21 Techniques to Get Defined Curls for 3B - 4C Hair

Having to always wear your kinky hair in a high bun can get a little boring. You have probably thought about switching things up a bit and don't know how to.

Well, today is your lucky day, at the end of this guide, you will be able to transform your kinky hair into a defined curly mass of goodness. 

But first, how do you know you have achieved defined curls? It's simple, defined curls usually have four qualities to identify them. 

  1. You have less frizz for your curls.
  2. Your curls clump together to form a single perfect curl.
  3. Your curls are healthy and retain a natural curl pattern and bounce.
  4. You have good curl separation and each individual strands separates from the other from the roots without causing frizz. 

Ready to achieve this? Here are 21 curling techniques to get defined curls for your 3B - 4C hair:

Straw Setting Your Hair

straw sets

        Instagram: @Ki.meishon

Straw sets are the perfect option for curls which would last longer and look better as it gets older. This method is a lot cheaper and suitable for any hair length. Straw sets are friendly for your hair and don't damage your natural hair.

What You Need For A Straw Set

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Moisturizer
  • Setting Lotion
  • 1 pack of Straws
  • 1 pack of Bobby Pins
  • Wide Tooth Comb

How To Get The Perfect Straw Set Curls

  • Wash your hair thoroughly clean with shampoo. Straw sets work best on wet or damp hair.
  • Condition your hair. For this step, use the right conditioner for your hair and remember not to dry your hair after conditioning.
  • Moisturize your hair and scalp well with a light moisturizer.
  • Use the wide-tooth comb to apply the setting lotion evenly onto your hair, the more setting lotion you use the tighter the straw set.
  • Then split your hair into sections with the wide-tooth comb depending on the style you want.
  • Curl the hair around with straws. Grab a straw and about an inch width of  hair and wrap it around the straw in a spiral fashion. Roll the hair up into a tight spiral, then pin it with bobby pins. Make sure you do this in front of a mirror to avoid making too tight spirals.
  • Allow the hair to dry inside a dryer.
  • When the straw curls have formed fully, you can leave the dryer and remove the straws and the bobby pins.
  • After doing this, you can spray some hair sheen or apply hair oil.

You can watch this video on how to achieve the perfect straw set:

Curling Your Hair Using Bantu Knot Outs

bantu knots

          Instagram: @melaninhaircare

Using the Bantu knot outs method is the best way to create one of the most luxe curls for your kinky hair. No heat is required to style this look and it is also suitable for all hair lengths. However, if you have short hair, you will need to part your hair into smaller sections. If your hair is longer, you will have to make larger sections.

What You Need For A Bantu Knot Out

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Setting lotion or styling gel
  • Rattail comb
  • Pins or elastics

How To Get The Perfect Bantu Knot Outs Curls

  • Wash your hair thoroughly with shampoo, condition with a leave-in conditioner, then detangle where necessary, to pretty your hair for styling.
  • Ensure that your hair is damp before you proceed. Then part your damp hair into sections using the rat tail comb.
  • Use a portion of the setting lotion or styling gel to work for your hands through each section of hair and twist.
  • Or you can wrap each section of your hair against itself like a screw.
  • Coil or wrap each twisted hair against itself at the base.
  • Make sure to wrap each section closer to your head, bringing the ends of your hair closest to your scalp and secure in place with a pin or elastic.
  • Allow to dry and set overnight.
  • Remove the pins or elastic, untuck the ends and your curls are ready to go.

You can watch this video on how to achieve perfectly defined curls with bantu knot outs:

 Using Flexi Rods To Curl Your Hair

flexi rodsInstagram: @dollarcurlclub

Flexi rods, these soft and bendy sticks come in a range of shapes and sizes, and they form around the hair with ease. They can be done on either dry or wet 3B-4C hair. Flexi rods will transform your hair into well defined and bouncy curls,  you would absolutely be in love with. Keep in mind that the bigger the rod you use, the bigger the curls you get, the smaller the rod, the smaller your curls will be.

What You Need For A Flexi Rods Set

  • Flexi rods
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Leave in conditioner/ setting lotion
  • Rattail comb

How To Get The Perfect Curls With Flexi Rods

  • Start with dry detangled hair. If you decide to use damp hair, know that it will take longer to dry and would shrink. Dry hair is longer but has less definition than damp hair.
  • For dry hair, divide your hair into sections with the rat tail comb.
  • Mist each section of hair with a spray bottle of water. Apply just a little water, so it doesn't come off soaking wet.
  • Apply the leave-in conditioner or setting lotion on each section of the hair.
  • Wrap your hair around a flexi rod and bend the ends inward. You need to decide on the size of the curls you desire and use the appropriate flexi rods. The thicker the rod, the larger the curl will be.
  • Repeat the same process all over your head.
  • Allow your hair to air dry or use a hairdryer.
  • When dry, take out the rods and you have your bouncy curls.

