tips and tricks to get the best defined curls
Hair Care

Tips and Tricks to Get the Best Defined Curls!

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Curl Goals

Textured styles are all the rage these past decades, and I hope the trend never changes.

In recent years, women (and men!) all around the world have embraced naturally curly hair as well as textured weaves and wigs. Kinky hair that was considered “unruly” has become a coveted style by people of all races and genders.

Regardless if you’re wearing your natural hair or human hair extensions, finding the perfect routine that gives you gorgeously defined curls requires dedicated research and practice. The last thing you want is dry, lifeless curls or curls that are weighed down from too much product.

I’ll break down some of my favorite tips and tricks that will keep your curls defined, beautiful and bouncy!

pinky curly afro

The Curl: Tight Curls

Tight curls are the most misunderstood in the curl-family. Kinky curls disguise themselves in a coarse texture however they are very fragile.

Tight curls are classified as Type 5 hair and are compiled of fine hairs swirled together to form the beautiful cloud-like, gravity-defying texture that we see on celebrities like Solange and Jill Scott.

If you have kinky hair, then you know it can be challenging to achieve curl definition. But look closely, each kink is a tiny coil that brings beauty to the texture. If you don’t have naturally kinky hair, fake-it-until-you-make-it and take a note from Gabrielle Union-Wade on how to rock a kinky afro weave style.

justine skye curly sue curls

The Style

Kinky hair is known for how well it holds a style.

Wearing kinky extensions or your natural hair gives you the ability to wear your style all day long with little primping. Type 5 kinks are a fluffy texture, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t let your definition shine through with a fun style.

Don’t hesitate to explore the style versatility that kinky curls offer. You can go from sleek to funky with the snap of a finger.


Need the perfect day to night style? A slicked back afro puff is an ideal style for office to happy hour. The mystery of the afro puff is its ability to be both sleek and poufy.

Trick: Follow these steps to style your perfect puff and let your defined kinks take center stage.

Step 1:

Lightly dampen the length of your hair with water. You don’t want it soaking wet. Just wet enough to easily handle.

Step 2:

Work in a dime-sized amount of your favorite curl cream into the length of your hair.

Step 3:

Take small or large sections and single braid them straight down. The size of the sections depends on how much curl definition you want. Small braids result in tight crinkly curls, and bigger braids create fluffy textured curls.

Step 4:

The following day apply a little oil to your hands and take the braids down.

Step 5:

Slick your hair back into a high, medium, or low puff and secure it with an elastic band.

Step 6:

Use a pick comb or your fingers to add volume to your puff.

Tip: Apply a growth promoting pomade like Private Label Extensions Edge Control, as you slick back your hair to keep it sleek and shiny. After you’ve created the perfect puff, wrap a satin scarf around your head, leaving your puff out, to allow the edge control to set.

ronkeraji natural hair afro


The afro is an age-old style that represents confidence and power.

Kinky hair is the perfect texture for this look. This style is sure to draw the eye, and, with all eyes on you, you’ll need an afro that is unapologetically moisturized, defined, and shiny.

Trick: The best afros are a result of being protected at night.

Step 1:

Gently detangle any knots you have with an oil and your fingertips.

Step 2:

Part your hair so that you have two sections to create two pig-tails.

Step 3:

Loosely twist the length of each section of your hair downward and cover with a satin bonnet.

Step 4:

When you wake up in the morning, remove your twists and fluff your hair. Use a pick-comb to lift your roots and rock your ‘fro!

Tip: Weekly deep conditioning is beneficial for both natural curly hair and curly extensions.

It’s best to use a treatment that is formulated for textured hair and promotes your curls to pop! Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Mask by Curls infuses moisture and shine into your tresses, keeping your afro soft and bouncy.

amara la negra natural hair afro

The Curl: Bouncy Curls

Bouncy curls are one of the most exciting styles you can wear.

This curl is Type 3 hair, with sub-categories: A, B, and C that is used to define curl tightness. Both types offer a youthful look that never goes out of style. From Shirley Temple curls to sexy hair like Beyoncé, bouncy curls give a style to meet all tastes.

