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These TikTok-viral curlers made me look ridiculous — but the results were worth it

From tight spirals to trendy waves, these curlers deliver.
TODAY Illustration / Courtesy Danielle Murphy

If there's one thing I've learned about TikTok over the last two years, it's that it isn't a safe space for my wallet. I don't know about you, but my "For You" page teases me with a cool product I'm tempted to throw my hard-earned money at least 10 times a day.

Basically, for me, the phrase "you have to see it to believe it" has quickly turned into "you have to buy it so you can try it." It's a philosophy I've upheld consistently with every product from the app that's piqued my interest — from a color-changing lipstick to a heatless curling headband. After watching videos of the aforementioned items, I was convinced I was getting duped by video-editing magic. But when my lips turned rosy and my tresses effortlessly unraveled into voluminous curls, my trust in social media trends only strengthened. It wasn't until I laid eyes on a set of questionable-looking hair curlers that I finally thought, "This is it, this is when TikTok finally lets me down."

And then it didn't.

The video that I first discovered the curlers on has nearly 700,000 views and was created by @deannagiulietti, the same woman responsible for bringing the Conair hot rollers back onto the hairstyling scene. So, it should have been safe to just trust her judgment. But when I saw her trap her hair inside 15 or so silicone tubes in less than 60 seconds — without tangles, rips or painful mistakes — I was dubious. I knew I had to get my hands on these curlers and try them myself.

And, if I was risking the possibility of losing half my head of hair to TikTok's latest viral sensation, I was going to make sure I was thorough. So, I ordered both available styles: spirals and waves.

Willbond No Heat Hair Curlers (Spirals)

Willbond No Heat Hair Curlers (Waves)

What exactly are the Willbond No Heat Hair Curlers?

Essentially, they're long silicone tubes that are designed to curl and wave your locks without heat. Each kit comes with 28 colorful pieces and a slightly intimidating "hook" tool (but we'll get to that later).

Both of the spiral and wave kits come in multiple size options, so people with different hair lengths can try them out. Because my mane hasn't been treated to a haircut in quite some time, I went with the longest size for each. According to the brand, the curlers work on every hair type and are even safe to use on wigs.

Just trust the process

As surprising as it may sound, the process is extremely simple. That being said, you still want to give the directions a thorough read-through before starting. The most important step is the first one listed in the quick how-to guide: detangle your hair. Once your locks are secured inside these tubes, they're there to stay. So, unless you want knotty waves and curls in your future, I suggest pulling out that comb.

Associate editor Danielle Murphy wearing the TikTok hair curlers
Go for a crimp-inspired wave look (left) or traditional spiral curls (right).Courtesy Danielle Murphy

The next (and equally as important) step is to dampen your hair. I used a spray bottle and coated each strand one at a time. You'll want to make sure to give them a good spritz before moving on, especially if your hair doesn't easily style. I got too excited on my first attempt and didn't wet my hair enough before pulling it through the tool, which resulted in a pretty lackluster curl and having to start over.

Then comes the fun part — putting the curlers on. To prep each curler, push the provided hook through one end until it pops out on the other side. (If you purchased the longest size, the hook will be shorter than the curler, which makes it a little more difficult to control since you have to scrunch up the curler to access both ends of the hook.)

Next, section your hair into a 1-inch-wide piece and place all of the hair inside the hook near the base of your scalp. Pro tip: If you twist each piece two or three times, it makes that last step easier. Then, point the hook toward the top of your head and pull the other end through the curler. Once the hook is out, the curler will snap back into its original shape with your hair inside.

I realize how this must sound to you — impossible. But would you believe me if I said I got it on the first try? Sure, I went into my second attempt with too much confidence and ended up with my hair momentarily stuck inside a curler. However, once I got a rhythm down, I barely made any more mistakes. I'm convinced that the only reason why it went as smoothly as it did was because I took the extra care to ensure that the strand I was working on was the only hair placed inside the hook, and creating that separation helped me avoid tangles. The best part? The process was the same for both the spiral and wave curlers, so once you master it, you're good to go.

All-in-all, it took about 30 minutes to apply each side for my first try. But I think it will get faster with practice.

The results shocked and wowed me

Before removing the curlers, you need to make sure your hair is completely dry. I waited about 35 to 40 minutes after both sides were finished, but it was hard to tell if my hair was still wet through the thick fabric. The instructions suggested using a hair dryer to speed up the process (if you want to stick to the heatless method, air drying will also get the job done), but I wanted to see the results quickly, so I gave my full head of curls a shot of hot air for a couple of minutes, followed by cold air to set.

Associate editor Danielle Murphy wearing the TikTok hair curlers
These results don't lie.Courtesy Danielle Murphy

To remove each curler, you just need to pinch open the tube at the base of the hair and gently slide it off. I couldn't believe what I saw. I was left with bouncy curls on one side and crimp-inspired waves on the other. I expected to see some major frizz, but my locks felt thick and smooth. Though, I still used a de-frizz serum to tame one or two flyaways (which tend to happen any time I use a styling tool) and to give my hair some extra shine. Somehow, my entire head felt like it had more volume.

I recommend using hairspray to lock in the spiral curlers. They started to fall out within a couple of hours (albeit, they turned into very nice looser curls) but the waves held their shape all day and into the next. And if I didn't shower, I'm pretty sure they would have stayed even longer. Although the waves definitely have a more nostalgic retro-style to them, I'm excited to try them again to create a more modern half-up 'do.

Was it worth the time and effort? Yes and no. If I'm in a time crunch or need my hair to look extra polished for an important event, there are other tools I'm going to reach for. Waiting for these to dry (even with a boost from the hairdryer) was a little tiresome. But when I want to experiment with a new style or have some fun with friends (who wouldn't want to show these off?), consider these my next party trick.

So, if "seeing is believing" still rings true for you, just look at the above photo for evidence. In three words: These curlers work.

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