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How to Get Defined, Bouncy Curls for Your Natural Hair

Whether you have loose ringlets or tight coils, when it comes to styling your natural hair achieving good curl definition is usually a top priority. Showing off your natural curl pattern by defining your curls will not only make your washdays last longer, but you can also eliminate frizz and create better results when experimenting with new styles – what more could you want?

Curl definition is down to a few essential steps, which most importantly comes down to using the right styling technique. It’s not just about the products you use but the way you apply them. With a consistently good hair care routine and the right knowledge, you can enjoy bouncy, defined curls every wash day.

Here are some top tips for defining your curls and keeping them healthy.

Why Aren’t My Curls Defined?

reasons why your curls aren't defined

There are a number of reasons why your curls may not be as defined as you’d like. However, while curl definition may be a top hair goal for you, it’s also important to remember that frizz is a natural part of having curly hair and should also be embraced!

Nevertheless, if you’re struggling to achieve the killer curl definition that you want, then it could be down to one of these factors at play:

  • Lack of moisture: Dehydrated curls that are damaged or lack moisture have a much harder time holding definition
  • Using the wrong products: Styling your hair with incorrect products for your hair type can result in a lack of definition if they don’t provide enough hold.
  • Using the wrong styling technique: You may need to switch up your styling technique to create better curl formation and, therefore more definition.

It’s all about trial and error. Everyone’s curls are different but considering the above points when looking after your hair will all contribute to better curl definition. Prioritizing your hair’s health will provide a strong base for your products which creates much better results each time you style your curls.

Which Products Are Best for Defined Curls?

No two hair types are exactly the same, so you’ll need to try different brands and product types to find a combination that works for your curl’s needs. However, there are a few popular formulas that are great for achieving defined curls every washday, such as:

Curl Cream

Cream-based styling products can be perfect for shaping your curls so they’re defined and bouncy. Each cream will vary in regards to consistency, but often, a little goes a long way, so whether you have 4C curls or loose ringlets, the product should lock in moisture and encourage your curls to mold together nicely.

Styling Gel

Frizz can be a result of using products that aren’t heavy enough for your curls. But, instead of using additional cream, simply use a styling gel after the cream to keep flyaway hairs at bay and help your curls clump into defined sections. If the gel dries into a hard cast all you need to do is ‘scrunch out the crunch’ with a small amount of hair oil to reveal soft, bouncy, and defined curls.

A top tip for enhancing the way your products work is to always apply them to wet hair. If you allow your hair to dry out then you are only going to encourage frizz as the products will not be able to soak into your hair and define your curls as well as they should.

Styling Techniques for Curl Definition

Now on to your styling technique. If you’re not applying your products correctly, then your hair may not curl in the way you want it to. For example, if you’re not distributing the products evenly or you’re touching your hair too much, this can cause unnecessary frizz, but more often than not, this can be resolved by switching up your technique.

Finger Coiling

Styling Techniques for Curl Definition - Finger Coiling

If you want super-defined ringlet curls, then finger coiling is a technique that you must try. It’s not only great for all round definition, but the intricate method can prevent a lot of frizz too! Start with a small section and detangle with wet brush or a wide-tooth comb to remove angle tangles before you apply products.

You should then use a curl cream or a styling product of your choice to that section of hair and use your fingers to coil smaller pieces into a ringlet shape until the whole section is done. Finger coiling can be done across your whole hair or used in particular areas such as the strands around your face or frizzier areas at the back of your hair that are harder to get to.


Styling Techniques for Curl Definition - Raking

Sometimes you have to ditch your tools and use your hands to see the best results. Raking is a styling method that uses your hands to ‘rake’ the products through your hair from root to tip. It’s a good idea to detangle first using a brush so your curls are knot-free, then apply your products with your hands.

As your fingers run through each section of hair, they will gently separate your curls and help to distribute the styling product so you don’t have some areas that are defined and some that are frizzy. However, it’s important to only rake each section a few times before scrunching to keep your curls bouncy.

Denman Brush

Styling Techniques for Curl Definition - Use Detangling Brush

If you don’t have a Denman brush in your hair kit, you need one! This brush can be used alongside the raking technique to add greater curl definition or by itself to smooth through each strand once your products have been applied. The specially designed bristles are great for creating beautiful ringlets on all hair lengths.

The key to achieving defined curls is to create a haircare routine that’s designed for your hair type. Take your time, see how your curls react to different techniques and before long, your curls will be looking and feeling better than ever!