Natural Hairnamix: The Curl Appeal
January 22, 2014By Rossette Allen

Women all around, despite class or color, race or creed have one thing in common that will always remain constant, the desire to have beautiful hair. We have often heard the quote that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory.  Simply stated, if everything about you is put together and your hair is not, then your whole look just seems to come up short.


In my opinion, beautiful hair doesn’t come in any one particular package. Beautiful hair transcends length, texture, curl pattern or any other distinguishing features that it has. Women with natural hair wear it in many different styles, colors and lengths. Nevertheless, there is no denying that every woman at some point or another wears or desires to wear their hair in some type of curl. There is just something about curls. They soften your look and give that touch of delicacy, innocence and “girliness.”  It is no wonder that it has been the go to look for the many a bride as it adds a touch of elegance.


Achieving curl may be easier for some naturals than others. Depending on your hair texture and curl pattern, you may have naturally curly hair with lots of definition or you may have a tightly coiled pattern in which case the curls are not as visible.


There is a common misconception among some naturals that their hair is absolutely unable to achieve curls using the excuse that their hair is too coarse, or rough or dry or whatever other terminology they might use. This is in most cases very far from the truth and I can sight my very own hair as an example because it is not naturally curly but there are endless processes, procedures and products that can be applied to achieve a curly look. I can identify with those who say that their hair is rough etc. as if my hair is allowed to air dry without setting it in a style or applying any kind of products, sure enough the texture will be nothing shy of a brillo pad.


Even though not everyone was genetically created with curly hair, there are myriads of styling options which offer various types of curled options. The following are some tools and techniques that will result in the most beautiful looking curls that your hair can experience:






If you have the slightest memory of your childhood natural hair experience, then chances are you will remember your mama or your caregiver making these tiny balls all over your head which you probably hated. It was typically done as a solution to the detangling woes faced on wash days and was also an easy way of stretching the hair and making it more manageable.


In today’s natural hair world, it has morphed into a favorite and most trusted technique for achieving the most beautiful, spiral curls. Bantu Knots are usually done by sectioning the hair into fairly small squares and then doing individual two strand twists. As each twist is done it is then wrapped around itself to form a knot or a ball. This can be done on wet or dry hair and has to be kept in for a few hours to allow the style to set. If the hair is wet it can take many hours to air dry but a hooded dryer can cut the time down significantly.






Natural hair can take the shape of whatever tool applied to it. This is especially true when the hair is wet as the hydrogen bonds are temporarily broken, thus allowing it to adapt easily to different shapes. When considering different methods of achieving the Curl Appeal, the Rod Set should be high upon the list as it produces the most beautiful results ever. Rods are a straight bar-like tool that is used to set the hair. They come in a variety of styles, shapes, sizes and colors. Two of the more popular types used in the natural hair community are Perm Rods and Flexi Rods. Yes I did say Perm Rods, which is somewhat ironic since naturals are using a tool that was designed to be used for perms. That’s the way it is, though, whatever works. A part of having a successful natural hair journey is using creativity and applying various products and processes to make it a smoother one. Rods effectively create tight spiral ringlets that result in a very cute curly hairdo for naturals. The size rod used will determine the tightness of the curls. For example, if you want to achieve a looser curl pattern, then the larger rods will more likely to generate those results. With proper maintenance, Rod Sets can produce curls that last for days. Try it and I can almost guarantee that you will be in love.







Curlformers are a more recent addition to the market and have caught on pretty quickly in the natural hair community. This genius product was invented for all hair types but I truly believe they specifically had naturals in mind. This tool works amazingly on natural hair of any texture. Its spiral-like, flexible shape makes it ideal for forming romance or Shirley Temple type curls. As in the case of Rods, the Curlformers work best when installed on wet hair. It is a recommended item for all naturals and can work on most hair lengths as they have various sizes. If you have a wedding, graduation, party or any other special occasion coming up, this tool will create the hairdo that will add that touch of elegance to complete your look.  








One of the simplest ways to achieve that Curl Appeal is to do a basic Twist Out or Braid Out. Both techniques are pretty easy to do and can give your hair great definition. Depending on how much definition you expect from your do, the hair should be sectioned as small or as large as you wish and then twisted or braided. The smaller sections you make, the more definition you will achieve. The style has to be allowed to set for a fair amount of time in order to achieve the desired curls. When time is of the essence and you are pretty much on the go, some two strand twists will always be an easy option for setting your hair to get the curly look.







You may be familiar with the term Wash n Go, which is a process of washing and styling natural hair without doing any kind of preliminary setting. The technique involves washing and conditioning the hair then immediately proceeding to add leave in conditioner and some kind of gel-like activator product to activate the hair’s natural curl pattern.

The product used typically gives moisture, curl definition, hold and a brilliant shine. The properties in these products help to not only create, but maintain curls. The outcome of the curls will be dependent on your own curl pattern. If, for example, your curl pattern is naturally loose, the technique will help to define and set the curl but there will be no dramatic change in the pattern itself. The theory also holds true for those with tighter curl patterns. The Kinky Curly Curling Custard and Eco Styler Gel are two of the more popular products typically used to create curls in a Wash n Go. If you ever doubted that your hair has the potential to become curly, try applying a Gel-Like activator to soaking wet hair and you will be amazed at the results.


The versatility of natural hair knows no bounds and whether you want that authentic Afro, bone straight hair, ponytails, braids or that classic Curl Appeal, they are all there for the taking. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your hair. It is an adventure. Explore the wonderful world of natural hair and flaunt that Curl Appeal.



Candie's Natural Hairnamix was birthed a few months after Jamaican native Rossette "Candie" Allen began her natural hair journey in May 2010. She gears this column toward naturals, transitioning naturals, aspiring naturals and the naturally curious, sharing experiences, expertise and experiments while celebrating emancipation from chemical slavery.



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