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ROADTEST: "I tried the 5-minute 'bathrobe curls' trick and I’ll never use a curling wand again."

In Mamamia’s Road Test series, real women road test the latest trends, treatments and techniques you need to know about - and share their honest thoughts. If it's out there, you can bet we've tried it.

I hate curling my hair. As someone who technically has ‘curly hair’ already,  you might be wondering why I even need to do it at all. Well, I have Type 2B curls which means my hair is a bit more ‘poofy’ than it is curly, a bit flatter than it is voluminous and frizzier than it is bouncy.

I usually spend about 30 minutes with a curling wand styling my long, thick hair only for it to drop to a sad, pathetic wave just hours later. 

To add to this ineffectiveness, the curler’s heat is also not doing any favours to my already damaged hair. (Unsolicited backstory: I spent most of my teenage years relentlessly straightening my hair with little to no knowledge of the concept of heat damage.) 

Watch: 6 hairstylist hacks. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia

As of last week, I was still in a relationship with my hair curler, but little did my curler know, I was actively looking for alternatives.

And then one night, somewhere between WAP dance renditions and makeup tutorials, I came across an amazing curling hack on my Tiktok feed courtesy of Bri Harmon. 

It promised perfect, heat-free, overnight curls and required only 5 minutes of effort. 

Uh - yes please.

What’s the hack?

The hack, dubbed ‘Bathrobe Curls’, involves using the belt of your bathrobe or dressing gown and weaving it through your hair, sleeping in it and then waking up looking like an effortless goddess.

Bri’s curls looked like an off-duty model’s and as I am neither an on-duty model OR an off-duty one, let’s just say that I was frantically searching for my bathrobe at 1am that night. I had to try this technique ASAP and see if it was legit. 

What you’ll need:

  • Bathrobe

The fluffier, the better. Image: Supplied. 

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Yep that’s literally it. Unless you happen to have just the bathrobe belt lying around for some reason (you don’t), you’re going to need to own a whole bathrobe. 

You can also wear the bathrobe while doing this for added rich-person vibes. You might have some trouble holding it together though as the belt is...in your hair.

If you don’t have a bathrobe belt, I’ve seen people using scarves and stockings too! 

How to do Bathrobe Curls.

The start of some serious hair-enrobing business. Image: Supplied. 

1. Firstly, start with freshly washed hair that’s either dry or slightly damp. Part your hair where you usually do, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect because remember, you’re just sleeping in it!

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2. Find the middle of the belt and place it right where you parted your hair so there are even dangling bits on each side. You can secure this in place with a bobby pin if you’d like. You can also get one side of your hair out of the way and tie it up with a scrunchie or hair tie.

Over, under, over, under, ALL TOGETHER NOW, over, under.. Image: Supplied 

3. For the wrap technique, you’re going to keep the robe straight and only wrap your hair around it, i.e the robe doesn’t become part of the braid. Start by grabbing a small section from the front of your hair (about an inch to an inch and a half thick) and bringing it across the top of the belt, then bring it underneath the belt and then back out the same side it started. Your hair should have done a full circle around the robe. 

Quick note: Most tutorials will repeat this step and keep bringing sections of hair from the front around the belt. However, I saw somewhere that if you alternate between the front and the back of the head then you get a more natural look as the curls are going in opposite directions.  

4. Next, you’re going to do the same thing but using a piece of hair from the back half of your head. Grab the section of hair, bring it over the top of the belt, under the belt and back out where it started.

Top tip: Make sure you’re grabbing the hair from right underneath the belt too and bringing it into your wrap. This will ensure you’ll get volume at the root and no part of your hair will be left un-curled! 

Medieval braids, but make it bathrobe. Image: Supplied. 

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5. Now with the section at the front, pick up a lower, new part of your hair and add it to the section and bring that all over the top of the belt, back underneath and out the same way. 

Get the gist? It’s kind of like a French braid! You’ll also find yourself maneuvering the hair between each of your hands as you go, but this will come naturally to you as you do it.

6. Repeat this step alternating between the front and back section of your head, adding more hair to each section as you go. Once you get to the base of your neck, you’ll likely run out of sections to add to the braid. Once this happens, just continue to wrap the sections around the belt as you did at the start.

7. Secure the ends with a hair tie or scrunchie. 

You will look silly. Image: Supplied. 

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8. Once you’ve done both braids, you can secure them above your head to make it more comfortable to sleep. To do this, grab the braids, cross them over behind your head and then bring them to the top of your head and tie them together using the ends of the belt.

Less time on hair means more time on makeup. WIN. Image: Supplied. 

9. In the morning, carefully unwrap the braids (you’ll likely have a little bit of frizz but that’s okay, you can smooth it over later if you’d like.) The curls will also come out quite tight and ringlet-like, but never fear, you can fix this. You can either run your fingers through the curls or lightly brush them out, it’s up to you! 

Final verdict.

So Bouncy! Image: Supplied. 

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Did it work? Yes.

Do the ends look a bit sh*t? Also yes. 

Could this be fixed by taking more care when wrapping the ends? Most probably. 

Did the curls last throughout an extremely windy and inconveniently located picnic by the beach? Absolutely you bet they did!

Did people stop and take photos? Yes.

Were they of me? No, they were of the grazing platter. 

Would I recommend this hack? 10/10 yes! I’ve never tried a more effective curling method for my hair that looks as professional and lasts as long as this one. It’s a lazy girl’s dream and right now, we could all do with a minimum effort/maximum effect look!

Do you have any hair curling hacks? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Supplied

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