For those who have super tight curls or coils, you may have some days where you wish your curls could be loose, beachy waves or even lazy spirals. (Wavies or those who are trying to get your hair to be more curly, this doesn't apply to you, so you can sit this one out!) You may have experienced days where your hair has turned out looser like that, but you don't know what you did differently to make it like that. Well, there are a few techniques that you can try out to see if you can get your curls to loosen up a bit—on purpose!
The first way: heavy product.
Perhaps this is one of the ways you've discovered an accidental loosening of your curls—you're in a hurry, you throw a lot of product (maybe too much) into your dripping-wet hair or you try a new one. If you let it air dry ALL the way, you go back and look in the mirror later to see that your hair has dried looking exactly as it had when it was wet and you put the product in. Well, that's not necessarily a bad thing, because you have no frizz! All you have to do is scrunch out the crunch until it doesn't look wet anymore. And yes, this can be done on purpose—just be sure to use a heavy product (either one that weighs your hair down a bit or a LOT of your usual product—or both!) and apply it to very wet hair. Then be sure not to touch it at all while it dries. Don't diffuse it or anything; this won't work if you do that. Just go do something else for a while and forget about it. The only downfall to this method is that it may take your hair a bit longer to dry, so it's best to test it out on a warm day when you don't have to be anywhere in the immediate future.
The second way: clip the ends.
First of all, if you don't have any already, we'd recommend investing in some metal clips. You can get single-prong, double-prong, or duckbill clips; regardless of which ones you choose, all are fairly inexpensive at your local beauty supply store. If you have a finer hair texture, you'll probably want the single-prong clips; if you have thicker or coarser (or very long) hair, go for the double-prong or the duckbill.
After applying your curl product and your hair is no longer dripping, grab a curl section and gently twist it loosely around your finger in the direction it wants to curl. When you reach the ends, take a clip and clip the ends so that the curl is weighed down as it dries. Move on to the next section and work your way around your head. If your hair is extra kinky/coily, you can add a few more clips to each twisted curl section in the mid-shaft of the hair. This will give you a more even curl reduction from scalp to ends.
The third way: a twist-out or rollers.
If you're not familiar with twist-outs, they're a method of styling natural hair that involves twisting sections of hair around each other and allowing them to dry into larger curls. There are several ways to do this, and your best bet is to find a method you'd like to try and play around with it on a day off. It's basically like re-setting your tight curls into a bit bigger or looser curls, similar to setting with rollers or Curlformers (which also work well, by the way!).
It's best to use a bit of styling product with these methods so that your curls don't revert back to their tighter kinks—and as usual, be sure to let your hair dry 100% before you un-twist the sections or remove the rollers. If not, you may end up with frizz or curls that are half-tight, half-loose. Also, try to twist or roll the curl sections in the direction they already want to go in order to avoid curl confusion. Your curls will come out looser, smoother, and bouncier.
So there you have it—three ways to get those tight coils of yours to loosen up a bit. Have fun and play around and see which method works best for your hair. Take your time and be patient, and you will end up with a whole new look for those days you want to feel a bit incognito.