Are you wondering what hair type you have? Well, the categories range from 2A to 4C Hair Type. Hair types 2 and 3 are relatively straight or may have a slightly wavy curl pattern. On the other hand, Type 4, which is coily hair ranging from 4A, 4B to 4C have distinct curls and the z pattern.
What makes learning about 4C hair so important?
In my opinion, there is too much negativity on the challenges of maintaining and styling the 4C hair type. All hair can be difficult. Hence, the term “having a bad hair day!” So, let’s look at 4C hair through a different, but positive lens.
Are there challenges? Sure, but like anything else we just need to educate ourselves. We might even ask a few questions to get on the right track.
- Are there things you can do to make it easier when taking care of your hair?
- What products can you use for your hair maintenance?
- What hair routines work best?
Let us get the answers to these questions in the definitive guide below.
How To Maintain Your Beautiful Type 4C Hair?
Maintaining your hair can seem overwhelming at times, but that is true of every texture. You will find lots of unuseful myths online saying that 4C hair is unmanageable. In the past, 4C was often even neglected in the movement for natural hair.
Here is the truth – 4C hair is very manageable.
The are a wide range of beautiful hairstyles that look the best on Type 4C hair. You can rock puffs, afros and bantu knots better than anyone. What you need to remember is it that everyone’s hair is unique and slightly different from the next. All you need is the correct regiment to achieve the hair length and hair healthy you desire.
Read on in this guide to find out how to care for your 4C hair.
The Real Definition Of Type 4C Hair?
Distinct characteristics of 4C hair is that you do not have defined curls. In terms of texture, this hair type can be fine or coarse, which is why hair appearance differs significantly between people. 4C hair is a lot like 4B. The major difference is that 4C typically has tight coils.
To have definition with your hairstyles, you need hair products like Jamaican Black Castor Oil. If washed without any hair products, it does not have a definition at all. In addition, to help with curl definition or pattern, try twist-outs or braids.
I have to tell you ladies that the shrinkage is real!
You can expect 75% shrinkage. Shrinkage is the loss of inches of our natural hair. It sucks because it hides your real hair length. If you don’t have natural shrinkage, it means your hair may not be in the best shape.
Shrinkage happens when our hair is healthy and super moisturized with elasticity. Elasticity gives your hair the ability to withstand stress and manipulation.
4C hair is often fragile, dry and brittle. Why is it fragile and dry?
The primary reason is that the natural oils from your scalp cannot reach the entire hair strand. This problem is due to your hair strands having an inconsistent pattern. Another reason why this hair type naturally needs more maintenance than other textures.
As mentioned, it is the most fragile, and dries out fast. Your curl pattern can cause your hair to have low to no shine. Did you know shine comes from light reflection? Relaxed hair typically appears shinier as straight hair can reflect light much better.
If you have 4C hair type curl patterns, it’s harder to reflect light. As a result, your hair can look dull. On the other hand, natural healthy hair that is moisturized will have a beautiful high, gloss shine. You can read this article to make sure you are not making this four hair care mistakes.
Another issue that we need to address…
4C hair naturally tangles. The dryness cause strands to knot. So, below are few tips.
During your detangling sessions, use a thick, heavy conditioner, which adds weight to your hair, to make the process easier.
If you get a knot, do not apply water. If you do, your strands will shrink and the knot will become that harder to unravel. Here is what to do instead. Apply an oil like Obsessed Hair Oil and gently, one-by-one pull out each strand from the knot.
Stretched styles are by far the best way to minimize knots and/or tangles. I suggest twist-outs or braid-outs. Remember with stretched hairstyles the higher the humidity, the shorter the time the style will last.
It is true that 4C hair can at times be high maintenance. However, there are some benefits born to people with this hair texture – the versatility and longevity in styling.
