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How to Get Curly Hair for Black Men (5 Easy Steps)

The natural free-flowing hair of black men accentuates a wide range of styles. While some black brethren may find it challenging to get or keep tidy curls, it’s quite easy to achieve those bouncy spiral-shaped coils once you get the hang of it.

How to get curly hair for black men

Admittedly, natural curls come with good and not-so-good days. Thankfully, we have provided some techniques that can be used to turn your straight hair into curls.

You can make use of bobby pins, curlers, or your fingers. There’s also the rag-rolling method. Surely, the use of men’s styling products and tools makes it even easier.

Whether you have straight or wavy hair or you simply want to highlight the texture of your curly hair, you can make use of the curly hair tips for black men explained in this article.

These steps are straightforward, so you won’t find it challenging to turn your straight hair into curls. I have also included some products that are required.

How to Get Curly Hair for Black Male

You only need to concentrate on defining your curls and taming frizz if you’re fortunate enough to have naturally curly hair. If not, getting curls could take a bit more work, but don’t worry—it’s possible! So, how can a black man get curly hair? Follow the guide below:

1. Wash Your Hair With a Hydrating Shampoo

You’ll need clean, damp hair to begin with. In general, damp hair is simpler to maintain and style.

wash your hair with a hydrating shampoo from the hair roots outward

Even better, hair styling sprays work best on damp hair. Use any premium shampoo that has organic, hair-reviving, and conditioning properties to wash your hair.

For example, Jack Black Double-Header Shampoo conditions black hair while cleansing it. This makes it easier to style and develop curls. As a bonus, it relieves dandruff and itchy scalp.

That said, if you choose to employ heat styling to achieve curls, it is even more crucial to prepare and safeguard your curls by washing and conditioning them with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.

In the step that follows, we’ll concentrate on combating frizz by applying hair conditioner because black hair is prone to dryness.

Note: Due to dryness, we don’t support the use of heat styling techniques on afro hair. For the same reason, it is recommended to use an anti-frizz shampoo and conditioner once or twice a week to wash and condition your hair.

Check This Guide Before Using Any Shampoo!

If you’d prefer not to scour the net searching for the best shampoo for black men, this can help. In this article, we compared some of the most suitable shampoos to find what works best for African-American men’s hair.

These items help to maintain the moisture in your curls. Use a curl-defining conditioner to nurture and untangle your curls after shampooing to keep them healthy.

2. Apply a Leave-in Conditioner to Strengthen Your Hair

Leave-in conditioner encourages smoother, thicker hair while defending your tresses from heat damage.

Apply leave-in conditioner and hair spray to moisturize your hair

First, section your hair into four parts. Then apply the conditioner to each section gradually using your fingers, a wide-tooth comb, or a detangling brush. Now, gently work your way outward from the base of your hair.

You might also need to use a heat protection product or a frizz-fighting serum to battle roughness. Anyone who is trying to get curly hair will find moisture to be their greatest ally.

When applied to wet hair, a dime-sized amount of hair serum will lock in moisture, fend off dryness, and guarantee that your curls stay soft and defined.

Furthermore, utilizing a heat protection spray will help your hair dry more quickly after you start blow drying it, as well as protect it from heat damage that could dry out or frizz your strands.

To Get Permanent Curls, Use Hair Styling Spray

Spray some quality hair styling products such as Color Wow Dream Coat for Curly Hair. Lift your hair from the root and apply to spread evenly. You can also rake it with your hands to make sure it covers the entire surface. Hair styling spray is essential for giving your hair textured, natural-looking curls.

3. Create Finger Coils

You can choose between a heat-based method or a no-heat method at this point.

Create finger coils

Method 1: Creating Curls Without Heat

There are many no-heat methods for achieving curls. These include using pins, rag rollers, foam rollers, and your fingers.

Before coiling, spraying, or rolling tiny pieces of your hair into rollers, rags, or coils, carefully work in a high-quality curl-defining gel like the Verb Curls Enhancing Mousse to make sure the curls last longer.

