5 Tips for more Defined Curls

How-To-Get-Defined-Curls-StylishLeeHey, Hey, Hey! What’s up to all my beautiful NaturalLeeders! Hope you are all doing great. I know this post has been long overdue but I really have been short on time since lately. So, one of the questions I receive on a daily basis always has to do with achieving defined curls! My top answer…Moisture!!! [for me at least]. When I just started my journey I had little knowledge about hair care & my thick hair just really seemed overwhelming. Overtime I felt more in control of my hair and less like it was controlling me, & I did this by researching on the internet and then learning through TRIAL & ERROR!

I realized early on my journey that my hair looked and felt its best the day of and the day after wash day; by day 2 & 3 it looked lifeless. This was when I realized that moisture really is key! Dry curls just DO NOT have the same appeal that moisturized ones do. Keeping that in mind I decided to moisturize my hair daily and did this by misting my hair with a spray bottle of coconut oil and purified water, paying keen attention to my ends. I also co-washed once weekly and deep conditioned once a week. Within a month or two my hair moisture levels were ideal, making them feel great and appear healthy, while my coils looked lush & springy.

Later on in my journey my trusted hair product at the time was sold out & so I picked up something different to try; products from Beautiful Textures (I no longer use their products, but now I feel like revisiting, because Beautiful Textures was once my holy grail brand). That night I realized that PRODUCT was also the key to everything! I did the same thing I did every week to my hair but this time using different products and the results were incredible. My coils were POPPIN!!! As of that day I figured out that hair moisture levels and quality product were essential in achieving beautiful, lush, defined curls. You see, if our hair is dry and dehydrated no matter what we put in it, it won’t look as lush, so it’s important that our hair is always hydrated. On the other hand, what we put in it and the amount we put in is then important in predicting defined, lush curls.

Jamaican-Natural-Hair-Blogger-STYLISHLEE
There are other factors that play into curl definition like hair type and genetics, but here are

My Top FIVE tips for achieving Defined Curls!

1. Keep Hair HYDRATED

You can achieve consistently well-defined curls by keeping them hydrated. Well hydrated, or well moisturized hair behaves and looks better than curls that are dry and parched. With regular conditioning and deep conditioning not only will your hair be easier to manage but it will also behave and look better.

I deep condition once every 1-2 weeks with Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey Intensive Hydration Hair Masque, then rinse, apply moisturizer and style if needed. How often I deep condition is just for reference. I know naturals who deep condition once a month because their hair retains moisture for longer periods. I on the other hand need to do it more often, so figure out what works for you. You can start with regular deep conditioning once a week, and do this until your moisture levels are at its peak (moisturized hair is soft to the touch without product). Once your hair is hydrated then feel free to lessen how often you deep condition to once every two weeks and then to every three weeks depending on your hair. Just remember that curls that are dry simply cannot have the same definition that well-conditioned curls will have.

2. USE QUALITY PRODUCTS

Quality Products = Products with Quality Ingredients!

Why do you think brands like Shea Moisture, Camille Rose Naturals, Cantu or Kinky-Curly are so popular among curly gals seeking lush curls? Because the products from their lines actually WORK! These brands have formulated their products to work with curly hair of all textures. Now I’m not saying the brands I’ve mentioned are the best out there on the market, but their ingredients put them at the top of my personal list. So INGREDIENTS MATTER! [tip: you should always pay most attention to the first 5 ingredients because these are the highest concentrated].

Always check the ingredient list before being sucked in by fancy labels on the front of the packaging. The power of a product is actually on the back and our power as consumer is to decide what is best for our hair’s wants and needs. When it comes to hair care it is important to know how certain ingredients work on our strands, and which don’t so when when buying you can quickly decide if a product is right for you or not. For me personally I look for products containing a good combination of moisturizing butters and oils among its top ingredients. Once you master which ingredients work best with your hair, then you will know exactly which products are better suited for you.

3. Apply Products While Wet

Your hair should be damp to wet when you begin the styling process. I always say after conditioning don’t bother getting out of the shower, just squeeze the excess water from your hair and begin applying your moisturizers and styling products. If you apply your products to your hair while it’s wet, it will lock in the style and lock in the definition.

Have you ever noticed as you work product into your wet hair the curls start clinging onto other curls??? If yes then we’re in business! Wet hair and product causes curls to clump together, & clumping is a good thing when you’re on the hunt for definition. Some naturals opt for a paddle brush (Denman brush) when working product into wet hair, but I personally just use my fingers and the palms of my hands to smooth the products onto my hair and allow my hair to take the lead and let my curls come together on their own.

4. Get yourself a product with good HOLD

If definition is your greatest concern, then you may be skipping an important step in your styling routine. I used to only use butters, leave-in conditioners and oils to style my hair and could not figure out why my hair became frizzy and poofy so fast and why by day 2 my hair looked less defined. Sure my hair felt and looked super moisturized but it lacked that WOW factor that so many of us are on the hunt for with our hair…defined curls! This was happening because oils and butters don’t contain ingredients that will HOLD our curls in place. Gels, custards and jellies is what we need if we plan on achieving any curl definition or longevity to a style.

