How To Get Tight Curls for Men

A man wearing a white shirt and sunglasses with dark curly hair

How To Get Tight Curls for Men


This one is for the men. Do your curls fall flat and don't give you the laid-back look you're hoping for? Do you find that wiping your hair dry with a towel no longer works for you? You can tell that even the men you see getting out of bed with the perfect bedhead on television worked hard to achieve their flawless bouncy tight curls. It takes more than sleeping with damp hair and waking up with a beautiful mane to achieve that look. Let's have a peek at how they got that look!


how to get tight curls for men


How to Get Tight Curls in 7 Easy Steps


Creating tight curls might be a time-consuming process, but it's one you'll enjoy once you've tried it. To get the ideal curly appearance for men, follow the steps below:


1) Use the Correct Products To Wash Your Hair


A man in the shower washing his hair with shampoo
Credit: Man of Many


To feed your curls, use a shampoo and conditioner formulated for curly hair. Allow the conditioner to seep into the hair for at least 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Towel-dry your hair gently while leaving it slightly damp. Curly hair is easier to style with damp or wet hair.

When choosing products for curly hair, it's crucial to select products that are designed exclusively for curly hair. Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, such as those from the Luseta Curl Enhancing Coconut Oil line, are excellent choices due to their effective hair hydration properties. Furthermore, the Luseta set also provides a noticeable boost in hair volume, thereby further enhancing the overall appearance of your curls.


2) Apply a Curl Cream


Curly enhancing products aid in the definition of your curl pattern and the creation of bouncy, textured curls. If your curls happen to be very tight, using a detangling product like the one from SheaMoisture can prove beneficial. This particular product serves as a lightweight detangler, offering excellent slip to aid in the release of knots and tangles. As a result, it minimizes the risk of breakage during the combing process.

Apply the curl-enhancing product to your hair and use your fingers to gently comb it through. Your curls should start to form as you continue to do this. This process can take a while, so if your hair starts to feel dry, spray it with water.


3) Use a Sea Salt Spray


A man wearing a gray shirt spraying sea salt onto his hair from a bottle

Credit: Man for Himself


This is a good alternative to a curly enhancing product or if you are looking to achieve loose curls. The salt spray adds natural beachy curls and waves to your hair while also providing a medium hold and textured soft finish.

Apply a couple of sprays of the product to your hair and work it in with your fingers. Ensure that you evenly apply the sea salt spray all over your head to achieve even waves. 

If you’re looking for a good sea salt spray, consider using the Brickell Men's Texturizing Sea Spray. This product not only nourishes the scalp and fortifies hair follicles but also gives you the perfect beachy look.


4) Use a Heat Protectant


Heat protectant sprays protect your hair against heat damage caused by heat equipment, which can cause curls to dry out or frizz. Make sure your hair is evenly coated by working the spray through it.

A good heat protectant spray to consider is the CURLSMITH Miracle Shield spray. This product is crafted as a versatile solution that doubles as a leave-in conditioner. It effectively hydrates your curls while simultaneously providing protection from hot tools and UV rays.


5) Invest in a Heat Curler


A Conair heating curling iron

Credit: Conair


Heated hair appliances like curling wands and rollers are the easiest way to create curls if you have medium or long hair. Before you begin, be sure that your hair is nice and dry. Begin curling it in portions after applying a heat protectant. The tighter the curls, the narrower the curling wand.


6) Select the Proper Haircut


Any waves and curls you do have will be enhanced with a short to medium length haircut. Heated curlers can also be used on medium hair because it is just long enough. To make faux curls, you'll need a little extra length if your hair is straight. Try a forward fringe with an undercut, which is both short on the sides and longer on top. When you use a sea salt spray or a texturizing spray to produce your curls, you'll have plenty of hair to work with.


7) The Last Step


A pomade or mousse in a round container being held next to an image of a man

Credit: Beards Base


After curling your hair, add a pomade or mousse to give it more hold and texture. It can be applied immediately to your hair or rubbed between your fingers before use. Run your fingers through your hair softly. This is a good step after applying salt sprays since they have a mild hold.  A good option to consider is the Hair Pomade from Smooth Viking

You can also use a serum. A serum will help define and retain your curls, resulting in bouncy, textured hair that lasts all day. The majority of serums are oil-based, which hydrates your hair and gives it a healthy look.



