The large number of available hair colors, extensions, and styling options can make it sometimes feel like natural hair types do not get their due appreciation. There are many types of straight and curly hair, and you have to know which type your hair is before deciding on a treatment or a styling method. One of the most prevalent hair types is 4C.
What Is 4C Hair?
Hair has four types: type 1, 2, 3, and 4. Type 1 hair is the straightest, while type 4 hair is the curliest.
In its natural state, type 1 hair flows without any waves or curls, no matter how long it has grown. Type 4 hair is sometimes described as kinky and sometimes grows in Z patterns. Each hair type has a spectrum of its own, and type 4 ranges from 4A to 4C, with the norturious 4C hair being the most challenging to maintain.
Unlike 4A and 4B, type 4C hair has no discernible curl pattern. It has no definition after washing and shrinks as much as 80%, which means that four inches of hair can look like one inch in its natural state.
How To Care for 4C Hair
Many black women have type 4C hair. Caring for 4C hair can take a lot of effort, but the benefits are worth it.
While only some of these tips may work for your 4C hair type, some may only work for other people.
- Use a protective leave-in conditioner to shield your fragile 4C hair type from pollution and other harsh elements.
- Apply a mild gel to define and stretch your hair for a fuller, more managed appearance.
- Only remove tangles when your hair is wet; use marshmallow root or slippery detanglers to make it less challenging.
How To Grow 4C Hair
Your 4C hair can be frizzy and challenging to manage — be careful when applying products as they can make it more brittle and prone to breakage. Your hands and fingers have grooves that can cause small tears in your follicles and hair strands as you apply various products. So, wear latex gloves when you apply conditioners and gels to protect your hair.
Apply a moisturizing oil to your hair, and let it sit for 20 minutes before going into the shower to prevent your shampoo from stripping away your much-needed moisture. Almond oil, olive oil, and avocado oil are all acceptable.
How To Stretch Natural Hair
There are many ways to stretch your hair using heat, but too much heat can cause your already-sensitive hair to break. A healthier alternative is wrapping it up in a bun in combination with braiding or twisting.
- Wash your hair in sections rather than all at once.
- Make big twist outs, and then let your hair dry.
- Undo the twists, style it in a bun, and then leave it for two hours.
- Keep your twist outs in for several days for more permanent results.
How Often Should You Wash Natural 4C Hair?
Your 4C hair should only be washed with shampoo once or twice a month. You can wash it with conditioners weekly. Schedule deep conditioning every two weeks. This hair type needs consistent moisturizing, so make sure you cover all areas, from roots to tips.
Difference Between 4B and 4C Hair
Long thought of as sister hair types, 4B and 4C are easily confused with each other, but there are some marked differences between the two.
While 4B hair tends to look more like cotton, many people have z-curls, which is a unique and noticeable feature. And 4B hair shrinks less than 4C — it only shrinks up to 70% in volume while 4C hair can shrink up to 80%.
There is no detectable curl type in 4C hair, and it’s much more coiled. Growing it long can be challenging because it’s the most sensitive of all hair types. Creamier and heavier hair products work better on 4C hair for stretching and definition.
Take a look at the best creams and products to use on your sensitive hair. You can also invest in long-lasting, natural-looking extensions for 4C hair. The right tools can help you enjoy your hair as it is or whichever way you want it.