When I first began to style my hair, I compared and contrasted braid outs and twist outs to determine which style would provide the greatest elongation and last the longest. Recently, I compared different curling techniques to answer the same question. Which styles creates curls best suited for the needs of my schedule? Below I demonstrate with pictures how the curls differ and the benefits and drawbacks of each method.
To compare the curls formed using a flexi rod and a Curlformer, I set a section of dampened hair using a heat protectant spray and sat under my hooded dryer for 30 minutes. Both curls were dry, but as you can tell they had a difference in appearance. The curl formed with my Curlformer was a tighter and better defined than the curl set on my flexi rod. When using a flexi rod you determine the spacing of your hair so you have the option of elongating the curl if you so choose. With the Curlformer, the curl pattern is pre-set allowing for uniformed curls throughout your hair. Because both will require quite a bit of time to set a full head of hair, I prefer the curls that will last the longest. As such, the Curlformer would likely be my choice for spiral curls. It is also of note that both are VERY uncomfortable to sleep in. Therefore, you will want to allow for 2–3 hours of drying time under a dryer depending on the length of your hair.
Plastic Roller vs. Bantu Knot
This isn’t really a balanced comparison like the flexi rod and Curlformer but it does show a good contrast between a really tight curling technique and one that provides stretched hair as an alternative to a blow out. On dampened hair each of these sections was set under a dryer in less than 30 minutes. The small bantu knot if repeated, even in slightly larger section throughout my hair, could very well last a work week. Hands down, it wins the endurance contest. Also, it is the only set style I would consider sleeping in, though it isn’t the most comfortable either. Large plastic rollers, by contrast, are not going to provide a set that will last longer than a day but it will stretch your hair so that you can enjoy other stretched styles during the week. You can even do a bantu knot out on roller stretched hair for voluminous and full waves.
So, which technique wins for me? Well, they all offer different looks. However, I like to pack light when I travel and I have to say the bantu knot out curls and waves are certainly the most portable style. Other than a few bobby pins I can accomplish this style anywhere.
What are your favorite curly styles and why?