This video tutorial will show you how to get defined and bouncy curls using flexi rods:

Use Finger Coils To Curl Your Hair

finger coils     Instagram: @youlovesonataaa

Finger coiling your hair has got to be the most basic and easy method of achieving well-defined curls for your 3B-4C hair. Even the new naturalista to the hair game can pull off this process. Finger coils are one of the best ways to train your curls and enhance your hair texture. While Finger coils can get you those cute little curls you want, it can be time-consuming. So get all the patience you need.

What You Need For Finger Coiling Your Hair

  • Curl cream (preferably a hydrating one)
  • And yes, your fingers.

How To Get Defined Curls Using Finger Coils

  • You can start with either wet or dry hair. Dry hair gives your curls more length.
  • Moisturize your hair thoroughly and seal.
  • Apply the curl cream on your fingers and distribute it evenly over your hair. Curl creams you can use include Eco styling gel or Cantu moisturizing curl activator.
  • Take small sections of your hair and twirl them around your finger.
  • Allow to air dry.
  • And then style.

You can watch this video on how to get defined curls through finger coiling your hair:

 Using Perm Rods Set For Defined Curls

perm rods

                                    Instagram: @iydamichael

Perm rods are just like flexi curls and they leave you with the smoothest looking curls. If you try it out on damp hair, make sure that they dry out completely, as the slightest dampness of your hair can make the curls turn out terribly. This method will give you healthy and voluptuous curls.

What You Need For A Perm Rods Sets

  • Perm rods
  • Curl defining cream or mousse
  • Rattail comb
  • Bonnet or silk scarf

How To Get Defined Curls Using Perm Rod Set

  • Start with dry detangled hair, then part your hair into smaller sections with a rat tail comb.
  • Take a small section of hair and apply your mousse or curl defining cream evenly.
  • Wrap the hair tightly on a perm rod.
  • Repeat the same process until the entire head is covered.
  • Place a bonnet or large silk scarf over your head and allow it to dry overnight.
  • If you are in a hurry, use an overhead dryer for thirty minutes to an hour depending on the length and texture of your hair.

Watch this video to see how to achieve defined curls with perm rod sets:

Use Shingling Method  For Well Defined Curly Hair

shingling

                                  Instagram: @dominicans_curls_

Shingling involves using a leave-in conditioner, curling cream, or gel to separate and define each individual curl. This process results in maximum curl definition, minimum frizz, and bouncy, elongated curls. Shingling can make your curls last up to a week.

What You Need For Shingling Method

  • Deep moisturizing leave-in conditioner
  • Curling cream or gel
  • Wide toothed comb
  • Detangling brush
  • Spray bottle of water (to keep your hair damp during detangling)
  • Diffuser
  • Afro pick

How To Get Defined Curls Using Shingling Method

  • First, apply the deep moisturizing leave-in conditioner and part your hair into four sections with the wide-toothed comb.
  • Apply the conditioner evenly by finger-raking it through from root to tip.
  • You can use the detangling brush to reach areas your fingers couldn't.
  • Spray your hair with water before detangling.
  • Next, apply the curling cream or gel to each individual strand. Use your thumb and index finger to smooth each curl from root to tip, twisting around your index finger for maximum definition.
  • Repeat the process for all sections of your hair.
  • Allow your hair to air dry or use a diffuser for a speedy process.
  • Use the Afro pick to lift the roots of your hair for extra volume, and shake your hair from side to side to encourage movement and bounce.

Here's a video tutorial on how to achieve well-defined curls using the shingling method:

 

Use The Braid and Curl Method For Defined Curls

braid and curl

    Instagram: @napturalelenore

The braid and curl method is one of the best ways of adding extra volume and definition to your hair. This method typically requires a lot of time but it will leave you with luscious curls and the ends of your hair will turn out more defined and less frizzy.

What You Need For The Braid and Curl Method

  • Leave-in Conditioner
  • Moisturizing oil
  • Detangling brush
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Perm rods
  • Patience

How To Get The Perfect Curls Using The Braid And Curl Method

  • Wash your hair thoroughly and let it dry for 30 minutes. Ensure that your hair is slightly damp before you start.
  • Apply the leave-in conditioner round your hair evenly.
  • Divide your hair into four sections with the wide-tooth comb.
  • Moisturize with your favorite oil for better hold.
  • From each section, bring out a smaller section and detangle each section with the detangling brush.
  • Divide the smaller section into 2 strands and twist them around each other, allowing each strand to twist on itself as you twirl the strands together.
  • Wrap a perm rod around the end of each twist twice.
  • Repeat all over your hair.
  • Allow your hair to dry properly. You can use a dryer or keep covered overnight with a silk scarf.
  • When dry, oil your fingertips with oil and unravel your twists.
  • You can now style your moisturized and bouncy curls as desired.

