One thing I love about natural hair is how versatile it is and the fun you can have with trying new styles. You can morph your hair into different patterns and styles without changing your natural texture. If you’re looking to rock a new curl style but don’t want to use heat on your hair, there are an array of methods you can try to achieve the look you want. Granted, a lot of these take time and practice but it’s great to experiment and learn as you go.
Flexi rods are literally exactly as they sound. They are rods that have a felt type of texture but a flexible wire in the middle so that you can bend around your hair. The thing with this method is that you have to have some time on your hands. And I mean time time. When done correctly, I have seen such beautiful results.
- Flexi rods
- Wide tooth comb
- Foaming or setting lotion
You can either try this on wet hair or stretched dry hair. If you want small spirals, you will use smaller sections of hair and more flexi rods. For bigger spirals use larger sections and the thicker flexi rods. With my first attempt, I started running out of flexi rods and had to cram large sections of hair onto the skinnier flexi rods, which I’m sure affected my outcome. I purchased the 42 pack which I thought would be enough, but for thick natural hair, I would recommend twice that amount or starting off with blown out hair. My hair was stretched from day 3 twist out and my hair required way more rods than I planned for.
Foams such as Lottabody Foaming Mousse are great styling products to use for flexi rods and perm rods as well. It’s a wet product that helps mold your hair to the shape of the rod. Make sure your hair is dry before taking the rods out. Take your time when putting the flexi rods in and taking them out. Don’t rush the process.
Perm rods are similar to flexi rods except they are shorter and made of hard plastic. They are slightly more comfortable to sleep in and I had a better experience since I had one consistent size of rods.
Like with flexi rods, patience and neatness is key. I used Lottabody Foaming Mousse again but I’m sure any curl smoothie-type of product would work. In small-medium sections, wrap your hair firmly around the perm rod neatly tucking the end under the previous loop of hair. Clasp the rod with the cap and move on to the next strand. This takes around 2-3 hours depending on how fast you work.
Twist-outs are a natural hairstyle staple. You can do very large twists depending on time or desired look or do a more detailed twist out by twisting in smaller sections. I like using creams rather than foams for my twists.
By year 2 of my natural hair journey, my twist-outs had improved dramatically. I had learned to take a firm grip and not lose that same energy throughout the twist. It helps to glide my finger around the strand as I moved it around to form the twist. Being firm and taking my time are the keys to success.
I’ve seen this method a lot on Instagram and the process is mesmerizing to watch. I haven’t tried this one yet but I’d be interested to see how it turns out. It involved using a hook to pull your hair through each curl former. It looks like it works on 4c hair as well.
Bantu knots were one of the first styles I tried when I did the big chopped. I loved the way it gave me sleek natural looking curls. You can even rock the bantu knots for a while before unravelling them. I found it helpful to complete a full twist, as if going for a twist out, and then circling into the bantu spiral. This gives me more definition when taking down my hair.
Have you tried any of these methods or other ones not mentioned?