Flat or crooked curls and waves can be easily fixed with pin curling. Any straggly or lifeless hair pieces can be easily formed into little buns by coiling and twisting them and then pinning them with bobby pins.

wrap some hair around your index finger and move it in circular motion to create curls

Removing the bobby pins will reveal silky, frizz-free ringlets after waiting around 15 minutes. Oil your hair to prevent flyaways and frizz. Without adding weight to the hair, frizz-fighting hair oil helps to define and hydrate curls.

Method 2: Creating Curls With Heat

You can use the heat styling method if your hair is still stubbornly straight after air drying. Use a curling iron or wand with a smaller barrel than the size of the curl you desire because curls do loosen with time.

To give the hair a more defined style, try wrapping a few strands around the curling iron and applying heat straight to the hair. You can reapply the hair styling spray and blow dry as necessary if some sections aren’t curly enough.

4. Diffuse Your Hair or Let it Dry Naturally

After waiting for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, softly dry it while leaving a little moisture. Reduce the moisture in your hair by 60%.

Let your hair dry
Bro took the shake method to a whole new level. You don’t have to.

Since it’s easier for curls to naturally develop on damp hair, cup your hands around your moist hair and scrunch it upward to create curls.

Method 1: Use a Diffuser to Blow-Dry Your Hair

In a rush? You can use a portable diffuser like the StyleCraft Peewee Dryer or the premium diffuser made by FHI HEAT. Remember to put it on the lowest level. Use a diffuser attachment if you decide to go the heat styling route to distribute heat evenly around your head.

Use a diffuser to dry your hair

In addition to adding volume and minimizing frizz and heat damage, spreading the heat around the hair will help enhance the curling effect. You can take off the nozzle to create a wider stream of air if your hair dryer doesn’t come with a diffuser.

Put the diffuser directly on the roots, moving upwards, to dry your hair properly so that it retains the curls. Also, dry from the bottom up. Use the other hand to lightly compress the areas that the heat is contacting while applying it to various parts of your hair to activate the hair styling spray’s hold.

To achieve an even curlier appearance as your hair begins to feel dryer, add more hair styling spray.

Method 2: Allow Your Hair to Dry Naturally

You should be aware that heat styling can cause frizz and damage to black hair. Blow-drying should never be done on dry, fragile curls. Allowing your curls to air dry is advised after defining them with a frizz-fighting styling foam or frizz mousse.

Let your hair dry naturally by shaking it

Lightly scrunch in a curl-defining spray, gel, or mousse, and then allow your curls to air dry. For softer, shinier curls, generously coat each one to help hydrate and shield your strands.

Note: To get curly hair for black males, do not use a towel to dry your hair because this can reduce the bounce of your hair.

5. Manage Unruly Hair

Use nourishing hair oil to control frizz and define each coil for soft, bouncy curls that are smooth and shiny.

Handcraft Jamaican Black Castor Oil acts as a styling agent before being absorbed by the hair and scalp to provide the needed nutrients. This is what you need if you want to give unruly hair a little more structure.

You can also use a styling spray to add texture, volume, and enhance your natural curl pattern. This improves hair elasticity, combat frizz, and keep curls defined all day. The fact is, your freshly curled hair will have lots of grips, lift, and beachy texture if you squirt hair styling spray on it and scrunch it upward.

Apply Other Styling Products for Hold and Texture

To hold your curls in place, use a pliable pomade or cream. To achieve the exact appearance you desire, feel free to style your hair one last time with your fingers.

Taking Too Long for Your Hair to Grow?

To determine which Jamaican black castor oil functions best, we compared some of the top-rated oils in this post. This is especially useful if you’d rather not waste your time looking for hair growth products.

Trim Rough Edges as a Last Resort

Hair strands can flatten due to dryness and breakage, which reduces flexibility and makes it difficult for curls to rebound. Regular trims help keep your curls looking young and healthy by getting rid of dry, damaged ends.

Following these simple steps will help you to achieve the curls of your dreams.

The Right Conditioner and Shampoo Will Make Your Hair Curly

Picking the right products for your hair is as important as the hairstyle itself. There are different varieties of shampoos and conditioners in the market.


