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How To Use A Hair Sponge On Your Natural Hair

The hair sponge, also known as the curl sponge, is a device that defines curls and makes getting your natural hair ready each day a breeze. We’ve taken an in-depth look into what a hair sponge actually is and how it works for your hair.

What Is A Hair Sponge?

hair sponge
Hair sponge

Manually twisting your natural hair can take hours, but this sponge-like brush has small holes that make hair look finger-curled within minutes. Typically flat on one side and ridged on the other, it can come in different shapes and versions, such as oval or rectangle.

They also come with different-sized holes, which are good if you want to work on just a small area of the hair or your entire head. Essentially, small holes are for tight coils while bigger holes are meant for bigger curls. If you’re totally new to curl sponges, the pros recommend starting with a mini-sized one to gain better control before mastering the technique.

How To Use Hair Sponge

It’s best when done on moisturized, slightly damp hair that has been fully detangled so the sponge can move easily through your hair. Ideally, hair is freshly washed and conditioned, but you can spritz with a combination of water and leave-in conditioner from a spray bottle if you need a touch-up.

Next, remove your hair’s natural curl definition with a wide bristle brush, like a paddle brush, a pick, or a wide-toothed comb to avoid snagging hair during the coiling process.

To sponge brush hair, you’ll want to gently go over the surface of the hair in the same circular motion. Move across your hair one section at a time. For a uniform look, you’ll go in the same circular direction all over your head, such as totally counter-clockwise, for one to five minutes, or until you’ve achieved your desired look.

Keep your pressure gentle. Pressing down too hard on the hair can only cause damage to the coils, so keep the sponge on the top of the hair.

How To Get Defined Curly Hair With a Sponge

The technique above will ensure your curls are beautifully defined. On short hair, the process can take five minutes, at most. Slightly longer hair might take a little longer, but it’s still a relatively quick process.

Babes with kinky hair textures especially will fall for the easy-coiling powers of the curly hair sponge. This hair texture is extremely wiry and fragile, so this tool quickly becomes handy for creating defined curls.

The beauty world seems to be done with damaging treatments and are fully embracing curls. Bloggers like Janai Kirsten have been weighing in and lending their individual tips on the top looks and ways to define curls best, so it can be helpful to watch their Youtube videos if you’re a visual learner.

How To Use Curly Sponge On Short Hair

curly natural hair who used hair sponge

Black hair sponges are unisex, so girls and guys alike can benefit from curl sponges. It works best on short, natural hair that is at least an inch long. Any shorter, and your curls may not fit into the holes of the sponge. Because the hair sponge is created for coiling hair, it will only work on curly and kinky hair textures.

Which Side Of  Sponge Brush to Use On Short Hair?

Because curl sponges come with both a smooth and ridged side and both sides have holes, it can be confusing as to which one to use. Actually, each side provides a slightly different style that gives your curls a different overall effect.

Because the holes are the same size,  the curls will be the same size, too, regardless of the side you use, but the flat one separates and defines the curls better. The ridged side creates a look that isn’t as defined, but it also shows less of your scalp. At this point, it comes down to a difference of preference in definition.

How To Sponge Your Hair With A Towel

If you’re in a pinch or don’t have a curly hair sponge, the towel method is an effective substitute. Face cloths may be easier to maneuver around your head than a bath towel, but both work just fine.

You’ll want to prepare your hair in the same way as with a hair sponge and use the same circular motion, one section at a time, only with slightly more pressure. Work each section of the hair until you start to feel the curls form.

Does Curl Sponge Damage Hair?

If your hair isn’t wet enough before using, it can snag and potentially cause breakage on your curls. Following the proper care routine before using a curl sponge, however, will ensure that this won’t happen.

Because this tool defines curls into perfect coils, it actually encourages growth. It requires that hair be properly moisturized before using, so the process effectively hydrates hair and ensures that it doesn’t become dry and break off.

Using a hair sponge to curl natural hair is easy and the results are beautiful. By embracing your natural hair, you are rescuing it from a lifetime of chemical treatments that only serve to weaken and break the hair. Now, a simple tool can style your hair with a simple curl-defining technique that encourages healthy hair growth. What could possibly be better?