The Best Techniques for Defining 4C Hair

Naturals with type 4C hair have our own unique hair journey. Our path to finding great products and styles that work and last can take a little longer than other naturals. Some techniques that work on other hair types might leave you with no greater curl definition and time wasted, but in combination with good quality products other methods work perfectly to define 4C hair. Here are some styling techniques and methods that can help you achieve your perfect defined curl.

Finger/Comb Coiling

The coiling method can be achieved using either a comb or just your fingers. Since you will be using gel with this style make sure your hair is thoroughly moisturized so that the gel doesn’t dry your hair out.  After moisturizing your hair, take a small section and apply gel. As curls begin to form, take smaller strands and twirl it around your finger until the curl is well defined. Repeat this across your entire head. With this method a good gel with a strong hold that doesn’t leave your hair crunchy is key to achieving your desired look.

Maximum Hydration Method

The Maximum Hydration Method was developed by Pinke Cube of Black Hair Media. For those who dread wash day this method may not be for you. For seven consecutive days clarify and condition your hair in the morning and night. At night, you clarify with baking soda (for low porosity hair) or apple cider vinegar (for high porosity hair). Then deep condition and cover with a shower cap overnight. In the morning you rinse out the conditioner and apply a bentonite clay treatment. Leave the clay treatment in for up to 15 minutes, rinse out and apply your leave in and seal in all that moisture with a gel. After the seven days your hair should be thoroughly moisturized making your curls bouncy and defined. This method works great for short-term use, long term wetting and drying can cause hygral fatigue, so don’t over do this method.

Shingling Method Without Gel

Shingling is good practice for evenly coating all your hair strands but, combined with the right products, is a great way to define curls. This method can be done on freshly washed hair or on an older style. Apply your leave- in and oil working it into a small section of hair, raking your fingers through until your strands are fully coated. Next apply a curling pudding in the same manner, until you start to see defined, clumped curls. Repeat this for the rest of your hair. Curling puddings are a great alternative to gels and are a great way to add more moisture to hair, just make sure you find one that gives you the best results. A great pudding to try is Fantasia Argan Oil Pudding.

Wash n Go With Gel

Wash n go’s usually seem like no go’s for 4C hair but with a good gel you can enhance your curls and get that flawless wash n go look you’ve always wanted. With this style you use the shingling method above making sure to moisturize your hair well. However, instead of the pudding you use a gel, raking your fingers through the section of the hair until you see defined curls. A downside to this method is that you get a lot of shrinkage so to keep some length use the banding method. Gently section off some hair and begin to band the section down from root to end using a stretchy ribbon headband. Repeat this on each section until all hair is banded. When hair is dry gently remove the bands from your hair. Your result should be nice and defined style with some extra length retention.

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