Those kinky tight little curls called naps are a nightmare when it comes to styling ethnic hair. No matter how we try to smooth them out after washing the hair, they always pop back up. How can a woman with ethnic hair make her nappy hair into simply curly hair? One of the main things to remember is that you must protect the hair, and then convince it that it doesn’t want to kink up, it wants to lay in curls or smooth ringlets.

Things You'll Need

Start with completely dry hair. This is important because dampness and humidity causes the nappiness that you are trying to correct.

Work with 2-inch sections of hair at a time. Apply moisturizing hair cream from roots to tips in each section, and comb through to make sure each section is coated well. A popular choice for ethnic hair is Pink Oil Moisturizer, which is inexpensive and can be found in most pharmacies, grocery and department stores in the ethnic hair care section.

Preheat a large-barreled curling iron to high. Starting at the roots, smooth a section downward until you reach the end of the hair, then begin rolling the hair up on the curling iron. Roll under or over or even sideways, as long as you keep the hair smooth and taut from the roots.

Hold hair in place for approximately 30 seconds once it is rolled onto the curling iron. Then gently unwind hair and let it lie naturally to cool. Curl every section of the hair.

Begin separating, placing and retouching any pieces that show a tendency to kink back up. Try to complete this process using your fingers, if possible. If you have to use a comb don’t drag it through the curls, just use a few of the teeth to help arrange or separate curls.


  • If your curling iron makes a sizzling noise or steams that is normal, considering how hot it is, and the fact that you are applying it to hair that is coated with product.
    You can keep this style and touch it up as needed until you wash your hair again.