However, 4c natural hair does not always have a defined shape or curl pattern. This hair texture is best known for its delicate nature and the need for additional tender loving care as we all want our hair to be soft & manageable.
What is 4c Natural Hair?
4c natural hair is known for its tight curls and kinky texture. Some women with this type of hair have a curl definition, while others do not.
This hair texture is very delicate in nature. You can find 4c hair as fine, delicate strands, or as wiry and coarse. It is also known for its shrinkage and can shrink up to 75 percent of its length.
3 Tips for Tackling 4c Hair
4c natural hair breaks if you don’t maintain it well, so it is vital to learn how to care for it. Try to embrace your hair in its natural state, whether you recently did the big chop or you’re transitioning from relaxed hair.
Want to begin minimizing breakage? It’ll start with how you maintain your hair.
- Resist the urge to comb your hair when it’s dry, It’s best to comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb when it’s soaking wet and with a conditioner that has a lot of slip. The best approach is to gently section your hair and detangle it under running water or have a mixture of water and conditioner, but make sure your hair is dripping wet.
- Using a conditioner or leave-in conditioner that has a “good slip” means you can run your fingers through your hair and your hair will not get caught on your comb or fingers and slips through your hair. Ideally, your detangling process won’t be as long if you have found the right products to help in this process. Also, your coils or curls will slide apart without clinging to each other. Also, be sure to pick up Natural Hair Queen‘s: Hair Care Made Easy, eBook for product recommendations, and a step-by-step hair care routine for soft & manageable hair for the entire year!
- Avoid using small tooth combs or rat tail combs. They might be perfect for creating parts in your hair, but they’ll wreak havoc on your strands. Opt for a wide-tooth comb or use your fingers to detangle your hair instead.
- Don’t use plastic/synthetic brushes on 4c hair. non-natural brushes pull your hair strands, causing split ends and breakage. The best option would be a soft boar brush to smooth out your nape and edges.
Developing a Regime for 4c Natural Hair
The best way to maintain your 4c natural hair is to develop a routine. This will help your hair to remain healthy, moisturized, and to retain length. If you do not have a hair care regimen/routine check out Natural Hair Queen’s: Hair Care Made Easy, eBook for product recommendations, and a step-by-step hair care routine for soft & manageable hair for the entire year!
Develop a Daily Moisturizing Routine
One of the most helpful strategies for maintaining 4c hair is to use the LOC (liquid, oil, cream) method. Here’s what to do:
- Spritz your hair with filtered water then add an oil such as Butta Butta Cream. This combo will lock in moisture.
- Follow with a heavy cream that will coat the hair. This method of moisturizing your hair is known as the LOC method. It seals in moisture and is a crucial step for women with 4c natural hair.
- Pull your hair into a loose ponytail or pineapple. Then wrap your hair with a satin bonnet or scarf. Wearing this extra protection will help the hair to retain hair moisture at night. I follow this routine every week and this has helped me to achieve moisturized healthy hair. Rarely is my hair dry.
If you are currently wearing a protective style, be sure to moisturize your hair daily or every other day.
Co-washing Your Hair
Co-washing, short for conditioner-wash, is a crucial step toward rehydrating your hair if you do not want to go through the entire wash day process or are doing wash in gos. I wouldn’t recommend that you only co-wash your hair as your scalp and hair will need to have product build-up removed monthly to maintain a healthy scalp and hair.
When I co-wash my waist-length hair I tend to reach for a moisture-rich conditioner that is very thick. I always add jojoba oil to the conditioner.
Washing Your Hair with Shampoo
You still need to use shampoo to thoroughly cleanse the hair and scalp, it’s best to use a sulfate-free moisture rich shampoo so your hair won’t be dry once you’re done with this phase of your wash day.
Be sure to follow all shampoo stage with a deep conditioning treatment with mild heat and essential oils.
