Life after Damage: The Top 3 Curl Defining Techniques to Jump-Start Your Curl Journey

Of the many challenges a new natural faces, curl definition is at the top of the list.

You see, many of us natural girls, have expectations about what we believe our hair is supposed to look like.

Often we don’t even consider what we may have been doing to our hair in the past as being a factor in what may inhibit us from achieving the look of our hair.

  • Relaxers
  • Perms 
  • Keratin treatments
  • Hair Dying
  • Flat irons 
  • Concentrated blow dryers

All of these can permanently alter the state of your hair, making it a true challenge to see any curl definition at all.

We make these decisions with our hair and decide that we want to go natural and stop doing these things to our hair with the belief that we will see and immediate change.

We expect our curls to just POP!

And when they don’t we immediately jump to laying blame on the natural texture of our hair or the products we are using which oftentimes are not the cause of the issue.

The truth is, healthy curls that pop and define are not going to arrive overnight.

It takes time, consistency, patience and understanding.

But don’t worry, during any transition period or even after a big chop you can still achieve uniformed defined curls and I am happy to show you below.


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Twist out or Braid Out

This look is by far one of the most popular curl defining techniques out there. 

It works on all hair textures and types providing you with a uniform curl pattern once it has properly set.

It is best to always style hair after it has been thoroughly cleansed using a clarifying shampoo removing all product build-up. 

Then you’ll want to thoroughly detangle your hair in small sections after applying a hydrating conditioner to soaking wet hair. 

Once you have rinsed out your conditioner, apply your moisturizer while your hair is still soaking wet. 

You can begin your twist out or braid out while the hair is still soaking wet.

The size of your curls are truly up to you, for instance if smaller defined curls are the goal, you’ll want to take your time and make small sections. 

Twist the hair from the very top all the way down to the ends.

Be consistent with the size of your twist, you want the end result to be as uniform as possible.

Pro tip: Always allow at least 24-48 hours for your twist out or braid out to thoroughly dry before taking them down.



Finger Coiling

Just like all styles begin finger coiling after the hair has been thoroughly cleansed and conditioned.

This technique is excellent for those of us who have just performed “the big chop,” have multiple curl patterns or have shorter hair.

Finger coiling helps the curls to clump together by simply adding your styling products and a single finger to soaking wet small sections of hair and finger twirling. 

Your end result will be luscious bouncy locs!

Be sure to keep your hands off your hair after you have styled them so that you don’t disturb the curl pattern.

I recommend sitting under a dome dryer, or using a blow dryer in constant motion to set the hair properly.



Bantu Knots

I love this style because it’s like you get two styles in one!

Bantu knots are super fun and can give you curl definition even if your hair bone straight.

The method also varies, you can do Bantu knots on both wet or dry hair and receive different results.

Many curly girls find that adding Bantu knots to dry hair that has been stretched leaves more of a voluminous defined curl than a wet Bantu knot set.

However, a wet Bantu set is still an excellent method to achieve defined curls. 

Be sure to apply a great slippery moisturizer to soaking wet hair and styling gel with a strong but soft hold.

If you decide to do a Bantu knot set on wet hair it is extremely important that you allow a minimum of 1-2 full days before you take them down.

Otherwise, your results will be undefined, frizzy and limp.

Here are a couple of quick tips for Bantu Knots:

  1. Make sure your knots are the same size 
  2. More knots mean more curls so the smaller your sections the more defined your curls will be!
  3. Be careful not to twist too tight, this can cause tension
  4. Avoid using rubber bands to hold the hair in place, instead be sure to roll the hair all the way to ends then wrap the hair in a circular motion, stacking each circle on top of each other. Then tuck the end at the bottom of the stack and this should hold it in place. If not use a bobby pin.




And there you have it!

The key here is patience!

Your curls need time to adjust to your new lifestyle choice. 

Your new natural hair journey may be different from day to day but that can be a good thing because each new experience can teach you something.

Stick with it and I guarantee it will be worth it!

Now we want to hear from you!

What have been some of your recent experiences with defining your curls? Have you recently done a big chop? Stopped chemical treatments? 

Let us know below in the comments!


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