If you have short natural hair, then you likely know how much work goes into giving your curls definition. So much so, you may have tried everything from boosting your strands with moisture via the LOC method to trying heatless curl techniques to liven up your texture to no avail. And that’s why the hair sponge should be on your radar. Known to provide short hair lengths with defined curls, a curl sponge makes the process oh so easy. Not familiar with the wonders of sponge curls? No need to fret! Keep reading as we give you the lowdown on the curly hair sponge and how you can use this trendy beauty tool in your styling routine.
WHAT IS A CURL HAIR SPONGE?
The curl sponge, aka the hair twist sponge, is a hair tool that has holes and grooves which are used to enhance the curls, coils, and twists throughout your mane. They’re typically available in a wide range of shapes, including oval, round, or rectangle and have holes of different sizes. It is also common to find twist sponges that are double-sided with grooves on one side and holes on the other.
HOW DO SPONGE CURLS WORK?
Since the curl sponge features many holes, the goal is to curl your natural hair within each hole to achieve a defined texture. By now, you likely know that the best way to achieve a curly mane is to start on damp hair. Once your hair is damp, you’ll need to rub the side of the sponge that's textured and has holes over the top of your mane, moving it in circular motions. As a result, this beauty tool helps you score defined curls in less time, which goes a long way in cutting down your styling routine. Now that’s what we call smart hairstyling!
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU USE A HAIR SPONGE?
As we noted above, curl sponges do their best work on damp hair. So, you can totally use a curly hair sponge on your wash day, or you can wet hair anytime and use one to refresh your strands. However, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using a soft hair sponge to keep your strands in shape. Speaking of which…
DO CURLY HAIR SPONGES DAMAGE HAIR?
Like all beauty tools, if you use the curl sponge incorrectly, damage can become a factor. The best way to prevent any damage to your strands is to follow the instructions. When using a curl sponge, it’s essential to rub the sponge on damp hair to prevent hair breakage and damage. After all, damaged hair can be a headache to deal with. Keep in mind, there’s no need for any harsh rubbing. As long as you rub the hair sponge gently over your mane, you should be in the clear.
WHAT CURL TYPES CAN THEY BE USED ON?
While the curl sponge is reserved for naturally curly textures, not all curl types can benefit from its use. Type 3 and Type 4 hair types have more texture to work with, which makes it an undeniable match for this beauty tool.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOUR HAIR BE?
How long your hair is will also play into how well a hair twist sponge works for you. Hair sponges are typically meant for short hair and will be best for those with strands that are around an inch or two long. However, if you don’t have short natural hair, there are some hair sponges with larger holes that are meant for longer hair, so shop around and see if there’s something that can work for you.
HOW TO USE A CURL SPONGE IN YOUR NATURAL HAIR ROUTINE
Ready to create natural hair magic with the help of a curly hair sponge? Follow our step-by-step tutorial below to score gorgeous sponge curls.
STEP #1: WASH YOUR STRANDS
The key to bringing any curly mane to life is to make sure that your strands are clean and moisturized. Kick things off with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Conditioner. Together, this sulfate-free system works to replenish your strands with moisture, leaving you with soft and luminous strands.
STEP #2: APPLY LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER
Once your hair is washed, it’s time to incorporate a leave-in conditioner into your routine. Leave-in conditioners are a staple for natural hair care since they help to provide additional moisture and work to make the detangling process much easier. Grab the L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Break Proof Lotion, which moisturizes, adds slip, and strengthens hair without leaving behind a weighed down feel. Start by parting your hair into sections, re-wet if dry, and apply the product evenly through your hair.
STEP #3: DETANGLE YOUR HAIR
There is no way for your curls to flourish with a tangled mane. Use a wide-tooth comb and gently comb through your hair, starting at the ends and working your way up to the roots. Repeat until your mane is free of tangles and knots.
STEP #4: GRAB A CURL SPONGE
Now, it’s time to put your hair twist sponge to work! Starting on slightly damp hair, rub the sponge over your head in circular motions until you reach your desired curly look. Be sure to make your circular motions in the same direction throughout your mane to be left with defined curls that are shaped in one direction. On short hair, this process should only take about five to 10 minutes.
If you love the look of tight curls, coils, or twists, rub the curly hair sponge over your head in smaller circular motions. Voila!
Next up: In the mood for more natural hair styling tips? Head on over to our article, How to Do a Twist Out on Natural Hair, for your next lesson.