All About Curls Series - Defining Your Curls

By . - Tuesday, April 03, 2012


Let’s talking about defining your beautiful ringlets. I’ve heard a lot of naturals say that they just have kinky or nappy hair, and they really don’t consider their hair to be curly. You will soon see that with proper care and understanding of your kinks and naps, those curls will emerge and steal your heart!
There are basically four techniques that I have used to define my curls: Finger combing, Smoothing, Finger Curls and Two Strand Twists

Finger Combing
I have looser/wavier curls in the back of my head, and this technique seems to work the best back there. If your curl pattern is a 3a to 3c, I would suggest that you try this method.
1.      Run your fingers through your hair in the direction that the hair curls.
2.      Try pressing your fingers together as you do it to get a more defined curl.
3.      This method will not work too well if you have a tighter type 4 curl

When the area I am working on has been combed with your Denman brush and conditioner, my hair begins to section itself into curls. This is your hair basically telling you where to smooth and how bid your sections need to be.
  1. 1.      Take each segment, and run your hands down it. This sets your curl by smoothing all the hairs together to act as a unit.
  2. 2.      The tighter the curl, the smaller the segment you smooth. Some places on your head may need lots of very tiny curls you smooth, and others larger. The middle of my head gives me a bunch of tiny segments.
  3. 3.      Smooth all the individual curls in the section, then pin them out of the way and move onto the next section.
  4. 4.      The conditioner that we left in our hair in the last segment helps this process to run smoothly (pun intended).

Finger Curls
If you are rocking a TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro), this may be the very best way to define your curls. Your basically going to twirl your hair around your fingers.  Make the sections as big or small as you need to. Your hair will guide and tell you what it wants.

Two Strand Twists
I use this technique for those days that I either want a very uniform curl, or for sections that are cooperating. You know the part of your hair that either won’t curl at all because of heat damage or constantly brushing it back. The curl that insists on sticking up and to the left no matter what.
  1. 1.      Grab a small section of hair and split it into two. Begin to twist the section while it’s damp and has conditioner all the way to the end.
  2. 2.      Unravel the twists when the hair is completely dry. Be sure not to split the curls too much to avoid frizz.


In general the rule of thumb is that the tighter your curl pattern is, the smaller the sections your will take to either finger comb, smooth, finger curl or two strand twists. If you have a section of hair that keeps separating into more curls, you need to let your hair do what it wants. I believe that us curly hair girls (and boys) often fight against our curls, and try to make them do things that they don’t want to do. The result is usually dried out and frizz hair that should be defined and happy ringlets. Remember to define your curls when they are wet and have lots of conditioner on them.

This is the ideal way to define your kinky coily curls. The next topic in the “All About Curls Series” will be how to “Protecting Your Curly Hair”. I hope this information is helpful to everyone. Feel free to leave your questions in the comment section or email me at

Have a Good Hair Day!!!

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