Black people often talk about good hair and bad hair. I’ve always thought that I had the latter because my hair was harder to manage. I assumed that you had to use complicated techniques to get curly hair for black men. After 26 years, I’ve learned that bad hair is a myth. I’ve recently discovered a few products and simple tricks are the keys to natural curls. A while back SheaMoisture gifted me with a lot of their products to test out. This post isn’t sponsored. I’ve just fallen in love with their products and wanted to share how I’ve finally learned to get curly hair for black men.
Find the Right Barber
The first step to locking down a curly hairstyle is finding the right barber. A barber will make or break your hairstyle especially when you’re growing it out. One bad haircut could require you to cut it all off and start from scratch. My go-to spot in Lexington is Glenn’s New Ebony Barbershop. A friend from high school recommended them a couple of months ago and I’ve gone regularly ever since. They’re open later in the evenings, which is perfect for my work schedule. Most importantly the haircuts by my barber, Leon are always on point. In the past, I’ve had trouble describing how I want my hair to look but Leon’s helped me develop the perfect hairstyle. I typically go with a mid-fade for my current hairstyle. I recommend all of my Kentucky guys go see him.
Stop Using Combs
The next step to styling your hair is detangling. The directions on most products will recommend combing the product through your hair. I’ve found that combing my hair disrupts its natural curl pattern so I use a detangling brush to detangle my hair. I try to untangle as many knots as possible while washing and conditioning my hair. When I’m feeling lazy (which is all the time) I combine these two steps by using SheaMoisture’s Three Butters Utility Shampoo. Keep in my that a little really goes a long way so I recommend using about a quarter size amount of each product. As you finger-detangle your hair pay attention to how the texture feels. Before you rinse your hair, you want to make sure it feels silky and smooth. The frequency at which you wash your hair is personal preference. I typically wash my hair about 2-3 times a week depending on how it looks and feels.
Condition. Shape. Define.
After I’ve washed my hair I apply a leave-in conditioner and continue finger-detangling my hair. My favorite leave-in is SheaMoisture’s Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisturizing Detangler. Remember you only need a quarter size amount! My hair tends to curl up better when it’s wet so I dry my hair just enough to stop water from dripping down my face. If you want to make sure that your hair stays healthy, I follow-up my leave-in with a bit of SheaMoisture’s 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Finishing Oil Serum to lock in moisture. I talk about keeping your hair healthy in a bit more detail here.
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When I was younger I was obsessed with modeling shows like America’s Next Top Model or the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. I secretly wanted to do that, but I accepted that someone that looked like me could never model. I’m excited for the opportunity to work under @rolemodelsmgmt to provide more representation and continue changing society’s perception of beauty.
Next, I rake some of SheaMoisture’s Three Butters Styling Smoothie through my hair with my fingers to shape my curls. I like to spray my hair with a bit of water during this step to help activate those curls. People often ask me if I use a curl sponge to curl my hair, but they’re really not necessary. The last step to curling your hair is applying a bit of gel to define and hold your curls. Lately, I’ve used SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Souffle. For shorter hair, instead of using a curl sponge, I’ll apply my gel in a circular motion with the palm of my hand. This technique will make your hair clump up which forms bigger curls just like a curl sponge. If your clumps up too much you can just detangle it with your fingers.