Everything You Want To Know About Type 4 Hair - Structure, Haircare and Tips
4A hair has S-shaped cylindrical coils, tight and well defined. Afro-textured hair is the most delicate hair texture that exists. It is also stretchy, has a cork screw texture that retains moisture well, while being prone to dryness. Caring for type 4 hair requires gentle handling and should be styled with as little manipulation as possible in order to promote retention of length, volume and growth. Type 4 natural hair needs to be well groomed due to its fragile condition and with a delicate feel, your natural hair will grow longer, stronger and healthier.
Finding out how to take care of your natural hair can be easily determined by the texture of your hair. There are hair textures that will hold some styles for longer, and some textures that will require less handling to style. Type 4 natural hair is characterized by tight, densely packed curls, coils or folds that fall into 3 categories; 4A, 4B and 4C.
Afro Kinky Curly Natural Hair 4A
Type 4A natural hair textures typically consist of highly defined afro-textured hair that is coiled with strong definition of curls. Hair textures 4A can be fine or wiry and have a "cottony-soft" texture. Strands of natural type 4A hair will closely resemble the letter "s" and are densely wrapped together making the hair appear thicker. Although 4A hair retains moisture better than other type 4 hair textures, it still requires moisture. Some type 4A natural products are considered to have frizzy and curly hair texture.
Hair Care Recommendations for 4A Naturals
Caring for 4a starts with your washing method. It is best to use a sulfate-free shampoo to clean your hair, followed by a hydrating conditioner, curling cream or oil to keep your 4A curls hydrated and preventing dry hair. Sulfates can dry out natural hair and should only be used periodically to deep clean hair when needed. Make sure to handle your hair gently to avoid damage or breakage, remember that your hair is already delicate but it is especially fragile once it gets wet.
Once natural hair gets wet it becomes more prone to tangling which of course can break it. When shampooing, focus only on the scalp and not on the hair itself. Allow the water and foam to wash away any dirt or buildup from the strands of hair. After cleansing the hair, follow up with a hydrating conditioner to rehydrate your hair and soften your curls.
A deep conditioner twice a week will help strengthen and fortify your hair to give you fabulous curls. Apply a lightweight leave-in conditioner to ensure your curls stay soft, hydrated, and fuller day after day. It's also a good idea to use all-natural oils or light moisturizers to help reduce frizz and improve your hair's natural shine.
Protective styling with natural hair extensions will give your hair a much needed break from daily styling and hair tension. The key to growing natural hair is to maintain as much length as possible without encouraging breakage due to regular styling of the hair. Folded up hairstyles are a quick and easy protective style that you can achieve at any length of hair. Clip in extensions are an innovative method of protective styling depending on how you choose t o style them.
Kinky Coily Natural Hair 4B
Type 4B hair textures are very similar to 4A hair, but this texture has less curl definition and can shrink up to 70% of its true length. For example, your hair might be 22 inches long, but only appears to be 8 inches once it's completely dry. Type 4B is more of a Z shape and is prone to dryness and breakage due to the bends and curves of the hair strand. This type of hair can also shrink up to 60% and therefore looks much shorter than it actually is.
Hair Care Recommendations for 4B Naturals
After washing the hair, apply a hydrating conditioner to restore moisture. If your hair looks weak or lacks elasticity, use a protein conditioner to strengthen the hair follicles and prevent breakage. Protein conditioners should not be used regularly but only when needed. Deep conditioners can be used once a week or as needed to repair any damage or provide maximum moisture to your natural hair.
Human hair wigs are a sure way to maintain length and give your hair a break. Some naturals even chose to use frontal hair pieces as a protective styling method. Frontals are great protective styles because they can be worn with natural hair extensions or on their own. Women who may suffer from alopecia or thinning of the edges can greatly benefit from protective styling with frontal hair pieces as they completely cover the perimeter of the hair.
Afro-Kinky Natural Hair 4C
4C hair has the tightest curls of any hair patterns with the hair forming s, z or tight coils. 4C hair shares many other characteristics of type 4 hair, and of course, people with 4C hair can have different hair densities and porosities, which changes the way your hair behaves. However, here are some of the defining qualities of 4C hair:
1. Hair dries quickly or struggles to hold moisture more than other hair types.
2. Individuals can experience extreme shrinkage, sometimes up to 75%!
3. Hair is prone to tangles and matting if not properly groomed and detangled regularly
4. Hair is fragile and prone to breakage
Hair Care Recommendations for 4C Naturals
When cleaning the 4c hair, it is better to focus on the scalp and avoid the bustle to prevent the hair from getting tangled or knotted. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and follow with a creamy hydrating conditioner to restore moisture and help detangle hair. Use a wide tooth comb in the shower to remove tangles starting at the ends of the hair and working your way up.
Type 4C hair needs to be hydrated and conditioned regularly to prevent it from looking dull. Because 4C hair strands are so tightly compacted, this texture is more prone to breakage than any other hair texture. A deep conditioner can be used once a week or as often as needed to soften, strengthen and hydrate the hair. Type 4C hair likes creamy butters, moisturizers, and natural oils and butters to hydrate hair and retain moisture.
Wearing protective styles such as wigs, twists, braids, locs, and tucked in hairstyles will keep hair from falling out faster than it can grow. Afro Kinky wigs can also be considered a protective styling option.
Sew in extensions are also a popular protective style for women with natural 4C hair, as the hair is braided and tucked away when wearing the style. The seams can take several weeks before needing to be touched up, giving your hair rest.
Type 4 hair straightening
Do not run away in horror, you can straighten this type of hair. You can use some fantastic straighteners to make sure you minimize damage, however, we don't recommend overheating it often, this type of delicate hair can lead to breakage. Make sure to use heat protectors and not to go over the same section of hair more than once, and to seal with a protective oil or serum. You can straighten this type of hair without heat using the roller setting, but results will vary depending on the condition of your hair, and results may not last as long.