Truth be told – It can get really boring to wear your Afro-textured, 4C hair in one style.
Yes, the natural hair community advocates for protective styling and ensuring that your ends are tucked away but once in a while you may want a fresh new curly look.
If you do a quick search on YouTube you will realize every other Influencer with 4C hair has a video on a twist-out, wash and go etc. This tells you that 4C hair is very versatile and can be turned in so many different curly hairstyles.
This is why it doesn’t come as a surprise that sales of chemical relaxers have dropped significantly while sales of natural hair care products that enhance natural curls has been skyrocketing.
So, how do you make 4C hair curly?
There are several methods you can use to make 4C hair curly. In the next section, we will go into the details of the various techniques that can be used to make 4C hair curly.
How to Make 4C hair curly
To make 4C hair curly, the first and most important step is to ensure your 4C hair is well moisturized. After moisturizing, lock in the moisture then proceed to use various curl defining techniques such as twist-out, finger coiling, braid-out and shingling to make the hair curly.
As already mentioned, there are several techniques that you can use to make your 4C hair curly. Different curl defining methods may result in a different pattern and size of curls. In this article we will cover 10 different techniques for making 4C hair curly, as detailed below:
1. Moisturize to define 4C Curls
I am not sure if you can have a textured hair conversation without the mention of the word ‘moisture’.
Moisture will bring dry and brittle hair back to life, give it flexibility and a defined curl pattern.
A simple experiment to demonstrate that moisture is key to curl definition is observing your hair before and after a wash. The moment your hair touches water, you will begin to see curls popping.
Moisturizing 4C hair is the simplest and most basic way to make it curly. If you want to achieve a ‘Wash and Go’, all you need to do is to wash your hair with the gentle shampoo, proceed to moisturize with a conditioner or a deep conditioner, seal the moisture and you are done! You may want to finish off with a gel to hold the curls longer but you can still do without.
In its dry, raw state it is almost impossible to keep your 4C hair curl pattern well-defined. To help you out on moisture, use hair products that are packed with moisturizing agents. This can be leave ins, hair creams or oils. .
To learn more on moisturizing 4C hair, here is a detailed article on moisturizing 4C hair
2. Use the Maximum Hydration Method
The maximum hydration method is a 4-6 step hair care regimen that is meant to deeply moisturize, improve luster and manageability of the hair. This method also results in super defined curls which are perfect for reducing frizz or achieving perfect Wash and Go hairstyles.
Basically, this method works by increasing the moisture in hair to the maximum level. It works well for low porosity hair which tends to take time to absorb moisture and products.
Wondering how it works? For starters, you have to be consistent with the regimen for 7 consecutive days.
Step 1: Cleanse & Clarify
The Max hydration method requires that you start off with clean hair. Cleanse and clarify your hair with an Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV) rinse. Use a 1:1 ratio of Apple Cider Vinegar and water mixture. Pour the mixture onto your scalp and massage to bring remove the dirt. Proceed to thoroughly rinse off the ACV.
Step 2: Co-wash & Detangle
Co-washing is the process of cleaning hair using a conditioner. Co-washing achieves two main goals; it cleanses the hair while softening the hair making detangling easy.
Section your hair and apply a generous amount of a Sulphate-free conditioner. Massage the conditioner in as you detangle with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb.
Step 3: Clay Rinse
In this next step, you can use any clay of your choice. Some of the most popular types used in hair care include: Bentonite Clay, Kaolin Clay and Rhassoul clay.
Clays are good for the hair because they have adsorbent, moisturizing, conditioning and clarifying properties, all of which make it an excellent addition to any natural hair regimen.
Start by making a Bentonite clay paste, you can play around with the portions, just ensure you have a paste that is not too runny. Apply the paste on your hair and leave it on for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off.
Step 4: Leave-in Conditioner
In this step, section the hair and proceed to apply a leave-in conditioner. Ensure the hair is moist when applying the conditioner to ensure that the product is absorbed more easily.
Step 5: Botanical Gel
The final step is to use a styling botanical gel. Botanical gels are made with oils, herbal extracts, and humectants such as aloe that not only help keep the hair from drying out, but that have conditioning benefits as well.
If you prefer to DIY your gel, you can make your gel at home using Flaxseeds. This article will guide you on how make the Flaxseed Gel.
Apply the gel from your roots to the tips. You can shingle it through small sections if you want extreme definition.
Once you have completed the first day, repeat the second to fifth steps for the next six consecutive days. At the end of this process, you will have super defined curls that will last you long.
Note: The maximum hydration method should not be overdone because repeatedly hydrating your hair over a long period of time could lead to breakage.
3. Use the Shingling method for super defined curls
Shingling is another way to make your natural 4C hair curls to pop. Shingling is the process of using a leave in conditioner and a curling cream or gel to form defined curls that are bouncy and elongated.
