4c Hair: All You Need To Know About 4c Natural Hair
Type 4c hair is the most delicate of all hair types. Often referred to as kinky or coily. 4c hair strands may be coarse, fine, wiry or thin, but more often than not the coils are densely packed and the hair is thick. 4c hair has the least number of cuticles per strand of hair of any hair type which makes it more delicate and prone to dryness, shrinkage and tangling. Its delicacy means that type 4c hair requires a gentle touch in order to thrive.
1Caring for Type 4c Hair
Being prone to dryness means type 4c hair is also prone to breakage. A hair care routine that prioritizes keeping the hair moisturized and supple is therefore imperative. Hair that is moisturized will resist breakage and maintain its elasticity. Hair that is moisturized also looks and feels great and will maintain styles better for longer periods. Products that are moisturizing and softening are to be complemented with gentle protein treatments to maintain the hair’s integrity and strength because truly healthy hair requires a balance between protein and moisture in the hair strand.
24c Natural Hair Regimen
All hair regimens involve the following basic steps.
- Step 1: Cleansing
In the past, there were only shampoos for cleansing the hair. Nowadays we have co-washes, cleansing conditioners, and clay washes to name a few. Type 4c hair more than any other hair type is benefitted by co-washing and using cleansing methods that are less drying and more gentle on the hair.
- Step 2: Conditioning
Conditioning is the part of the cleansing process where you replace the moisture and oils that have been removed by the cleanser into step one. It is also the step where you detangle your hair using a wide-toothed comb or a detangling brush. The key in this step is using a conditioner that provides slip so that tangles become undone easily and without damage.
- Step 3: Treating
Step 3 is where we correct for any specific issues our hair is experiencing. At the minimum, you should be deep conditioning your hair at this step, however, if your hair is weak, you may also need a protein treatment and if your hair is dull and lacking shine then a hot oil treatment or an oil rinse could be done at this stage. Oil treatments lock moisture in, but they are also great at improving the hair’s natural luster and shine.
- Step 4: Moisturizing
Never ever skip your leave in conditioner. Not with 4c hair. Your leave in conditioner is the cherry on top of the entire wash day process, but you should always remember to add a light layer of oil or butter such as Shea butter to help your hair stay moisturized for a longer period of time and smooth the hair to combat frizz.
- Step 5: Styling
This is the fun part and also optional. If you are twisting your hair you may or may not choose to add a product at this stage. However, if you are going to attempt a rod set or similar style, then you may use a gel or setting lotion or similar product to help your style come out nicely. Handle your hair in sections with a wide toothed comb. The thicker your hair, the smaller your section needs to be in order to be both gentle and effective.
3Best products For 4c Hair
The basis of any hair care routine is shampooing and conditioning. Look for a shampoo that is moisturizing and creamy and a conditioner that has a lot of slip. Feel free to mix products across brands and product lines. Though companies develop products together, every product from a particular product line may not work well for your 4c hair. The point here is to do whatever makes your hair looks and feels its best.
4Shampoo and Conditioner For 4c Natural hair
The most important feature in your conditioner should be how well it helps you detangle your hair. If it doesn’t provide you with slip, then it’s not a keeper. SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo and conditioner are great for 4c and natural hair in general.
5Deep conditioner For 4c Hair
The job of a deep conditioner is to replenish the moisture that your hair loses during the washing process. Look for ingredients such as honey, castor oil, aloe vera. Any product that is intended to moisturize the hair should also have water as its main ingredient so that’s something to always be on the lookout for.
Strengthening conditioners will contain hydrolyzed proteins which are proteins modified to be able to penetrate the hair shaft and strengthen it from within rather than sitting on top of it. Our favorite product is the SheaMoisture Manuka Honey &Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Treatment Masque.
6Leave in conditioner for 4c hair
Divide your hair into sections before moisturizing your hair. Then comb each section of your hair with a wide tooth comb. This will makes things much easier when detangling and managing your dense hair. Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner is considered one of the best leave ins for natural 4c hair.
7Hair Oil for 4c hair
Oils form a breathable barrier between your hair and the environment. They help seal moisture into the hair, but they also nourish the hair and scalp with minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and other nutrients. Some oils also have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and can help soothe an irritated scalp.
Our pick is NOW Foods 100% Pure Castor Oil!