These products help create the desired clumping effect (hair strands begin to stick to each other). When I see my strands clumping together I know the end results will be amazing. For my ladies with thick hair like mine, or those who’s hair show little curl definition, I would definitely suggest you get yourself a good hair gel or custard for clumping your curls, defining and holding them in place. A product with hold, will preserve your coils longer while also minimizing frizz. Nonetheless, your hair type will determine what sort of gel you need to enhance your curls.

For my ladies who have visible definition regardless of what product you use, go for a gel that is more liquid and less dense, with lots of slip. If you have very fine/thin hair I suggest you also go for a more liquid type of gel.

For my Type 4 curly gals

You ladies have been blessed with beautiful type 4 curls but I know that a common concern for most is the lack of visible curl definition. Your hair type will require a bit more work to achieve defined curls, but it definitely is possible by following the tips above and by finding a gel that works with your hair and making her your new best friend.

So you need to find a thick, dense hair gel because thicker gels will help your hair clump together and the denseness will allow your hair to hang because of the added weight. Next, ensure your gel has lots of slip so the gel can glide on your hair easily and also help in the detangling process. Finally you want your gel to feel gooey between your fingers, because this means major clumping and curl definition. Most naturals with type 4 hair usually love Eco Styler Gel, so that’s a good one to test out first. In case you’re curious I personally use Cantu’s Shea Butter Shine Custard.

5. After applying products, Leave Hair Alone!

The Jamaican in me would say, “Lef yuh hair alone!!!” Got that??? After you’ve applied your products, combed through your hair, styled it and all that, please just leave your hair alone. Okay? Feel free to grab your diffuser (low heat) or let it air dry (what I do) but don’t even bother thinking about touching those curls. Your curls at this point have now been set and you don’t want to disrupt the curls.

So no combing and no brushing after you’ve applied your moisturizer and styled! WHY? Once the water in the product evaporates the polymers  (source of hold in styling products) form a clear film which creates a strong hold and helps maintain the definition of a curl. This hold breaks when you either wash your hair or touch, comb or brush it. So unless you want your hair to look like a big ball of frizz then I’d suggest you refrain from touching your hair.

♥ As always thank you for coming by. I know this was quite a lengthy post so congrats on making it to the end. Hope at least one of theses tips will be of use to you. ♥

NLee-StylishLee

10 Comments

  1. Desinia Miller
    June 16, 2015 / 8:28 am

    I would just like to say that I love your Instagram and this blog. You inspired me to do better in how I present myself and love myself. You seem so beautiful inside and out and that is truly amazing. Please keep up these blogs. May you be reminded everyday how amazing you are by all of your supporters 🙂

    • June 17, 2015 / 11:07 am

      Thank you Desinia! I’m so happy I’ve been able to inspire you to do and be better. Supporters like you constantly remind me why I love doing what I do. Thank you so much hun.

  2. DEW
    June 16, 2015 / 12:36 pm

    Very informative post! These tips will prove helpful. A question for you…when your hair was much shorter, after your big chop did people often ask you if you were locking your hair?

    • June 17, 2015 / 11:05 am

      Thank you hun. People always asked me that and I actually still get asked that lol

  3. DEW
    June 17, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    For some reason it annoys me lol its as if theyre saying my hair isnt combed lol. How long did it take your hair to start hanging? Ive been natural for 5mnths now and wondering if my hair will ever hang. My hair is similar in texture to yours, my spirals are a little finer.

    • June 24, 2015 / 11:59 pm

      I’ve gotten so used to it now I just laugh it off haha lol….& oh boy….my hair started hanging a little after the one year mark.

  4. Paula
    June 20, 2015 / 8:48 am

    I don’t normally stop to comment but this blog resonates with me so. As a fellow “natural” girl with the same process (exception of probably one product) THIS WORKS! When i started from scratch (the big chop/ shaved head) i focused on moisture, natural oils, healthy product, and no heat. I can safely say not only is my hair holding curls but my ends are visibly healthy (no split ends). Honestly i have not had to trim since i started my journey (2 years + and counting). Please note i am not saying one shouldn’t have a trim now and again. We should also take into consideration that taking on a process or products that someone else may use does not mean you will wake one morning and have their head of hair. That may seem silly but too many times people say “why my hair don’t look like yours?!” Strive for healthy and love your own! …. Oh gee Natasha…so sorry you inspired this speech.. excuse my ramble but you hit the nail on the head for this one! Great Job!

    • June 24, 2015 / 11:58 pm

      I’m so happy you stopped by Paula! Thank you so much and I appreciate your speech and I mean that! Ramble on love, ramble on…because I really enjoyed reading. Nuff love hun

  5. April 11, 2016 / 11:13 pm

    I absolutely love your blog. I have learned so much from you and I really admire you. I love the way you take the time to go into detail with every product that you review and explain exactly how you use them. You’re like a ray of sunshine,, keep up the good work

    • April 12, 2016 / 7:29 am

      Aweeee shucks! Thanks Jamie. Happy to help as much as possible ❤️