This method works best for kinkier hair types. Therefore, for those with 4C hair, shingling is a wonderful way to show off those curls. While it takes more effort than other techniques, it is definitely worth it.
Shingling takes about 20 minutes depending on your hair length and density. It is important to ensure your hair is freshly Co-washed and deep conditioned before starting the shingling process.
- Start by Co-washing the hair
- Thoroughly detangle your hair. Your fingers may not do the job if you want to achieve super defined curls. Use a detangling brush to gently detangle.
- Proceed to apply the leave-in conditioner in sections, this will ensure your hair is moisturized to avoid having crunchy hair.
- Next, apply the styling style gel on each section and start to shingle by taking smaller sections of the curls and separating these from the bigger section. Run your fingers along as you smooth the smaller curls. When doing this method, ensure you hair is wet. If the hair dries out as you shingle, spray in more water to wet it. Let the curls air dry or use a blow drier on low heat to dry the curls.
- To add volume to the curls, use a comb to gently raise the roots.
4. Bantu Knot Method
Bantu knots is a common natural hairstyle particularly for those with kinkier textures. This hairstyle can work on both short and long hair and this is one of the reasons it is a favorite among many natural hair enthusiasts. Bantu knots are easy to install and once you unravel, you will end up with a defined curl pattern.
To create curls from Bantu Knots:
- Part the hair into several sections
- Twist each section wrapping it around itself.
- Repeat until it is curled in a tight knot
- Clip the knotted hair and use a scarf to wrap your hair for some hours preferably overnight.
- Unravel and loosen the knots in the morning and proceed to separate the curls into smaller individual curls.
- To add volume to the curls, use a comb to gently raise the roots.
Note: For short hair, you will need to part your hair into smaller sections. If your hair is longer, you will have to make larger sections.
5. Braid and Curl Method
The braid and curl method is one of the best ways of adding volume and defining curls on your natural hair. The method may take some time but it will leave your hair with some super defined curls.
How to use this method to make 4C hair curly:
- Apply leave in conditioner to wet your hair
- Use a rich styling product that will give your hair texture and hold.
- Braid your hair into a number of braids
- Wrap each braid
- Allow time for the braids to dry
- Unravel the braids when dry
- Part each curled section twice or thrice, but be careful not to lose the curl definition.
6. Define 4C Curls using the Twist Out Method
If you’re looking for a simple way to get your 4C hair looking great, twist outs should definitely be on your list. Twist out are achieved by twisting several small sections of your hair.
This method works on any length of hair and can stay on for weeks. Unraveled twist outs will give your hair the curl definitions that you’ve always been looking for.
7. Flexi Rods for Curl definition
As the name suggests, Flexi rods are soft and flexible sticks that come in different sizes. They are bent into different shapes and form around the hair with ease.
This means is that you can easily manipulate them as you wish to form defined curl patterns that will transform your hair into everything you ever envisioned.
How to achieve curls with flexi rods
- Start with clean hair, divide your hair into sections
- Mist each section with water
- Apply the leave in conditioner on each section
- Proceed to install the flexi rods on each section
- Dry the hair naturally or use a hair dryer.
- Take out the rods when the hair is dry
It is important to note that the bigger the rods you use, the bigger the curls you will have and vice versa.
8. Use Straw Sets to define 4C Curls
Have you been looking into wearing a longer lasting hair style? Straw setting is an option for you. It is great to note that the longer a straw set last the better the curls look. What this means is that you could wear it for longer. The hair style is also suitable for both long and short hair.
- Wash your hair as straw set works best on wet hair
- Condition and moisturize your hair
- Split your hair into sections depending on the style you want.
- Curl the hair around with straws. Roll the hair up into a tight spiral, and then pin it with bobby pins.
- Allow the hair to dry naturally or inside a dryer
- When straw curls are fully formed, remove the straws and bobby pins.
- Spray the hair or oil it.
9. Finger Coiling Method
Finger coils are easily achievable. However, they are time consuming and will require your patience.
To achieve finger coils, all you need is a curling cream and your fingers!
- Moisturize and seal the hair
- Apply the curl cream on your fingers and distribute it evenly on your hair
- Take small sections and twirl them around your finger
- Allow to dry and style as desired.
10. Flat Twist Method for Curl Definition
Flat twists are popular not only for the curl patterns that come out of it but also because it is a protective style for your 4C hair. Flat twists are somehow similar to the twist outs. The only difference is that it a pseudo cornrow braiding technique that gives hair definition at the root.
There you go, 10 different methods you can use to make your 4C hair curly. Have you tried the above or any other hair curling techniques? How did that work for you? Let us know in the comments. Otherwise, pin this article for future reference as I will be updating the information and adding more techniques that I experiment on.