Although the best way to achieve bouncy curls is by heat-styling, you can get more bounce to the ounce with some heatless hacks as well.

big curls

The Style

Big curls offer more versatility than they get credit.

Taraji P. Henson style on VH1’s Big in 2015 Entertainment Weekly Awards Red Carpet look slayed! The benefit of bigger curls is that they don’t require a set style. It’s ideal to wear the curls as defined as possible or else you risk your hair looking like an unkempt frizz-ball.

Let it Hang

Big curls are best worn loose. Singer Jillian Hervey who always looks stunning in her blonde ringlets has perfected the style.

The key to styling big, bouncy curls is clean, defined coils. Hair that is weighed down by product build-up and oils will succumb to the rules of gravity. Here’s how to maintain the big-hair-don’t-care look:

Trick: Use a dry shampoo to keep your roots free of excess oils.

Cantu Dry Co-wash is a curl-friendly dry shampoo for squeaky clean hair. Follow up with a dry oil, try OGX Hydrate + Defrizz Kukui Oil Anti-Frizz Hydrating Oil. This oil will keep your hair hydrated without weighing it down.

Tip: Big curls don’t require heat. You can get this style without the potential of applying damaging temperatures to your hair.

I love doing twist outs on my natural hair. It’s a harmless way to stretch my tight coils and add more bounce to my hair. You can also do twist outs on extensions and wigs. Your best result for a twist out is on textured hair. Twisting straight hair will give you wavy hair rather than curls.

Here’s how to do a twist out:

Step 1:

Section your hair into large sections. I like to start with four sections then break each of those sections into another four.

Step 2:

Grab as much hair in the size that you desire your curl to be. Now separate that section into two.

Step 3:

Apply a small amount of curl cream to the section and gently work it through. Twist those two sections around each other.

Step 4:

Once you reach the end of the twist, use a foam roller and roll your ends an inch.

Step 5:

Repeat Steps 1 through 4 all over your head.

Step 6:

The next day, take down your rollers and twists with light oil, like Almond Oil, and fluff out any visible sections.

Bonus Tip: Can’t get the big curls you desire? No problem! Private Label Brazilian Straight Extensions are great for heat styling!

Pick your extension from a variety of colors and curl your way to happiness! Use a big barrel curling iron or wand to create pretty ringlets without damaging your natural hair. But don’t forget to apply a heat protectant to your extensions to keep them beautiful.

sza hair curls


Elegant and sophisticated, the updo is the perfect way to rock defined curls and show off your facial features.

The updo is a style commonly requested for special occasions, but this popular hairdo is great for daily wear, as well. Don’t feel pressured to get the updo perfect as this style has evolved over the years from stiff and stuffy to casual and fun.

What I love about big hair is that it leaves a little room for error without compromising style. Updo’s were once an uber-molded style that has become creative no frill looks.

It only takes a few defined curls in the right spots to make your updo look amazing.

Trick: Take a few sections at the back of your head and twist them upward leaving out a couple of wispy pieces inches of curl.

Strategically add bobby pins to hold them in place until you achieve your desired look. Leave out some coils around your hairline, ears, and the nape of your neck.

Bonus: Spice up your look with a trendy touch by adding some fun metallic bobby pins in your hair.

Tip: Keep your curls bouncing by pin-curling them at night. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1:

Take a section of hair that equals the width of two fingers.

Step 2:

Gently twist the hair down into a curl so that the hair lies flat on your scalp.

Step 3:

Continue to pin the curl in place.

Step 4:

Once your entire head is complete, wrap your hair in a satin scarf.

Step 5:

Take down your pin-curls in the morning for perfectly bouncy, heat-free curls.

Braided updo

The Curl: Loose Waves

Loose waves are the love child of curly and straight hair. Nicknamed, “beach waves,” loose curls are sultry, fierce, and unforgettable.

Loose curls are Type 2 hair and give a polished yet “wake up and go” look that maintains itself all day long. Jennifer Lopez has effortlessly rocked loose waves for years, and the style has never grown old.

