Wearing your hair natural can be so rewarding, especially when you have a staple routine. Learning how to define curls on your natural hair is a trick up your sleeve that will most certainly come in handy!
Today, I will take you through the different ways you can achieve this and how exactly you can go about it. I will share some of the tricks I learnt when I was trying to get more curl definition in my own natural hair. Let’s dive right in.
How to Get Natural Curly Hair
Before we start with getting definition in those natural curls, let us go through the preparation steps so that our hair stays healthy and vibrant.
Follow the steps below to prepare for defined curls on natural hair:
Step1: Section your hair
Clean your hair meticulously using your favourite shampoo and rinse thoroughly. When your hair is clean, divide your hair into workable sections and secure them with clips, twists, or simple braids. The sections do not have to be perfectly equal.
Step 2: Detangle each section
Hydrate the sections with a rich moisturiser and apply your preferred leave-in conditioner.
Step 3: Moisturise and seal
After you nourish your natural strands, seal in the moisture! This will protect your hair against breakage and ensure length is maintained.
Now that you have your hair spic and span, let’s get into the elaborate methods you can use to get defined curls on your natural hair:
Wash & Go
Wash and go’s can be a hit or miss, when trying to perfect those curls. One important thing to remember is that definition loves hydration. It is the only way to get your curls quenched and super-defined.
If you followed the preparation steps discussed above, it is important to note that if you are going for a wash and go, your hair needs to be super wet, when applying your curling cream or styling conditioner. You will end up with frizzy hair otherwise.
Wash and go’s can be a hit or miss, when trying to perfect those curls.
After your hair is thoroughly moisturised use the shingling method or praying hands method to further define your curls. Make sure you use super small sections, so that each and every curl is fully hydrated and getting the love it deserves. You can then stretch your hair using the banding method or by lightly twisting it.
Let your hair air-dry or use heat to air dry, but only when your hair is at least 70% dry. Once dry, remove any bands or untwist your hair. If your hair is crunchy, apply a bit of your favourite oil.
The Finger Coiling Method
When deciding how to make your natural hair more defined, finger coiling is one of the best methods you can use. It is a bit more time consuming but it has fantastic results!
Finger coils achieve small spring-like coils and all that’s needed is your fingers, a little product and patience. After your hair is cleaned, moisturised and sealed, apply a small amount of curling cream or gel to your small sections and twirl.
Make sure to carry out this method on damp hair. You can occasionally spray your hair lightly with water to ensure that it stays damp. Apply a curl activator and twist the hair from the roots to the tips. For best results, dry your hair under a hood dryer after applying a thin mist of heat protector.
The Sponge Method
This method is a quick fix to get those curls popping when time is not on your side. After your hair is detangled, apply a styling product and use a Denman brush or a wide-toothed comb to evenly distribute it.
It is now time to make circular motions all around your head with your sponge. After a short while, you should notice curls forming. For the best results, put the sponge as close to the scalp as you can and thoroughly dry your hair under a hood dryer to avoid frizz.
The Bantu Knot-Out Way
Bantu knot-outs are an easy heatless method to get defined curls on natural hair. What’s even more exciting is that they can be done on different lengths of hair with great results. Shorter hair will need smaller sectioning while you can decide on a bigger size for longer hair. Here’s how to make Bantu Knot-out curls:
- Twist and wrap the small sections of your hair against themselves like a screw
- Wrap it again tightly at the base
- Ensure the ends are tucked at the base as close to the scalp as you can and if necessary secure with a pin
- Leave to set/dry overnight
- Unravel and fluff
Defining Curls on 4C Hair
4C hair is naturally tightly coiled and can sometimes even seem undefined for the undiscerning eye. If you are looking to curl your type 4C hair into a different or more defined curl pattern, you would first need to fully detangle your hair before curling it afresh. Flexi rods are a great way to set fresh curls which can range from tight coils to big and bouncy curls. It goes without saying that the bigger rods, the bigger the curls you will achieve and the smaller the rods, the tighter the curls.
To use Flexi rods, simply detangle your hair, twist a section of it on a flexi rod and secure the rod, and dry your hair. Repeat this process all over your head and unravel after your hair is dry.
Straw sets can be used in similar fashion and are more economical. They are also a great choice for short hair and work best on wet or damp hair.
The Twist and Braid Out style
Twists and “braid outs” are the most simple and fastest ways for achieving definition on your natural hair. Simply apply a curling custard of gel to your hair and braid or twist each section. Once the sections are dry, unravel, separate the curls and fluff out your hair for more volume.
The Curling Wand
A curling wand is a method that uses heat to give you instant curls. Simply apply heat protection, twist a section of your hair on the curling wand up to approximately an inch from the ends. Release your hair after a few seconds and voila! Repeat the process all through your hair.
There are many ways to enhance curl definition. Just pick a method that you feel most comfortable with and fits your hair needs the best. Remember to always do what your hair loves, and it will love you right back!
Related: What You Didn't Know About Finger Coils for Natural Hair