HOW I DEFINE CURLS ON MY NIGERIAN 4C NATURAL HAIR

By Hadassah Agbaps - July 18, 2014

Hi people, what's been on?

Today I'll like to share how I define my coils for very special events. I have written an earlier post about this but here's an update.

Before I begin, I have to point out that curl definition for me isn't about trying to make my hair look less kinky because I love the randomness of undefined hair.

Just as it takes work and products to put every silky strand of straight hair in place, it takes the same to put every strand of coil in place.
I'm saying this because when I share a picture of my defined hair, I'm always asked why I don't style my hair like that on a daily basis when they see my cloud type hair.

I'm happy with both the cloud (when my hair does what it does) and the rain (when I force every coil in place)....and please not to be conceited or anything...if you see any natural with rain type defined hair please do not touch it! It takes hours to do!
It's just like when you take the time to curl your weave in bendy rollers to achieve perfect curls and people keep touching it causing your perfect curls to frizz up and fall...#enufsaid.

Most times we see natural hair adverts displaying kinks and coils with nary a strand out of place, each coil perfectly round and springy and we think that is the default look of natural hair. It isn't!
Frizzes are normal. Shrinkage is normal and the random hair that refuses to play with its brothers is soo normal.
It is normal to have a cloud on your head instead of a cascade of coils.

I can bet you that the best selling natural hair products are 'curl definers' and their hidden message is 'we can convert kinks to coils, coils to curls and curls to waves in one easy step'.
Seriously though, the best they can do is weigh down the hair to enlongate coils and be sticky enough to make your hair clump....which is good for a style change but not good for everyday styling.

If your hair isn't fine enough to be weighed down or held together in clumps, the most these curl definers can do is be good moisturisers and provide hold for your twistouts, bantu knot outs or braid outs.

That being said, sometimes you want your hair to coil perfectly for a special event or a photoshoot.
Here's my tried and true method for doing so.

What you'll need.
- clean deep conditioned hair. An ACV rinse at the end is an added advantage because it helps your cuticle lie smoother and reduces tangles.

- A curl definer. If you have fine hair, a slippery conditioner will work. If you have medium hair a strong hold alcohol free gel will work.
See suggestions here

- A detangling tool...you can use your fingers, a wide tooth comb, a Denman D3 brush or a tangle teezer brush. (If you've mastered detangling with brushes).

- Loads of patience! This should be done when you are comfortable, free with nothing to do but watch seasonals.

HOW TO.

- Shampoo and condition your hair.

- Deep condition hair with your favorite moisture infusing deep conditioner. It saves time in my opinion. I use Aussie Moist 3 Mins Reconstructor mixed with manshanu. The point of a D.C. is to infuse the hair with moisture so it is coily and springy.

- Rinse out with cold water and cowash if your D.C. contains a lot of oils.

- Blot off excess water gently. Hair should be damp.

- Spray hair with dilute ACV or aloe vera juice and work in. This helps smoothen your strands to reduce tangles.

- Divide hair into small sections like you want to roll it.

- To each section apply depending on your hair texture a slippery conditioner, a curl definer or gel. I used FOTE Aloe Vera gel. It's affordable and readily available in Nigeria. I also like Ecostyler Olive Oil gel (also affordable), Kinky Curly Curling Custard, As I Am Smoothing Gel, Shea Moisture Curling Souffle (these are a bit pricey but if you are into all natural ingredients they are worth a shot). Cantu Coconut curling cream works well on fine and medium thickness hair but is reduced to a moisturiser on people with thick hair. Aphogee Curlific Curl Definer has enough slip and hold and work well with most hair textures.

.....wait....I'm digressing with reviews....sorry...okay back to directions....

- Finger comb, use "praying hands method" or brush with a Denman brush (if you know how to use it properly) through the section from ends to roots until your curls begin to clump.

Tip: If you have hair with very tiny coils, you'll have to give that clumped section a blast with a blowdryer using cool setting or you can make loose twists so it sets a little bit longer and looser.
To get the ends to curl evenly, wrap around your finger and release carefully....like fingercoiling.

- Continue until you are done.


Time: Depending on your hair texture , density and how perfect you want your coils to be this will take between 2-5 hours from beginning to end.

P.s. You see why I dodge when someone wants to touch my hair....it's work.

Here's the final look.




Night time routine: Satin bonnet or scarf. In the morning spray with small water and go.

How long did it last? 3 weeks. I should have gone longer but I really needed to wash off the products! I'm a fan of light product free hair.

So there you have it!
Any tips or questions, let me know.

Oh....and someone suggested a method called doodling. I would just be using a conditioner for that and then wrap coils around my fingers to define them. I tried it, didn't really get it right and was left feeling cold because I didnt want to leave the bathroom with so much conditioner. I'll try again though!
I also learnt about using coke to define curls...hmm....
If you've tried out any of these methods please share in the comments section or link back.

Till I spill again,
Live Beautifully. Naturally.
HadassaH.

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