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Curly Nikki

Question of the Day- Popping Curls

By January 27th, 202129 Comments

Question of the Day- Popping Curls
A Brooks asks:

What’s your routine and product choice for getting that GREAT defined curl? Also, provide a description of your hair!

CN’s Response: Back when I was a Wash-n-Go girl, I lived by a modified version of the shingle method. I used one of Herbal Essence’s Gels (Totally Twisted is very light and not drying), and after applying a leave-in, would rake the gel through small sections at a time. The raking motion (which captured chunks of hair between my fingers) would create perfect little spirals. I’d then air dry, diffuse, or sit under a dryer. To show more length, I’d blast the roots with a warm blow dryer, stretching the curls a bit. The style would last 2-4 days depending on how crunchy it was on day 1.

I also learned that straight Aloe Vera Gel/Juice or a styler with Aloe as one of the top ingredients, is the single BEST kept secret for curl definition. My curls would pop without any further coaxing. It’s also a great light moisturizer, and helps with frizz.


  • Anonymous says:

    I have a combination of products in one jar that gives me perfect, shiny, soft curls. My combination consists of Eco Styler protein gel(brown), Herbal Essence Totally Twisted gel, Fantasia IC gel, Shea Moisture Curling Souffle, and distilled water whipped together with my hand mixer for complete blending. I use this daily after rinsing my hair in the shower. I have perfect curls daily (4a and 4b).

  • Anonymous says:

    I also have 3c/4a tightly curled, fine, high density hair.
    I actually have used a lot of different products but I keep coming back to KCCC. Using KCCC paired with curl junkie leave-in smoothing lotion condish (underneath) gets me perfect coils. But as the KCCC owner points out, if your hair starts to dry during piece by piece (shingling) application re-wet the piece of hair you're dealing with. It can't even be damp, it needs to be WET to promote the best clumps. (so I guess my method can best be described as a soaking-wet-shingle)

  • Anonymous says:

    My curls are perfectly defined on their own. I used to try twists and stuff to get the hair you find when you google "natural hairstyles" but it would make my hair less defined not more. So now I just co-wash, and comb a little buriti oil into sopping wet well conditioned hair and add oil if it looks like another day on the olympic peninsula.

    I can't find my curl on any hair chart it's tons and tons of tiny spiraly ringlets ranging in diameter from pinky to b hook (if you crochet)

  • Anonymous says:

    I usually co wash with any cheap conditioner then I use Suave Coconut or Giovanni Direct or Garnier Sleek and Shine as a leave in, finger combing it through my hair while still in the shower. Then I shake my head back and forth (whipping my hair…LOL). Once a I get out of the shower I shake again to get rid of some of the excess water and also because shaking my hair makes it kinda wild and fluffy. Once it dries I may lift it with my fingers to get it a little bigger and wilder (I like big hair) That's it…that's my daily routine right now. I'm in the TWA "tween" stages.

  • Anonymous says:

    My curls pop when twisted with ORS Olive oil Shea butter pudding. Delta007

  • Anonymous says:

    Glycerin/Flax seed gel/Castor oil
    = Softness & Water Retention/Super Hold/Shine 😀

    1. Dampen hair with a water and glycerin mixture
    2. Let hair dry a little and and globs of flax seed gel
    3. Smooth castor oil (may mess up curl pattern)or spray EVOO throughout your hair

    Vuallaa!!! Beautiful 4b-c Curls

  • BrayyNicole says:

    HELP! I have been transitioning to natural for about 5 months now. Ive used sew-ins as a way to ease this transition. My hair has made alot of progress, but one thing I find now is that even tho my hair is EXTREMELY thick, my curls arent really defined at all! Can anybody suggest products that will help with this? Or any routines that you use to make your curls "pop." Thanks!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have 4b hair, it's so thin and in need of some SERIOUS help! I don't know if any of these remedies will work for my hair, since it looks so nappy. I'm getting discourage, I want to learn how to define and soften these curls as an afro is NOT my personality. It just doesn't go with me, I've been wearing wigs or blow drying it pin straight to rock a half wig. I'm super discouraged but I never want to put a relaxer in my hair again. 🙁

  • Kanisha says:

    I just BC'd a week ago- I have 3c/4a hair.

    My go to style is a twist out. Out of the shower (I use Giovanni Smootha as Silk and I LOVE it) I apply Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner and top it off with Proclaim Natural 7 Olive Oil. Then I apply ECOSTYLER gel all over my head (The stuff is AMAZING with my hair)

    Then I begin my twistout and reapply gel as necessary!
    It turns out beautifully :))

  • Anonymous says:

    Omgosh…think I've finally answer for me. I've used ice gel to twist great to twist and roll into two parts. I hope that made sense part on the side twisted and roll up. It's listed on cn video. Too wash out is a nightmare. My hair is little past shoulders and 4 head's thickness. Love it though! I bought Aveda b curly & curl enhancer like 6 months ago. First hated it because I tried in winter. Did nothing for my hair. I tried it again in this June Florida heat excellent results! Airdried in 45min 45minutes. Soft and spongy not crunchy ends. I did use olive oil on the ends though.

