I'm still not sure which category the sock bun curls fall into, but long-haired ladies, I am here to tell you that THIS WORKS.
image from Polyvore
I was skeptical about how well this would turn out, but I figured that if I was going to continue to not be able to schedule a haircut (one of the little known hazards of moving to a small town & having a husband with an ever-changing schedule) I had nothing to lose. I used this tutorial from A Spotted Pony, and lo and behold, I had curls! I've done this a few times, and I will tell you that I am impressed.
The first day, my curls were little more kinky than I would like. But I think this is mostly due to too much gel/styling creme mix. I also did it with very damp hair (barely out of the shower). It did relax after an hour or so, but still..... Too much. Day 2 was AWESOME. I like that this doesn't use heat, it is super comfy to sleep in, and you don't have to subject your family to the sight of yourself in curlers (not my best look). The curls even sailed into Day 3 looking fine. I used an old cotton-y dress sock from the husband's top drawer (don't worry hon, it was an only). I don't know if different types of socks would yield different results, but I'm willing to test out a few to refine the process.
Have you tried anything you've pinned on Pinterest?