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How to Achieve Super Defined Ringlets and Coils

defined curls Prose hair care
Faith Huffnagle
August 21, 2019
Home Hair Tips Hair Type How to Achieve Super Defined Ringlets and Coils

If you’re a curly girl, your social media feeds are probably filled with photos of care-free girls with juicy, super-defined springs. And while these wearers make perfect curls look effortless, you know that super-defined, healthy, hydrated ringlets take work. Here, we discuss tips and tricks for achieving super defined curls that last.

Understand your curl pattern

Curls are like snowflakes, no two are alike. However, researchers and hair experts have spent years developing systems for categorizing curls based on elasticity, density, porosity and more. Curl type is determined by the circularity of hair’s follicles. As a result, flat or oval follicles appear as curly hair, while circular cross sections appear straight. So, whether you have 3a loose curls 4c tight coils, there are ways to understand your hair type, how it responds to water, shampoos and all of the other products that help maintain its shape.

Start in the shower

There’s nothing worse than a head full of matted, lifeless, dirty curls. To keep curls nourished and clean, invest in a high-quality shampoo and conditioner that are uniquely formulated to fit your needs. A good shampoo contains ingredients that pump hair with hydration and strengthen strands to help them maintain their shape and vibrance.

Pro tip: Some curly girls swear by co-washing, or conditioner-only washing, which can help people avoid the drying agents found in traditional shampoos. However, co-washing does not rid the hair of impurities. So, if you’re interested in the method, try the method in-between washes.

Make time to detangle

Take advantage of your wash day to do some serious detangling with conditioner and a wide toothed comb (fingers work too!). Don’t be afraid of too much conditioner. Detangling requires slip and an even ratio of product to hair to massage out thatches. Detangling works best when done from the ends to the root, to avoid creating more stubborn knots and causing accidental breakage. After you’ve worked out tangles, rinse hair with cool or cold water to prevent frizz.

Pump up the product

Curl care doesn’t stop when the faucet is turned off. After you wash, condition and rinse your hair, add a curl cream or leave-in conditioner that is specially formulated for your hair type. Multi-tasking curl creams and leave-in conditioners will keep strands hydrated over several days and introduce hair to new or much needed nutrients. Some products include natural or synthetic silicones that can create a thin layer around curls, making it impossible for them to lock together.

Get your curls in shape

There are some people who can wash their hair and have it dry with the perfect volume and shape. For the rest of us, a little scrunching and shaking may be required to give hair shape, body and texture. After applying your favorite leave in conditioner or curl cream, cup your hands over your hair and scrunch, working in an upward, circular motion. Hold your hair for about thirty seconds each time you scrunch. Scrunching helps curls absorb leftover moisture from the washing process and build volume at the roots.

If you have curls with a diameter greater than your finger, use your fingers instead. Take a product with hold, such as a gel or mousse, and wrap hair around fingers in the direction of your curl pattern, then hold for thirty seconds. The result will be big, bouncy curls that are full of volume.

If you want looser, sleeker curls, go for the smoothing (or shingling) method. Apply a generous amount of conditioner to wet hair and smooth the product in with your fingers, palms facing each other as you move your hands downward along your hair. Let each section rest for a few seconds before moving onto the next one.

Avoid harsh tools

Brushes and blow dryers have their place, but they may do more harm than good to strong, shapely curls. Instead of cranking up the heat on your favorite blow dryer, opt for an old cotton t-shirt or cotton towel to remove excess water from your strands. If you’d rather use a tool, be sure that your blow dryer is on its lowest heat setting with a diffuser attachment. The attachment will help dry the roots and prevent frizz, while the cool air will make sure hair maintains its natural shape. Once you’ve applied product, styled your hair and removed excess water, avoid touching it. Curls left alone will be more defined and tame.

 

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