Why won't my curls clump?

The question that has crossed every curly’s mind at some point… why won’t my curls clump?! We've been in your shoes and we're here to help. 

Curl clumping is when your natural curl strands gather together to form thick bunches or clumps. When your curls clump properly, you’ll see better definition and your hair will look healthier, shinier and bouncier. Once you’ve mastered the art of clumping, you’ll never have to worry about fly-away strands and unnecessary frizz. Here are a few reasons why your curls may not be clumping and what you can do about it.

1. Your hairbrush may not be working for you

While a hairbrush works great for those with tighter curls, the bristles may be disrupting your natural curl pattern if you have looser ringlets. Instead, try using a wide-tooth comb. A wide-tooth comb will detangle your curls, distribute your products evenly and clump your curls using your natural curl pattern. 

2. Product could be too heavy or too light

If a product you’re using is too light, it may not have enough holding power to hold your curls together in order to form clumps. On the other hand, if the product is too heavy, it can end up weighing your curls down and making them look straw-like and stringy. Try different products with different application techniques and keep a track of how your hair responds to each one. This may be difficult at the beginning but you’ll eventually get a hang of what works for you.

3. You’re not using enough water

Water is probably at the forefront when it comes to curl clumping. Curls can’t survive—let alone clump—without moisture so it’s important to fully saturate your hair. When you’re shampooing and conditioning your hair, make sure it is completely soaking wet. This will ensure that the product is distributed evenly and your hair is fully moisturized. The water will pull your curls into perfect clumps.

4. You’re not applying product to soaking wet hair

Make sure your hair is still super wet when you move on to applying your products. The water will clump the hair strands together and the product will bind the hair strands to hold the clumps in place.

5. Your product amount is too less

Apply more conditioner, more leave-in, more gel. The more product you apply, the better your curls will clump together.

6. You’re using the wrong styler or technique

Not all products work for everyone, which is why curlies are usually on the lookout for the perfect styler for their hair. Some curlies may like to rake their products into their hair while other may prefer gliding it over their strands. Be sure to try different styling products and techniques to find out what works for you.


Once you’ve washed and styled your hair, be sure to keep your hands off it while it dries. Let the water and styler do their magic as they help your curls set and hold your clumps in place. Touching your hair before it has dries is the perfect way to disrupt your clumps and cause frizz.

And that’s it! While it’s great to learn from other curlies, remember that not every method will work for you, which is why it’s important to experiment on your own. No rules are set in stone and you can make your own as you go!

Do you have your curls all figured out? Do you like experimenting? We’d love to hear from you!

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