Spiral Curl Techniques for African-American Hair

Get curls with heat styling tools or natural methods.

Photo: Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Spiral curls are perfect for any occasion that a fab chick like you might attend. Whether you’re getting ready for a day at the office or a night on the town, spiral curls will set your look off. However, because African-American hair is fragile, limit the amount of heat you use on your hair to achieve this look to prevent damage. When you’re done, your hair will look curl-tastic!

Flat Iron

If you’re like many African-American women, you may use up to four heat styling tools to achieve spiral curls. However, heat from a blow-dryer, hot comb, flat iron and curling iron all at once can really wreak havoc on your locks. Instead, stick with just a medium-heat blow-dry and a flat iron to achieve those spiral curls you’ve always wanted. To get this look, blow-dry your hair from root to tip on medium heat to get your hair straight enough to be flat ironed well. Now, take a thin section of hair, place the flat iron at the top, flip your hand upward so that the back of your hand is parallel to your head, and pull the flat iron to the bottom of the section slowly. This motion is very similar to curling ribbon with scissors. After you’ve finished, you’ll have a lovely spiral curl, which you can add to the rest of your mane.

Curling Iron

If your hair is already washed and straightened, you can create easy spiral curls with a 1 1/2-inch-wide curling iron. Simply spray your entire head with a heat protectant spray to limit damage, and brush it through thoroughly. Grab a two-finger-wide section and place the curling iron at the bottom of the section. Roll your hair upward to the end of the barrel, turn the iron vertically, hold for 10 seconds and slide your barrel out of your hair in a downward vertical motion. Spray your curl with hair spray and allow it to set. When you’re done, pull each curl apart to create smaller curls, or simply finger-comb your curls to create sexy waves.

Roller Sets

For gals who don’t like heat, roller sets can be your best friend! No matter the type of spiral curl you want, you can definitely achieve it with hair rollers. For spiral curls on shoulder-length or longer locks, use flexi-rods, which are long, soft rods designed to create spirals in your hair. If you’ve got shorter hair, perm rods may work best. Choose a rod of medium thickness, and take a small section of hair and place the rod at the end of your hair. Roll your hair upward on the rod until you have covered most of the length of the rod and secure properly. You may want to spray hair spray on your hair to help the curl set. Leave the rollers in overnight to reveal amazing spirals the next day.

Natural Curls

No matter the coarseness of your texture, you can bring out natural spiral curls in your mane with the right styling aids. Look for a product designed for natural gals who want curly hair. These products are basically gels made for your hair type that help to define and set your own natural curls. Simply apply a generous amount of the product to your wet hair after you’ve washed and conditioned it, and allow your hair to air-dry. If you're in a hurry, twist sections of hair around your finger and blow-dry using a diffuser. You’ll have delicious natural curls all day long!

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