But don’t let the name fool you. Just because these curls are loose doesn’t mean they don’t need to be defined. Your best defined loose curls happen during the drying stage.

Whether you prefer heat, or air-drying, you won’t regret wearing this care-free beautiful look.

pink hair in loose waves

The Style

Loose waves are an ideal style because they appear effortless yet add a soft layer of beauty to any look.

Though the curl is relaxed, beachy waves can be worn in both hanging styles and an updo. Those with active lifestyles will benefit from wearing a low maintenance style that translates well into any environment.

Side-swept Hair

Side-swept hair is the perfect sultry date-night look that can be achieved in a matter of minutes.

Ciara and Mariah Carey don the hairstyle regularly, but you don’t need star-power to wear this look. Side-swept hairstyles are perfect for curly hair because they create face-framing layers with or without cutting real layers to your hair.

Like the puff, side-swept hair gives you the best of both worlds. This style allows your roots to hang a little straighter but calls for some legit curl definition from halfway down the hair shaft to your ends.

If you prefer heatless styling, then all you need to achieve this look is a little product, a rattail comb, and your fingers.

Trick: Define your loose curls by air-drying. Follow these steps to perfect an air-dried finger coil.

Step 1:

Start with wet hair. Apply your product and section your hair into medium-sized sections.

Step 2:

Finger coil your hair by wrapping the section around itself.

Step 3:

You can choose to add a roller at the end for more definition or just let the ends hang for a casual look.

Step 4:

Once your hair is 100% dry, use your fingertips to unravel the coil, neatly. It’s important to wait until your hair is dry. Taking down damp coils will result in more frizz and less definition.

Step 5:

Part your hair to one side directly above the arch of your eyebrow. Gently brush or finger the bulk of your hair to one side, revealing the part. Tuck the side with less hair behind your ear to define the style.

Tip: Don’t let that style fly away! Keep it in place with a lightweight holding spray.

Hold the bottle about 6 to 8 inches away from your head and lightly spritz your roots. Don’t use too much spray as it will make your hair stiff. Big hair should be bouncy!

Lastly, Fluff the ends of your curls and slay!

side curls

Half Up, Half Down

Move over school girls! This style has proven the test of time and is equal parts fun and sophisticated.

The great thing about this look is that it doesn’t require naturally curly hair! Half up, half down hairdo’s work perfectly with wigs, frontals, clip-ins, and sew-ins.

The key to keeping this look grown-and-sexy is to disguise the part in the back of your head that separates the sections. Draw attention to your curls, and you’ll be turning heads all day.

Trick: Don’t wait until the end to add curls. Start with curly hair and then execute the style.

Step 1:

Use large rollers to airdry your hair or use a large barrel curling iron to add amazing curls.

Step 2:

Spritz your curls with a medium-hold holding spray. You’ll be manipulating your hair a lot for this style, so you need your curls to stay intact.

Step 3:

Separate your hair so that half of it is at the top of your head and other half is hanging at your back.

Step 4:

Gently brush the top portion of your hair into a high ponytail and secure it with an elastic band.

Step 5:

Fluff your ponytail to your desired volume and use your fingers to twirl the ends back into their original form.

Tip: Don’t let your pony-tail fall flat. Use a fine-toothed comb to gently tease the roots of your hair and give it some volume.

If all the brushing and styling made your curls fall flat, redefine them! Lightly spray your ends with a heat-protectant and use a curling wand to add more bounce to your hair.

lace front wig

Your curls, Your Way

Defining your curls is an art form. One that you can mold to fit your style.

I prefer very-defined, air-dried hair but some people prefer little definition or heat styling. Whatever you like, it’s fun to try different methods to achieve a new style. Try heat, rollers, pin-curls or go completely natural. The fun thing about curls is that there aren’t any rules.

Stick to the basics of keeping them detangled, moisturized, and protected at night and you’re on your way to beautifully defined curls.

aunjanue ellis curly natural hair older woman

Let’s Chat

How do you define your curls? Comment below and share with me your best curl-defining tips and tricks! Don’t forget to visit us at for all your hair extension needs and follow us on Instagram @privatelabelextensions.

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