You can watch this video on how to get defined curls using the braid and curl method:

Using Curling Wands For Curly Hair

curling wands

Instagram: @arrayoffaces

Curling wands are the fastest way to curl your hair and get instant curls. If you decide to switch up, wand curls are the best fit and this method is also a more suitable way to curl your hair using heat. Before you start this process, remember to wash and condition your hair.

What You Need To Achieve Defined Curls With Curling Wands

  • Heat protectant
  • Curling wand

How To Achieve Defined Curls Using Curling Wands

  • Part your hair into sections and detangle.
  • Apply a heat protectant all over your hair to protect against heat damage.
  • Take a small section of hair and twist around the curling wand and hold at the ends, with about an inch.
  • After a minute, you can release your hair from the wand.
  • Then repeat the process all over your hair.
  • After you are done, style your lustrous curls however you want.

  • This video tutorial will show you how to achieve defined curls using curling wands:


     Using CurlFormers To Define Your Curls

    curlformers

                                          Instagram: @jascoloredcurls

    Curlformers are also one of the fastest ways to get well-defined curls for your 3B-4C hair. Curlformers will leave your hair with a smoother and loose curl pattern, which will make it seem like you picked up a curling iron or wand for the job.

    What You Need To Get Defined Curls With Curlformers

    • Styling mousse
    • Detangling brush
    • Curlformers

    How To Get Defined Curls With A  Curlformer

    • Wash your hair thoroughly.
    • Part your hair into sections and apply the styling mousse to it.
    • Detangle each section of your hair with the detangling brush.
    • To insert the curlformers into your hair, slide in the curlformer into the rod, take out a small section of hair, twisting it at the roots, then wrap the hook of the rod around it and pull the rod through.
    • Repeat the same process for every section of your hair.
    • Allow it to dry overnight.
    • Remove the curlformers by pinching the top and pulling out.
    • Style as desired and your 3b curly hair is ready to go.

    You can watch this video on how to get perfect curls for your hair using curlformers:

    Use The Wash and Go Method For Curly Hair

    wash and go

          Instagram: @lyssamariexo

    The wash and go method is popular among most naturalistas. A wash and go is the go-to- hairstyle if you want to enhance your natural hairstyle. With the right natural hairstyling techniques and product, you will be able to pull off this hair game.

    What You Need For A Wash and Go

    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Styling gel
    • Detangling brush
    • Leave-in conditioner

    How To Achieve Defined Curls With The Wash and Go Method

    • Wash your hair with shampoo, preferably a sulfate-free shampoo, so your scalp doesn't dry out.
    • Use your fingers to massage your scalp and rinse thoroughly.
    • Condition and rinse your hair thoroughly.
    • Divide your soaking wet hair into four sections. The smaller the section, the more defined your curls will turn out.
    • Detangle each section with a detangling brush, all the way from the ends to the top.
    • Apply the leave-in conditioner to each section for soft and well-moisturized hair.
    • Apply the styling gel to each section of the hair.
    • Allow it to dry overnight.
    • Style as desired.

    You can watch this video on how to get perfect curls for your hair using the wash and go method:

    Use The Twist Outs Method For Curly Hair

    twist outs

    Twist outs are the sure option if you want a simpler way to curl your 3B-4C natural hair. Twist outs are guaranteed to give your curls more definition. With twist outs, you can create a variety of curl patterns from tight ringlets, large curls, or chaotic waves.

    What You Need To Do A Twist Out

    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Leave-in conditioner
    • Hair Oil
    • Gel or curling custard
    • Wide-tooth comb

    How To Achieve Defined Curls Using Twist Outs

    • Wash your hair properly with shampoo and conditioner.
    • Part your hair into four sections and apply the leave-in conditioner on each section.
    • Follow this up with favorite oil. You can use coconut or olive oil for this step.
    • Detangle each section of hair with a wide-tooth comb.
    • Take a smaller section of hair, dab some gel or curling custard on it, and twist.
    • Repeat for each section of the hair.
    • Allow it to dry. Your twists need to be totally dry from root to tip before you unravel them. You can let it dry overnight.
    • Oil your fingertips and unravel the twists carefully.
    • Separate and fluff your curls for more volume.

