Calling all 4C queens! You know that your 4C hair has a unique hair journey, and it can be a lot to handle unless you have the right hair care routine. If you’re looking for ways to make your 4C hair more defined with a visible curl pattern, then you need the following products and style techniques. In this blog, we’ll discuss 8 different methods to make your 4C hair defined and curly. Let’s get started.
1. Moisturize your 4C curls
Oh, you have 4C hair? You want your curls defined? Well, you can’t have this conversation without the word “moisture.” If you have dry and damaged hair, it won’t have the flexibility and definition it needs to form curls.
If you’re wondering if this may be your problem, the best thing to do is perform a simple experiment. Observe your hair before and after a wash. You should see your hair change the moment it touches water. Try it! Do you see curls popping up now? Moisturizing your 4C hair with the right products is the best way to help define its curls.
Some moisturizing products you may want to test out include leave-in conditioners, hair creams, and oils. Here are some of our favorite products you can test out.Shea-Coco Leave-in Conditioner
Shea-Coco Natural Hair Style Cream
African Healing Oyl
2. Use the maximum hydration method
This method is a 4-6 step hair care regimen that helps to deeply moisturize your hair. It will also help to improve the luster and manageability of your hair if it’s getting a bit out of hand. If you’ve been missing your perfect curls, you’ll be able to say goodbye to frizz and hello to define hair! It’s ideal for wash-and-go hairstyles. Here are the steps you should follow for 7 consecutive days.
Step 1: Cleanse and clarify
In this method, you must start out with clean hair. Cleanse and clarify your hair with an apple cider vinegar rinse. You can use a 1:1 ratio of ACV and water and pour the mixture onto your scalp. Then massage to remove the dirt and rinse!
Step 2: Co-wash and detangle
Next, you’ll want to co-wash your hair. This helps you to clean your hair while detangling. Start by sectioning your hair and applying a generous amount of sulfate-free conditioner. Massage the conditioner into your hair and detangle with a wide-tooth comb. Here’s a great co-wash: Creamy Curly Co-Wash.
Step 3: Clay rinse
Then, you’ll want to do a clay rinse with any clay of your choice. This is great for your hair because clay has absorbent, moisturizing, conditioning, and clarifying properties. Start by making and applying a Bentonite clay paste to your hair. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and then rinse it off.
Step 4: Leave-in conditioner
Section your hair to apply a leave-in conditioner. Your hair should be moist when applying the condition to ensure the product can be easily absorbed. Don’t have a go-to leave-in conditioner? Try one of these: Green Apple & Aloe Nutrition Leave-in Conditioner or Intense Moisture Bamboo and Coconut Milk Strengthening Leave-in Conditioner.
Step 5: Botanical gel
The final step is using a botanical gel to style. Botanical gels are made with oils, herbal extracts, and humectants. These prevent the hair from drying out, they have conditioning benefits. Apply the botanical gel of your choice to the tip of your roots and shingle it through small sections to maximize definition.
Step 6: Repeat steps 2-5 for 6 days
You’ll need to do this method for 7 days in a row for 6 consecutive days to see the true definition in your hair. Just don’t perform the maximum hydration method repeatedly over a long period of time because it can lead to breakage!
3. Opt for the shingling method
Shingling your hair is another way to make your curls pop. This is the process of using a leave-in conditioner and curling cream or gel to form defined curls. This works best for hair that is kinkier. In total, shingling takes roughly 20 minutes depending on hair length and density. Here are the steps.
- Start with freshly co-washed and deep-conditioned hair
- Detangle your hair thoroughly with your fingers or a brush
- Apply leave-in conditioner in sections to avoid crunchy hair
- Apply the styling gel on each section and 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
- If your hair becomes dry, spray more water on it to wet it. Your hair must be wet for this method
- To add volume to the curls, use a comb to gently raise the roots.
4. Choose the Bantu knot method
Bantu knots are a common natural hairstyle for those with 4C hair. They’re easy to do on both long and short hair alike, and once you unravel them, you’ll end up with defined curls. Here’s how you can create them.
- Part your hair into several sections
- Twist each section around itself until it is curled into a tight knot
- Clip the knotted hair and use a scarf to wrap your hair up
- Unravel the loosened knots in the morning and then separate the curls into smaller, individual curls
- Add volume to the curls using a comb to gently raise the roots
Pro tip: Shorter hair = small sections. Longer hair = larger sections.
5. Try the braid and curl method
The braid and curl method will add volume and definition to your 4C hair. Here’s how you can achieve this look.
- Apply leave-in condition to wet your hair
- Use a moisture-rich styling product that will help give your hair both texture and hold
- Braid your hair into numerous braids
- Wrap each braid and allow them to dry
- Unravel your braids once they’ve dried
- Part each curled second 2-3 times, being careful not to loosen the curl definition
6. Attempt flexi rods for curl definition
Flexi rods are soft and flexible sticks that come in different sizes. They are bent into different shapes and formed around the hair with ease. They’re easily manipulated, which means you can form defined curl patterns using them however you envision. Here are the steps you can use:
- Start with clean hair
- Divide your hair into sections and mist each section with water
- Apply leave-in condition onto each section to ensure it is properly moisturized
- Install the flexi-rods on each section
- Dry the hair naturally or use a hairdryer to speed up the process
- Remove the rods when the hair is dry
7. Use straw sets to define 4C curls
If you’re a low-maintenance type of gal, then straw sets are probably for you. Straw setting is suitable for both long and short hair, and the longer it lasts, the better it looks. Does that sound like a win or what? Here’s how you can get the straw set look you want.
- Wash your hair as straw sets work best on wet hair
- Condition and moisturize your hair
- Split your hair into sections to suit the style you’re after
- Curl the hair around with straws
- Roll the hair into tight spirals and then pit it with bobby pins
- Allow the hair to dry naturally or inside a dryer
- When straw curls are fully formed, removed the straws and bobby pins
- Spray the hair with a leave-in conditioner or oil it
There you go! You have a low-maintenance hairstyle that you’ll love.
8. Try the flat twist method for curl definition
Have you been searching for a curl-defining protective style? You’ve found it with the flat twist method! Flat twists are somewhat similar to twists out. It’s a pseudo cornrow braiding technique that gives hair definition at the route. Follow these steps for your own flat twists.
- Start with clean hair. Curly hair should always be twisted while it’s damp
- Use a rat tail comb to part the hairline all the way back to the nape of the neck
- Start from the inner edges of the part and begin working with a small section at the hairline
- Divide this section of hair into two equal parts
- Twist the two sections of hair around each other, moving back along this parted section
- As you twist the hair, gently incorporate hair from along the part into the twist as you work backward
- If your hair is long enough, you’ll reach a point where the twist Is no longer connected to the scalp. You can secure the twist here.
- Repeat the flat twists over your entire head
After leaving your hair in this protective style, you’ll see incredibly defined curls.
There you have it! Some of the best ways to define your gorgeous 4C curls. We’re here to help you help create the idea healthy hair regimen. Up next, Reduce Hair Shrinkage on 4C Hair. Don’t miss it!
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