I am not completely against using heat (I use indirect heat…plastic cap under a hooded dryer to deep condition), however I think it’s a good idea to minimize exposure where possible. Enter curlformers. Curlformers are perfect solution to both stretching the hair (always recommended) and stunning curls without using heat. Curlformers are certainly a contender when it comes to hairstyles for short natural hair. My 4c TWA length is about 4 inches and the curlformers did a superb job with stretching and heatless curls.
Rule no 1: Work in sections. I know I sound like a broken record but manipulating my hair in sections is efficient and effective, highly recommended. I started off with freshly shampooed and conditioned hair. Once the hair was 80% dry, I used my homemade hair moisturizer (available here) then coated the section with Abyssinian oil (some oil choices from my store). Then working in smaller sections of about ¼ inch, I used the long and narrow corkscrew curl formers.
The recommended time for natural hair to set with curlformers without heat is about 4 hours. I was styling at night so I opted to go to bed with them. Curlformers are very uncomfortable to sleep in (they don’t hurt, it’s just really uncomfortable). I would recommended gathering the curlformers into a loose ponytail (as above) to alleviate some of the discomfort of sleeping in them. Once you find a horizontal spot on the pillow, do not, I repeat, do not move. If you do, good luck finding it again, lol.
Aside from the versatility of my 4c texture, my favorite thing about natural hair is the ability to completely personalize a style. Two people could use the same products and tools and each would come up with a style that’s entirely unique. One of the best things I’ve done in my natural hair journey is letting go of expectations, which means I adapt to whatever hair situation I find myself in. I’m deeply inspired by the natural hair community but I have absolutely no desire to fit into a mold. Case on point: Most of the curlformers results out there are super defined gorgeous curls…mine didn’t turn out that way because I have light density (fine) hair. However, I worked with my results and came up with more of a wavy set rather than a defined curl. And yes, it’s just as stunning.
Lesson? By all means take inspiration wherever you can find it…just be open to things turning out differently. And always, make the style your own 🙂
Watch the video tutorial for a step by step of how I achieved the curlformers style. If you attempt the style, make sure you hair is damp, well moisturized and coated with oil to minimize frizz and add shine to the end result. I would recommend working in smaller sections (less than ¼ inch) if you have light density hair, this way the definition will last a lot longer.
PS: I used these authentic long and narrow corkscrew curlformers (there are plenty of knockoff versions). The corkscrew long and narrow curlformers pack has 40 pieces in the set, which may not be enough to cover all the hair. I’ll be purchasing a second set to re-attempt the style in smaller sections. Also, the green and blue curlformers rotate in alternate directions…green is clockwise and blue is counterclockwise. Your curls will be rotating in alternating directions, which allows for a richness of texture.