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Curly Nikki

4 Steps to Prep your Natural Hair for a Big Event

By January 27th, 202122 Comments
4 Steps to Prep your Natural Hair for a Big Event
by Nicole Harmon author of Coils and Curls

Summer barbecue filled with eligible bachelors? Photo shoot? Wedding? Sometimes you just need everything about your look to be on point. These 4 steps will help you achieve picture perfect styles that last.

Step 1: Start by conditioning your hair

Pre-shampoo treatments are often recommended because they prevent the hair from swelling when it absorbs water too quickly, but that’s not the only benefit. Applying oil before washing your hair also helps your strands absorb and “hold on to” more conditioner once you’re in the shower. For DIY treatments, coconut oil has the strongest scientific evidence for conditioning the hair. If you want to step it up for a big event, opt for a professionally formulated pre-shampoo treatment like Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme or L’Oreal EverStrong Overnight Repair Treatment.

Read On!>>>

Step 2: Cleanse thoroughly but gently

Big events call for shiny, fluffy hair, which means a “clean slate” is a must. Old product residue and dirt will leave your strands looking dull and dry. That doesn’t mean you should clarify though. Many clarifying shampoos are so strong that they’ll strip away the conditioning from your pre-poo AND your hair’s natural cuticle oils. Instead, choose a gentle, moisturizing, pH balanced shampoo that removes dirt while leaving your hair more moisturized (similar to what a luxurious body wash does for your skin).

Step 3: Deep condition to smooth your strands and block humidity

A deep treatment will help you smooth and patch the cuticles of your coils and curls. Deep treatments that contain hydrolyzed protein will protect your hair from humidity which means you won’t have to worry about a frizz attack in the middle of your event. Take the time to apply the deep conditioner as thoroughly as you would a relaxer or color treatment. Saturate your hair from root to tip, especially in the front where most of the photos will focus. For the best results, leave your deep treatment in for the full recommended time in the instructions. Don’t worry about leaving it in for hours and hours, that won’t help you get better results and you might end up late for the party!

Step 4: Pump up the shine

The more light that reflects from your hair, the healthier and more moisturized it will appear (in person and in pictures). Coils and curls don’t reflect as much light as straight hair, so a boost of shine is always helpful. “Shine glaze” products that are made to prolong the life of color treatments can also be used to add shine to your natural color. My favorites are Aveeno Living Color Color Preserving Shine Glaze and Fekkai Salon Glaze Clear Shine Rinse.

The rest of your prep work will depend on what style you’ll be rocking for the event. Wet sets like twist outs or roller sets are great because you can do your makeup and everything else as your hair air dries. Before you head out the door, apply a flexible hold hairspray for extra assurance that your style will stay in place all day and night.

Hair Liberty is the freedom to rock whatever style you want, whenever you want. Curly, straight, natural, relaxed, whatever! Free yourself! 
How do you prep your hair for a big night? 


  • Anonymous says:

    I prepare my hair a day before even with Bantu knots or tnc. I wear an up do when I have big event or half up half down. My hair has been pre-pooed with evco washed and conditioned etc.

    Megan Montgomery

  • Nish says:

    I like to prep my hair the night before a big event. I do two-strand twists on freshly co-washed or shampooed hair and I allow to twists to work it's magic overnight. The next morning I take out my twists, apply some H2O/moisturizer, and then I fluff and go. In the months to come, with more growth, I will be able to experiment with more styles.

  • Meika says:

    i do all of the above mentioned and i make sure my hair is dry. Its annoying to find out your hair isnt dry when you think it is.

  • Bridget says:

    Prepping my hair for a big event can be especially nerve wrecking at times because no matter how much prepping I do, sometimes my hair just has a mind of its own. I have, however, learned that when all else fails, bunning it will save the day. I just add a hair accessory such as a flower and I am good to go.

  • marianela says:

    These tip just helped me right now. I am glad to have such helpful advice.

  • jly says:

    I do the baggie method the night before because it always my hair be soft and it holds texture better for my twist out (only thing I can do now because of my TWA)

  • Anonymous says:

    To prepare my hair I will cowash or just deep condition, put my hair in about 10-15 twist & stretch the twist across the opposite side of my head with bobby pins so I don't have to blow dry for stretch. So by the time I take my hair to style it's nice & stretched & I can do any style I want.

    Brooke B.

  • Anonymous says:

    I went to see Kenny Chesney in concert Sunday night. I started prepping my hair a week in advance. LOL!!
    I wanted my fro to be be giant so I washed and blow dried on Monday and then wore it in big twists for the rest of the week. I wore my stylish headwrap everyday. I sweated in the twists while working out for two days (that gets it a little kinky.

    By the time Sunday came around it was the perfect texture for "afroness".

    Nicol C.

  • Miss Anne says:

    Yay, someone also likes Philip Kingsley. I just mentioned this on the forum and recommended it as an excellent pre shampoo treatment. I love PK!!! Use a number of his products and my hair loves it too!

    Thanks Nicole for mentioning this and great post!!! xxx

  • Neesha.Chérie says:

    Great article! What flexible hold hair sprays do you recommend for thick (strand and density) hair?

  • Nicole Harmon says:

    Thank you Curly Queen! 🙂 Tomorrow is the big day. I'm trying to get some final touches done, but I'm so excited I can barely sit still, lol.

  • Nicole Harmon says:

    Kimmels – LOL, glad to help!

  • Nicole Harmon says:

    Thank you, Terrika! I hope you have fun as you prep and at the events!

  • Curly Queen says:

    As always, good tips from Nicole. I can't wait until her book comes out.

  • Nicole Harmon says:

    Jeannette – Lol, dang! A few days too late, huh? Next time! Thanks for posting. 🙂

  • Unknown says:

    OMG I love this post…as I'm reading this I'm like duh!!! LOL I will be using these tips in the future

  • Terrika Dene says:

    Great info. I have a conference this weekend and then visiting a friend's church. Of course, I want my "diva doo" to be on point!

  • Jeannette says:

    I don't have a prep regimen for a big night. Although this article is late, it's also right on time lol. Recently I went to an exquisite event and had a hard time prepping my hair for it. Although the event was this past Friday, there will be more in the future, this is helpful information. Thanks!

  • Lisa MarK says:

    I like this weblog it’s a master piece! Glad I noticed this on Google.
    Air Conditioner

  • Nicole Harmon says:

    Ciarra – Happy Birthday and thanks for commenting!

  • JPSignatureOrganX says:

    Visit our shop on etsy at for all of your natural hair care and facial needs. Were making products for growth, moisturizing dreadlocks,transitioning and replenishing your hair back to health!!! Great for girls going natural and any hair type… Also were making facial products to get your skin clean and glowing.

  • Ciarra says:

    I Needed this because tomorrow is my birthday! I need quick ideas because I am transitioning! Thanks! <3

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