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You wanna know how to make 4C hair curly? I gooooot you sis!
No matter your hair’s length, curl quality, or even color, most people want to emphasize the beauty and majesty of their curls.
However, with the 4C hair type, that can be easier said than done. So what do you do when you’re struggling to show off those coils in a curlier fashion?
You have to invest in the right products, get the right tools, and use the right techniques.
In this article, we’ll be exploring a few different ways to help you display your do and get those curls poppin’ like a micky-flicky!
And after this, check out my article about finding the best leave-in conditioner for 4C natural hair...
Knowing how and where to find the best 4C hair products and curling tools is half the battle toward cute and poppin’ curls.
Your hair type and density will either emphasize or ignore certain curl products, and you have to work hard to find something that’s right for you. But don’t worry, it’s not as stressful as it seems.
You can always depend on companies like Fro Butter, NIIKS products, Aunt Jackie, TGIN, Shea Moisture, and Design Essentials to care for your hair 4C curling needs and provide the best curl activators for 4C natural hair and various selections of curl defining products.
For me, I have low porosity, thick, and shoulder-length hair (when stretched). I find that hair smoothies and butters curl my hair more efficiently than gels.
In addition, it helps me to maintain my curls for up to 7 days (unless I comb them out). I don’t want my hair to become overly greasy so I use light, moisturizing oils in my hair like olive oil, jojoba oil, and fractionated coconut oil.
Now, how to make 4C hair curly for you may be different, but there are a few products that work for nearly every type 4C natural and definitely help you to get the curls that you want:
You have natural, beautiful curls that can be emphasized just by the power of water and a little curling gel or curl activator.
Though your curls may not look much like those of our type 2 or 3 friends, you still have natural curls that can be wonderfully emphasized. So if you want to rock your ‘fro, here’s how to do it:
The first thing that you need to do is freshly wash your hair. Once your fabolous 4C is clean and moisturized, make sure that you put in a generous amount of curling smoothie, curl mousse or curl pudding.
I highly recommend using a gentle, light curl cream to sit on your curls. You’ll want your hair to show off it’s full body and coils without being weighed down by heavy 4C hair products like this. After that, comb your hair out and wear your afro with pride.
Some women pull back their afro with a headband; some women wear it with a flower in their hair. But there are so many styles, parts, and braids to help emphasize your afro that you’ll never be bored.
Now, if you’re looking for defined, spiraling, bouncy curls, then I recommend using curlers or flexi rods, these are some of the best curl forming products for 4C hair.
Flexi rods will be the gentlest on your 4C hair in comparison to curlers or foam rollers. Foam rollers typically cause too much friction in the 4C curling process, so try a roller that has wide holes or no holes at all. I also recommend avoiding plastic curlers because they can cause headaches if they’re too tight on your head.
When using flexi rods and curlers, make sure that your fabolous 4C hair is properly stretched and slightly damp. I recommend air drying your hair as much as you can once they’re in, but if you’re in a rush it’s okay to use a good blow dryer on a cool setting.
Twisting and braiding has to be the most popular method of emphasizing your natural curls. Braid outs and twist outs are the first methods that come to mind in how to make 4C hair curly, mostly because they’re incredibly easy to do.
Now, the difference between a twist out and a braid out is the quality of the curls. If you do a twist out you’ll end up with spirals, or curly q’s, in your hair. Whereas if you do a braid out, it’ll come out as a zig-zag curl.
I like to do braid outs when I want to emphasize my natural hair texture, but I usually do twist outs because it’s gentler on my hair and my twists are very defined.
One of the best ways to keep frizziness to a minimum and make your curls pop is to learn how to do plats. Plats are braids that are done close to the scalp and are braided straight down from the top of your head to the ends of your hair.
You can do twisted plats or braided plats, either way, you’ll have great curls.
However, if you don’t want to wear plats, you can always try a layered twist style. Layered twists are best done when you separate your hair into sections and, layer by layer, you twist your hair.
You can wear the twists for a few days and then switch to a twist for a few days – two styles for the price of one. I recommend looking up some cute twist styles to try at home.
Now, I do feel that I need to mention that, depending on your hair porosity, there may not be a way to do a wash and go for your hair type.
If you want defined twists for low porosity hair, you’ll have to make sure you do your hair the night before. If you don’t, your hard work will turn into an afro – and if that’s not what you’re aiming for, it’ll be disappointing.
African threading is one of the last methods for great, stretched curls. If you’re not familiar with African threading for how to make 4C hair curly, it’s just wrapping black thread in a corkscrew fashion from the root of your hair to the tip.
Many African tribes have used this method for centuries but it hasn’t gained much traction in the West.
But I do believe that it’s an effective, safe, and wonderful way to curl your hair. If you have time and black thread, you can try African threading for making big beautiful curls in your 4C hair.
Hey sis, heyyy!
I'm Melissa Lee...
Co-founder of NHP. You'd de wise to...
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There are tons of suggestions and tips in this “how to make 4C hair curly” guide because there are so many amazing ways to get curls. Though I’ve only named a few, I made sure that they were the gentlest methods for 4C hair.
Make sure that you experiment with different oils, different curl activators for 4C natural hair, curl defining products for 4C hair and enjoy your time learning about your gorgeous kinky-curly girl 4C hair.
Let us know in the comments below what your favorite method of hair curling is!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melissa Lee
Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.