The Retro At-Home Hack Making a Comeback in Lockdown


Lockdown has impressed upon us a desire to go back to basics. With all this extra time on our hands we’re learning to bake sourdough bread, catching up on DIY, potting (and even propagating) houseplants and learning to play instruments. When life is uncertain, there is something steadying about getting hands-on.

Our beauty regimen is no exception. According to Google, we want to take our beauty routine into our own hands too. We’re Googling how to cut and colour our hair as well as how to remove unwanted hair. We want to know how to do our own pedicures and administer a professional lifting and sculpting facial from the comfort of our homes.

We’re even going back to basics when it comes to styling our hair. Hair dryers, straighteners and curling tongs are gathering dust while we embrace air-drying. Our heatless styling inspo comes from TikTok. The Sock Curls challenge harks back to the days before we had heated straighteners, tongs and wands at our disposal. It involves minimal fuss and a little silliness, and the results are more than worth it.

Essentially, sock curls are curls, or waves, created by wrapping sections of your hair around a sock. You don’t have to be particularly dexterous to create these curls. Here’s everything you need to know to embrace the trend for yourself…

Step 1: Shampoo & Condition

Shampoo and condition your hair as normal to remove dirt and existing styling products.


Step 2: Prep & Smooth Your Hair

Towel-dry your hair and work through a small amount of prep cream like Oribe Supershine Moisturising Cream or Malin + Goetz Sage Styling Cream to tame frizz and boost shine and manageability.

Step 3: Leave Your Hair To Air-Dry

You need to allow your hair to air-dry a bit. The rule of thumb is, the wetter your hair, the tighter the curl. So, if you want soft waves you should allow your hair to become almost completely dry – so it just feels damp – before you start.


Step 4: Section Off Your Hair

Use your fingertips to section your hair. The more sections you create, the more defined your curls will be. For a loose wave we recommend creating four sections, two on either side of your head.


Step 5: Grab Your Socks

You need one for every two sections of hair. The socks should be fairly long; we find sports socks to be just right. Clip away the hair you’re not focusing on, leaving two sections. Take hold of each section and position the sock in between them. You don’t need to perform an intricate braid, instead just wrap the two sections of hair around the length of the sock in alternate directions. Secure the end with an elastic and repeat the process on the remaining sections. If you like your waves to start about a third down the length of your hair, leaving the top section smoother, then all you need to do is shimmy the sock down to the right spot.


Step 6: Let The Magic Work Overnight

You need to allow a few hours for your hair to dry completely and for the curl to form. Either wear the socks in your hair overnight while you sleep or, as we do, put them in first thing in the morning so they can set during the day and you’ll have perfect waves in time for your evening video calls.


Step 7: Loosen Your Waves

Take the socks out and run your fingers through your hair to loosen the waves. Work a little finishing cream like Ouai Finishing Créme through the lengths and ends for a properly polished look.

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