How to Style Natural Hair with a Curl Sponge

curl sponge hairstyle

If you currently have a teeny-weeny Afro (TWA)/short hair, you may think that you have to wait until you have long hair before you can try out natural hairstyles. Wrong! Here is where a curl sponge comes to the rescue. In this article, I will be explaining everything you need to know about a curl sponge so stay with me!

What is a Curl Sponge?

curl sponges

A curl sponge is a hair styling tool that is used to create well-defined coils, curls, and twists. This sponge is usually thick and has clear-cut holes in them which may be big, small, or medium. Curl sponges are usually two-sided: one side has small holes to give curl definition while the other side has groves to create irregular curl patterns. They come in different shapes like circles, ovals, rectangles, among others. A curl sponge is also known as a hair sponge, a twist sponge, or a loc sponge.

What are the Benefits of Using a Curl Sponge?

1. Quick and Easy

Other curl-definition methods like finger coiling, using hair rollers, etc., can take hours to create and some patience to learn. With a curl sponge, you can get well-defined curls in minutes whether you are an expert or a newbie.

2. Unisex

Curl sponges are unisex which means both men and women can use them.

3. Heatless Curls

Curl sponges do not use heat to define curls so they do not cause damage to your natural hair.

4. Volume

If you have fine hair, curl sponges will help to increase the volume of your natural hair, thus, giving a fuller and thicker appearance.

5. Long-lasting

A curl sponge hairstyle can last for a week or two, depending on how you maintain the style.

6. Low Maintenance

A curl sponge hairstyle does not require you to do much to make it last. Its maintenance routine is simple.

Maintenance Tips for a Curl Sponge Hairstyle

  1. Spray a leave-in conditioner or a curl refreshing spray in your curls to hydrate/revive them during the day.
  2. Wear a shower cap before you take a bath to prevent water from getting in and ruining your curls.
  3. Before you go to bed at night, wrap/wear a satin or silk scarf/bonnet on your head to keep your curls in place as you toss and turn in your sleep.

Dos and Don’ts of the Curl Sponge

  • Do not use a curl sponge on dry hair as the friction that occurs from rubbing the sponge on your hair can cause hair breakage. Use on damp hair.
  • Do moisturize and detangle your hair first before using a curl sponge for easier motion.
  • Do not rub your hair aggressively as this can cause hair breakage.
  • Do use your curl sponge in a circular motion on your head. This helps to circulate blood movement on your scalp which in turn, increases hair growth.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Curl Sponge

Is a Curl Sponge Good for My Natural Hair?

Yes, a curl sponge is good and safe for your natural hair. However, it is more suitable for naturals with TWA/short hair. If you have medium to long hair, using a curl sponge to achieve well-defined curls may create tangles in your hair. You can check out these other methods to help your medium to long hair with defined curls.

Do Curl Sponges Work on All Hair Types?

Curl sponges work best on short natural coily hair especially TWA. If your hair is longer than one inch, it may be difficult to fit the sponge on your hair.

Which Curl Sponge is Good for My Natural Hair?

This depends on the type of curls that you are trying to achieve. If you are aiming for tight curls/coils, a curl sponge with small holes is your best option. However, if you prefer loose curls, then a curl sponge with larger holes will suit your need.

How Much Does a Hair Sponge Cost?

They start as low as $5 and could cost up to $20. This, however, depends on the brand and location.

How Often Should I Use a Curl Sponge?

You can use a curl sponge on your wash day or whenever you feel like doing this particular hairstyle. However, it is not advisable that you use a curl sponge every other day. Doing a particular hairstyle over and again can cause pressure on your hairline, leading to hair breakage and stunting your hair growth.

Will a Curl Sponge Damage My Hair?

As long as:

  • your hair is well-moisturized and not dry
  • you do not use a curl sponge every other day
  • you do not rub them aggressively on your hair

you have no reason to fear that it will damage your hair. Also, make sure to follow the instructions on the sponge package.

How to Use a Curl Sponge

This video tutorial by Lola Williams will help you achieve a curl sponge hairstyle in a few minutes:

Step-by-step Instructions

What you need:

  1. Regular hair gel
  2. Eco styler flaxseed gel
  3. Afro comb
  4. Curl sponge

Step 1: Apply gel

woman applying gel to hair
woman applying gel to hair
  • Massage your regular hair gel entirely to your damp natural hair. Next, massage the Ecostyler gel to your hair.

Step 2: Use your comb

woman lifting hair roots with comb
  • Use your Afro comb to lift the roots of your hair. Do not comb out.

Step 3: Use your curl sponge

woman using curl sponge on hair
  • Now, with your curl sponge, make circular motions on the surface of your hair, as in the ends. Pressing your curl sponge to the roots of your hair can cause tangles or breakage. Continue for five minutes or until your curls are as defined as you would like.

Step 4: Twirl

woman twirling curls with fingers
  • Gently twirl your curls with your fingers for more definition.
curl sponge hairstyle finished look

And your curl sponge hairstyle is ready!