However, you need the one that works best on curly hair. Also, you need the right hair gel and not some random product. 

Let’s see some of the right products for your hair.

Moisturizing Shampoo

It is no longer news that some shampoos leave the hair dry when applied. For that reason, a moisturizing shampoo is preferable. It wouldn’t leave your hair dry. 

This kind of shampoo contains some ingredients that prevent it. On the body of the shampoo, it’ll be indicated that it is a moisturizing or hydrating shampoo. 

A moisturizing shampoo can be applied to your hair every day. Personally, I would recommend you apply the shampoo once every three days or once a week.

You don’t have to apply it every day. I’m not that bucked up to spend a fortune on shampoos. So when I get a good one, I try to use it with discretion.

Clarifying Shampoo

Curly hair requires rigorous cleaning. When developing good grooming habits, the use of clarifying shampoo is necessary. It serves a similar purpose to hair detox. This clarifying shampoo is designed to deep-clean your scalp and hair.  

The clarifying shampoo washes off oils and product buildups on your hair to give a superbly clean texture. The shampoo can be used anytime you wash your hair. If you’ve washed your hair in a barbershop before, then a clarifying shampoo may have been used. 

The interesting part about the shampoo is that it removes oils and mineral residue that products leave on your hair. For instance, if you decide to do a keratin treatment, a clarifying shampoo will be used on your hair before the treatment.

In cases where your hair becomes resistant to products you once used or your hair simply becomes dull, you can use this shampoo. It has a chelating or purifying formula for your hair. 

When used once in two weeks, it can help restore your hair’s natural ability. And that will help your hair to look better, healthier, and dazzling. 

Rinse-Out Conditioner

A rinse-out conditioner is applied to your hair while in the shower and rinsed out after a few minutes. Typically between a minute to three. This conditioner helps detangle your hair while you wash and aids in closing your hair cuticles. 

When used after washing your hair, the conditioner helps to restore lost moisture. So you wouldn’t have a problem with hair dryness. It also makes it easier to use a detangling brush for curls. 

This hair product is ready for use. You can pour some quantity on your palm and apply it directly to your hair. I would recommend you let it sit for three minutes or less, then rinse it off. It is not advisable to leave the extra conditioner on your hair. 

Deep Conditioner

You can use a deep conditioner to fix challenges you may have with your hair, whether it is dryness, breakage, or split ends. It also helps to keep your curls moisturized. These products work like clarifying shampoo and it gives good results. 

Deep conditioning is the process of applying a restorative conditioner formula to your hair with the addition of heat. The heat helps the restorative formula to further penetrate your hair. This process rejuvenates the molecular structure of your hair. 

The way you apply or use deep conditioners is quite different from other formulas that are applied to hair. It is commonly done in a barbershop or saloon, unlike other conditioning shampoos used at home. 

While regular shampoos are applied at room temperature, deep conditioning products require heat. In addition, it is appropriate to allow deep conditioning products to sit on your hair for at least 15 minutes before rinsing it. The process can help you get the best results. 

By using this product once a month, you are more likely to get soft, thicker, and healthy hair. 

Leave-In Conditioners

Leave-in conditioning products are creams and sprays that are applied to the hair when you are done shampooing. It is normally applied after drying your hair with a towel. 

This conditioner also provides moisture that can detangle curls. Hence, you find it easier to style your hair. It also treats dryness and dullness in black male hair, while boosting growth. It decreases frizz and adds luster. I have a friend who uses this for his unruly hair. 

Although it has similar features to some rinse-out conditioners, they serve different purposes. One thing for sure is, you’ll be pleased with the renewed appearance of your hair. It works best for curly Afro men’s hairstyles as well as shaggy styles.

One mistake you shouldn’t make is to use this product every day. Your hair needs some time away from conditioners. So one application a month isn’t a bad idea. 

Hair Masques

Hair masque is an essential part of deep conditioning treatment for curly hair. The product is often applied twice a month at regular intervals. It helps to prevent frizz and works like every other conditioner. Some masque products even contain vitamins that’ll nourish your hair.  

