How to Get Straight African-American Hair to Hold a Curl

Healthy hair will hold a curl better than oily or damaged locks.

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You love your straight African-American hair. But you want to add a few cool curls for a new look. That's sometimes a bit difficult -- especially when your hair has been weighed down with products or oils. And you'll likely need more than a few minutes to achieve those gorgeous curls before you hop the train to go to work. So set aside a little time to accomplish this fun change-up and have the right products and tools at your disposal.


Use a clarifying shampoo made specifically for African-American hair that’s designed to remove any product or oil buildup on the hair and scalp. The lighter and fluffier your hair is when dry (due to removal of products and dirt), the better your chances for getting the curls of your dreams. Wash and rinse your locks twice before moving to the next step.


Deep condition your hair to get it in the right condition to hold a curl. A deep conditioner also restores both processed and natural hair and prepares it for heat styling. Apply the deep conditioning product of your choice (again, one that is designed for African-American hair), comb it through with a wide-toothed comb, and apply a heat cap. Let it sit for at least 20-to-25 minutes while you watch your favorite television show before rinsing it out thoroughly.


Spritz dry hair with a light leave-in conditioner product before you continue your normal hair drying technique, whether it’s using a roller set, air drying or a blow drying -- your hair, your choice. A light leave-in conditioner also helps get the hair in an ideal condition for curling and often protects the strands from the effects of intense styling. Protect your locks like the guards at Fort Knox.


Use a ceramic curling iron or flat iron to curl your hair when it is dry and straight. Ceramic irons help protect the hair strands from some heat damage by applying a more even distribution of heat while also providing a long-lasting curl. Now, shake your head a bit after curling and go enjoy your day or night out on the town.

Things You'll Need


1.Clarifying shampoo and conditioner

3.Leave-in conditioner

5.Ceramic flat or curling iron

2.Heat cap

4.Wide-toothed comb


Tips & Tricks


Limit your hot iron curling to once per week or less. If you want to curl your hair more often use magnetic or steam rollers.

Never hold your hair in the curling iron for too long or you might end up with dry and damaged hair instead of rich, bouncy curls.


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