These TikTok-Famous, No-Heat Curls Only Require a Pair of Tights—so I Tried Them

It all started when my boss asked me if I'd seen Justine Marjan's no-heat curls tutorial, which was blowing up on on TikTok. Who What Wear has been on TikTok for months, but I had yet to adopt the platform myself. No, I admitted with chagrin, while quickly googling said video. After locating the DIY hair video, I could immediately see why it was a hit. Justine Marjan, celebrity hairstylist to stars such as Khloé Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, and Kerry Washington, created the loveliest mermaid waves with no hot tools and only a pair of tights. Yes, as in the regular black tights you wear under dresses, skirts, and even pants when it gets especially cold. Intrigued, I immediately volunteered to try the tutorial myself. Could a civilian pull off the DIY as well as a professional hairstylist? It turns out almost. It did take me two tries, but after a DM consultation with the hair guru herself, I landed with something pretty close to Marjan's inspiration.


(Image credit: @justinemarjan)

In case you're interested in trying the tutorial yourself, I have a few nuggets of advice. On me, a pair of tights created a much tighter curl than Marjan's soft waves. I suspect part of this is because I have finer hair. When I asked Marjan what gives, she advised, "Think about the tights as the form (or the hypothetical curling iron barrel) for wrapping the hair around. You could also do the same technique using a scarf or a thick sash like the tie on a bathrobe for a bigger curl." Aha! She also counseled, "The looser the braid, the more relaxed the wave." For round two, I swapped the tights for the belt on a bathrobe, and the result was much closer to Marjan's. I also think if I were more highly skilled at French braiding, I would have more of a uniform wave like Marjan's. Something to work on with my quarantine time! 


heat free waves using an old pair of tights or stockings! Works best if hair is a little damp when braiding ##tiktokhairstylist ##healthheroes

♬ original sound - justinemarjan

Justine created the perfect bite-size tutorial for TikTok, but if you're a hair novice like me, I made an additional video that talks through the process (I filmed the bathrobe belt round) and provided step-by-step images of the tights round, too. For reference, it takes about six minutes to put your hair in the tights or bathrobe belt. Way faster than blow-drying and curling your hair with hot tools!


Step 1: Fold over the waist of the tights.
(Image credit: @katcollings)

I folded it over three times. If you're going the bathrobe belt route, just plop that thing on your head as shown in the video.


Step 2: Secure tights/bathrobe belt to a damp head of hair.
(Image credit: @katcollings)

Put the tights or bathrobe belt on top of your head an inch or two back from your hairline. Secure with clips so it stays in place while you're braiding.


Step 3: Separate hair in half for French-braid pigtails.
(Image credit: @katcollings)

Apologies for the odd face. In my defense, this was a self-timer situation.


Step 4: Separate a section of hair to start the braid.
(Image credit: @katcollings)

Starting with one side of your head, grab a small section of hair at the top of your head. Separate that section into two sections. Those two sections plus the tights leg/bathrobe belt are your three parts of the braid. 


Step 5: Begin to French-braid!
(Image credit: @katcollings)

Important: As you are French-braiding, don't add any hair to the tights/bathrobe belt section, only add hair to the two "hair sections."


Step 6: Secure the end with an elastic.
(Image credit: @katcollings)

Marjan mentions you can also use the tights to tie the end. Secure with hair ties if you're using a bathrobe belt.


(Image credit: @katcollings)

Here's a peek at how the tights are braided into the hair. Remember, this tight of a braid resulted in tighter curls than Marjan's.


Step 7: Sleep in your look overnight, and remove in the morning to reveal your curls.
(Image credit: @katcollings)

Don't forget to take out the clips to go to bed! Your tights/bathrobe belt will stay in place overnight without them.


My results with tights:
(Image credit: @katcollings)


(Image credit: @katcollings)


(Image credit: @katcollings)


My results with a bathrobe belt:
(Image credit: @katcollings)


(Image credit: @katcollings)


(Image credit: @katcollings)

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Editor in Chief

Kat Collings has over 15 years of experience in the editorial fashion space, largely in digital publishing. She currently leads the vision for editorial content at as the site's editor in chief, having risen through the editorial ranks after joining the company in 2012. Collings is a Digiday Future Leader Awards nominee, was named Buzzfeed's best fashion Instagram accounts of the year, and is a member of the CFDA Awards Fashion Guild. Prior to Who What Wear, Collings worked on styling projects for brands such as Vogue, Teen Vogue, Lucky, and Oliver Peoples. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in communications and calls Los Angeles home.