4 Steps to Soft, Defined Type 3 Curls

4 Steps to Soft, Defined Type 3 Curls

Is your hair not quite kinky but also not quite wavy? You probably have type 3 curls.  These are the curls closest to Shirley Temple ringlets, the kind that you can stick your finger in and make a cool new piece of jewelry with! Managing curly hair is all about knowing what works for your hair type. If you want shine and definition, here are the steps to get it:

Step 1: In the shower

Make sure to use products made for curly hair (I personally like Mixed Chicks or DevaCurl, but I have also heard good reviews about Shea Moisture). After shampooing, work your conditioner into your hair with your fingers and detangle using a wide tooth comb. Detangling and brushing your wet hair with a brush can result in flattened hair, which will decrease your possibility of volume later. Also, try not to comb your hair into a part; you don’t want to train your hair in one direction causing it to lay flat. Instead, after detangling, flip your head over and loosen the hair at the scalp with your fingers. Flip your head back over and play around with flipping your hair from one side of your head to the other so that your hair isn’t used to any direction. Let her be free!

Step 2: Immediately after you shower

Once you get out of the shower, grab your favorite liquid defining gel or defining styling cream. If your hair isn’t as thick as your type 3c or 3d sisters and doesn’t tend to get a lot of volume, using a gel might be the way to go. If your hair is pretty thick, a thicker consistency like a cream will be right for you.

Work the product into your hair with your fingers. Sides, back, underneath, bangs, all that jazz. Flip your head over and use a towel to scrunch your curls back towards your head. Then wrap it up in a towel or a Turbie Twist.

Step 3: Let your hair sit for 5 minutes minimum

After you wrap your hair, do something for 5-10 minutes: change your clothes, put on lotion, wash some dishes, bother your roommate, whatever. When you go back to the bathroom, you can grab the same product you put in your hair before it was in a towel. I personally use DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel right when I get out of the shower, and then DevaCurl Supercream (with coconut) and DevaCurl The Curl Maker spray gel after I take my hair out of the towel (girl, this is getting expensive…)

Do the same thing you did when you got out of the shower, and work/spray your product into your hair to really lock that moisture in. Once again, flip your head over and scrunch your hair towards your scalp.


This is the most important part! (And the part that will bother your roommate the most). When you diffuse your hair, the air that comes out is dispersed and is less powerful than when it comes out of a blow dryer. By flipping your head over, you are able to dry your hair quickly (yay no more waiting 5 hours until you can go outside in the winter!) and simultaneously maximize volume by drying against gravity. I like to start off diffusing on a warm setting with the air on high because I’m always rushing or late to something and diffusing on high will get the job done faster. You can also put your diffuser on low to decrease the heat intensity you’re about to put your hair through. As you diffuse, adjust the location of the nozzle so you get every inch of your head. When you feel like it’s dried long enough, flip your head back over. Reshape any curls with extra product if you need to, and diffuse those spots again or air dry if your hair isn’t too wet.

This is also super important! When you’re done, grab your wide tooth comb and pick your hair out to add volume. I like to flip my head over and pick it out, run my comb through the front section of my hair, and then flip in back over and pick out the top sections a little bit too. Add some Moroccan, Argan, or coconut oil, and voila! Now after all of that sweet sweet labor, it’s time to walk out into the world feeling like a bad b!

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