How To Get Curl Definition On Kinky Hair

Type 4 hair types, this one's for you

Group of black women with different hair textures - hair typing
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When it comes to black textured hair, knowing your natural hair type helps you figure out the best way to care for and style it. Hair types range from 1 to 4; the vast majority of black hair falls into the 3 to 4 range, from wavy to kinky.

More specifically, type 4A hair has very tight S-shaped coils and tends to be wiry or fine. This kind of kinky hair makes a show-stopping afro, but it usually doesn't maintain curl definition very well without a lot of effort. The products and setting methods you use will make all the difference. Here's how to get definition your 4A curls.

Setting Methods to Get Better Curl Definition

Setting your hair is the first step to getting well-defined curls. Try these styles:

  • Two-strand twists
  • Flat twists
  • Bantu knots
  • Braid-outs
  • Finger coils

Wear any of these styles for a period of time—the longer you keep it, the more defined your curls will be once you undo the style. Luckily, these styles are protective and very wearable. They're perfect for changing up your look on the regular.

The Best Styling Products for Curl Definition

To set type 4 hair, make sure to use a moisturizing styling product that provides strong hold, and avoid ones with high alcohol content. Here are some good options:

Wash-and-Go Curls

Is it possible to get well-defined curls on type 4 hair if you wash and go? With the right products, you definitely can. However, wash-and-go styles do look different from person to person. Accept that yours may not look like what you see on others who are serving as your hair inspiration. Truly the best way to define curls is to make the effort to style and set them.

If you don't have the time or the patience, these products are designed to help define tightly curled tresses in a pinch:

Keep Your Hair Healthy

Ultimately, your hair's health is the most important thing. Type 4A hair is very fragile and brittle, so drowning it in gels loaded with alcohol or poor-quality products is a recipe for breakage and frustration. If your hair isn't cooperating and you're not able to achieve the curl definition of your dreams, don't force it. Curls aren't the be-all and end-all of natural hair. There are still plenty of styles that work beautifully on Afro-textured locks.

Going the natural route is really all about embracing your hair the way it is. Keep your type 4 hair moisturized and nourished, and more than likely, you'll come to appreciate what makes your hair texture special.