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How to scrunch your hair for beautiful and more defined curls

Hair scrunching is all about creating natural-looking texture and beautiful, defined curls.

If you have a looser curl pattern and would love to get as much curl definition out of your waves as possible, you are going to want to scrunch, scrunch, scrunch and then scrunch some more. 

Paired with a great styling product, this will make the most out of your beautiful hair.

Before you ask—no, scrunching isn’t bad for your hair, as long as you handle your strands with care. 

Of course, the perfect method to scrunch hair is dependent on your hair type. 

Want to give this styling skill a go? 

Keep reading to learn how to scrunch hair—whether you have straight, wavy or curly hair.

In this article:

In this article:

What is scrunching?

Natural curls woman

So let’s start with what exactly scrunching is. Scrunching is a hairstyling method where you cup and squeeze your hair in your hands or a towel to help shape your curls and add some bounce. 

Besides adding more shape to your curls it is also a great way to help your hair absorb more nourishment from your hair products.

The method is non-damaging to your hair and allows for volumized, defined, and frizz-free curls. 

Scrunching your hair can be an easy way to add extra definition to your curls without heat or too much product. 

You can define your curls and waves without heat damage or spending hours on your hair.

The term scrunching refers to the technique where you take your hair and squeeze it with your hands. This adds texture and bounce to your hair, along with subtle curls/waves.

Should you scrunch your curly hair?

Deva cut girl

If you have wavy or curly hair, the answer is definitely yes, you should scrunch your hair!

The method is easy to do and doesn’t damage your hair. If you have thin or fine hair, scrunching your hair is a great way to add volume and definition.

Fully convinced and ready to try it out? Read on for our tips on how to scrunch hair and start dreaming up all the scrunch hairstyles you can do.

Are you new to taking care of your curly hair? Make sure you read our guide first: Curly Girl Method: Steps for a Successful Curly Hair Routine

How to scrunch your hair? Follow our 8 easy steps

Achieving beautiful and defined curls through scrunching is a simple process that can be seamlessly integrated into your regular hair care routine. Here’s our easy-to-follow guide in 8 steps:

Fresh showered hair

Step 1: Prep Your Hair

Begin with damp hair, either freshly washed or spritzed with water. Scrunching works best on damp hair to shape and define curls while minimizing frizz. Avoid styling dry waves, as it may promote frizz and hinder the shaping process.

Step 2: Choose the Right Products to Wash your Hair

For wavy, type 2 hair, opt for lightweight natural products to avoid weighing your curls down. Consider using a sulfate-free shampoo or co-wash and a lightweight conditioner for a gentle cleanse and added volume.

For curly or coily hair make sure your curls are not only well cleansed but also make sure they are well conditioned using nourishing ingredients.

Step 3: Detangle and Apply Curl-defining Products

After washing, detangle your hair using a wide-tooth comb and apply a leave-in conditioner that provides moisture and detangling.

Look for a product specifically designed for curly hair that provides hold without leaving your hair crunchy or stiff. Apply the product to your damp hair, focusing on the mid-lengths to the ends.

We prefer using a mousse or a foam on wavy hair but this may depend on your curl type. If you have coily hair we recommend using a gel. Smooth and comb in a volumizing mousse, foam or gel, to moisturize, hold, and define your curls.

Step 4: Start Scrunching (and do it upside down!)

Scrunching hair

And here the fun begins! Gently squeeze sections of your hair, starting from the ends and working up towards the roots. Continue until you’ve scrunched your hair around your head. Allow it to air dry, occasionally scrunching parts again for added definition as it dries.

Scrunching your curls truly works best upside down. Doing this upside down is especially important for wavy hair because it creates volume and lift at the roots, and prevents that “wet dog” look a lot of wavies complain about.

Make sure you are truly upside down (not just leaning forward) when you begin to scrunch your hair.

This is the time when your curl clumps really take shape. Being upside down at this phase ensures that your hair will clump naturally starting all the way from your scalp.

If you were leaning over instead of being truly upside down, you would risk the hair from the back of your head clumping with hair from the sides or the front.

Step 5: Microfiber Towel or T-Shirt Scrunch (Optional)

Microfiber towel

For added frizz control and moisture removal, consider scrunching your hair with a microfiber towel or T-shirt. This step is especially beneficial if you’re preparing for blow-drying.

Hold each scrunch tightly for 3 seconds and release. Removing the weight of the water will help the curls spring up resulting in lovely bouncy curls!

Step 6: Blow-Dry (Optional)

If you prefer not to air dry, use a blow-dryer with a diffuser attachment. Follow the same scrunching steps, blow-drying on the cold setting or low heat when your hair is at least 70 percent dry.

Use a heat protectant spray and diffuse your hair upside down for added volume.

Step 7: Finish with a curl-enhancing spray or mousse

Woman applying mousse hair

This step is optional but can provide some extra hold. To lock in your curls and prevent frizz, finish your scrunch hairstyle with a curl-enhancing spray or mousse.

Look for a spray that provides hold and moisture without leaving your hair feeling sticky or crunchy. Apply the spray to your hair, focusing on the mid-lengths to the ends. This ensures your curls stay defined throughout the day.

Step 8: Experiment with Styles

Now that you’ve mastered the art of scrunching, try out different scrunch hairstyles and low-maintenance looks to complement your beautifully defined curls.

By following these 8 simple steps, you can effortlessly achieve gorgeous and natural well defined style that highlights the natural beauty of your curls, coils or waves.
With the right techniques, products and steps for scrunching hair, defining your curls and achieving the perfectly scrunched hair is easy.

By following these simple steps and exploring our hair care tips for curly hair, you can define your curls and embrace your natural hair.

So go ahead, try the scrunch hairstyle along with some easy hairstyles for curly hair and show off that gorgeous hair scrunch!

We are curious how you like our guide to scrunching your hair and what your experience is. Will you let us know in the comments below? And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

1 Comment

  1. Hair curling is a styling technique used to create texture and beautiful curls. The process involves twisting strands of hair around its axis, creating curls of various shapes and sizes. In fact, for me, it’s a kind of chemistry of the image. I am a chemist by profession, and often in life I see everything from the angle of my future profession. In fact, chemistry has always been famous for its complex theories, formulas and experiments. Perhaps this is what attracted me.


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