I Tried It: Kitsch Heatless Curls Review (Before & After Pics)

I Tried It: Kitsch Heatless Curls Review (Before &
After Pics)

Don’t you wish you could just wake up looking like *poof* ready to go, my hair looks amazing? Yeah us too. Heatless curling systems are all the rage just for that reason, but do they live up to the hype and which heatless curlers are the best? We are taking on this challenge in 2023 so BUCKLE UP as we review, with before and after pics, the Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set. 

A woman with long wavy gray hair takes out her Kitsch heatless curling set.Lisa puts her hair into the Kitsch Heatless Curling Set.

By: Lisa Fennessy, Nicolle Mackinnon and Kristy Taylor


As a child of the 80s, I grew up obsessed with magic. I tried casting spells with dried leaves and rocks. I attempted to make things levitate with an intent eye gaze. I put my fingers together like Evie from Out of this World to try and stop time and I tried granting wishes with a blink and a quick head nod like Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie.

As you can guess, none of these attempts worked—but that didn’t stop me from trying. 

RELATED: The best heat protectants for all hair types—gray and beyond.

What are heatless hair curlers?

Fast forward 35 years and here I am dabbling in a little bit of real life magic via heatless hair curlers. Heatless curls are just that: they promise to curl your hair WITHOUT heat.

Using less heat on your hair is a draw to anyone who wants to save time. It also reduces damage, breakage and split ends that are often a byproduct of applying heat to hair. And it’s especially a draw for anyone with gray hair because not only does it reduce heat damage, it also reduces the chances that gray hair will turn yellow or brassy looking. (And if you are in that boat, heatless curling systems is one way to reduce brassiness; using purple shampoo is another.)

We have been testing the Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set over the past few months (Nicolle has actually been using it for years) and although it’s not perfect, it gets pretty close to it. Here’s the skinny, how to use it plus what we liked and what we didn’t. 

RELATED: Is the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer worth $400?

Lisa holds up the Kitsch Heatless Curling SetLisa holds up the Kitsch Heatless Curling Set

What are Kitsch heatless curlers?

The Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set is basically a soft, fabric rod that shapes hair using time instead of heat. Kitsch calls this set “the original heatless curling set” and it comes with a satin curling rod and two scrunchies. This set sells for $18 and can be used an unlimited number of times (which makes the cost / curl a fraction of a penny if you want me to justify this purchase for you, lol).

I couldn’t find materials details on Kitsch’s website so we checked in with them, and here’s what they said: “The curling set and the scrunchies are made of satin polyester and the foam inside is made of Polyurethane Sponge.” These aren’t my favorite materials, but this is one of the most popular heatless curl systems on the market, so we wanted to review it. If you want to make a more sustainable choice, the LILYSILK Heatless Silk Curling Headband is a great comp that’s made of mulberry silk and is OEKO-TEX Certified.

Save: Code NEWKNEW will save you 15% off at Kitsch. Code TNK10 will save you 10% on all orders and TNK20 will save you 20% on orders over $500 at Lilysilk.

RELATED: The best clean, natural shampoo I’ve tried

Lisa starting on one side to put in Kitsch Heatless Curling Set.Lisa starting on one side to put in Kitsch Heatless Curling Set.Lisa midway through putting in Kitsch Heatless Curling Set.Lisa midway through putting in Kitsch Heatless Curling Set.Lisa finishing putting in Kitsch Heatless Curling Set.Lisa finishing putting in Kitsch Heatless Curling Set.

How to use the Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set

Let me start by saying, regardless of experience or coordination, ANYONE CAN DO THIS. And in fact, with a little bit of practice it actually gets, dare I say, EASY (!!) over time. Here’s how to use the Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set, PLUS a few of our own pro tips to follow. 

  1. Make sure hair is dry or use a spray bottle to dampen hair just a tad. (If hair is too wet or too damp, you risk it not drying and the curl not holding.)
  2. Place the center of the curling rod on top of your head, in the center, so it hangs over both sides of your face equally. 
  3. Secure the middle of the rod in place with a large hair clip (try this one). 
  4. Spilt hair in half, down the back of your head.
  5. Starting with one side of the hair that is closest to your face, wrap around the rod, picking up more chunks of hair with each turn of the rod (like you are French braiding). 
  6. Secure ends in place with scrunchies. 
  7. Repeat on the other side.
  8. Leave this in overnight and take it out gently in the morning. 

And if you’re more of a visual learner, we gotchu! Check out this video of me putting in my Kitsch heatless curls set. ?

How I put in my Kitsch heatless curls set. How to troubleshoot using the Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set plus pro tips

After using this set for a couple of months, I have a lot to say about this system so I’m just going to throw it all out there in no particular order. 

