I know what you're saying. There's nothing against the afro, but if that's not the look you were going for it can be pretty frustrating, and also end up making the matters worse in some cases...Hence why I will never wear my hair in an afro (find out why here).
So I'm going to give you my top 5 tips for achieving a super defined wash and go... and it doesn't matter WHAT products you use!
- Apply your products to soaking wet hair. There will be some debate about this tip, I'm sure, because a lot of naturals prefer to have their hair "damp", versus soaking wet for a number of reasons. Most of them I've heard being it cuts out on their air-dry time. And while this is true... your hair is at it's MOST defined when it is soaking wet because it has the moisture in it. The least frizzy your hair is going to be while you're in the shower. So for me, I like to go ahead and apply my leave-in conditioner directly in the shower to lock in that moisture. It's also 10x easier to detangle and manipulate in this state.
- Use products with a firm hold. Again, this is subject to who you're talking to, but since my head is the only one I can speak on... this is actually my best tip. Products with a firm hold (ie. Level 10 EcoStyler gels) really tame the hair and allow you to manipulate it and get it as defined as you would like it. Also, the firmer the hold (for me) the less the frizz I have to tackle. And again, less frizz = more definition.
- Style Hair in small/medium sections. If you're looking for really, super defined girls. Simply applying the product all over your head at one time is not going to give you the look you're going for (unless you have really fine, loose hair). Styling your hair in small sections allows you to make sure EVERY strand is coated and defined. It may take a little extra time but the more defined your hair is when you first do it, may benefit you on down the week when you don't have to continue fooling with it. (Note: If you're going for a fluffier look, styling in the larger sections is what will work best for you)
- Get hair REALLY smooth before moving on to the next section. The key to good definition when using any curl defining cream is smoothing. Smoothing the hair and product in gets rid of the frizz and allow the product to do what it's supposed to do. I literally will smooth a section of hair 10x if I have to, making sure I have all frizzies, lumps, and bumps out of that piece of hair before I move on to the next section to make sure that piece won't end up undefined when it's dry.
- Don't manipulate the hair until it's 100% dry (air dry or sit under a hooded dryer). This is probably the most important. Touching or manipulating your curls even while they still a LITTLE wet can do some serious damage to your definition. Let's face it, our curly hair LIVES to be frizzy. It loves it lol They key is to zap all the moisture in BEFORE you fluff and get it laying how you want. I know it's hard, but just leave your hair alone until it's completely dry. Even using a diffuser can cause frizz. My favorite way to achieve quick, defined curls is to sit under my hooded dryer. This way, my hair dries faster than it would if I air-dried... and I'm still not using direct heat on my head. But I know this isn't always an option, so air dry as long as you can.. and if you need to diffuse, try to do it as close to the end of the drying phase as possible.
I hope these tips help you guys! Not everyone is going for that super defined look, but for me... the more tame/defined my hair is... the less trouble it gives me on my next wash day. I follow these rules every single time and they work like a charm!
See you guys in the next post/video!