Written by Morgan Fargo

Deceptively straightforward, the low-key technique promises a good hair day every time, but does it hold up to scrutiny? 

Finding the best way to preserve a blow-dry has been the work of years. From waterproofing hair sprays (that pleasantly surprised me) to soft silk scrunchies and low-sweat workouts, I’ve found a few reliable methods to prolong my good hair days. So, when I scrolled past a TikTok video demonstrating a simple blow-dry method that used items I already owned, I was impatient to try it.

Shared by Yesenia Hipolito, the technique calls for a pair of socks and a handful of bendy roller rods, the latter inserted into each sock to create two malleable rollers. The hair is sectioned in two (the front and top and the back and bottom) before being rolled around the socks. After a night’s sleep, a plane journey or a few hours have passed, the hair is unrolled, imbued with volume, body and flick – the epitome of a classic bouncy blow-dry.  

Each video I watched convinced me of the method’s infallibility. When unfurled, the hair looked freshly blow-dried with none of the tell-tale asymmetrical flatness or kinks from hair bands or funky sleeping positions.

Primed, I entered the fray. Slightly more finicky than TikTok had prepared me for, rolling my curly hair around the socks (neatly and in the right direction) took close to 10 minutes. I imagine as you become more familiar with the method this time comes down dramatically. In my case, I was nearing double digits. Once secured, I had two U-shaped rollers on the top and back of my head making any thoughts of sleeping on my back a non-starter. Instead, I popped a soft hair band around the base of each to ensure I wouldn’t wake up with one sock half unravelled.  

The next day I was excited. Each roller had, for the most part, maintained its original shape and position. On taking them out, I deflated. My hair didn’t look like the videos I had lusted over. Instead, I had huge amounts of volume at the root and little throughout the rest of my hair. 

After some zhooshing, it did shake out nicely (and much more uniformly than my curly hair would normally) but I didn’t at all resemble Cher Horowitz. In large part, I think this was because I didn’t start with a flicky blow-dry in the first place. My second attempt loomed large in my mind and took place the following night.  

This time, I washed, prepped and blow-dried my hair, using Hershesons Almost Everything Cream and R+Co Two Way Mirror Smoothing Oil and all the arm strength I could muster to keep my hair taut. This time, I had high hopes for the viral TikTok trend and went to bed with socks secured. 

At some point that night, I woke to the most irritating pain in the back of my head. An object was stopping me from sleeping flush on my back, pressing into the part of my skull headaches like to manifest. After a chunk of time tossing and turning, I semi-ripped/shoved the bottom sock roller away from my head, causing it to sit on a wonky, dishevelled angle for the remainder of the night. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t holding out for a perfect blow-dry effect when I woke up. More fool me for doubting.

Instead of the sort-of flatness I had found the first time, my hair looked like a blow-dry pin-up. Undulating and voluminous, the ends curled into each other and my roots were lifted. In stark contrast to my mismatched pyjamas and sleep-crusted face, my hair was good to go within a few seconds, requiring only a little hand running and hair flipping.  

An affordable trick, sock rollers are an innovative way to maintain the shape of a blow-dry without manipulating it into unnatural positions or sleeping with a headful of rollers. And, while slightly less practical than the heatless curling halos or tying it up in a soft piece of fabric, I liked that it didn’t require outlandish equipment I would use once and never again. If you like to sleep on your back, though, keep looking for your failsafe method. This one suits side-sleepers and face-smushers best. 

More ways to maintain your blow dry

If sock tricks or slippery hair accessories aren’t your thing, there are other ways to extend the life of your blow-dry.  

Ensure your hair is ‘set’ after styling

A cardinal mistake of heat styling, brushing or otherwise manipulating your hair while it’s still warm or hot will change the shape or trajectory of your blow-dry, causing it to fall flatter or differently than you wanted it to. Remember, heat is a styling force and cool is a setting force. If you’re in a pinch, use the cool setting on your hairdryer to speed up the process.  

Rollers, clips and pins

Strategically placed rollers or pins can help a blow-dry keep its shape for much longer, especially if the hair is allowed to cool around them. No rollers? Gently wrap hair around your fingers to create a small barrel shape, then use a clip to secure them to your head.  

Use products designed to minimise the effects of humidity

As with all heat styling, good products are essential. The Colour Wow Supernatural Dream Coat Spray, £25.65, L’Oreal Professionnel Tecni Art Pli spray, £16.20, and JVN Hair Complete Blowout Styling Milk, £12, are all excellent options for smoothing and holding the hair in place while also minimising the effect of water in the air or sweat in the hair.

Soft hair accessories

The quickest way to create an immovable dent or kink in the hair is to wear hairbands that are either too tight or too rigid. A soft scrunchie, hair tie or headband will hold your hair away from your face without creating an unnatural shape that negates blow-drying it in the first place. 

Images: Morgan Fargo; Stylist

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