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How to Define Curls: Curl Definition Tips for All Curl Types

How to Define Curls: Curl Definition Tips for All Curl Types

Image Source: Pexels


We all know that defining our curls is an excellent way to enhance our manes’ natural beauty. Unfortunately, the curl definition process can be as time consuming as it is frustrating. Most use trial and error to find the best defining method for them. But what if we told you that blindly selecting a method and crossing your fingers isn’t the way to go? In this article, we’ll reveal several surefire curl defining methods tailored to your hair type. 


Curl Defining Methods for Type 2 Curls

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Type 2 hair is simply classified as wavy. There are three subtypes of type 2 hair - A, B, and C. 2A waves are the loosest, 2C waves are the tightest, and 2B waves are somewhere in-between. To get the most wave definition, you can use one of the following defining methods:

  • Raking - Raking is a quick and effective way to bring those waves into focus. To do it, you’ll dispense a wave-defining product to your hands, rub your palms together, and run your fingers through your hair repeatedly. 

Image Source: YouTube
  • Praying Hands - Want to smooth unruly waves? Dispense some light styling gel or cream to your hands, rub them together, and then smooth your hands over your waves in small sections. 

Image Source: YouTube
  • Scrunching - For barely-there waves, scruching is essential. Dampen your hair and apply your favorite texture defining product. Then lean to one side or bend forward and scrunch your hair upward toward your scalp.


Image Source: YouTube

Get Better Definition on Type 3 Curls

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Type 3 hair is considered to be curly rather than wavy. It is classified using subtypes 3A, 3B, or 3C. 3A curls are loose, 3C curls are tight and springy, and 3B curls fall between the two. Here are a few methods you can use to get super defined curls: 

  • Finger Coiling - Finger coiling can bring type 3 curls to whole new level of definition. It involves applying styling cream or gel to damp hair. Then, you’ll wrap sections of hair around your finger one curl at a time. 

Image Source: YouTube
  • Smoothing - Even product distribution is key to curl definition. You can achieve this by smoothing your damp, product-covered curls with a detangling brush. Start brushing at the ends and slowly work your way up to the roots.  

Image Source: YouTube

Note: You can also use the raking, praying hands, or scrunching methods (in the previous section) to further define your curls.  


Type 4 Curl Definition Techniques

Type 4 hair is the coiliest, kinkiest hair of all. It's made up of small curls that take on the shape of coils, Ss, or Zs. Defining this hair type can be incredibly difficult without the right technique. Here are a couple to choose from: 

Image Source: Shutterstock
  • Shingling - Shingling can define even the kinkiest hair. You’ll apply a generous amount of curl definer to a section of hair, break that section down into smaller sections, and smooth the product through with your pointer finger and thumb from roots to ends.  

Image Source: YouTube
  • Raking and Smoothing - Raking alone isn't always enough for kinks and coils. For this method, you'll first apply a product of your choice to your hair via the raking method. Then, you'll use a Denman brush or praying hands to smooth out any frizzies and define your texture. 

Image Source: YouTube

Note: Finger coiling (mentioned in the previous section) can also work well for type 4 hair. 


Curl Defining Methods for All Curl Types: Plopping and Microplopping

Plopping removes excess water from your hair, reduces frizziness, and gives you gorgeously defined curls. 


To plop the traditional way, apply a styling gel, cream, or leave-in spray to your clean, damp hair. Then, pool your hair into a tee-owel accordion-style and secure. After 15 to 30 minutes, remove the tee-owel and air-dry the rest of the way. 


Microplopping is a watered down form of plopping that involves quickly scrunching your hair with a tee-owel instead of wrapping it. This method comes in handy when you’re short on time. 


So, there you have it - everything you need to know about how to define your unique curls. We hope the information you found in this article enables you to achieve the curl definition you crave!   


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