by kcurly on September 9, 2008

in Tutorials

I was asked by a few people to do a fingercoil tutorial. Now keep in mind that I have only done them 3 times, but they are really simple to do, so a tutorial on them should be simple to do too, right? Coils can be done by finger or with a rat tailed comb. I have yet to try the comb method, but the finger method works well.

Disclaimer: This is how I do mine, I don’t really know how other people do theirs, but there are plenty of tutorials out there on youtube if you do a search. If this works for you, great. If not, there are a lot of tutorials out there, so get started searching :)

The coils (for me) last about 3 days and can even be revived by rinsing when they start to look frizzy. You can also choose to do a coilout, which pretty much means that you separate the coils to create a very coily/curly ‘do.

Here’s what you need:


  • Hair clips or ouchless bands, whichever your prefer
  • Some type of gel or gel like product. I chose to use Long Aid Activator Gel
  • Spray or spritz bottle of water. You may also choose to use glycerin or aloe vera gel in your water bottle. I would not use too much though as I find that it can make them hard along with your gel product
  • A wide tooth comb or Denman brush
  • Time and patience :)

First we want to start with a freshly washed head of hair. I like to do a DC if I’m going to be wearing a style for a few days like twists or coils.I also like to apply a small amount of leave in to my entire head of hair, but not a lot as if I were doing a wash n go.

Now, you can separate your hair into however many sections you find manageable or you can just isolate one section of hair as I did here. I just undo each clip and finger part a new chunk of hair to work on. In this next picture I’ve isolated the front section of my hair to start on.

Grab one piece of hair that you would like to be your first coil. How much hair you grab depends on how big your make your coils. If you have stubborn hair like I do, your coils probably can’t be too big or they won’t stay as they should. You also want to consider how you want your coils to fall. I like mine to be over my forehead, like bangs, so I will coil the hair in the front in that direction.

Also keep in mind that as the coils dry, they make shrink considerably.

After you comb or brush the section, take a small dab of gel and apply it. This is how much I use:

Dab 'O Gel


You can use more or less. I just know my hair and too much gel would make the style last longer, but the coils themselves would be a little harder than I like. Also, too much gel might make some coils hard to separate which will rule out a coil out. So, use however much you think you need to suit your own needs.

Finger Coiling

I have two different ways that I like to coil. I have an odd combination of hair on my head (don’t we all?). The top or crown of my head is finer than the sides and back. I can do a one hand coil with most of my crown, but for the rest, I use 2 hands. Here is the one hand coil:

Pull the hair taunt. It’s easier for me if the hair is combed/detangled. You can do this for each section if you wish.You may need to also use your spray bottle to keep the hair moist so that it will be easier to coil.

I use my index finger and thumb primarily. I twirl the hair around the index finger while the thumb alternatively holds the piece of hair after the finger releases the coil and is placed at a higer section of the hair to continue twirling. In other words, I start at the bottom, work my way up to the top and then back down to the bottom with a good twirl to keep the end curled.

This usually works for the finer pieces of hair in the front. For the sides and back I usually need two hands. Pull the hair taunt again.

With one finger, twirl the hair once starting at the bottom. Grab above where you twirled with your other hand’s index and thumb, also giving a slight twirl inthe same direction. Once my first hand’s finger reaches the roots, I use the other hand to hold the end and then start twirling all the way down with a good twist at the end to make sure it holds.

For the trouble sections:

I have some peices of hair where root just does not want to coil. For these sections I dab it with a good deal more gel than usual, make sure it’s pretty wet , then twirl them especially tight and follow up with a hair pin right at the root. I leave this on until it’s dry or almost dry.

I usually end up with very nice coils. It’s a fun style and one I like doing a lot.

Finished coils

Finished coils

Finished Coils

Finished Coils

Slightly seperated coils in the front, not really a coil outSlightly seperated coils in the front, not really a coil out

Here are some rinsed coils below. These were worn for about 3 days when they started looking fuzzy. I rinsed them briefly in the shower and they let me wear them another day before doing a coil out.

Freshly rinsed

Freshly rinsed

The side, freshly rinsed

The side, freshly rinsed

Here are dry pictures. I did some seperation while they were wet and shook my hair to make it fluffier.

Dry, rinsed twists

Dry, rinsed twists

Finally, here is a picture of what I consider to be a real coil out. The pictures turned out kind of blurry so I changed the color to try and minimize it.

Coil out, front

Coil out, front

Coil out, side shot

Coil out, side shot

A coil out in living color!

A coil out in living color!

Anyway, I hope this was helpful to someone. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or post a comment.



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  • jonesybird

    Look at you with your blog! Awesome!!!! Great tutorial! Great blog!

  • kcurly

    Jonesy, my BC buddy! Thanks so much for visiting :)

  • Brandey

    Great site! Your story mirrors mine very closely, but I think you got the hang of working with your hair a lot faster than I did. Have you tried Blended Beauty yet? Their Curly Frizz Pudding is great!

  • kcurly

    I’ve not tried BB yet, but it’s on my to-do list :)

  • Rain

    Your site is great.I am trying to help my 9 year old’s hair become more healthy and longer. she is up for a more natural style just tnot to big she tells me.I really appreciate your site and your great pics.What curl pattern to you have.Her’s is a 4a and I was wondering can I do the finger curl on her hair?

    Keep up the great work I will be back often


  • kcurly

    Kudos to you for trying to help your daughter’s hair be the best it can be! I believe that I have a combination of 3c/4a, but mostly 4a. I am sure you will be able to do fingercoils and lots of other styles on her hair. Try to visit this site, it has a ton of hairstyles that you can try and instructions on how to do them! Hope that helps!

  • Fina

    Your coils came out beautifuuuuulllly!! i want to try something it but don’t know if I have the patience, how long did it take you to do your whole head?

  • Laquita

    Wonderful tutorial – I’m really going to have to try this :o)

  • Sunday

    Hey, i was wondering can anyone do the hair coils to look like yours? Reason i ask is because, my hair curled afro hair, as im mixed race. So its not like you hair, but would i still be able to do the hair coils and make them last for a long time, or will it not work?
    hope to hear a reply from you, thanks,

  • kcurly

    Sunday, if you mean you have a looser texture then you probably will still be able to do them. I would just try it one sections of your hair, maybe the bang area.

    As for them lasting a long time, I know just from comparing myself to a friend with a tighter hair texture than myself, that hers stay looking better a lot longer than mine. I can usually keep them in now for 2 weeks, she could go a month. The amount of gel I use seems to make a difference too in how long they stay in, but they are harder with more gel.

  • Trish

    While you are wearing the coils how do you keep the hair moisturized?

  • Anonymous

    This is a great style to do on natural hair; it lets us be natural while at the same time defines our natural curl pattern and ‘encourage’ our coils/curls to clump together. I am so glad I found this! Thank you for sharing it with us!!

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