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Thursday, 9 June 2011

Shingling Your Kinks

Hey Curlies!
Hope the hair growing is great for everyone! In my last post I mentioned 'shingling' as one of the way to define curls for type 4 hair. This post is for any reader who's not familiar with this method. 'Shingling' is a manual way of turning kinks into curls by capturing hair in its wet stage and smoothing a 'holding' product from root to end to maximize curl definition. You achieve this by smoothing gel with your fingers (mostly index and thumb) into small sections of hair until you feel its totally sleek, then you release it to clump into curls.

For type 4 hair, its important to use a Denman brush after the fingers smoothing, it will do wonders for your curl definition. You should repeat this process all over your head. Alert!: Be ready for major shrinkage but beautiful curls! To speed up the drying process, you can use a drier. Once the hair is dry, it maintains a wet look but its firm to touch, you can separate the curls for a fuller look if you will.
(source) For a TWA
(source) For a Twa
Longer hair should look somehow like this

Here are videos (Video1, Video2, Video3) that can help you achieve this style. Don't worry if the hair in the video is not the same texture as yours, you will still achieve your own kind of curls. For the benefit of my Kenyan readers, you may not get the products in the video locally but not to worry, just use your regular leave-in conditioner and Curl Activator/Eco Styler Gel. I used Best Africa's Shea Butter & Tea Tree Leave-in (Tuskys) and the pink Eco Styler Gel (Tuskys/Supercosmetics). Many naturals in videos tutorials I've seen also use Eco Styler Gel and it does magic. No kidding it does take some time (i used an hour) but it is worth every minute.

Here's a step by step breakdown of the process:
  1. Co-Wash with your favourite conditioner and detangle.
  2. On dripping wet hair, apply your regular leave-in conditioner root to end in small portions
  3. On similar sections, smooth your hair with gel using your thumb & index finger until you cant feel any kinks. Don't worry about the white, it will disappear when the hair dries.
  4. Using a Denman brush, brush the same section from ends to roots then release the hair.
  5. Repeat the process all through while re-wetting your hair where necessary.
  6. Arrange the curls according to how you want them to stay when dry. Leave them to air dry or dry them under a hooded drier if you're in a hurry.
  7. Once dry, you can separate the curls for more volume or leave them as they are.
  8. For Maintenance during the week, DO NOT wet your hair, just touch up with some oil or serum for shine. Be sure to sleep in a satin scarf or pillow. 
Enjoy and don't forget to share your experience!



  1. hi, luuuuuuuuv this post, finally soe in kenya talkin about serious natural hair. i've heard a lot of good things about ecogel, the green one with olive oil but it is nowhere to be found, but i'll try the pink one. tell me where can i find a good Denman brush in nairobi?

  2. Hey Anon, Thanx for reading & welcome to the blog. I've been using the Pink Ecostyler and its good, I'd recommend it. I use a Denman-lookalike that i bought for 150 at Tuskys and it works just fine! Just look for a nice brush that is structured like a Denman, without those round thingys at the tips.

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