Kinky curly hair can be styled in many different ways. Dutch braids, braided topknot, and braided side bun are some of the infinite styling possibilities that have made the afro look hugely popular. The key to styling tight and kinky curls without causing them to lose definition is using the right products and tools efficiently.
If you are someone with naturally kinky hair, the first thing you must do is determine which hair type you have. Kinky hair types vary between types 3C, 4A, 4B, and 4C. You should tailor your hair styling routine to your particular kinky hair type.
Type 3C hair is characterized by tight coils as wide as a pencil. It has plenty of definition, so the key to styling it is boosting its natural curl pattern. Type 4A hair has curls that are tighter than type 3C coils. Styling its S-shaped or zigzag curls requires much effort and time. Type 4B coils are Z-shaped and angular. They are tightly wound, dense, delicate and extremely fine. Shrinkage in this kinky hair type is around 75% of the hair’s total length and must be factored into your styling decision. Type 4C hair is super coily and its curls are as wide as a hairpin. It lacks moisture and definition.
Styling Guidelines for All Kinky Hair Types
Once you have determined your kinky hair type, you can proceed with a styling routine that caters to your specific hair needs. There are a few general guidelines (for all kinky hair types), however, and these are outlined here:
1. Divide Your Hair Into 5 Sections
This will make it simpler to deal with a large mass of hair. You will also be able to negotiate stubborn knots more effectively. With the help of duckbill clips, secure sections of your hair near the nape of the neck, on top of the head, at the center back, and at the 2 sides.
2. Detangle Your Hair Section by Section
Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers for this purpose. To avoid tugging at your fragile strands, start from the ends and work your way up to the roots.
3. Moisturize and Seal Your Kinky Curls
Since naturally kinky hair is prone to dryness and frizz, it is essential to use hydrating products before styling and to ensure that the moisture is sealed in to make the style last. Moisturize your hair in sections to facilitate greater product penetration.
Styling Products for Tight and Kinky Curls
For more defined curls and a style that will hold, it is important to choose styling products that are specific to your curl type. Read product labels carefully and consider the recommendations given here to achieve kinky curly hairstyles that will build your self-confidence.
1. Unite 7seconds Leave-in Conditioner combines the benefits of moisturization and heat protection to give you a hair texture that is easy to work with. Its weightless formula also detangles kinky curly hair within a few seconds and saves you a lot of time on your morning routine.
2. Txtr. By Cantu Strengthen + Restore Moisture Mask is enriched with shea butter. This ingredient is renowned for its moisturizing property and is highly recommended for women with tight and kinky curls.
3. Vernon Francois Overnight Repair Treatment Oils is a blend of natural oils such as jojoba, almond, and argan oil. Fortified with vitamin E, this lightweight hydrating product is ideal for dry and frizz-prone kinky hair. It works by nourishing your hair at the roots and sealing moisture in the hair shaft. Since it is non-greasy, it can be left in your hair until wash day.
4. Andre Walker Beautiful Kinks Crème Gelee is a multipurpose curling cream. It can be used as a leave-in conditioner, a hair mask, for air-drying and heat-styling, and for enhancing definition. This curl pudding, developed by Andre Walker, is a must-have in every kinky-haired woman’s hairstyling arsenal.
5. Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Gel is a lightweight formulation for defining kinky curls and moisturizing them. It is great for taming flyaways and controlling frizz in super coily hair.
6. Acure Seriously Soothing Coconut Argan Oil is exactly as its name suggests. It soothes and moisturizes tight and kinky curls, making them more manageable and easier to style. This hydrating oil can also be diluted with water to make a conditioner.
7. Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner is highly recommended for kinky-haired women who struggle with dryness issues. It contains ceramides which penetrate the hair shaft and deeply moisturize the hair. It also contains emollients which combat dryness and boost curl definition.
8. Mizani 25 Miracle Milk is a leave-in conditioning product that is lightweight and non-greasy. It replenishes lost moisture in kinky hair and doubles as a detangling agent.
Styling Tools for Tight and Kinky Curls
S-shaped, Z-shaped, or zigzag coils; your hair needs styling tools to prevent those coils from losing its natural shape. A curling wand, a curling iron or flat iron, and hot rollers are worthwhile investments.
For kinky curls, a curling wand is the perfect heat styling tool to tighten those curls slightly more and give them a salon-style appearance. Part your hair into as many sections as possible.
Wrap each section of hair around the barrel of the curling wand as close to the roots as safely possible. Give each section no more than a minute on the curling wand before you roll it out. Remember to apply a thermal protection serum before you use the hot tool.
To create an afro look in sleek and straight hair, a flat iron or curling iron is just what you need. Part your hair into 1-inch sections. Take the section closest to the nape of your neck and wind the hair around the flat iron barrel, starting slightly higher than the mid-length and proceeding to the ends. Hold it like this for a minute and then slowly unwind your hair. Repeat this with the remaining sections to achieve tight and kinky curls, curling the hair at the sides before moving on to the crown. Make sure to spray a strong-hold hairspray to help the style hold.
hot rollers will do an equally splendid job of creating or tightening afro-style kinky curls. Make sure to use small size rollers for this purpose. Since kinky hair types are brittle and require plenty of hydration, choose hot rollers with titanium plating and argan oil infusion to get tight curls.
If you blow-dry your hair regularly, do not forget to use the diffuser attachment. For healthy-looking and bouncy coils, clip your hair at the crown, rub in a cocktail of heat protection serum and curl enhancing mousse to the hair hanging at the sides, and diffuse it. Spritz a mist of firm-hold hairspray and you are good to go.
Regardless of whether you have naturally kinky curls or have created them with a heat styling tool, a curling cream is an indispensable component of your hairstyling routine. This product can also be used in gel, lotion, or mousse form. Part your hair into 5 sections with the help of claw clips and detangle each section with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb. Apply a cocktail of curl definition product and heat protection serum to each section before blow-drying it with a diffuser. After styling is complete, do not touch your hair or manipulate it in any way to allow the style to hold longer.
- SONAIYA KELLEY, How to Style Tight and Kinky Curls, DECEMBER 2, 2015
- Kinky Curly Yaki, Tricks and Tips on How to Manage Your Kinky Curly Hair
- Celeigh O’Neil, Natural Ways to Keep Tight Curly Hair Tame, July 18, 2017