The "Rake and Shake" Is Your Shortcut to Defined Curls

Every editorial product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn commission.

Whether you're more of a braids-in-the-summer kind of person or you prefer your natural hair takes center stage, it's essential to keep a few styling tricks up your sleeve — especially if you have curly hair. Should you fall into the latter camp, we have an exciting new technique that you should add to your arsenal: the "rake and shake."

We love a catchy name as much as the next person, but what we love even more is when a purported hack actually works. We're happy to report that not only does the rake and shake live up to the hype, but it's also potentially a technique you've been using for years already. Primarily used to add definition to curly hair, this technique can work on all hair types, from stick straight to coily, and it will add texture and volume to your hair without the need for hot tools or roller sets. Don't just take our word for it — hairstylist Michael Silva broke down everything you should know about the rake-and-shake technique ahead.

What Is the Rake-and-Shake Technique?

"The technique involves using your fingers like a rake to separate your curls, then holding onto the ends and giving the hair a gentle shake," Silva tells POPSUGAR. Videos on the method have amassed more than 33 million views and counting on TikTok, and the results are always ultradefined curls that look nothing short of Pinterest-worthy.

The best part about this technique is that it can work for any hair type — just with varying results. Straight hair can expect to see a more beachy texture when they do the rake and shake, while coily hair will see something akin to the original. "Coilier textures with a longer length will also see more defined hair by doing the rake and shake."

Best Products For the Rake-and-Shake Technique

You're probably wondering exactly how to achieve the curls of your dreams with the rake-and-shake method. Of course, Silva has tips. "You'll get more defined curls on wet hair using this technique and more fluffy or diffused curls on dry hair," he says. "The Garnier Fructis Curl Sculpt Cream ($8) is what you'll want to reach for to get the former look, and the Garnier Fructis Butter Cream Leave In ($7) is perfect to use for this technique and on dry hair." We're also big fans of the Verb Ghost Air Dry Hair Styling Whip ($20) and the IGK Big Time Volumizing Mousse ($32).

How to Rake and Shake Your Hair

Once you have the proper hair-care products on hand, you're ready to give the curly method a try. "If it's undeniable definition that you're looking for, when you rake, keep your fingers wide apart and do a minimal shake," Silva says. "For more separation and a bit more volume, keep your fingers closer together."

There you have it: everything you should know about the rake and shake. Whether you are in the market for new curly-centric hacks or just love a good experiment, this technique is nothing short of genius.