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Style Icon Sasha
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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[…] Icon Cas­ey­Check out part 2 of this series:  Defin­ing Type 3 Curls with the Tight­ly Curly Method Note : Although I have titled this as a curl defin­ing method for type 3 hair, it can be used by any […]

Curious

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

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 :-(

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

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.

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.

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.

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 »
Dabney

opps post­ed twice! Sor­ry!

Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty

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

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.

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

ck

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

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?

Christina

Irre­liv­ent… He eyes are GORGEOUSSSSSS

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