Q/ I’ve been natural for a while but I’ve kept my hair sewn up and in kinky twists with extensions the whole time. I’m ready to start wearing my own hair but I have a couple issues. Between installs, I’ve tried to do twist-outs but they end up poofy! When my hair is wet, I have these awesome, beautiful curly coils. Near perfect spirals. When it dries, I can’t see them as well. I’ve twisted with Elasta QP Mango Butter, and while I love the scent, it did nothing for my curl pattern. A lady at my office showed up to work the other day with an awesome twist out, telling me she used Kinky Curly products. I’ve never used it, though I’m willing to try it. What do you think is the best product to help pull out those curls when my hair dries? – A. Naomi
A/ There are two main keys to achieving the desired styling results every time, hair moisture levels and product. I say this because dry to dehydrated hair doesn’t look its best no matter what we put on it and what we put on it and in what amount is critical to predicting our final results.
The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you give your hair adequate moisture by avoiding harsh sulfate shampoos and conditioning your hair regularly at least once per week. You should also try to use a deep conditioner for 20 minutes or longer at least twice per month.
The second thing you’ll want to do is understand that there isn’t a styling product in the world that can give us what we don’t have, they can only lock in (our curl or coil pattern) or accentuate what we do have. Since you are looking to highlight or enhance your curls you’ll need something with a bit of hold and frizz blocking power. The level of hold you’ll need will be dependent on your hair texture whether it’s fine, medium or coarse and not your hair type commonly classified from type 1 through 4.
Fine textures with up to medium density strands do best with setting foam or lotion type products, medium textures can do either setting foams, lotions or gels depending on how heavy the gel and the density of the hair, and coarse textures need heavier gels as well. The key to using holding products effectively without drying out the hair is the leave-in applied underneath them. Your leave-in should be natural oil based (shea, olive, coconut, etc.) to help prevent crunchiness and nourish the hair as part of the styling process. Pomades are another option as they hold without crunch however their base ingredients are usually something smothering to the strand which encourages dryness so I do not personally recommend them for direct application to the hair unless used for edge or spot control.
Hair styled with products that are not meant to hold (are not formulated with holding ingredients) like many hair “butters” often equal maximum frizz in a matter of 1-2 days. I always get fourth day hair before it is time to re-twist or braid for setting purposes using a oil-based, hold styling product on top of well moisturized hair.
Though your co-worker had success with heir hair and Kinky Curly, please keep in mind that finding a product that will work for your hair is trial and error and what may work for one head of curls may not work for another. I have not personally tried the Kinky Curly line, however, they have quality natural ingredients though this is still not a guarantee that they will perform well on your hair. I also think there are much more economical brands with equally quality ingredients to consider. Many naturals have touted Shea Radiance Maximum Curl Defining Cream as well as Eco Styler Gel With Argan Oil as products that define without crunch and work well over a leave-in. See our product recommendations below for creating defined curls without crunch and play around with a few products to see what your hair likes and be sure to keep the above guidelines in mind.
Cheers to your hair!- Amena
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