A hair masque rejuvenates the hair from the inside out. So it helps with common hair challenges. The content of the masque and the type determines how long you should use it. Normally, it is used for a couple of minutes. 

When a hair masque is left on your curls for some minutes, it gives it a soft, shiny look. In general, it gives better aesthetics. I like to use masques on bushy hair as it serves many purposes. 

While this product has a lot of strengths, when used regularly it could build up residues on your scalp. Therefore, it’s probably best to use it once or twice a month. It isn’t meant to be used daily. 

Though quite similar to conditioning products, don’t mistake a masque for a conditioner. While the conditioner simply sits on the surface of your hair, masque penetrates, reaching the hair cuticle. 

Get the Best Styling Products for Your Hair

Having the right conditioners and shampoo is a step in the right direction. Now you need some styling products to care for your curls.

Hair Products

There are so many good styling products for your hair, and we are going to talk about them in detail. If you’re still wondering how to get curly hair for black males, here are some styling products:

  • Gel
  • Hairstyling clay 
  • Water-based pomades
  • Styling creams
  • Hair sprays
  • Butter and natural oil

Gel for Curly Hair

A gel does magic with wavy, coiled, and loose curls hairstyles. Getting the right gel for your curls holds your hair in place throughout the day. It also serves as an anti-frizz and can keep the hair hydrated. 

Using the right gel for your long and curly hair keeps the curls bouncy. And, of course, that looks very attractive. Some men add little drops of olive oil to the gel to get a wet feel.

When gels are applied to the hair, there isn’t any need to use a hairdryer. It dries off naturally after some minutes. 

A firm ‘hold hair gel’ would keep your curls the same way all through the day. If you want the curls to stay up or look tousled, this is the product you are looking for.

Also, it’s effective on short curls, wavy, and curly hairstyles. If your hair is only a few inches long, then a good gel will give it a nice touch.

Hairstyling Clay vs. Hairstyling Wax

People often mistake hair styling clay for hairstyling wax. The former is good for your curly hair but the latter leaves residue on your hair. For that reason, hair-styling clay is preferable for curls. 

Hairstyling clay gives a low-firm hold and won’t leave you as messy as wax would. When applied, your curls appear tidy and bouncy. 

Water-Based Pomades

In the past, oil-based pomades were often used for curly hair. But not anymore, they are too greasy! The water-based pomades work better and give a glossy look. The water-based variants make your curls more appealing and are easier to wash off.

When deciding on the right water-based pomade for your curly hair, test a couple of products. This will help you figure out the best product for your hair type. 

Styling Creams

Styling creams are best used with deep conditioning products to enhance curly hairstyles. It’s a nice combination for hair that is a few inches long. Whether you have waves, coily curls, or kinky curls, this cream will bring the best out of your hair. 

If your curly hair is quite long, you can use styling creams as a standalone product. This cream wouldn’t hold your hair for a very long time, so it’s nice for loose curls. Nevertheless, I like the way it keeps curls looking healthy and fresh. 

Hair Sprays

Hair sprays are products that are used to style curly hair depending on the user’s preferences. I like how it keeps curly hairstyles beautiful all day long. Some sprays come with delightful scents. 

A good hair spray is a treasure that’s sometimes difficult to come by. So when you find one, take note of its name. There are so many in the markets, so you can try a couple of them and find your favorite. A good one won’t make your hair stiff after use.

When styling your hair, it’s wise to use a reasonable amount. The spray isn’t meant for single use. If you apply too much to your hair it will leave residues on your curls.

Hair Mousse

Many ladies with curly hair make use of hair mousse. Well, the ladies shouldn’t have all the fun! It can also be used to enhance men’s hairstyles. A man with curly hair should add hair mousse to his arsenal. You need all the help you can get.

Styling your hair with a mousse enhances its curliness. This product is effective in making your curls more visible. 

A hairstyling mousse is best used when your hair is still wet. 

Butter and Natural Oil

Natural products tend to enrich your hair with relevant nutrients. Do not hesitate to get the best natural oils and butter for your curly hair.

