Most curls, whether loose or tight, can be defined with a few techniques and lots of conditioner, gel, custard, or pudding. Products preference and performance will vary depending on your hair’s porosity, density, length, and tendency to frizz. Here are the top 6 curl defining techniques that will help you achieve a more defined loose styles.
1. Curly Girl Method
CGM was created by Lorraine Massey and has liberated many curlies from feeling their curls were a hindrance. The method works on all hair types, but in varying ways according to your curls. The basics are to use botanical products or eliminate shampoo from your regimen in exchange for a cleansing conditioner or a botanical, sulfate-free shampoo. After applying a conditioner or your moisturizer of choice as a leave in, you can follow up with applying a styling gel with your fingers before air-drying.
Using your fingers to apply the gel versus comb following the application will help to reduce frizz. Once your styling products are applied do not touch your curls! This will only induce frizz. Also avoid brushes, as they tend to create frizz and are not necessary. This is a critical step in allowing the curls to form and set on their own. CGM encourages curl hydration without your hair feeling heavy.
Once the entire head is complete, reinforce the definition by finger combing and smoothing or twirling each curl. Just as in the CGM, allow your curls to dry without touching. Many curlies using the tightly curl method rave of super hydration to their hair and the curls stay distinct and happy.
After hair has been cleansed and conditioned, part the hair into sections and from there create smaller sections using your fingers according to your liking. This is great for a TWA but may be more challenging if the hair is longer. Just as it sounds, you are taking small sections of hair and curling or twirling it around your finger to help the hair form and hold a uniform clump. Once the clump is created, move on to the next section. This technique is great for curlies with multiple curl patterns, as it will make all the curls uniform. Just as the methods mentioned above, once the hair has been completed, leave it alone so it dries without any disturbance.
You can add a flexi roller to the end or twirl the end around your finger to create a curl. Continue the whole head and allow the hair to completely dry before unraveling. Applying a small amount of oil or butter to your fingers and palms before unraveling will help to reduce any frizz your dry hands can induce.
Braid outs are created in the same fashion as two-strand twists, but the sectioned hair is braided instead of twisted. For more polished ends, use a flexi rollers or curling the ends around your finger to ensure the ends are smooth and soft. Make sure the braids or twists are 100% dry before releasing in order to avoid frizz.
It’s not necessary to create a perfect curl, but rather perfect your own curls, coils, and waves. Once you have accepted this, then you can strive to define your own curl, coil, or wave for your hair.