8Ingredients to avoid If you have 4c hair
When choosing your products, especially for type 4c hair, you want to avoid certain ingredients that are either known to dry the hair out or sit on top of the hair and blocking moisture from penetrating the cuticle and entering the hair shaft.
Be wary of the following:
- Petrolatum/Petroleum Jelly/Mineral Oil – These products coat the hair strand and so prevent moisture from getting into the hair. They also attract dust and lint and lead to product buildup if not removed with harsher shampoos that you probably want to be using on regular basis.
- Silicones – Similar to petroleum jelly, silicones coat the hair strands and can lead to buildup. There are water-soluble silicones though, so when in doubt, check your google machine. As a general rule, any silicone with the PEG prefix is water soluble and fine for use.
- Parabens – these are known to disrupt hormone function and linked to various cancers.
- Sulfates –these are mostly harsh detergents that may dry the hair out excessively.
- Alcohols – SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol are drying alcohols and should be avoided or at the very least used sparingly and only after the hair has been thoroughly moisturized. Using alcohol-containing products on hair that is already dry is asking for trouble. Note also that there are good alcohols called fatty alcohols, which are beneficial to the hair. These include Cetyl alcohol, Stearyl alcohol and Cetearyl alcohol.
9Best styles for type 4c Hair Type
Styling type 4c hair can be a challenge when you’re new at it; however, with time and patience, you begin to figure the styles, products, and techniques that bring out the best in your hair. Curly ‘out’ styles such as braids and twists out are great for 4c hair. These are low manipulation styles that help promote growth. Styling 4c hair in protective styles such as updos and twists is also great for 4c hair, especially when these styles keep the ends of the hair tucked away and hidden.
10Flat twisted up-do 4c hair type
This is the perfect style to keep the hair up and off your shoulder. It beats the heat, but can also be a protective style all year round. Play with your bangs by keeping them twisted or creating a pompadour or sweeping hair to the style. This look is versatile enough to keep yours from becoming bored.
11Chunky out twist outs 4c Hair
A chunky twist is a fun style for creating volume and is perfect if you need to wear your hair out before it totally dries. It is also a great style to do on stretched hair. What could be easier than putting in 10 large twists and call it a night? This style needs no curl definer, just moisturize hair, twist and then undo for a fluffy face-framing gorgeous look.
124c Braid out on a short tapered cut
A tapered cut is a style that needs no styling since the shape does all the work. Doing a braid-out will elevate the look is a great way to add curl definition to 4c hair that may not otherwise hold much definition. Use a curl defining cream for a soft hold and a longer lasting style.
134c Hair Type Roll, tuck, and pin
Roll tuck and pins are hairstyles that foolproof. No matter how bad you think you are at styling hair you will be able to do this. Roll, tuck and pin hairstyles are perfect for formal occasions when elegance is desired and you can tuck and pin in random ways that create truly unique styles.
144c Natural Hair Bantu Knots
Bantu knots are great for creating curl definition, but they can also be worn as is for a regal look.
154c Hair Bun
Buns are the ultimate anywhere, anytime hairstyle and they are great for type 4c hair as long as they are not done in a way that puts stress on the hairline. Buns may be sleek or messy, high or low and will take you from day to night and from the office to the club.
164c Hair Finger coils
This is a style you can do while enjoying an evening at home and bingeing Netflix. Let’s face it, you probably spend a lot of time twirling and coiling your hair around your finger anyway. Why not get a style out of it?
174c Hair Cornrows
The versatility of natural hair and the creative ways it can be styled is unmatched. Combining a cornrow style with bangs that are twists, plaits (braids), coils or curls can completely change the look. This cornrow updo with side swept twisted bangs is elegant and professional, but create a pompadour with this bang and you get a funky fun style with a totally different vibe.
184c Hair Afro puff
The afro puff is the perfect lazy day hairstyle for a type 4 natural that manages to look anything but lazy. Just add some edge control to tame your edges and some statement earrings and you have a lewk that will take you anywhere.
194c hair Box braids
With or without extensions, big or small box, braids are a great style for 4c naturals. Remember to be gentle on your edges and this style will serve you well and serve you long.
204c Hair Updo Ponytail
If your 4c hair is this long, you can definitely play more with it and create puffy updos and ponytails such as this one.