Maintain Curl Volume Under A Graduation Cap With These Natural Hair Tips and Tricks
Image Source: @hhayyley

Graduation is a celebratory occasion, and it is only right that students show up authentically as their truest selves.

For some, this can mean decorating their graduation cap to represent the person they’ve become while pursuing their degree or finding an outfit matching their style. For people with natural hair, confidently wearing an afro or twisting out underneath their graduation cap reflects their identity and self-expression.

Maintaining curly hairstyles underneath a graduation cap can be a hassle, especially if the ceremony is outdoors. Between unpredictable weather and nature, figuring out how to style your hair for the unexpected may be difficult. But there are ways to prevent a hair disaster from happening. 

Natural hair influencers Emily Hernandez and Camryn Hergenroeder shared their advice with NaturallyCurly about the best ways to maintain volume and make natural hairstyles last throughout the special day.

The Finger Coiling Method 

Maintain Curl Volume Under A Graduation Cap With These Natural Hair Tips and Tricks
Image Source: @exzrln

Hernandez recommended finger-coiling curly hair for its defining and voluminous results. First, she used a decent amount of Camille Rose Coconut Water Leave-In Detangling Hair Treatment, applying the product mostly to the roots. After sectioning her hair, Hernandez used Camille Rose Curlaide Moisture Butter to start finger-coiling her hair. To retain moisture, she used either Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Strengthening Hair Oil or Difeel Tea Tree Premium Hair Oil and massaged her scalp once she finished. 

Article continues after video.
Image Source: @emusw0rld

To prevent messing up the coils, Hernandez suggested using plopping to dry the hair. Plopping involves wrapping the hair in a towel so the curly can air-dry. If opting for a shirt instead of a towel, Hernandez said she uses a 100% cotton t-shirt while her hair is still drenched.

I leave the shirt on my hair when it’s about 45% dry, then I remove it coming in with a diffuser to speed up the process,” Hernandez explained.

For more volume, Hernandez found that separating the coils from the bottom to top while also fluffing from the roots helps and “achieves voluminous picture-perfect defined curls.”

Maintain Curl Volume Under A Graduation Cap With These Natural Hair Tips and Tricks

Her final production recommendation was the Camille Rose Rosemary Water Daily Strengthening Mist, which promotes healthy hair growth.

Less Is More

Maintain Curl Volume Under A Graduation Cap With These Natural Hair Tips and Tricks
Image Source: @camrynscurls

Hergenroeder’s method of achieving more volume is to use fewer hair products. She suggested using a lightweight leave-in conditioner like The Innate Life Leave-In Spray.

During the spring and summer, there’s more moisture in the air, so you can go with a more lightweight spray,” she explained. “…I sometimes experiment with skipping a leave-in during the summer for even more volume. But you might want to test this ahead of time because there’s a risk for excess frizz.

She also suggested products with hydrolyzed rice protein for extra volume. Her go-to’s are the Miribel Naturals Va-Va Volumizing Foam and INNERSENSE I Create Lift Volumizing Foam.

Swap Out Mousse For Gel 

Hergenroeder suggested using mousse for bigger hair results. Her holy grail mousse is the Miche Gel-To-Foam Styling Mousse, where she said she uses about ten pumps for her entire head. She also found that only using a leave-in without curl-holding product results in “big, fluffy curls.” She warns, however, that a person’s curls may only last for a while if only using a leave-in. 

Article continues after video.
Image Source: @camrynscurls

Styling From The Roots

The digital creator’s last pieces of advice targeted styling at the root of the hair. She instructed fluffing or picking the hair at its root while upside down or flipping it from side to side. Using a volumizing hair spray or powder helps lift the root, creating more volume. She suggested fluffing or picking all sides of the head, not just on top.

Instead of styling your hair by brushing it down, you can brush it 90º from the scalp to get more lift at the roots, Hergenroeder added. “If you don’t brush your hair, you can scrunch upside down so your curls aren’t stuck to your scalp.

In addition to figuring out how to make a hairstyle last for graduation day, positioning the cap on textured hair has been an ongoing issue for the natural hair community. To find a temporary solution, digital creators have created countless DIY hack videos involving a hot glue gun or duct tape. Even with the hacks, people found altering their graduation caps to lay flat on top or tilt because of the fullness of curly and oily hair.

A Grad Cap Solution For Natural Hair

Maintain Curl Volume Under A Graduation Cap With These Natural Hair Tips and Tricks
Image Source: @unlincoln

Myayla Wright experienced this issue firsthand during her high school graduation in 2020. She wanted to keep her natural curls instead of straightening them, so she also turned to the DIY hack. However, unsatisfied with the results, Wright and her mother, RaShawnda, discovered a way for people to wear graduation caps without compromising their natural hair.

Along with Ryan Wright, co-founders Rashawnda and Myayla developed a three-piece accessory that secures and helps graduates maintain any hairstyle under their cap. The family business, Grad Cap Remix, was founded in 2022 and has since transformed the lives of graduating students.

Celebrating graduations isn’t just about the accomplishment itself; it’s about honoring the hard work, dedication, and resilience that go into reaching that moment,”  the co-founders shared with NaturallyCurly. Being a part of that celebration, by providing a product that allows people to be their true self, fills us with a sense of pride and purpose.

The accessory works as an insert with its three-piece system. Graduates assemble the product inside the cap and are provided with a solution to their hair struggles in under 30 seconds. 

Image Source: @gradcapremix

Grad Cap Remix has also become more than a tool for the natural hair community. The Wrights found that those with cochlear implants, sensory issues, bangs, large heads, or students wanting to prolong the wear of their makeup have also discovered their creation useful. 

It feels incredibly rewarding and humbling to know that we are making an impact on individuals who are reaching such significant milestones in their lives, the Wrights continued….Being able to support and empower people as they graduate and embark on new chapters in their lives is an honor.”

There shouldn’t have to be a battle between wearing your natural hair on graduation day and feeling confident while walking across the stage. Feeling confident while walking across the stage is achievable and can be done with an afro, twist, or any other natural hairstyle. With these tips and tricks, maintaining voluminous and defined curls will also be worth celebrating during graduation season.

Trying to find a specific hairstyle to wear for graduation? Check out these five hairstyles to help style your curls for graduation.

No comments yet.