morning, I took it out and it looked great, but a lot different then yours. I had a TON of body, which was nice, and some nice big curls, but not a ton of them. The curls ended up being mostly around my face. It looked really good!
    Unfortunatley, it isn’t holding up very well today, but I know that is because my hair was day old, and super sleek when I put it up. Next time I will wash it and let it air dry most of the way then put it up damp. Also, it is a very damp hay here…so that doesn’t help either.
    My co-workers did compliment it though, so even though I didn’t get the curls I wanted…it still looked pretty!

    Thanks! I think this is going to be a go-to style with a little more practice!

  19. I was just checking out the rest of your blog, and saw that you are from Wisconsin. Me too! Will definitely be checking back! And – I TOTALLY had to bundle up my “Princess” for trick or treating too. Luckily we had a “lady” coat for her to wear over her dress!

  20. I had to do this every day for 2 months while in Basic training for the Air Force, and then for quite a while after that, about a year until I got bored of it. It definitely didn’t curl my hair that way :( It put a weird crimp towards the ends. Maybe I’ll try it again, this way is slightly different than the way we did it in the AF, but same concept. Hair, sock, wrap hair around sock. I’d love to have beautiful curls like this, my hair is just messy wavy. I love your blog btw!

  21. Oh my goodness! I love this! I tried it immediately when I saw this. I have natural curly hair but mostly frizzes if dont mouse it and this the curls were just PERFECT! Thank you for sharing.

  22. This is awesome!

    I would love for you to share it at my link party! I hope to see you there.

    http://www.the36thavenue.com/2011/11/super-easy-pumpkin-cookies-party-time.html

  23. Can’t wait to try this – my hair is a tad frizzy but straight, and almost to my rear. Also – BABY THIN. So it is pretty hard to get any volume in it without looking like 1995. No hubby home tonight so I think I will accidentally rip a hole in one of his socks and lose the other one. 😉

  24. Hi Kim! So I stumbled across your sock bun tutorial on Pinterest and decided, what the heck? Sounds crazy, but it just might work.

    Well, it totally worked! The sock bun is now my new favorite hair styling method. I posted about it on my blog and encouraged other frazzled mamas to give it a try.

    Thanks for the well-written and easy-to-follow instructions!

    ~Megan

  25. Tried this last night. My hair is just past my shoulders and there is a TON of it!! I’m sad to say, it didn’t work and I have the worst case of “tender head” that I’ve had – my head is extremely tender all over! Also, I woke up in the middle of the night due to head pain (not a head ache) from the bune. I do want to say I liked the look of the bun, but I just don’t think I would be able to tolerate wearing it all day, or all night again for that matter.