  • Ladynia says:

    I feel like a fraud answering this question since I'm still relatively clueless about how to manage my hair but I use Karen's Body Beautiful Hair or Nectar. It does a great job of defining my curls but I'm lost after that. I do not leave my hair out because of the shrinkage. I've been trying to perfect the twist-n-curl that Nikki wears so beautifully and I fail miserably. After 20+ years, I've been perm free for 13 months now and my hair is still a learning process for me. If someone can suggest some smoothing product — that takes away the frizz, I'd really appreciate it. My twist-outs are not pretty and I need HELP! BTW, I've never done a big chop; I have a big head and feared what I'd look like without the length but I'm so frustrated since I don't know what to do with my hair that I'm close to just cutting off the rest of the perm and hoping for the best. You can see my hair at ANY advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Anonymous says:

    I use Oyin Handmade Shine & Define for wash and go's. It's really moisturizing and defines the curls like crazy! It's a cream and gives my hair a break from the Ecostyler gel or Curling custard. It also dries much faster than KCCC.

  • Anonymous says:

    I used the Nature's Gate Aloe Conditioner for the 1st time this week, and can I say WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!! Curl definition like no gel, kinky kurly, conditioner has ever given, and I'm a PJ!!! LOVES that Aloe!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have 3c and 4a hair. Daily I rinse my hair in the shower,then apply Elasta QP "Feels Like Silk" Liquid styling gel once I'm out of the shower while my hair is still wet/damp. After applying the gel, I spray with a little water to get it just right, work it through and I'm done. My curls are perfectly defined and this is the only gel out of the many that I've used that dries soft and moisturized with plenty of shine. I get at Sally's.

  • Anonymous says:

    I WAS a KCCC die-hard fan, until I took Braids Beads and Beyond's recommendation (hey Nik! 🙂 ) and got the Blended Cutie's Down and Out Styles…omg that stuff is amazing. love love love it! its a cream not a gel, gives good weight and curl hold PLUS its hecka moisturizing!

  • Unknown says:

    the tightly curly like a charm for me…Haven't used gel in about 3 weeks…the conditioner and the denmen brush is the key…

  • Anonymous says:

    Good ole fashioned curl activator gel works great for my 4A hair. I use smooth and shine or long aid curl activator gels and they work great…curls poppin! I also mix them with eco styler or fantasia IC gels for more hold. Various styling methods yield different results…combing it through gets one look and raking it through gets another. The style can last 2 or 3 days but can get a bit tacky. It's worth a try as smooth and shine is $2.75 at the Family Dollar…you really can't go wrong!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love little Gabby's hair, plus she's so adorable – Monica

  • Anonymous says:

    Cowashing with Giovanni Smooth as Silk then using Giovanni Direct leave in on wet hair defines my curls like nothing else. I love this combo!

  • momo7 says:

    I don't do wash-n-gos anymore. However, when I did, I'd usually leave some conditioner in my hair after washing then rake/finger comb gel (it was fantasia IC about 2 yrs ago and/or aloe vera gel…I still use aloe for my edges & to keep the buckshots smooth =)) in 3 or 4 sections. I'd then either pull my hair back into a very very loose ponytail (putting an elastic band on w/o twisting it to secure it more tightly) and leave it that way (it was very easy…I kinda miss those days but I was too dependent on Fantasia gel cause it NEVER ever flaked and had great hold but dried my hair out and caused shedding and build up…if they make one w/o protein/cones that still holds and doesn't flake, I just may go back). I'd sometimes also keep it in a ponytail for about a half hour and allow it to partially air dry then shake it loose and go (which resulted in unpredictable shrinkage if I didn't use mousse, which also dried my hair out).

  • Anonymous says:

    Shingling with a small tooth comb and some leave-in always works for me

  • Lost_One says:

    Kinky Curly is still my favorite curl definer. I recently bought Shea Moisture's Organic Coconut and Hibiscus Curling Souffle. I LOVE this stuff! KCCC is my hg product, but sometimes I need a heavy cream like Cantu Shea Butter Leave In; however, because the Cantu is not organic, I wanted to try something else. Shea Moisture's Curling Souffle works really well (so far). I have 3c curls and 3b in the back.

  • caracara says:

    I love Kinky Curly or Donna Marie Miracurls for curlpopping wash n gos. For an inexpensive styler, I use HE Set me Up Gel, Isoplus Gel or Biotera Gel. I shake my hair to separate curls and let air dry.

  • NaturallyEJ says:

    One thing to keep in mind is that keeping your ends trimmed and split ends to a minimum helps you create a nice popping curl also. I leave in Totally twisted and seal with shine hair polish. Air-drying normally works best for me, but if I have time I will sit under a dryer.

  • Unknown says:

    I absolutely love Kinky Curly Curling Custard, my hair hates their leave in though, so I pair it with either HE Hello Hydration or Giovanni Direct Leave In.

  • Jacq says:

    What works best for my curls & keeps them defined for a good 4-5 days is leaving Hello Hydration in & following up with Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner. I twirl what look too be unruly sections around my finger & let it air-dry. I’ve tried other products & routines, but always come back to this dynamic duo.

  • Unknown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Humbly Beautiful says:

    For me I like Curlz Curl Gel-les'c. It does not make my hair hard and the curls are more defined and it gets rid of the frizz.

  • Beads, Braids & Beyond says:

    For us it is hands down the Blended Cutie Down & Out Styles.

    I need to look into aloe vera one day! I know I saw it at the Vitamin Shoppe.

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