Crunchy Curls? How to Get Crunch-Free Definition

So, you’ve used a hair product to fight the frizz, but now your curls feel crunchy? Don’t worry, your quest for defined curls with natural hair doesn’t have to end there. With the right products and technique, you can find the balance between frizzy and crunchy to achieve soft, bouncy curls worth showing off.

The key to defined curls that last is to nail your wash day. Your hair is at its most absorbent and smooth when wet, making it the perfect time to let any products do their magic. As well as finding the right products for your curl type, there are some techniques that can encourage your curls to dry with definition and bounce. Here are our top tips and products to get defined curls, without the crunch.


Whether you have waves, curls, or coils, natural hair requires both moisture and hold to achieve frizz-free curls. Moisture locks in hydration for healthy looking hair, and hold encourages curl definition while taming flyaways. Our styling products have a combination of both moisture and hold in formulas that range from lightweight to rich.

For fine hair or curls that are easily weighed down, a lightweight mousse like our Flexible Hold + Coconut Milk Curl Foam Mousse is your new BFF. The gravity-defying formula contains aloe and coconut milk and helps soften and moisturize hair while encouraging volume and definition.

If your hair is thick, coily or needs more hydration and hold, consider a styling gel. Unlike the dry, crunchy gels of your curly-haired nightmares, our Shea Butter Elongating Gel will leave your hair feeling soft, shiny, and totally frizz-free. Enriched with aloe vera, shea butter and coconut oil, your natural curls will be on their best behavior.


While the right product can do wonders for taming your curls, the application technique is just as important to ensure you get all of that definition, none of the crunch. This next technique is our favorite way to apply any curl product. First, make sure to shampoo and thoroughly condition (or deep condition) your hair in the shower, and follow these steps on dripping wet hair:

1. Apply Product
If you are using a leave-in conditioner, like a curl milk or smoothie, apply that first. Then, apply your curl styling mousse or gel thoroughly and evenly to the lengths of your hair. When we say apply it to wet hair, we mean it! You may need to tip your head over the bath or sink to avoid dripping all over your bathroom

2. Comb Through Product

If you’ve ever noticed a lack of curl definition on certain parts of your heat, it may be from not properly coating each section. Use a wet brush or wide toothed comb to work the product through – this is the perfect time to detangle!

3. Upside Down Scrunch

Here comes the first scrunch – one of our favorite ways to boost your natural curl pattern and boost volume. By scrunching the product into wet hair flipped upside down, you are working all the nourishing ingredients from the products into the hair strand, as well as encouraging the curls to bounce back after washing and combing.

4. Don’t Touch

Letting your curls dry is the ultimate test of patience! Whether you’re air drying or diffusing, the key to avoiding frizz is to keep your hands off. If touched when drying, the curl pattern can be disrupted, leading to frizz and flyaways. If you’re using a diffuser, dry each section gently and slowly. Wait until your hair is completely dry before touching… you’ll thank us!

5. Scrunch Again

Now comes the second scrunch, and the ultimate crunch-busting trick. You’ve been incredibly patient in letting your hair dry, and now it seems… crunchy? Don’t worry, this is actually a sign that the styling product has done its job.

The way that many gels or mousses work is to create a layer of product, or cast, around each curl to fight frizz and boost definition. It’s this layer that makes your hair feel crunchy, and the good news is that it’s easy to fix! You want to “break” the cast on each curl without disrupting the curl pattern, so gently scrunch your hair in sections up towards your roots. Keep cupping and scrunching until there is no more crunchiness, and your curls are free, soft and bouncy.

6. Refresh

The best part about healthy-looking, defined curls is that they let you go longer between washes. On the days in between you can use a gentle, hydrating spray or mist to reinvigorate your curls and encourage any flat sections to bounce back up. No longer must you choose between frizzy hair or crunchy curls! Like with anything curly, it can take some experimentation to get your perfect routine down. However, with the right products, a gentle scrunch and a bit of patience, your natural curls will be soft, bouncy and shiny in no time!


« »