At one point I went almost two years without a hair cut. Yes kittens, you read that right. Two years is a LONG time to go without cutting your hair. During that time I only trimmed my bangs. What kept my hair from becoming extremely damaged was the fact that I barely used heat. I would flat iron my hair every so often but I almost never blew it dry.
I am a fan of air drying my hair but in the winter it gets too cold to go outside with a wet head. What I have been doing lately to combat that is to wash my hair at night. I use a towel over my pillow to keep it from getting wet. I just style my bangs in the morning.
For steps and more pictures
Achieving no-heat waves is SUPER simple:
1. After you shampoo and condition your hair use a towel to wring as much of the excess water as you can.
2. Apply a frizz serum or styling cream to seal the moisture into the hair. I like to use Neutrogena Triple Moisture Serum (available at most drug stores) but any styling product you like will do.
3. Comb it through with a medium-wide tooth comb.
4. Braid your hair and secure with an elastic hair band. If you can french braid, even better!
5. Slap a clean towel on your pillow and go to bed! Be sure to use a clean towel. You don't want your face to be all over a dirty towel as you sleep.
When you wake up:
6. Undo the braid and separate hair pieces with your fingers. DO NOT use a brush or comb.
7. Work a little pomade or texturizing styling product from about half way down the length through the ends. I like Devachan Set me up! (I think they've changed the formula and renamed it Set up & Above. Available at Ricky's/Ulta/Dechachan)
8. Spritz a little medium hold hair spray just to keep everything in place.
If you're prone to major frizz you can add a little bit of a smoothing product but I think a little frizz with waves looks natural. Unless you're going to a photoshoot, who cares about a touch of frizz?