Protective 4c hairstyles can seem challenging. With a lack of resources online and a focus on different hair types, it’s hard to feel like 4c hair can be styled – and styled nicely. Not a short fro or a buzz cut. We get it, ladies. Options are necessary. We found some of the cutest styles that are perfect for 4c hair. We also explore the best ways to prep your hair for styling and keep the style up during wear.
This is a simple look that looks great for any occasion. Double twist your hair in medium or small sections. Use rollers at the ends to add weigh down your twists and apply heat to elongate your twists.
This look is perfect for an elegant night out. Using kinky curly extensions, start the braid on one-side by the ear. The braid should be one inch away from your hairline. Braid around your crown and pin the braided tail under the existing braid.
Cornrows & Bun
Knock them dead with this up-do. You can get as versatile as you want with your cornrows. We’ve seen some get creative with patterns and all. A natural look starts with three cornrows at the top of your head. Pull the rest of your hair back into a high bun. Use kinky curly extensions to add length and make a fuller bun.
One-side, cornrow let out
Part one side of your hair from the ear to the middle of your head. Braid this section back to the midway point of your head with as many braids as you like. Use rubber bands to secure the braids at the halfway point and let out the rest of the braid to blend with your hair.
Clip-Ins & Human Hair Extensions
Washing, Conditioning & Prepping
4c hair is usually low porosity. Meaning it doesn’t easily absorb water but it does keep in moisture when correctly applied.
The key to styling and maintaining 4c hair is low heat. This can be a blow dryer on low heat, a sit-under dryer, or steam. The first application of moderate heat happens during the wash. You should use warm water to rinse your hair and apply a clarifying shampoo. This will help remove product buildup, a common result of styling 4c hair.
You’ll want to rinse your hair and apply a detangling conditioner. If you have a steamer you can use it with the detangling shampoo to open up the hair cuticles to allow the product to soak in. If you don’t have a steamer you can shower in hot water and detangle last. Use a wide tooth-comb first and follow with a detangling brush to minimize breakage.
Be sure to rinse your conditioner with cold water. This will help lock in the oils of the detangling conditioner and leave your hair soft. After washing, you’ll want to use the LOC method to moisturize your hair. Use a rich conditioner for the first step. For the second step, use an oil such as castor oil or coconut oil. The final step you can use thick styling cream.
photo credit: Kiitanaxo
After styling it’s important to keep your 4c hair moisturized. Use an oil such as coconut oil or an oil spray to moisturize your styled hair. It’s best to get in the habit of doing so before bedtime. Create a routine.
Start by applying low heat to open up your hair. Steam your hair lightly or use a blow dryer on low heat for a few minutes. Carefully apply the oil to your scalp and hair being sure to follow the direction of the style to minimize frizziness.
Use a satin scarf or cap to cover your hair. You can also use a satin pillowcase. Wrapping your hair keeps your style intact and the moisture locked in.
In the morning you can touch up your style with an oil or sheen spray, and you’ll be ready to go. Have your tips on how to style 4c hair? Let us know in the comments.