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Check out part 1 of this series: Defin­ing Type 3 Curls with the Curly Girl Method

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.

Main­te­nance.
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?

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18 Comments on "Defining Type 3 Curls with the Tightly Curly Method"

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Christina

Irre­liv­ent… He eyes are GORGEOUSSSSSS

Lj

My curls clump just like hers when I put mousse(Shea mois­ture) or gel in it but when it drys it shrinks up to noth­ing. What can I do?

ck

ck ck ck ck ck ck ck ck ck ck ck ck ck ck ck ck ck ck

Aleya

This is a cute style… I have attempt­ed sim­i­lar styles. My hair is full of super tee­ny tiny tiny tight curls. the shrink­age is ridicu­lous and wouldn’t hold a style like this for long. It would be a mess and id be fuss­ing with it dai­ly to keep it look­ing like this. that and too much of ANYTHING my hair doesn’t like. I’d bet­ter not try too often. Thanks for the share though

Alwina

Thanks for shar­ing ladies! I read about the method and did the doo­dling method on my hair. My hair last­ed in the style for a week. But I’m not feel­ing the length of time it took me to do it. I like to do my hair quick if pos­si­ble.

Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty

I like the Tight­ly Curly Method but I think I just get bet­ter hold with gel

Dabney

opps post­ed twice! Sor­ry!

Dabney
I am a 4a hair type with a 3c in the back! I love this method! It has changed my hair and got­ten in back into condition(no pun intended)I actu­al­ly like this method bet­ter than the Curly Girl method. The Curly Girl method caused my hair to tan­gle at the root. While Teri’s method made it eas­i­er to Den­man Comb my hair. Here’s the deal, try it! Do every­thing she says to do, but do it on a day when you are not going any­where and have the patience and time to allow your hair to air dry. I Like… Read more »
Dabney
I am a 4a hair type with a 3c in the back! I love this method! It has changed my hair and got­ten in back into condition(no pun intended)I actu­al­ly like this method bet­ter than the Curly Girl method. The Curly Girl method caused my hair to tan­gle at the root. While Teri’s method made it eas­i­er to Den­man Comb my hair. Here’s the deal, try it! Do every­thing she says to do, but do it on a day when you are not going any­where and have the patience and time to allow your hair to air dry. I Like… Read more »
Christina

I use Teri’s method often. When I saw her pic­ture online 3 years ago I ordered her book IMMEDIATELY. Not because of her gor­geous length, but because her hair is the exact same tex­ture as mine. I’ve always felt like an out­sider in the nat­ur­al hair world even though I’ve been nat­ur­al longer than many oth­ers because when I go online I don’t see hair like mine often. She changed my life by being my intro to the Den­man brush.

Curious

So are we instruct­ed to leave in the rinse out con­di­tion­er?

Netta

Yes, that’s exact­ly what they’re say­ing. If you don’t like the idea of leav­ing con­di­tion­er in your hair, then this isn’t the method for you. 

OAN, this method uses ALOT of prod­uct, no mat­ter how sen­si­ble you try to be with the usage. You are lit­er­al­ly using con­di­tion­er for every­thing.

Rachel
Good ques­tion… I notice how amaz­ing­ly Aubrey Organ­ics con­di­tion­ers (and also Carol’s Daugh­ter Monoi repair­ing con­di­tion­er) define my curls when I apply Hon­ey­suck­le Rose and espe­cial­ly White Camil­la Ultra Smooth­ing con­di­tion­er to my hair dry or wet and how defined my curls are when I rinse the con­di­tion­er out with cold water. My curls are pret­ty nat­u­ral­ly defined to begin with but the more mois­tur­ized by hair is the more my curls pop, espe­cial­ly after soak­ing up water and con­di­tion­er. BUT while my hair is still damp once I start adding my leave in con­di­tion­er, my oil to seal and… Read more »
Rachel
Hi again! Just check­ing back in on this method! So after cow­ash­ing with Tre­semme Nat­u­rals con­di­tion­er & rins­ing it all out I attempt­ed to comb the AO Hon­ey­suck­le con­di­tion­er through my hair, begin­ning at the roots, but on the first sec­tion I attempt­ed I saw a few more stands of hair than I care for & a few more than I usu­al­ly see when using my Wet Look show­er comb I got from Sally’s (which has worked for me, com­bined with fin­ger detan­geling). So I once again ditched my mod­i­fied Den­man brush smh.  First I should start by say­ing I deep… Read more »
Rachel

Whoops sor­ry about the pho­to over­load :-(

Rachel

HI Michelle. I don’t have the book but I did see on Teri’s cite which leave in con­di­tion­ers she rec­om­mend­ed. I believe Aussie Moist was one of them but I’d have to pull up the list again to be sure. I have some on hand so I will have to re try it with that one. The same day results were good but after sleep­ing with my hair out on a satin pil­low case my hair is a lit­tle smooshed, oth­er­wise the hold where I didn’t sleep is still intact.

Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty

Hi Rachel- I love love love GPB and Hon­ey­suck­le Rose condish­es!!! Only thing though is I don’t think the HR is the right con­di­tion­er to do the tight­ly curly method. If you read the book, it has to be a condish with either glyc­erin or some type of sil­i­cone. I know a lot of nat­u­rals hate sil­i­cons but i find that they work beau­ti­ful­ly for reduc­ing frizz and I get no build up

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