Note : Although I have titled this as a curl defining method for type 3 hair, it can be used by any hair type which clumps. Hair typing is not a science, so if you consider your hair to be type 4 and it naturally clumps, this method can work for you too. If your hair does not naturally clump, this method is not for you.
Teri LaFlesh’s book Curly Like Me is a definite good read packed full of information and very detailed explanations on how to maintain and take care of curly hair. Her technique is widely referred to as the Tightly Curly Method and here is the basic information on how to achieve a very defined curl using this method.
1. You need to start off with clean hair which is obtained by shampooing and applying a rinse out conditioner.
2. Styling then begins with applying more conditioner to the wet hair and brushing it in sections to detangle and encourage curl clumping. . The size of the section you select is relative to your hair density and curl size. The tighter your curl and the denser your hair, the better the result with smaller sections.
3. Separate each clumped curl either by feel or by using a mirror. You do not have to use a brush or comb. If you prefer to use your fingers, this is still perfectly acceptable and will give a good result.
Here is a helpful video showing the method and results.
Tightly Curly Techniques
- Heatless styling is encouraged.
- Shampooing is encouraged but you can cowash if you prefer.
- Using a comb or brush to define curls is encouraged but you can use your fingers if you wish.
Tightly Curly Products
- Gentle Shampoo and including SLES but not SLS
- Hair conditioners with a lot of slip but no tendency to flake. You can use some silicone containing shampoos(recommendations available in the book and online).
- No leave ins, your hair conditioner is used as the leave in.
- No hair gel or mousse or hair products that make hair strands stick together. Only natural clumping aided by hair conditioner is encouraged.
If your hair is long, braiding, twisting or bunning it is recommended to protect it at night. In general many naturals will cover their hair with a silk scarf or bonnet at night in addition. To refresh the curls in the morning, simply wet slightly and use a little conditioner to reduce frizz. The wash routine is approximately done once a week.
Ladies, have you tried the Tightly Curly Method? What were your results?