Conditioning Your Hair
You need to deep condition if you want to have healthy, long curls. Why? When you condition your hair, you are replacing much-needed moisture into your hair and scalp. If you are looking for a complete list of essential oils to add to your deep conditioner check out Natural Hair Queen’s: Hair Care Made Easy
Follow all shampoo and deep conditioning treatment with the LOC method. This moisture technique will help your 4c natural hair seal in moisture.
This will help your 4c natural hair seal in its moisture.
Remember to section your hair while co-washing and deep conditioning. Parting the hair and applying your product helps the product coat all strands evenly. A rule of thumb is to start applying your products to the ends of your hair first then work your way up.
4c Natural Hair Styles
The best hairstyles for 4c natural hair are those that require minimal manipulation and those that retain moisture. A protective style where your ends are tucked away adds moisture benefits and low manipulation. Make sure you are adding in Butta Butta Cream to your hair before you wear your hair in a protective style to keep it moisturized.
Three of the easiest low-manipulation styles for long hair are two-strand twists, twist outs, and Bantu knots. These styles are ideal for women with 4c natural hair because there is little room for the hair to become tangled and many opportunities to retain moisture.
Be sure to pay close attention to your hairline when you wear extensions. Hair from this part of the scalp is very fine and can break easily and tends to be the dries part of our hair.
If you are looking for a chemical-free straightened look try a damage-free technique like the African threading method.
The Best Hair Products for 4c Natural Hair
The best hair products for 4c natural hair lock in moisture. These products will help you detangle your hair, which is vital for hair that gets tangled and matted easily.
Coating the hair with oil is a crucial step to lock in moisture in 4c natural hair. Coconut oil is easy to find and affordable. It promotes hair growth and makes the hair stronger. You’ll probably notice less breakage after using the oil for several days. However, if you are protein sensitive then I would leave this oil out of your routine.
Extra-virgin olive oil is also perfect for 4c natural hair textures. This oil is known for its ability to soften and strengthen the hair.
Olive oil contains fantastic scalp-care benefits. It moisturizes hair follicles and reduces dandruff. It even helps to eliminate product build-up. You can use extra virgin olive oil as a deep conditioning hot oil treatment or add it to your daily hair regimen.
Avocado oil, which is rich in vitamins A, B, D, E, and protein, works to protect your hair from heat and sun damage. Add avocado oil to your shampoo to create a nourishing treatment that combats a dry scalp.
Mix oils with your favorite conditioner, to create slip and make detangling a breeze.
Check ingredient labels when you buy shampoos to make sure they do not contain sulfates or parabens. Your shampoo should include moisturizing agents to protect from dryness.
The best deep conditioners for 4c natural hair have moisturizers listed at the top of the ingredient list. Make sure the conditioner contains some of the oils listed above and does not list water as one of the principal elements.
Your deep conditioner should restore moisture, promote growth, and leave your hair feeling like Butta!
Tips to Help Your 4c Natural Hair Grow
Kinkier hair needs extra care because the hair texture needs a lot of moisture. This means that if you want your hair to retain length, you must work hard and put forth the effort to take care of it.
Kinky hair grows 1/4 – 1/2 an inch per month on average. You need to maintain your hair and make sure that you maintain proper moisture and protein balance (if you are not protein sensitive).
Be extra gentle when you care for your hair. There is no need to rip your hair out when detangling. Also, be very mindful of the ingredients that are in your hair care products as they can cause your hair to dry out even further and not nourish the hair. This is one of the reasons I developed Butta Butta Cream. I wanted a product that had ingredients that were pure to help my hair to stay moisturized for more than one day when I was wearing my hair in protective styles.
You must remember that dry hair breaks off so the goal is to keep it hydrated and moisturized so you can retain your hair length.
Type 4c natural hair has the ability to grow past the shoulders you just need to have the right tools and products to help it along the way.
By: Patrina Haupt
Hey Curl Friend, I’m Patrina Haupt the creator and author of Natural Hair Queen. I hope you find my healthy hair care tips helpful in your hair journey. Healthy hair care practices are definitely, what helped me to achieve waist length hair.
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