How To Define Your Curls – Make Your Curls More Defined & Tighter

how to get defined curls

You’ve landed here because you’re looking for tips to make your curls more defined and tighter? Maybe you’re even looking for ways to make your hair curlier.

In this curly hair post, find out how to define your curls in 7 easy steps. Achieving maximum curl definition is a goal for every curly girl I know and if you’re not getting frizz free, defined curls then it’s time to make that dream a reality.

Affiliate Disclosure: “This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.”

Why Your Curls Are Not Defined & Tighter

Maybe you’ve been trying some curly hair routines and you just aren’t getting your desired results. This is probably leaving you to wonder “why are my curls not defined?”

There are a few reasons your curls are not defined, you don’t know:

How To Make Curls More Defined And Tighter

Try these curly girl tips to get defined, frizz free curls every time!

  1. Cleanse your hair with sulfate free curly girl hair shampoo
  2. Condition and deep condition every week
  3. Use a curl friendly towel or cotton t shirt to dry your curly hair
  4. Style your curly hair wet or damp
  5. Style with curl defining or curl enhancing products
  6. Use curly girl styling techniques that encourage defined curls
  7. Do not touch or manipulate your curls while it’s drying

Cleanse With Sulfate Free Curly Girl Shampoo

Use a shampoo that gently cleanses your hair. Shampoo that is sulfate free will gently cleanse your scalp and clarify your curls from products without damaging or drying out your curls. This helps with curl definition because your curly hair will be more hydrated which is necessary for defined curls.

For Defined Curls, Condition & Deep Condition Every Week

Condition your curls with a product that is hydrating and provides sufficient slip for detangling.

Regardless of your curly hair type or hair porosity, you should aim to deep condition your curls every week.

Use A Curl Friendly Towel To Dry Curls

After rinsing, gently squeeze out excess water and wrap your curls in a microfiber towel or cotton tshirt. This reduces frizz and breakage which will help with curl definition.

For Curlier Hair, Style Your Hair Damp or Wet

While your hair is still wet or damp, apply curly girl products that are designed to provide curl definition.

While some curly girls get more defined curls by applying curl defining products to damp hair, some get better results by applying to very wet hair – even styling while still in the shower!

Experimenting is the best way to find what will work best to define your curly hair. I’ve found that I get best results by applying my curl defining products on damp hair for the most part, but my curls near the crown of my head respond better when I apply products when they’re wet.

Style With Curl Defining Products

The curl defining product you use will vary depending on your curly type and health of your hair.

Some curly girls, like me, need to layer products to achieve defined, frizz free curls. While other curl girls can apply one curl defining products to achieve defined curls.

The best tip for getting defined curls is to use products that provide a cast on your hair. Casts are awesome for curl definition and it’s very easy to break the cast so that your end results are soft, frizz free, defined curls.

Again, experimenting is your best option here.

Curly Girl Styling Techniques To Define Your Curls

The styling technique that you use is very important if you want to make your curls more defined and tighter. Let’s briefly talk about them.

  1. Finger coiling
  2. Prayer hands
  3. Denman brush
  4. Scrunching
  5. Plopping
  6. Diffusing

Finger Coil To Make Your Hair Curlier

Finger coiling is my favorite way to train your curls, get more curl definition and make your hair curlier. To finger coil, with a curl defining product in your hair, take small sections of your hair and twist the section around your finger to encourage your hair to curl and form ringlets. To encourage volume, try to hold and twist the sections upright.

It takes some time to finger coil all of your hair but the results are worth it! Over time, you will train your curls to fall into that curl pattern on their own and you may no longer need to do this when styling. When you’ve finger coiled all of your hair, end with gently scrunching your hair.

Apply products with “Prayer Hands”

Applying hair products with prayer hands is a great way to smooth your curl-defining products in your curls. This helps to minimize frizz and get you more defined curls.

To apply, with product in the palms of your hands gently press and glide your hands over the length of a section of your hair (from top to bottom). Use the same technique until all of your curls have product.

Style Using A Denman Brush

A curly girl favorite styling technique is using the Denman brush. It ensures the products are distributed evenly and smoothly throughout your hair. It also defines your curls by clumping them together in smaller sections.

Working in sections, after applying your curl defining product, brush each section to smooth the product and achieve curl definition. To get more volume with your Denman brush, brush your curls away from your scalp.

Scrunch Your Curly Hair

Scrunching has to be the most popular styling technique for any curly girl. I don’t know any curly girl who doesn’t scrunch to style and to scrunch out the crunch. When you scrunch your curls, you encourage them to curl more and become more defined.

Plop your curls

Plopping is also popular with curly girls to get defined curls.

After applying your curly girl products, lay an old cotton t shirt flat on your bed or chair with the neck and sleeves closest to you. Next, flip your hair over so that your curls are upside down. Gently place your curls and head over the cotton t-shirt. Roll the neck of the t-shirt so that it’s on your forehead. Then, secure your hair by folding the end of the tshirt to reach your neck and using the sleeves tye it around your head.

Diffuse to get more defined curls

Drying your curly hair with a diffuser is a game-changer when you’re looking for more defined curls. There are many youtube videos to show the best way to diffuse for maximum volume and curl definition.

Don’t Touch Your Defined Curls

If you’re anything like me, you love to play with your curls. I’m obsessed. But it’s a bad habit when you want to maintain your defined curls. The more your touch your hair, the more your curls will frizz.

This is especially true while your hair is air drying and before the cast is set. It will encourage frizz and your curls may even lose defintion.

Even after you’ve dried your hair, try to touch and manipulate your hair as little as possible to maintain your curly definition.

Curly Girl Products To Make Curls Defined & Tighter

To get defined curls, use curly girl products that are designed to enhance curls. These products are usually labeled as “curl activating”, curl defining or curl enhacing. They work well by providing slip for curl formation. They also create a cast on your curls to preserve your frizz free, defined curls longer.

Some key ingredients to look out for in your curly hair products for defined curls are:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Flaxseed
  • Hydrolyzed rice protein
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein

To get started, try my favorite curly girl approved drugstore products for definition. You can click on any of these to purchase from Amazon.

Try these curly girl approved gels to set your curls for long lasting defined curls.

For more curly girl approved gels, check here.

So, How To Maximize Curl Definition

I hope you use these tips to make your curls defined, tighter andd get maximum curl definition every time. Bookmark this post so that you can reference it until these curly hair practices become part of your curly hairstyling routine.

Let me know in the comments below if these tips worked and if you have any secrets to getting defined curls. 🙂

Before you go, check out these other curly girl posts:

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