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Creating Curls in Black & Biracial Hair

African woman with ringlets from Straw Set

Many times we get requests from people wanting to know ho to get their naturally textured hair to look more curly or wavy. They want to continue to wear their hair natural (chemical free). But, want less kinkiness or frizz than you'd get in a "plain old 'fro". They're looking for something that is a little more fashionable and sophisticated.

There are a few ways to African hair to achieve the natural look. How you do it will depend on a few factors, a couple of which are:

    • The natural texture of your hair- how kinky, coarse, and thick (both in the diameter of the hair shaft and how many hairs you actually have) will impact how easy this is for you to achieve. The softer and more elongated your curls are naturally, the easier this will be.
    • Do you want to use chemicals to achieve a permanent style or are you willing to style your own hair on a regular basis?

Expectations for Natural Hair

We get this question quite often, "How can I have loose looking curls like _____________ (fill in the blank)? I have naturally kinky hair. Oh, and by the way, I don't want to use chemicals on my hair."

We'd love to tell you we have an answer for easily and quickly turning kinky hair into loose, flowing curls. We, in all seriousness, would probably be millionaires. The reality is that there is only so much that can be done with the natural texture of the hair without breaking down the hair structure, which requires chemicals/a chemical reaction. No matter how people try to tout a product as "natural", everything we have seen in our experience that drastically changes the texture of the hair is either very alkaline or very basic, in other words, it's a chemical reaction that is changing the hair texture.

Permanent Solution for Creating Curly or Wavy Hair- Chemicals

If you have tightly coiled and/or coarse hair, one way to get it curly is a texturizer or kiddie perm or a curly perm (we've heard them referred to as "curl reconstructors") will allow you to change your hair texture to a looser curl pattern.

There is something now called a “wash and wear” relaxer. This is a less harsh lye relaxer that leaves the hair in what we'll call a "semi-natural” condition, somewhere between your own natural hair and completely relaxed hair.

However, more and more of our customers are telling us they want to avoid chemicals.

Keep reading for alternatives you can try with your natural hair.

How to Create Soft Springy Curls from Naturally Kinky Hair

This technique that works well for moderately kinky to naturally curly hair. This style will have to be recreated about once a week, if properly maintained.

Treasured Locks Herbal Leave-in ConditionerWhat you’ll need:


  1. Wash hair with moisturizing shampoo and condition with a detangling conditioner.
  2. Leave hair wet and comb through to detangle with a wide tooth comb.
  3. While hair is wet saturate with Treasured Locks Locks of Curls Pomade & Gel.
  4. Part hair into sections about 1/2” to 1”. Add pomade to each section as you work it.
  5. With a wide to medium tooth comb, begin to gently comb hair one section at time from root to end. Start at the neck and work your way to the front of your hair. Pull the hair slowly to elongate your natural kinks into smoother, longer curls.
  6. It’s important to keep the hair wet during this process. Use a spray bottle with water, or Treasured Locks Leave-In Herbal Conditioner.
  7. The look you are going for is smoother, longer curls while your hair is wet. You will then “set” the hair using a hooded dryer to maintain the curl when dry.
  8. Sit under a hooded dryer for an hour or until hair is fully dry. It’s important to have the look you want before you sit under the dryer. If you want a part in your hair, part it now. If the curls are elongated now, they will not be any longer later.
  9. After drying, for further elongation of curls, you can use a hand-held dryer. Grab, the hair by the end and gently stretch it while blowing hot air on it from the root down to the mid-point of the hair.

How to do a Straw Set

A straw set will create those Shirley Temple types of ringlet curls (only smaller of course). This is also a great transitional hair style when you’re going from permed to natural hair. Give permed hair texture by placing it in this curly style will minimize the difference in appearance between the permed hair and the natural hair allowing you to grow out your natural hair before doing the "big chop".

Treasured Locks Organic Argan Oil ElixerYou will need:

  • A pack of plastic drinking straws
    • For larger and looser curls, use small perm rods- available at beauty supply stores
  • End papers
  • Bobby pins
  • Treasured Locks Pomade & Gel or other setting lotion.  Depending on your hair type, you might want something with more hold (make sure it's alcohol free).
  • Light hair oil like Treasured Locks African Argan Oil Elixir


  1. Shampoo and condition your hair and blot dry with a towel.
  2. Part you hair into 1/4 to 1/2 inch sections
  3. Place end papers on to ends of your hair.
  4. Roll your hair onto the straws or perm rods and secure it with a hairpin.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until you have finished your entire head.
  6. Dry your hair under a hooded dryer.
  7. Gently remove the straws and separate the curls.
  8. Spray with a light oil and continue to spray with oil on a daily basis.

How to do a Two Strand Twist and a Twist Out

This is a very easy, but very fashionable hair style. You actually get two-for-one.

Start by creating two strand twists (which can be worn that way for several days); then change it up by removing the twists and leaving the hair kinky/wavy for a few days. Wearing your hair in a bound style such as plaiting the hair or twisting the hair for a period of time will naturally stretch the hair and loosen the curl pattern. Removing the twists or braids will leave the hair elongated and looser. Depending on your hair type, this could allow you to finger style it for several days. The twist out is a great style to wear alternating between wearing twists and wearing the hair loose after removing the twists.

Treasured Locks Locks of Curls Pomade & GelInstructions:

  1. To create two strand twists, simply part the hair into small sections.
  2. Take each section and divide into two strands.
  3. Coat the hair with Locks of Curls Pomade & Gel or other styling gel.
  4. Coil the strands around each other working from the roots to the ends. Repeat over the entire head.
  5. After a few days simply untwist the two strands (gently)

How To Define Curls in Biracial Hair

Many biracial people have naturally beautiful curls when their hair is wet and would like to keep that look once the hair dries. We get this question all the time. If you have naturally soft curls, one of our clients has suggested a way that she styles her biracial hair that works for her (thanks Jennifer).

For those with softer, natural curls who just want more definition, this is a great technique. This hair style is well suited to bi-racial hair types. For soft springy curls here is the procedure:

  1. Wash hair at least 1x per week (the other days just rinse)
  2. Detangle hair each day
  3. Put in a leave in conditioner. Whatever helps detangle and leaves hair feeling soft. Treasured Locks Herbal Leave-In Conditioner is great for this step.
  4. Saturate hair with Black Earth Protective Mist Bodifier
  5. Put Treasured Locks Locks of Curls Locks of Curls Pomade & Gel or other styling gel in hair
  6. Apply a little hair oil
  7. Let air dry if possible (you can put your hair in a ponytail to stretch it a little or just let it air dry)
  8. In the winter- use a blow dryer on the lowest temp, gently stretching the hair as you dry it.

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