    This video will show you how to achieve well-defined curls with the twist out method:

     Use Flat Twists For More Defined Curls

    flat twists

                                        Instagram: @curlysu91

    Flat twists are quite similar to the twist outs method. The former should be the route you choose if you want more curl definition for your hair. They use a pseudo cornrow braiding technique that gives naturalistas definition at the root, too. They require patience and a ton of practice if you are new to this curling technique.

    What You Need To Curl Your Hair With Flat Twists

    • Leave-in conditioner
    • Wide-tooth comb
    • Hair Oil
    • Perm rods

    How To Curl Your Hair Using Flat Twists.

    • Apply the leave-in conditioner evenly onto your hair.
    • Divide your hair into four sections.
    • Take out one section of your hair and create a smaller section for it.
    • Apply your oil of choice to the smaller section of hair and detangle with the wide-tooth comb.
    • For the flat twist technique, go to the top of a section of hair. Divide the section into 2 separate strands. Then, twist these strands over and under. Keep the twist flat against the scalp and pick up extra hair from the section as you go along. In the end, each section should look like a flat, 2-strand twist.
    • Add perm rods to the ends of the hair.
    • Repeat with the other sections of the hair.
    • Cover up with a silk scarf and allow it to dry overnight.
    • Take out the perm rods and untwist gently.
    • Pick out your hair roots to add volume.
    • Style and rock your shiny curls.

    You  can watch this video on how to get defined curls using flat twists:


     

    Use Braid Outs For More Defined Curly Hair

    braid outs

                                           Instagram: @thairapy----

    Braid outs are also similar to flat twists. While twist outs give more definition, braid outs give more volume and length. Braid out can be done one of two ways: using free-hanging plaits (similar to a twist out) or with cornrows if your braiding skills are good enough.

    What You Need For A Braid Out

    • Wide-tooth comb
    • Afro Pick
    • Silk scarf
    • Hair Oil
    • Curling cream

    How To Achieve Well Defined Curls With Braid Outs

    • Start with freshly washed hair.
    • Divide your hair into four sections.
    • Apply your favorite oil and curling cream throughout your hair.
    • Spray water on a smaller section of hair and detangle with a wide-tooth comb.
    • Take up a smaller section of hair, split it into three parts and braid.
    • After you are done braiding all the sections, cover up with a silk scarf, and allow it to dry overnight.
    • Oil your fingers and take out the braids.
    • Use the Afro pick to pick out your hair for more volume.
    • Style as desired.

    You  can watch this video on how to get defined curls using braid outs:

    Use The 3 Strand Twist Out For Curly Hair

    3 strand twist outs

                        Instagram:@sisterhoodofthetravelingcurls

    The 3 strand twist out is just as similar to the twist-out method. However, the 3 strand twist out is guaranteed to make your hair turn out nice, lustrous, and super defined.

    What You Need For The 3 Strand Twist Out Method

    • Leave-in conditioner
    • Hair Oil
    • Gel or curling custard
    • Wide-tooth comb

    How To Achieve The 3 Strand Twist Out For Curly Hair

    • Start with freshly washed hair.
    • Part your hair into four sections and apply the leave-in conditioner on each section.
    • Follow this up with favorite oil.
    • Detangle each section of hair with a wide-tooth comb.
    • Take a smaller section of hair, dab some gel or curling custard on it, the Eco styling gel can work the magic.
    • Split your hair into three parts and twist. At the end of the twist, join the two parts together and finish up with a two-strand twist.
    • Repeat for each section of the hair.
    • Allow it to dry. You can let it dry overnight.
    • Oil your fingertips and unravel the twists carefully.
    • Separate and fluff your curls for more volume.

    This video tutorial will show you how to achieve the 3 strand twist outs for curly hair:


     Use Curl Activators/Creams For Well Defined Curls

    curl activators and creams

                                                 Instagram: @curlchemistry

    With the right products, you can achieve a well-defined curl pattern for your 3B-4C natural hair. Curl activators or creams are the easiest and fastest way to define curls for your hair, however the length. Some good curl activators you can invest in, include Eco styling gel, Kinky Curl curling cream, Cantu Moisturizing curl activator, Jack 5ive curl activator gel.

    What You Need To Achieve Defined Curls With Curl Activators/Creams

    • Spray bottle of water
    • Leave-in conditioner
    • Curl activator/cream

    How To Use Curl Activators/Creams For Curly Hair

    • Spray your hair with water.
    • Part your hair into sections and apply the leave-in conditioner into your hair.
    • Scoop some of the curl activators with your palm and distribute evenly into each section of hair and twirl with your fingers.
    • Style as desired.

