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Mastering The Finger Coiling Technique for Curly & Wavy Hair

by Siva Raj |

As fellow Curlies, we’re sure that you have a folder of ‘Curl Inspiration’ saved on your phone with pictures of perfect curl looks, product recommendations and techniques. Even if you don’t, we’re bringing you inspiration today with one of the most underrated techniques of the CG Method. 

Yes, we’re talking about Finger Coiling! Who knew that the simple act of coiling your curls between your fingers that we’ve all been doing since time immemorial, be it with our dolls or absent mindedly during a boring lecture, could actually result in the ringlets of your dreams? Let’s get down to it. 

What exactly is Finger Coiling?

Finger Coiling is a tried and tested styling technique that can give you defined and pronounced curl ringlets that last long and stay bouncy. It is a way to style washed hair using the right products to achieve a well-set look and uses your most indispensable tool – your fingers! Finger coiling can promote and enhance natural curl pattern, allow for better product absorption, and greatly reduce frizz. The process, as implied, requires your hair to be sectioned and twirled into place using your fingers. But before you try it, here’s how to make the most of the method and achieve that perfect, coveted curl definition of your dreams. 

Here’s what you need for optimal Finger Coiling:

  • A moisturizing Curl Cream or Leave-in Conditioner
  • A wide toothed detangler or comb
  • Water in a spray bottle
  • A hair-dryer with a curl-friendly diffuser attachment (optional)

And, here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to:

  • The best time to effectively finger coil is on wash day, on freshly washed curls. Start by cleansing your hair and scalp with a gentle CG-friendly cleanser followed by a moisturizing conditioner. 
  • Apply a generous amount of your leave-in conditioner or leave-in of choice and detangle with a wide-toothed comb. Remove all the tangles by gently detangling from the tips to the top of your hair. 
  • Section your hair into equal parts and clip them in place. You can choose the thickness of the section based on how big or thick you want your ringlets to be. But remember, that wet hair always appears thinner and can add volume once dry.
  • Take the end of a section of hair between your right and left index finger, and coil starting at the tips and all the way up to the roots. Hold for five seconds and then release. Remember to coil in the direction your hair naturally curls.
  • Repeat this process across the sections and subsections of your curls. 
  • Once done, glaze some gel gently over the coiled sections for extra hold. 
  • Dry your finger coiled sections using a diffuser attachment or air-dry, though the former is more effective with adding definition and forming ringlets especially if following the hover method of diffusing.
  • Ensure that you don’t touch styled and finger coiled hair until it is completely dry.
  • Once dry, flip your hair over and scrunch gently using your hands and a light-oil for added shine to scrunch out the cast and loosen the ringlets for a more natural and voluminous look.

Et voilà! There you have it. Easy-peasy finger coiled curls that should keep your definition game strong! 

If your hair is more on the 2A-2C of the curl spectrum and appears as waves more than curls, here’s how to tweak the above process and still achieve great wave definition:

  • Post cleansing, conditioning, and leave-in application, divide hair into sections that comply with your natural pattern as wavy hair does not coil as tightly as curly hair.
  • During the coiling process, ensure maximum slip with an emulsified leave-in or a combination of cream and gel emulsified together, as this will ensure a gentle yet effective cast on waves.
  • Coil as above but not as tightly as you would with curls and follow your naturally occurring hair clumps for a natural yet defined look. You could even experiment by substituting your finger for a different tool such as the barrel of a hair brush or a thick pencil or marker.
  • Once fully coiled, dry as above and scrunch lightly for defined, bouncy and luscious waves. 
  • Note that the products for wavy hair are generally lighter than those for curly hair. You could use a lightweight mousse in place of curl cream and a light gel rather than a hard hold one. 

There you go, Curlies! Check out Curl Up’s range of curl-loving goodies that are crafted for you to achieve the curls and waves of your dreams. Let us know if you have a few tips of your own to share and be a part of our amazing Curl and Wave Community at, +91 9945373597 or @letscurlupdotcom on Instagram!

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