4c natural hair is the kinkiest hair texture in the type 4 hair family. It is more coily and springy than type 4a. It also has an “s” pattern, making it different from the “z” pattern of 4b hair.
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 need for additional tender, loving care.
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.
Three 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.
Here are three useful tips to help you maintain your hair and grow beautiful, long curls.
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 when it’s soaking wet with conditioner to give you slip. The best approach is to section your hair and detangle under running cool water or have a mixture of water and conditioner, but make sure your hair is dripping wet.
- You could also use a hair product like Kinky Curly Knot Today. Formulas like this will give your hair better slip and help you avoid tangled hair. Having good slip means your hair will detangle faster and the curls will slide apart without clinging to each other.
- Avoid using small tooth combs. They might be perfect for making parts, 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 a brush on 4c hair. Brushes pull your hair strands, causing split ends and breakage. Even using a boar brush to neaten your nape and edges could result in thinning hair over time. Who wants thin 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 remain healthy, moisturized and ready to grow.
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 water then an oil such as Butta Butta Cream, coconut oil or olive oil. This combo will lock in moisture.
- Follow with a cream such as shea butter or a leave-in conditioner. 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. I follow these rule every day and evening and this has helped me to achieve moisturized long 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 having healthy hair. Shampoo can strip the scalp and hair of natural moisture, so you should try to limit shampoo washing.
Try washing your hair with conditioner only. You’ll gently cleanse the hair of product build up while still maintaining moisture. Many women with 4c natural hair co-wash their hair weekly. When I co-wash my waist length hair I tend to reach for Herbal essence Hello Hydration. I don’t use this product by its self; I’ve added in jojoba oil and avocado oil, and vitamin E to the conditioner.
Washing Your Hair with Shampoo
You still need to use shampoo to thoroughly cleanse the hair, it’s best to use a sulfate free moisture rich shampoo such as TGIN’s Moisture Rich Sulfate free shampoo.
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.
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.
Always remember to section your hair while co-washing and deep conditioning. Parting the hair and applying 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. It will make it easier to detangle and helps combat breakage.
4c Natural Hair Styles
The best hairstyles for 4c natural hair are those that require minimal manipulation and those that retain moisture. A structured cut will be easy for you to maintain if you recently did the big chop or like to have short hair.
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.
You have plenty of options available if you want to add length by using hair extensions. Braid or twist extensions, weaves, and crochet braids are great protective styles that will help your hair grow underneath.
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.
Most methods of straightening your 4c natural hair lead to heat damage and dryness, but you can try a damage-free technique like the African threading method if you want a chemical-free straightened look.
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.
Add coconut oil to your daily hair care regimen, to your co-wash formula, and to your deep conditioning treatments.
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.
Best Shampoos for 4C Hair
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.
All deep conditioners should restore moisture, promote growth and leave your hair shiny. Top conditioners for natural hair include TGIN’s triple moisture conditioner, Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque, and Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea All Natural Hair Masque.
Best Conditioners for 4C Hair
Tips to Help Your 4c Natural Hair Grow
Kinkier hair needs extra care because the hair texture is more fragile than other types. This means that if you want to have long hair, you must work hard and put forth the effort to take care of it.
Kinky hair grows ½ an inch per month on average. You need to maintain your hair well and do protective styling to help your 4c hair texture grow.
Be extra gentle when you care for your hair. You don’t need to run out and buy the most expensive products on the shelf, but you should try to create the most cost-effective solution to moisturize, detangle, and protect your hair.
Finger combing while the hair is damp, is one of the best methods of detangling. This process alone will lead to much less breakage and will result in hair growth.
Protective hairstyles such as twists, cornrows, braids, coils and tuck and roll require less daily manipulation. Less manipulation will help you moisturize your mane, retain more length and reduce shedding.
Type 4c natural hair is delicate by nature. However, if you create a natural hair care regimen and rely on protective styling, your 4c natural hair will remain healthy, moisturized and bountiful.