Alternative Methods

If the steps above are not for you, we've got your back. Below are some alternative methods that you can try to achieve tight curls:


1) Use a Diffuser


A man wearing a gray shirt with shoulder length curly red hair using a hairdryer with diffuser

Credit: All Things Hair


If your curls are starting to look limp, use a diffuser and crunch your hair as you go to encourage them to tighten back up. To increase your ringlets, use a small amount of styling gel. To rejuvenate hair that's become a little flat, flip it over and diffuse while scrunching. If you want to spice up the effects, lightly dampen your hair before diffusing and let hair air dry after. This will help your natural curls shine through.


2) Use Hair Rollers


This tool is marketed primarily to women, but if you have medium or long hair, hair rollers are a simple and quick option to achieve heatless curls. To use hair rollers, divide your hair into four sections: front, left, right, and rear after washing with a curl shampoo and conditioner. Try working with one part of hair at a time and in nearly equal-sized subsections.

Remove the rollers after 30 minutes, unroll, and separate the curls manually. This method will help you achieve spiral curls, so if that's not what you're after, this isn't the method for you.


3) Get a Perm


A man wearing a red shirt, showing the top his hair that has been given a slight perm


Credit: Men’s Hairstyle Trends


The simplest approach to ensure that your curls remain for a longer time is to get a perm from a hair salon. While some individuals dislike paying for perms and having their hair treated with chemicals, perms are the safest and most convenient option to curl your hair instantaneously especially if you have straight hair. Men, contrary to popular belief, get perms as well. So don't be hesitant to obtain one.


4) Finger Curls


Curl training is done by finger coiling. You're effectively making curl patterns when you coil your hair over your fingers. This keeps your curls from being frizzy or matted while also defining them. This may not be the best method to achieve tight curls. If you have wavy hair and want super tight curls, using a curling iron can be a better option.

To use this method, take a small part of your hair and twirl it around your finger. Hold it like that for around 30 seconds before releasing it. Carry on like this until you've covered all of your hair.


5) Apply Argan or Moroccan Oil 


A glass bottle of Argon oil that is on a wooden table with nuts around it

Credit: luisapuccini/ Getty Images


For decades, Moroccan oil, also known as argan oil, has been used to keep hair healthy, and lustrous and improve hair growth. It's especially beneficial on curly hair because curls demand more hydration than straight hair.

Argan oil is a moisturizing natural substance that keeps frizz at bay, which is the greatest enemy of defined curls. You can use it as a serum on dry hair, put it in your hair masks or use it before diffusing your hair. Argan oil will be a game-changer for your hair if you struggle with frizzy curly hair.


Common Mistakes to Avoid


To ensure your journey to achieving tight curls is a smooth one, it's essential to be aware of common pitfalls and how to avoid them:


1) Product Overload


man putting finger in jar of gel
Credit: Envato Elements/ towfiqu98


Using an excessive amount of hair product can weigh down your curls and leave your hair feeling greasy. Start with a modest amount and gradually increase it if necessary. Remember, less is often more when it comes to achieving well-defined curls.


2) Wrong Curling Iron Size


Selecting the correct curling iron barrel size is crucial. A barrel that is too large may result in loose waves rather than the tight curls you desire. Make sure to choose an iron with a barrel diameter that aligns with your desired curl size.


3) Insufficient Heat Protection


silhouette of man blow drying hair next to window
Credit: Envato Elements/ garick


Failing to apply a heat protectant spray can lead to hair damage and frizz. Prior to using a curling iron, always spritz your hair with a quality heat-protectant product. This simple step will help shield your hair from the high temperatures of the styling tool.


4) Neglecting Hair Health


Healthy hair is more likely to hold a curl and look vibrant. Ensure you maintain your hair's health by using nourishing shampoos and conditioners suitable for curly hair. Additionally, consider regular trims to remove split ends and maintain your hair's vitality.


5) Skipping Sectioning


man with curls combing hair in bathroom
Credit: Envato Elements/ LightFieldStudios


Neglecting to divide your hair into manageable sections before curling can lead to uneven results. Take the time to section your hair properly, working from the bottom layers to the top. This ensures each curl is consistent and well-defined.




That's it! This tight curl hair guide isn't difficult to do, but it does take some effort and patience, which we think is well worth it. Men frequently ignore their hair and do not use more than shampoo to care for it. Let this serve as a reminder that self-care isn't just for women. Your wonderful locks are deserving of some attention as well!

And speaking of hair care, why not elevate your grooming routine with Burlybands hair ties? These premium hair accessories are designed to keep your curls intact while adding a touch of style to your look. Shop with us today.


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