We all want our hair to look good, that is just a fact. Some people want their curls to look longer, more defined thicker, shinier, the list goes on and on. Another fact I’m sure the curly community can agree on, is the fact our hair practically never looks the same way twice! Whether you use the same products, the same hair tools, at the same time of day with the same weather and the sun and moon in the same position, your curls will still come out different. Now this might be because of how you apply all of your different hair products to your hair. Now i’ve spoken about the Curly Girl Method and the LOC or LCO method, but this is different. This is specifically about how you put your products into your hair, and the crazily different ways they dry. Here are 3 different methods to applying styling products and some of my pros and cons of them.
Raking means finger combing your hair products through your hair. If you prefer to finger detangle your hair, it’s likely that you already do the raking method. Raking through the curls with your fingertips will help to detangle and smooth your hair, section by section. Raking is a good way to ensure that all of your curls get a fair distribution of your hair products. It will also give your curls good definition and make sure they are detangled and clumped together. I love this method when I’m in a bit of a rush because its really quick and easy, I see it as a 2 in 1 because you won’t need to whip out your Denman brush and wide tooth comb. However you can’t do it to fast otherwise you could be ripping more hair out of your head than necessary.
TOP TIP: Make sure you do this method gently and apply an even amount of product to all sections of your hair to create a uniform look.
The Praying Hands method is also known as the smoothing method and means running your hair between the palms of your hands pressed together, essentially smoothing the product on to your hair. This method requires minimal hair manipulation and can help reduce frizz as you are applying the product to your hair. While I like this method I don’t feel that it really covers all the hair strands with the same amount of product and since you aren’t really shaping the curls they are a little less defined as well. I think this method is great if you have a preplanned style for your hair or if you are preparing your hair for bed and don’t need defined curls. I also love this method for battling shrinkage in 3C or Type 4 hair because you are stretching the hair out while applying the product.
TOP TIP: Make sure you pull the hair downwards and go over sections to help stretch your curls and evenly distribute your products.
The last method to applying your styling products is Shingling. Shingling is when you separate your curls out and individually twist, twirl and shape them into curls either with your fingers or with a brush to achieve the desired look. I LOVE this method, it gives your curls perfect definition and keeps frizz to a minimum. I do this on days where my hair is particularly frizzy or when refreshing my curls on Day 3 or 4. For this method your product is applied to each curl individually so you know it is being evenly distributed and you can use a gel, leave-in conditioner or an oil. This really helps to give your curls life and shape again however it can be very time consuming, especially if your are doing this method all over your head. It also reduces volume because their is no frizz to give your curls any body so once they are dry you might want to split out your curls or use an afro pic to add volume.
TOP TIP: Make sure you smooth out each curl before twisting so that it can hold the shape better.
The same way I never get the same curls twice, I never do the same method twice so that might explain why my hair always looks different. While Shingling is my favourite method, I tend to do the Praying Hands first, followed by shingling the sections around my face and any other curls that need some more definition, (so basically my whole head). While it can be time consuming, you definitely get faster at it, however remember to be gentle.
How do you apply your styling products? Do you use one method or a combo of different methods? Let me know in the comments below. If you have any specific struggles or concerns with your hair, don’t hesitate to comment below, submit a hair analysis form or just send me a message.
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