How to Make African American Hair Curly Without Chemicals

Chrisette Michelle rocks her natural curls.

Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

African-American hair is super versatile and can accommodate a number of different styles. Unfortunately, tons of gals with coarse or super curly hair just don't know how to work with their natural texture to achieve the styles they want. With the right products, though, you can transform your Afro or tight curls into a head full of defined curls. Once you get familiar with working with your hair, you'll find that doing it is as easy as 1-2-3!


Wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo that is free of sulfates and alcohol and has low lathering properties. These ingredients strip your curls of the moisture they need to get that definition and curl you want. Go for a low-lather shampoo packed with natural ingredients to really bring those curls out.


Put moisture back into your mane with a deep conditioning treatment. Again, your curls crave moisture so much so that you may not even have curls if you've got dry hair. Give your curls what they want with a jolt of moisture from a deep conditioner. Cover you head with a plastic processing cap and wrap it with a hot towel from the dryer for 20 minutes. If you've got a hooded dryer, use that instead!


Detangle your curls with a wide-tooth comb after the time is up on your deep conditioning treatment, but while the product is still in your hair. Go section by section from root to tip to get those knots and tangles out. Remember, great curls are tangle-free curls. Rinse the conditioner from your hair, but don't rub your hair, as this will cause it to tangle again.


Give your head a shake to get excess moisture out, or towel-blot from top to bottom very gently (don't wrap your hair up in the towel). Do not attempt to get all of the water out, but simply get enough so that you don't have water dripping down your back all day.


Apply the styling aid to your locks to define and elongate your curls while your hair is still soaking wet. Many products are made specifically for African-American or very coarse-haired gals who want to transform their Afros into curls, but you will need to search for them in ethnic beauty supply stores or online. These products include Kinky-Curly Curling Custard, Miss Jessie's Curling Pudding and DevaCurl AnGel. Apply a generous amount to your hair in about four or five sections, finger-combing each section to stretch and define your curls.


Allow your yummy curls to dry throughout the day, but do not touch your hair, as this will cause frizzing.

Things You'll Need



3.Wide-tooth comb

5.Headband or hair clip (optional)

2.Deep conditioner

4.Styling aid


Tips & Tricks


Add a headband to your look to get flirty with your style.


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