    This video will show you how to use curl activators for curly hair:

    Using Curl Sponge For Short Curly Hair

    curl sponge

    The curl sponge is another efficient method to define curls on your natural hair. While this process can be rather time-consuming, it leaves your hair with the most precise curl definition.

    What You Need To Achieve Defined Curls Using A Curl Sponge

    • Leave-in conditioner
    • Hair oil
    • Curling cream or gel
    • Curl sponge

    How To Achieve Defined Curls Using A Curl Sponge

    • Start out with damp hair.
    • Apply leave-in conditioner evenly to your damp hair.
    • Seal in moisture with your preferred hair oil.
    • Apply gel or curling cream/activator over your hair.
    • Take the curl sponge and rub around the hair in a circular motion, clockwise or anti-clockwise. Ensure that you follow a particular motion or you would end up unraveling the curls you have already achieved.

    This video tutorial will show you how to pull off defined curls with a curl sponge:

    Using Wet Sets For Curly Hair

    wet sets

    A wet set is a method of defining natural hair curls immediately following a shampoo and conditioning session while the hair is still wet. Rollers of various sizes are usually used to curl the hair slightly, create a gentle curl or curl on the ends while also providing volume.

    What You Need To Define Curls With A Wet Set

    • Plastic rollers
    • Pins
    • Setting lotion
    • Detangling brush
    • Curling mousse
    • Hairdryer

    How To Define Curls With A Wet Set

  • Wash and moisturize your hair thoroughly.
  • Apply a setting lotion evenly to your hair.
  • Divide your hair into sections and detangle the ends with a detangling brush.
  • Apply the curling mousse to a smaller section of hair and then roll each smaller section of your hair firmly with the plastic rollers. Put in place with the pins.
  • Allow drying under a hooded dryer or air-dry overnight.
  • Avoid applying any oil-based products until your hair is dry.
  • Style however you want.

  • This video tutorial shows how to define your curls through a wet set:

    Use The Pin Curls Method To Achieve Defined Curls

    pin curls

    The pin curls method is an old fashioned curling method but still an effective method of defining your curls. It works best on dry hair that has been straightened or blow-dried, to give your curls an even and uniform look.

    What You Need To Define Curls With The Pin Curls Method

  • Pins
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Silk scarf or bonnet

  • How To Use Pin Curls Method To Achieve Defined Curls

  • Start out with well moisturized dry hair.
  • Part your hair into small to medium sections with the wide-tooth comb.
  • Take small to medium sections of hair, wrap them in a circular pattern, press to your head, and pin in place.
  • Cover up with a bonnet or silk scarf and let them sit for several hours or overnight.
  • Take out the pins and flaunt your bouncy curls.

  • You can watch this video on how to achieve the perfect pin curls:

    Use Rag Curls To Get Defined Curls

    rag curls

                                         Instagram: @lifestylebytaya

    Just like the pin curls, the rag curls is an old fashioned method of curling natural hair. This method is inexpensive and also very effective. All you need to create the perfect curl maker, use old clean rags or an old t-shirt. Rag curls are perfect for achieving small tough curls.

    What Do You Need To Define Curls With A Rag Curl

    • Old rags or an old t-shirt.

    How To Define Curls Using Rag Curls

    • Start out with damp hair.
    • Divide your hair into sections.
    • Place a rag, about 12 inches long, at the end of a section of hair, roll it up, and tie the ends of the rag in place. If you use a t-shirt, cut it about 12 inches long.
    • If you only want curly ends, stop wrapping midway up the hair shaft; otherwise, rag roll to the scalp for all-over curls.
    • Allow drying overnight.
    • Take out the rags.
    • Style as desired.

    You can watch this video on how to achieve the perfect rag curls:

    Use The Creme Of Nature Argan Buttermilk Leave-in Milk For Super Defined Curls

    The Creme Of Nature Argan Buttermilk Leave-in Milk

    If you want to try something a lot different than the other curling methods, you can use the Creme Of Nature Argan Buttermilk Leave-in Milk. It is perfect for daily use and you can count on it to hydrate your strands and keep them super soft. All you need to do is to dampen your hair and distribute the leave-in throughout your hair for a big, super curly fro. It feels like magic!

    This video shows how to achieve super defined curls using the Creme Of Nature Argan Buttermilk Leave-in Milk:

    Achieving defined curls for your 3B - 4C hair isn't such an arduous task but you need to remember to moisturize and hydrate your hair daily. Ensure that you never sleep without a bonnet or silk scarf in order to preserve your curls. Also, sleeping on a satin pillowcase or wearing a satin nightcap can actually make your curls last longer and reduce frizziness.

    Which of these curling methods are you excited to try out first?