Defined natural hair curls with gel

How To Get Defined Curls With The Shingle Method

Photo: @prinscessa_curls 

In the tug of war between definition and volume, where do you normally side? What if we told you that you didn’t always have to choose? You can have defined curls and lots of volume with this neat little trick called The Shingle Method. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it. We’re gonna break it all the way down for you so your curls can be summer ready.


So, to start, what’s the secret to ultra defined curls? The Clump. You need your strands to clump so that they create defined coils, zig zags, ringlets, etc. Basically, whatever pattern you have naturally, the goal is for the hairs to clump enough for the pattern to be visible. The Shingle Method uses gel to create this clumping effect. 

Gather The Needed Tools

Like most styles, The Shingle Method needs to start on clean hair, so you’ll need your favorite shampoo and conditioner. You’ll also need your spray bottle filled with water, a moisturizing and curl defining gel like the Sculpt Curl Defining Gel  and a hair oil like the Polished Hair & Scalp oil

Curl defining gel and cream for natural hair

The Shingle Method


Okay, let’s say you already washed, conditioned, and detangled your hair. Leave your hair drenched; the wetter the better. You can even periodically spray your hair down with your spray bottle. 


Split your hair into about six to eight sections, and put all the sections up except the one you're working with. This is where you start shingling. Take your gel and coat the section with it. Be generous but don’t over apply (or else your hair will take days to dry!) Once the section is completely coated, you can take small pieces from the section and twirl them around your finger, creating a coil. If you want your curl pattern to look more natural and organic, you can skip this step. But if you want coils, go ahead and keep twirling until you’ve done the entire section. Repeat on every section, spraying regularly if your hair starts to dry.

smooth gel Into natural hair for defined curls

Once you’ve completely coated every section, it’s time to dry your hair. You can let it air dry, sit under a hooded dryer, or dry with a diffuser attachment. However, it's extremely important that you do not touch your hair! Don’t disturb it! Let it dry as is. If you touch it, you could disrupt the curls and cause frizz. 

Once your hair is completely dry, it’s time to grab your hair oil. If you’ve ever used a gel on your hair, you know it creates a bit of a hard cast on your hair. It depends on the hold strength of the gel you use, but most of them dry a bit hard.  Think of the gel like a mold for your coils to dry in, and once your hair has dried completely, it doesn’t need the mold to keep its shape. What the oil does is break that cast, leaving you with soft and defined curls. 

Apply a generous amount of oil to your hands and split the hair back up into sections. Be careful not to create unnecessary frizz. Apply oil to each section by gently squeezing it through each section. Once coated in oil, the gel caste should break and your hair will be left soft, shiny, and defined. 

How to get defined natural hair curls with shingle method

From here you can move to separate the clumps further, or you can leave them as they are. And there you have it, a defined style without having to sacrifice volume!


How do you normally define your curls? Would you try this method? Tell us in the comments.




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