Does your wavy hair lack definition or look “poofy” at times?

A common problem among wavies is to have either poofy hair that has no distinction between waves or to have stringy waves that seem to not be cohesive at all. The key to fixing this problem is not only taking better care of your waves but it is also by encourage clumping.

What is clumping?

This is when strands of your hair work together and seem to become one wave or curl together rather than a lot of independent curls.

How to Clump Your Waves For Better Definition

How to Squish to Condish

To achieve the best clumps of waves in your hair, the most important thing is to make sure you have well-moisturized hair. I found the best results from doing a method called “squish to condish”. For this, you:

1. Cleanse & condition

Shampoo or cowash followed by your rinse-out conditioner.

2. Squish in conditioner – upside down

Flip your head over while still in the shower and squish in additional conditioner. Essentially, this is scrunching, except you want to use a flat palm and try not to squeeze out all the water. What you are looking to achieve is the perfect water-to-conditioner ratio.

How to Clump Your Waves For Better Definition

This is something that will take trial and error but you need to listen to what your hair is telling you by how slick or dry it feels. For squish to condish, I like to use either a thin conditioner like Yes to Coconut Ultra Moisture Conditioner, or you can use your favorite leave-in. After getting out of your shower, you will notice your hair starting to form into natural clumps. 

How to Clump Your Waves For Better Definition

3. Add your product to try to keep those clumps together!

For me, a gel like the Kinky Curly Curling Custard works for the best definition. Your product needs the ability to keep your waves moisturized but still have a strong hold. Again, go in with an open palm and scrunch the gel in. For sensitive wavy hair, any sort of product application method will resort in either the poofy or stringy hair, so be careful. 

4. Allow your hair to dry.

If you need your waves to dry quicker, a diffuser is a good product to invest in. In order not to break up your clumps while drying with a diffuser, flip your head upside down — while sitting on a chair — and blow dry my hair in sections. Set each section in the diffuser and bring it up so that it is almost touching your head; hold this position for around five minutes. Moving the blow drier around will only cause frizz and could cause the clumps of curls you’ve worked so hard for to break up. Set the blow drier on its lowest heat and strength settings.

How to Clump Your Waves For Better Definition

5. Scrunch out the crunch/cast

You can now scrunch out any cast that may be left on your hair to reveal soft, defined waves. If you are someone who likes to specifically part their hair, choose a clump of curls at a time and moving it to the side you want it on. I don’t recommend breaking up clumps just to get a straight part.

What NOT to do to keep your waves clumped

Never brush your hair when dry.

If you must use something more than your fingers to detangle, I recommend a wide-toothed comb. Do this while you are using your rinse-out conditioner.

Don’t comb while squishing

Once you’ve started doing the squish to condish method, a comb should not touch your hair.

Don’t manipulate your hair while it’s drying

Let your hair dry without manipulating it. I know it’s hard not to play with your hair when it’s still drying, but the more you touch it and move it around the more frizz and the less clumps you will have.

This article has been updated for grammar and clarity.

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