Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tips on How to Define Type 4 Curls

My hair wet with product
Sometimes I feel like I should be crowned the Wash n' Go queen by now after all of the products and techniques I've experimented with to achieve the curly look.  Washing my hair and just heading out the door is never the case.  I have curls but they are "type 4" curls.  Yes, I'm talking about the hair typing system.  It's not my favorite way to categorize my hair but hopefully it will give others a way to gage whether my techinques will work for them.

My curls are tight corkscrew coils, lazy "s" shapes and everything in between.  I even have a section that laughs at the idea of curl definition.  Oh and let's not forget about the shrinkage.  I would say mine can be up to 75% but it depends on the day.

In order to get my curls to pop, there are certain things that I must do in order to get the definition I want.  Just so you know, I'm usually looking for hair that will last me a few days without feeling drastically dry and brittle.  I'm still looking for a softer hold solution but at least I've got the curl definition part down.

Here are some things that I have learned when styling my own hair
My hair freshly washed and detangled
using a denman brush.
Dry with no product

1.  Start with clean hair

For some this may mean co-washing; for others, shampoo.  I've noticed that I really do get the best results after cleansing my hair.  Otherwise, I end up with so-so results.

2.  Detangle, detangle, detangle

There are times where I skip this step and I always pay for it.  Not only does this cut help to cut down on the time it takes to apply the products but the hair is also way easier to work with.  Whether you're shingling, raking or combing product through remember to start with detangled hair.

3.  Make sure hair is soaking wet

When my hair begins to dry, all of those pretty little curls go poof!  Any curl defining product out there is really just a way to lock your curls into place.  My hair is at it's curliest when it's dripping wet so I start with that.  When sections begin to dry, I make sure to keep a spray bottle handy so I can wake those curls back up.

4.  Work in small sections

We've all seen the videos where someone takes a quarter size amount of product and applies it to all of their waist length hair and voila; curl definition.  Not for our hair texture!  It's best to keep the sections as small as possible so that each and every little curl can get enough product from root to tip.  Sometimes, big hair is desirable but if you want every curl accounted for, using smaller sections is the way to go.

I get lots of curl definition using product
on wet hair
5.  Smooth those ends

After I have completely raked the product through a section, I always go over my ends, using my fingers, to smooth them out.  This will ensure that the curl lays flatter and discourages those stubborn single strand knots.

6.  Once the products are all in, LEAVE IT ALONE!

This is a biggie.  I've done it myself more times than I can count.  Still, you've got to leave your wet hair be until you've got that, dried "cast" that tells you it's okay to touch your curls.  Even if you choose to diffuse, remember not to handle your hair with your fingers because this will cause lots of unwanted frizz.  Simply tilt your head and let your curls drop into the diffuser so that it can do its' thing.

 I hope these tips will help someone out there.  I sure wish I would have known all of this long ago when I first went natural.  Still, I'm pretty happy with my coily creations and that's all that matters.


1 comment:

  1. Great advice, I'll follow it to see how it works for me.

    ReplyDelete

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