The pursuit of the perfect curl often leads us to a trove of techniques and tools, each promising salon-like results. However, not all methods are gentle on our tresses. Enter: T-shirt curls. A simple, yet revolutionary technique that uses the humble cotton T-shirt to deliver stunning curls. So, how does one go about achieving these coveted t-shirt curls? Dive in to discover a step-by-step guide and understand why this method is creating waves (pun intended) in the beauty world.

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The Science Behind T Shirt Curls

Much like the braiding method, t-shirt curls operate on the principle of reshaping hair by manipulating the hydrogen bonds. When hair is wet, these bonds are temporarily broken, allowing hair to take the form in which it dries. Cotton T-shirts, being absorbent, wick away moisture without causing friction, allowing hair to retain its shape as it dries, resulting in soft, defined curls. And, you probably have many options laying around in your closet.

Steps to Achieve the Perfect T-Shirt Curls:

  1. Start Clean: For optimal results, begin with freshly washed and conditioned hair. This ensures that there’s no product build-up that can weigh down the curls.
  2. Towel Dry—But Not Just Any Towel: Instead of a regular towel, use a gentle water wicking towel – here is a great option. Regular towels can damage and cause frizz due to their rougher texture.
  3. Fold a dry t-shirt: Fold a dry t-shirt to make a rod out of it.
  4. Apply a Leave-in Product: Use a lightweight leave-in conditioner or curl defining cream. This adds moisture, defines the curls, and reduces frizz.
  5. Section Your Hair: Depending on your hair thickness and desired curl tightness, divide your hair into 2 to 8 sections.
  6. Wrap with the T-Shirt: Take one section of hair and roll it around the folded t-shirt, much like you would with a rag or curling rod. Once rolled, tie the ends of the T-shirt to secure the hair in place. Repeat with all sections.
  7. Secure the sections: You can secure the curl sections of hair by tying t-shirts together. Or wrap them with another water wicking towel or t-shirt. The hair can tangle or unwrap while you sleep or go about your day.
  8. Rest and Dry: You can choose to sleep with the T-shirt wraps in place or let them stay in for several hours during the day. The goal is to let your hair dry completely in the wraps.
  9. Unveil the Curls: Once the hair is dry, carefully untie and unwrap each T-shirt section. You’ll be greeted with soft, bouncy curls.
  10. Style as Desired: Use your fingers to separate and fluff out the curls. A light hold hair spray or serum can be applied to give the curls longevity and shine.


Results can look really good. The trick is understanding where to part your hair. Sectioning the hair in the right locations can drastically improve the results. Further, one can play around with how tight to wrap the hair around the t shirt. This as well will produce different results. Play around with it and have fun.

Benefits of T-Shirt Curls

  • Gentle on Hair: The soft texture of cotton T-shirts means less friction and, therefore, less frizz and breakage.
  • Eco-Friendly: No need for heat or electricity, making this method environmentally friendly.
  • Cost-Effective: No expensive tools required. An old T-shirt works wonders!
  • Versatile Results: Depending on how tightly you wrap and how many sections you create, you can achieve anything from loose waves to tighter ringlets.

Tips for the Best T-Shirt Curls:

  • T-Shirt Type: Opt for a 100% cotton T-shirt. The natural fibers are more absorbent and gentle on hair.
  • Wrapping Technique: The tighter you wrap, the tighter the curl. For looser waves, wrap more loosely.
  • Overnight Success: For convenience and more defined results, consider wrapping your hair before bedtime.

In the vast world of hair curling techniques, t-shirt curls stand out for their simplicity, gentleness, and effectiveness. Whether you’re taking a break from heat styling or looking for a cost-effective curling method, it might be time to raid your wardrobe and give this technique a whirl. After all, who knew that achieving gorgeous curls could be as simple as repurposing an old T-shirt? Embrace the art of t-shirt curls and let your locks enjoy the gentle touch of cotton magic.

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