Healthy Hair Care Routine For Type 4C Hair
What is the best hair care routine for 4C hair? Fortunately, maintenance is relatively simple. Begin by choosing products geared toward moisturizing your hair. Among those products you will need are:
- Moisturizing Shampoo
- Hair Oil
- Styling Products
Before cleansing your hair, maintenance begins with adding moisture through your hair and scalp. What you need to need to do is pre shampoo your hair. The most common pre-pooing technique is the use of hydrating oil such as Obsessed Hair Oil, which will boost the moisture and shine of 4C hair. You can also use a homemade mask of olive oil, banana and honey.
What Are The Best Products For 4C Hair?
During your search for the best hair product, keep one thing in your mind – moisture. Look for products to improve your hair’s moisture since it is naturally prone to dryness. As such, your hair routine should include hair products that help to retain moisture. Adding moisture helps prevent breakage, which keeps your hair healthy.
On that note, here are the hair products you will need:
Use moisturizing shampoo to cleanse your hair. As mentioned before, it is important to choose products that hydrate your hair. You spend countless hours, not to mention money, to achieve that perfect cut, color and style. So, use a shampoo that penetrates your hair and seals down the cuticle, which locks in protein and moisture.
Sulfate-Free, Clarifying Shampoos
Use sulfate-free, clarifying shampoo. Make sure it is free of harmful and drying ingredients. It is excellent for maintaining, restoring and strengthening each strand of your 4C hair.
If you do not like using shampoo, then the use of co-washing cleansers is best for you. Co-washing conditioners such as Alikay Naturals Cowash Me Cleansing Conditioner helps to cleanse your hair. This is an ideal cleanser if you want to avoid using shampoos.
Another hair product that helps to keep your hair moisturized is the conditioner. There are many conditioners that each offer different, but specific benefits for your hair. I happen to like As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner. It strengthens weak hair and repairs split ends. In addition to moisture it gives you much needed slip.
A detangling conditioner is excellent for helping your hair avoid breakage. It helps to nurture your curls. Be sure to dampen hair first before untangling the strands. In using detangling conditioners, do apply a generous amount to give plenty of slip. When you have enough slip, your fingers or comb smoothly glides through your tight coils.
Deep conditioners help to infuse your hair with extra moisture. Use a conditioner once a week to give your hair a deep treatment. One of the best deep conditioners available for Type 4C hair include Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque.
After getting your hair cleansed and then detangled, the next step in the routine is adding Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream. Apply the leave-in and distribute evenly along the length of your damp hair. Using leave-in conditioner is essential as it adds further moisture for your tresses.
Hair oils are incredibly crucial for your 4C hair. You can use oils, like Obsessed Hair Oil for a multitude of purposes such as:
- Scalp Massages
- Addition To Deep Conditioners
- Hot Oil Treatments
- Seal In Moisture
Moisturizing oils often include olive oil, coconut oil, tea tree oil and avocado oil. These oils can penetrate the shaft of your hair. The best time to apply is after the leave-in conditioner and before the heavy cream. Just like with all the other products, hydrating oils help add moisture to 4C hair.
As the name suggests, these oils seal moisture into the hair. The best sealing soils are grapeseed oil, Jamaican black castor oil and jojoba oil. Using these oils help to coat your hair shaft with the moisture trapped inside your hair strands. It is best to apply it after your leave-in conditioner and before applying a heavy cream.
Type 4C hair has great styling potential. It is because of your hair’s versatility, which you can take advantage to achieve a gorgeous look. Of course, to do that you will need the right kind of styling products ideal for your type of hair.
First, below are few hairstyle ideas:
You now know that 4C hair lacks a defined curl. However, there are many ways to create the illusion of it. Styling gels and shingling. Check out this video on The Shingling Method by Shawntas Way. You can do this either on washed hair or an older style.
Sealing Creams and Butters
Butters and creams are essential for 4C hair to seal in moisture. It is excellent for blocking moisture without leaving your hair greasy and heavy. Also, you can protect your hair from being dry due to harsh sun rays or winter precipitation.
That concludes this guide on maintaining your Type 4C hair. Don’t believe the garbage you read about your hair being more difficult to maintain. Everyone has hair struggles. You can manage your hair and with the right products your hair can become stress-free and fly.