Natural Oil

What I like about using natural products is that they rarely have side effects. This is because these products are extracted from plants. 

They also help to dampen your hair while serving as a conditioner. Natural oil and butter should be handy for your personal grooming. It makes caring for your curly hair easier as it helps out with your hair structure. 

Natural oil and butter help retain your curls’ shape and feel. Also, because it dampens the hair, it prevents frizziness. Here are some natural products you can get for your hair: coconut butter, shea butter, argan oil, virgin olive oil, and avocado oil.

Note: While these natural products work better with men’s long hair, they’re also suitable for shorter hair. Irrespective of your hairstyle, you can make use of these green products.

It brings luster to curly hair that accentuates the beauty of your hairstyle. I like natural products and I try not to exhaust one before getting a replacement.

It makes your hair care all-natural. I’d like to add that I’m a chronic user of coconut oil. I started this journey last year and I’m pleased with the results so far.

Hair Care for Black Male (Curly Hair Tips)

Black male curly hair

1. Air-Dry Your Hair

One way black men can care for their curly hair is to avoid using hair dryers. When a dryer is used, it often destroys the structure of curls and hair nutrients.

Rather than using a dryer, you can let the hair dry on its own. Simply exposing your hair to natural air for a few minutes is enough to let it dry. 

Note: If you decide to make use of a hairdryer, use it in low settings. As mentioned before, I do not encourage the use of hairdryers because they do more harm than good to your curls. Your hair is better when you let it dry naturally.

2. Wash Off Residues of Rinse-Out Shampoos

Whenever you make use of a rinse-out shampoo for your curls, ensure to remove any leftovers. Such residues can affect the structure of your curls.

Rinse very well and check if there are any leftovers after washing. However, after setting the curls, you don’t have to wash quite often.

3. Do Not Use Alcohol-Based Hair Products

Use hair products that do not contain alcohol. The shampoos and conditioners you use should be the ones compatible with black male hair. Make use of natural products, such as natural oil and butter. After setting curls, apply natural oil. 

4. Apply Natural Hair Products

Natural products are preferable to chemical-based products because continually using them can break your hair. Even worse, you may experience some discoloration.

This means the structure of your hair might experience some damage. So it is best to avoid chemicals or use them less often. 

Following these steps takes you on a journey to restoring the curls of your hair. Strive to avoid anything that would damage your hair. Do not use counterfeit hair products because they are cheap.

5. Comb Your Hair the Right Way

Comb your curls from bottom to top. The reverse can scatter smooth curls. That simple movement of a comb can help to preserve your curls.

Once you notice hair splits, trim it off. This ensures that your curls are aesthetically appealing. The recommended time for trimming curly hairstyles is between a month to two months. Trimming can help prevent splits. 

6. Get an Experienced Barber

A barber with experience is needed to transform a black man’s straight hair into a curly hairstyle. Whether your hair is coarse, dry, or thick, a barber can find a way around it. They will also provide relevant tips that will help you maintain your hair. 

A barber lining up curly hair

When you have dry and unruly hair, an experienced barber will recommend products that’ll help soften your hair for curls. I used one product in the past to solve the issue I had with my hair. 

A good way to find good barbers is to ask friends and relatives for recommendations. You’re more likely to find one in your neighborhood when you ask for help. Whenever I spend the holidays at my bros’, I usually ask for their recommendations in the neighborhood. 

A point to keep in mind is, not every barber knows how to make black male hair curly. So, you need one that is used to cutting and styling that kind of hair. 


Maintaining curly hair for black men requires a level of dedication. You have to be mindful of how you care for your hair. So far, we have covered techniques to get curls and ways to keep the hair that way.

You’ll find these black male curly hair tips very helpful. That said, spend some time understanding your hair and make sure you get the best hair products.

About the Author

Dante Morton

Grooming Professional

Dante Morton is a grooming professional and fashion expert. He has a jovial personality and a passion for skincare, as well as styling the hair and beards of black men. Before joining GroomHour, Dante worked with several big players in the beauty industry. Join Dante and several monthly readers on GroomHour.com, and enrich your lifestyle with reliable grooming resources.