shingling hair method: wash and go curls

How Curl Queen Priscilla Quaye Learned to Master the Shingling Method

Say hello to your new curlfriend, Priscilla as she explains the benefits of the shingling technique for natural hair!

Natural-haired gals know the struggle! It takes a lot of time, experimenting, and patience until you find the hair styling method that works. Whether it’s nailing how to use a diffuser, trying your hand at the plopping technique, or mastering the shingling method, there are countless methods out there for curly hair—you just have to try them all!

Let us introduce you to Priscilla Quaye—better known as Curlcilla on Instagram—who we recently stumbled upon when we were checking out her Sunday hairstyling routine on Yahoo Style Beauty’s Instastory, and the results had us wanting to know more. Priscilla has managed to get the shingling method down to a science! We decided to pick her brain to learn her secrets. This is the method behind what some of us may call the shingling technique madness. Read on for inspiration and some useful tips:

Curly Hair Care and Shingling Method Tips with Priscilla Quaye

shingling method: curly puff
Photo credit:

All Things Hair: What is your hair type?

Priscilla Quaye: My hair type is a mixture of mainly 4A with a bit of 3C. I have tons and tons of coils, S-curls, and some Z-curls. I also have a ton of shrinkage, and my hair tends to stay on the shinier side.

I’m actually not that into hair typing! I personally think knowing your hair’s porosity, density, and strand diameter is more important to figure out how best to take care of your hair. In that regard, my hair is low porosity meaning it takes more effort to get moisture in, and high-density, meaning, in short, that I have a lot of hair on my head, and my individual hair strands are fine.

What kinds of styling techniques do you prefer to use on your hair and why?

Regarding how I use my products, I always use the LOC (Liquid-Oil-Cream) Method as my base, no matter what style I’m doing. As mentioned, my hair is low porosity, so the LOC Method helps me to ensure that all that moisture I took the time to get into my hair stays in by the layering involved in the LOC Method and the locking in of the moisture with an oil.

In terms of detangling, I swear by finger-detangling! Finger-detangling allows you to feel each knot so that you can work more carefully to get it out instead of accidentally ripping through it with a comb or brush, thus leading to less breakage and less hair loss at the end of your detangling session! I’ve been using this method since I big chopped five years ago, and it really has made a world of difference! And it’s also nice knowing your tools are always with you: your fingers!

This might be obvious, but I know not everyone does this, so it’s still worth mentioning. I think sectioning is key for doing your hair, not just in styling but in every step! Washing, deep conditioning, and styling! It allows you to ensure you are reaching every strand of hair and also helps you pace yourself. Tackling a smaller section and getting through it is always easier than looking at a big one and getting frustrated.

The last one is the shingling technique, but I’ll get more into that below!

shingling method: back view of wash and go curls
Wash and go after using the shingling technique. Photo courtesy of Priscilla Quaye

Can you tell us a bit more about your shingling technique? How long did it take you to nail down the routine finally? Are there any tips you can share with our readers?

I swear by the shingling method! My last relaxer was in June 2011, and I big-chopped a year later in June 2012, so I’ve been fully natural for more than five years. However, I didn’t always style my wash-and-go this way, and I used to finger comb or “prayer hands” my product through, but I have now been shingling for the past year. The difference I’ve seen with shingling is truly astounding (to the point where I’m asking myself why wasn’t I doing this before, haha). It took me a month or so to feel comfortable with the technique, and every month after that, I’ve also been getting faster with it.

When I move on to styling my wash and go after shampooing or co-washing, I first split my hair into two halves and apply my leave-in and my sealant, which is castor oil most of the time, but sometimes coconut oil. Then to start the shingling method, I section my hair into small sections. It’s much easier to work this way since the process is fairly laborious (but worth it!).

I take the first section, spritz it with water, so it is dripping but not drenched, and apply my curl cream. I apply the product to the section first by finger-combing it through, ensuring it is saturated. After this is where the shingling comes in. I take each individual curl where it naturally starts to separate in between my index finger and thumb and, starting at my roots, smooth the curl downwards to the end. I repeat this until the section is finished and throughout my head. As my hair is quite long and very dense, as I mentioned earlier, this does take me about an hour.

The reasons why I love the shingling technique are that I get the following:

  • Maximum, crazy definition
  • Tons of movement
  • Longevity
  • I wear my wash-and-go for a full week and still have major definition by the next wash
  • Fewer tangles*
  • More volume and lightness

*Because the shingling method allows me to separate each curl where it naturally would fall, this leaves less chance for my curls to tangle around each other. As a curly girl, you will always have tangles, but I have noticed less with this method.

As you smooth each curl with this process, you are simultaneously removing any excess product, allowing your hair to dry faster and have more volume because it’s not weighed down with the product. My biggest tips to tackle this routine would be patience, small sections, as I mentioned… and good music.

Editor’s Note: For a liquid oil cream (LOC), we recommend the SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-In Treatment

Any tips for styling and caring for natural hair types like yours?

Tip #1:

Number one is absolutely moisture, moisture, moisture. All textured hair craves moisture, but especially my hair type. I am crazy about my deep conditioning routine, doing it religiously every. I maximize this by always deep conditioning with my hair steamer. This really helps to ensure the deep conditioner penetrates my strands (which is key for my low-porosity hair). Also, I recently colored my hair for the first time, so the routine is even more essential for me. I only took the plunge to color because I was already so consistent with deep conditioning and ensuring my hair was moisturized. So I knew that my routine wouldn’t have to change for the color drastically.

Editor’s Note: We love Dove Amplified Textures Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner!

Tip #2:

Next would be consistency and patience. You can’t expect your hair to thrive if you only give it what it really craves once a month and then ignore it afterward! It takes time to build healthy-looking hair. This takes a consistent regimen, which requires the patience to wait and watch it flourish.

Editor’s Note: If you want to take a peek at Priscilla’s shingling method, check out her Instagram!

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