First, part of the marketing here says this tool helps to reduce frizz and in my experience, that has not been true. I have naturally wavy hair so if I let my hair air dry it frizzes out a bit. AND if I wrap my frizzy air dried hair at night, I wake up with frizzy curls in the morning. This tool will not necessarily defrizz your hair. 

Likewise, the smoother my hair is before it’s wrapped, the smoother my curls will look the next day. In my experience, this means hitting my hair with a blowdryer to smooth hair before wrapping which I realize negates the whole “heatless curls” sitch but…if I let my hair air dry most of the way and hit it with a dryer for a couple of minutes at the very end it’s still technically a “less heat” curl. 

Nicolle jumping in here for a minute: “I agree on these points—my hair is thin, wavy/curly and VERY prone to frizz. I actually will smooth out the top layer of my hair and my long bangs with a blow dryer and round brush before putting Kitsch in to eliminate the chance of additional frizz. So, again, not entirely heatless, but a significant heat reduction from blow drying and curling with a hot curling iron.” 

Now, considering we’ve all got our pre-hair status under wraps, here’s a few ways you can use the Kitsch Satin heatless Curling set to achieve your desired look. 

woman using spf for hairLisa applies hair product to her hair before styling.

Before putting in the Kitsch heatless curlers: add styling product to your hair

If you have hair that doesn’t take a curl that well or you want your hair to hold a curl a bit longer, consider adding a styling product to your hair while it’s wet out of the shower. Then allow your hair to dry as normal and by the time you go to wrap it later on, it will already have product in it. Innersense’s Whipped Cream Hair Texturizer is one of my faves. 

Nicolle uses EVOLVh’s WonderBalm or TotalControl Styling Creme.

Wrap chunks of hair bit by bit

Forgoing the “French braid” wrapping technique, you can pick up smaller chunks of hair and wrap them bit by bit. This will give you a tighter curl. I don’t love this look because the curl comes out with no curl on the top of my head and a tight curl from my chin down. That being said, it’s a stark dichotomy in the morning, but by the afternoon it looks a lot better as it falls out a bit. 

The back of a woman's hair after overnight Kitsch testMy hair immediately after using Kitsch heatless curls overnight.

In that same vein, if you wrap your hair all in the same direction doing this, you have the chance at getting that beach wave look in the afternoon or the next day as the curls fall down a bit (see Nicolle’s photo below). If you wrap your hair with one chunk going one way and another chunk going another way, you will retain that individual curl look longer. 

A woman with long wavy blonde hair.Nicolle’s hair on day 2 of using Kitsch heatless curler overnight.

Chunk wrapping hair all at once 

You can also take larger chunks of hair (or all of your hair depending on your length and hair type) and wrap that around the rod in one fell swoop. Generally, this will add more of a wave and body to your hair, rather than an individual curl look.

Damp v. dry hair 

You will see some reviews telling you you have to start with damp hair. YOU DON’T. But it also really depends on your hair type. For me, I have naturally wavy hair that holds a curl really well so I can use this on dry hair with no product and my curl will hold all the next day. 

But if you have stick-straight hair, you might want to consider putting the Kitsch set in when your hair is damp, or spritzing your hair with a bit of water before wrapping it. You might also want to consider adding some product

One thing is for sure though: if you wrap your hair too wet, you run the risk of your hair not drying overnight and if that happens, you won’t have any curls either. You might have to try it a few ways / times to figure out how it works best for your hair / how you like your curls to look.

A woman with long wavy blonde hair after using Kitsch heatless curls.Nicolle’s hair immediately after using Kitsch heatless curls with the ends of her hair left out.

Leave the ends out

For a less polished, more beachy look, secure the scrunchies with the ends sticking out. This will leave the ends straight and pokey rather than having them make a full curl. 

Wear it during the day

So many reviews will tell you this is so comfortable to sleep in. I wouldn’t describe it that way (and neither would Nicolle or Kristy). I’m such a light sleeper and the littlest things can impede my sleep, so having a satin covered foam rod wrapped around my head isn’t my definition of comfort. 

I actually think the way I prefer to use this is to throw it in during the day and wear it around the house in preparation for a night event or a dinner out. I found that if I keep it in for at least 2 hours, it will still curl my hair (see the before and after pics here). 

Use a silk scarf or a hair wrap

I toss and turn like the dickens when I sleep. And I haven’t done this yet, but I’m thinking a silk scarf or a hair wrap would help to reduce frizz from the overnight roll around festival I attend nightly. Also this would help if..

* This article was originally published here


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