Define “Defined”

How many times do we hear or say “My curls aren’t defined. What do I do?”. Just recently a friend on facebook wrote me and said “I am natural but my curls aren’t defined. Help me please!” I can’t really help her because there are many manifestations of “undefined” curls which stem from many causes which require different actions. The three main examples and causes of “undefined” curls that I came up with (if you can think of more let me know) are heat damaged undefined curls, moisture imbalanced undefined curls and normal, healthy afro textured hair that simply does not have curl definition.
Undefined Curls Due to Heat Damage
We think to ourselves “Okay self. You can do this. Put down the creamy crack. You can go all natural” We say this to ourselves and take great pride in our restraint and sobriety. For years we stay away from perms but we soon realize that we are addicted to the flat iron! We say to ourselves, “Okay self. We are half way there. We must put down the curling iron and embrace our God-given curls. Lets just wash our hair and embrace our curls. What the…WHERE THE HELL ARE MY CURLS??!! Welp, they are gone. Permanently. Once your hair strands endure heat damage there is no turning back. There is no way of bringing back the curl definition of damaged ends.
Course of Action Ways in which you can get your curls back is through waiting for your textured curls to grow out. Cutting off the damaged straight hair or camoflauging the damaged ends by trying twist outs ,  braid outs and protective styles such as these. The most important action is to stop with the heat. Your curls will never win against in the battle against heat if applied on a regular basis.
Undefined Curls Due to Loss of Moisture
Let’s just be clear before I go any further. Even if your hair is healthy and well moisturized there will still remain some frizz and lack of definition. It is very rare that you will find uniform, perfect curls all over your head. And if you do have curls like that, often times you will purposely shake things up a bit for variety and volume. But there are other times when hair is dry and lacking moisture that it will flair up in the form of frizzy, crispy undefined curls. When this happens you must do some detective work in order to figure out how to best resolve the frizz.
Course of Action Here are some common causes of undefined, dry, frizzy hair that you may have to consider on your quest to better definition. Am I properly moisturizing my hair (pay attention to myth # 3 on the link)? Do I have issues with porosity? Do I need to deep condition more often?Is my washing regimen too harsh? Another thing to consider are the products that you use to hold your curls. Kinky Curly is tried and true. SheaMoisture is on top of its game. And the cheap but effective Eco-Styler Gel is a go to for me.
Curl Pattern is Naturally Undefined 
 Some people’s curl pattern is so tightly coiled and zig zagged there is no apparent curl definition. No matter the product the curl pattern does not form the conventional spiral naturally. This leaves a lot of women frustrated and overwhelmed. I think a lot of women don’t understand the science behind their hair and think that for some reason their hair is unhealthy or they haven’t found the perfect product because their hair does not spiral curl. A lot of people become confused because while wet, their hair curls but once dry it looses its curl and most often shrinks. This is because the hair is weighed down by the water and the zig zagged curls is loosened but once dry it returns to it’s tighter coil which results in it appearing to have no curl definition at all.
Course of action By proper technique with styling you cantemporarily change your curl pattern. The most important thing to do is to stop wasting time trying to make your hair into something it is not and instead look for styles that accentuate and compliment the crown of glory that you do have. I love Monique from her blog Sofullsista and her Youtube Channel ModHutch. She may inspire some cool styles to try.
-Shanti ♥

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2 thoughts on “Define “Defined”

  1. There are some situations where your curls can come back from Heat and Perm Damage. I dealt with that when I stopped all flat ironing and perming and got back my natural curl pattern.
    It involves a lot of deep conditioning, natural treatments and taking good care of your hair and reminding your hair that it’s naturally curly. All curls have curl memory, they are capable of turning back into their natural texture eventually
    Some strands may be completely fried but your hairdresser can trim off those dead ends.

    It worked for me so maybe it’ll help others!

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