After being a naturalista for a little over a year, I’ve noticed that type 4c hair doesn’t get enough love. Yeah we have a few dedicated Instagram pages and brands focusing on us (i.e. 4c Hair Chicks) but in general I feel like we are underrepresented. It can be hard to find info on how to properly take care of our hairy. That is why I do my best to share information here along with tutorials on my YouTube channel to help others with 4c hair. Here’s some tips to help you manage your type 4c hair, and type 4 hair in general since a lot of us with 4c has a mix of other type 4 textures. My own hair is pretty much type 4c with some patches of 4a mixed in. Please keep in mind that I’m still learning how to manage my own hair and sharing what I’ve learned so far.
1. Moisture Is Key
Type 4 hair can be very dry and needs a lot of moisture, especially 4c hair. Before you pile on the leave-in conditioners, moisturizing cream and oils, it’s important to know that water is key in keeping your hair moisturized. Water is absorbed into the strands and these other products lock it in to keep hair moisturized. This is why water based moisturizers work best for our hair, but they are not enough. I find that the L.O.C. Method works best in keeping my hair moisturized. This involves applying a water-based Leave-In Conditioner to soaking wet hair, followed by an Oil (I love Coconut and Jamaican Black Castor Oil) to lock it in, and a butter-based Cream for extra moisture. You just have to find products that work nicely together without leaving residue or flaking. I use this method as a base for creating all of my styles. Water is not only your best friend externally but internally as well, so drink up for healthy hair, nails and skin.
2. Do Not Comb Your Hair While Dry
Unless you want breakage. Although our hair is very strong, it is also very fragile. It’s easy for our hair to tangle since our strands are so tightly coiled and close knit. Combing through these tangles while your hair is dry will cause unnecessary breakage. It’s best to comb 4c hair while soaking wet, using a conditioner with a lot of slip (allows the comb to easily glide through). You’ll be able to comb through your hair more easily and will only lose the hair that naturally sheds out of our head daily.
3. Less Manipulation = Less Breakage
Speaking of combing 4c hair, it’s best not to comb too much. Combing your hair every day will lead to breakage. Create styles that last at least a week and don’t require too much manipulation like finger coils, finger shingles, twist outs and perm rod sets. I wash and style my hair every 7 to 14 days and only comb while styling. In between styles I do not comb my hair, I just use a pick to lift my roots if my hair gets flat from sleeping on it. Less manipulation allows your hair to flourish and grow.
4. Cater To Your Curl Pattern
“How did you get your hair to curl like that?.” That has to be the question that I get the most from others with 4c hair. The thing is, that’s MY curl pattern. I use methods to enhance my curl pattern like finger shingling, but you can not manipulate your curl pattern without chemicals- with the exception of perm rods and other rollers where your hair takes the shape of the roller. Your hair will never look like anyone else’s because everyone’s hair is different, even if you have the same texture. Cater to your curl pattern and don’t expect your hair to look exactly like that tutorial you watched.
5. Your Hair Is Beautiful
4c hair has a history of being “bad hair” and I see a lot of women with type 4c hair claiming that their hair is too hard to take care of and they wished their hair was more _____, or they wish their texture was _____, or they wished their hair looked like ______. Stop it. Your hair is beautiful. Your hair is unique. It’s thick and strong enough to support the most intricate of protective styles without worrying about your braids slipping out or your twists coming loose. Comb it out in a ‘fro and it’s big and fluffy like cotton, or shingle it for a head full of tight coils. The options are endless once you embrace your texture and learn how to take care of your hair.
I hope my fellow 4c naturalistas found these tips useful, and feel free to leave any tips you may have for 4c hair in the comments. We need as much help as we can get! 🙂
My favorite products for 4c hair