Defining Type 3 Curls with the Tightly Curly Method

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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 thoughts on “Defining Type 3 Curls with the Tightly Curly Method

  1. Pingback: Defining Type 3 Curls with the Curly Girl Method | Black Girl with Long Hair

    • 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 then a butter to LOC in the moisture my naturally soft curls start to frizz and lose their form like no bodies business, and shrink SO much as well. My curls literally are hidden beneath or mixed in with tons of frizz on a bad day.

      One day when I was in such a hurry after a conditioning session I just left the house without adding anything after rinsing and my hair didn’t shrink as much and there was much less frizz. So what I am going to try is coating my hair in sections with AO White Camilla conditioner, rinsing with cold water and leaving most of the conditioner in my hair, not touching it or adding anything else at all and seeing how that does. Then once it is 90% dry I will lightly coat with grapeseed oil and see how that does. But I get so frustrated seeing my curls and then watching them disapear or get lost int he frizz when all I want to do is help them LOL!

      These pics are just following a cowash and deep conditioning session. I’ve rinsed with cold water and I just shook my head out in the shower…Yes just like a soaking wet dog shakes off after going swimming :-P
      [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMG_0681.jpg[/img]
      [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMG_0678.jpg[/img]
      [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMG_0674.jpg[/img]
      [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMG_0677.jpg[/img]
      [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMG_0682.jpg[/img]

      • 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 conditioned my hair overnight. After cowashing, on soaking wet hair I applied Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque (I had been wanting to try it). The label says to apply and leave on for like 5 mins and for deep cond to apply low heat with a plastic cap for 15 minutes and add olive oil. I thought I would go one better and poured some of the masque (love the consistency) in a plastic container, then I added some Carol’s Daughter, Lisa’s Elixir (I love this stuff alone for hot oil treatments) finger mixed, then applied the masque to my pre-detangled sections and retwisted. With a plastic cap I sat under the dryer on low heat for about 20 minutes then went to bed.

        This morning I rinsed my hair all over, then untwisted each section to get all the masque out then retwisted under the water stream. I then coated each damp section with an oil mixture I made and dispense from an applicator bottle (love me some Sallys). The mixture is Olive oil, Castor, jojoba, Avocado, Sweet Almond & Grape seed.

        I coated each section on both sides and made sure I got my ends good, then I applied the AO Honeysuckle Rose conditioner to each section. I will say I don’t care for the consistency of Honeysuckle Rose as much as AO’s White Camilla Ultra Smoothing Conditioner (which is on its way to me now) which is a bit wetter but still plenty thick, where as Honeysuckle Rose is dryer if that makes sense. So i ended up running my hand under water just a tiny bit to wet my hand then I applied the Honeysuckle Rose.

        All in all I really really like the results so far compared to what I was doing before. It’s been about 4 hours since I finished my hair and it’s about 85-90% dry in the center of my head and pretty much 95-100% dry everywhere else. I have hardly any frizz. I have run my errands in today’s 87 degree heat (and rising) and 60% humidity, which means you know I’ve been sweating in my head too…The only questions that remain are how will this hair cope overnight/in the morning and will my scalp begin to get irritated, although I did avoid applying conditioner to my scalp.

        Also, I grabbed some As I Am Twist Defining Cream and Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner and the Generic version of Paul Mitchell’s “The Conditioner” from Sallys, has anyone tried any of the 3? I hear great things about all three. I hope the Generic PM conditioner works well it was under $6 for 16oz, you can’t beat that with a stick! I was a little sad when I saw the price Sallys wanted for the As I Am products, right at $20 each, but then again the jars are 16oz each so not too bad.

        I am sooo happy both products actually come sealed, anyone else weirded out and slightly grossed out by some of these natural products that come with absolutely NO seal on them???

        http://www.sallybeauty.com/shower-comb/SBS-680528,default,pd.html?cm_vc=SEARCH
        [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMAG1629-1.jpg[/img]
        [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMAG1629-1.jpg[/img]
        [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMAG1629-1.jpg[/img]

          • 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

          • 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 to comb the conditioner through and then allow my hair to dry in flat twist. During the week I reset my twist with VO5 Strawberry Milk Protein Condition mixed with Castor oil.
    I have been faithful to this method for about three months and my hair has remained super soft, manageable and has grown significantly! I even convinced my mom to try it and she is a 4c. SHE loves it and has lots of “doodles”. She had to big chop due to extreme heat damage. Make sure you use a condition that is moisturizing and has lots of “Slip” I prefer Hello Hydration, Mane and Tail, and Giovanni. I did not like Aussie Moist because it didn’t dry clear and flaked. So I just co wash with it.
    Just try it!!! You won’t need as many products during the week either!

  4. 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 to comb the conditioner through and then allow my hair to dry in flat twist. During the week I reset my twist with VO5 Strawberry Milk Protein Condition mixed with Castor oil.
    I have been faithful to this method for about three months and my hair has remained super soft, manageable and has grown significantly! I even convinced my mom to try it and she is a 4c. SHE loves it and has lots of “doodles”. She had to big chop due to extreme heat damage. Make sure you use a condition that is moisturizing and has lots of “Slip” I prefer Hello Hydration, Mane and Tail, and Giovanni. I did not like Aussie Moist because it didn’t dry clear and flaked. So I just co wash with it.
    Just try it!!! You won’t need as many products during the week either!
    [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMG_20130608_142921.jpg[/img]

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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?

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