4C hair is recognized within the type 4 hair category and it is the tightest coil pattern. This way of categorizing hair helps you know how to care for your specific hair needs best. Our guide shows you the characteristics of 4C hair and the products you need to look after your tresses.
Table of Contents:
- What is Type 4C Hair?
- How Should You Care for 4C Hair?
- How Often Should You Wash 4C Hair?
- How to Choose the Right Products for Type 4C Hair
- What’s The Difference Between Type 4 Hair & Other Hair Types?
What is Type 4C Hair?
If you have type 4C hair, your curls will often look like a tight ‘Z’ pattern. 4C is a more densely packed curl, and you may experience a lot of shrinkage.
How Should You Care for 4C Hair?
As one of the most delicate hair types, you need to care for 4C hair properly to avoid any unwanted breakage. We have partnered with Syteria, resident 4C Hair expert at 4C Chick, to give us her top 10 tips to care and maintain 4C hair for the best and healthiest results.
Washing Type 4C Hair
- Wash 4C hair with sulfate free shampoo. As this hair type needs a lot of moisture, cleansing with a sulfate free shampoo will help to remove build up, without stripping the hair of its natural oils. Using Curlsmith Detox kit is a great way to thoroughly exfoliate your scalp, while keeping your type 4C hair hydrated and healthy.
- When washing your 4C hair, wash it in sections. This will help to reduce knots and tangles which could ultimately help to reduce hair breakage. You want to preferably wash 4C hair in twists, as it is easier to clean the scalp and rinse the shampoo or co-wash out.
- When twisting your hair, make sure to do it while it is underwater. This gives you better control.
- Hot water can lead to more knots and tangles, which is not what you want for your beautiful 4C hair! For optimum results try using water around lukewarm temperature.
Styling Curly Hair
- Low manipulation styles are best to preserve your type 4C hair’s health. You can perform many styles like twist-outs and braid-outs. When rocking these coily hairstyles it’s best to tuck away the ends of your hair, as well as preserving the twists overnight using the band method. Re-twisting or braiding your 4C hair every night is too much manipulation and risks creating more damage to your hair than what you are trying to prevent.
- Keeping your 4C hair stretched will help you to retain length. Keeping your hair only in a shrunken afro increases the risk of single-strand knots and hair breakage. If you want to stretch your hair without heat, it’s best to braid it. Grab your favorite leave-in conditioner and braid your hair up in plaits. I use hair-ties to keep my roots nice and straight. The more braids, the more stretch your hair will have. Once your hair has dried completely, you will have a nice non-heat blow-out, ready for whatever style and styling products you desire.
Products for 4C Hair
- If you decide to detangle with a washout conditioner or deep conditioners, you want to rinse your hair the same way you would if you were washing it. Submerge your hair underwater and gently take down your twist and rinse. Twist your hair back up while it's underwater.
- When detangling type 4C hair only when you have lots of slip from a product.
- You could use a washout conditioner - like Curlsmith Post-Biotic Calming Conditioner.
- Deep conditioners - like the Curlsmith Double Cream.
- Leave-in - like the Curlsmith Air Dry Cream.
- Always take advantage of those products by using what works for your hair. Once you’ve detangled, twist your 4C coils back up.
- Remember you should always deep condition your hair according to the directions. In 30 minutes, your hair has already reaped the benefits from the deep conditioner, so there’s no need to keep it in overnight. This is the best way to avoid moisture overload.
- When it comes to moisturizing your hair make sure you use rich hydrating hair products that have long-lasting moisture-retention properties.
- If your 4C hair stays moisturized for 4-5 days without having to reapply more product, that’s great!
- If the product moisture only lasts 1-2 days, this means you have to reapply products during the week, and that can cause product build-up. For rich, long-lasting moisture, try Curlsmith Curl Conditioning Oil-in-Cream.
How Often Should You Wash 4C Hair?
You should try not to wash your hair too often as this too can have an impact on your hair’s moisture levels.
- We recommend washing coily hair only 1-2 times per week.
You don’t need to wash type 4C hair too often, because it can be naturally dry and washing too frequently can strip it of its natural oils. 4C hair can also be quite fragile, so frequent washes are discouraged to avoid too much manipulation.
How to Choose the Right Products for Type 4C Hair
Type 4C hair needs a special routine to keep it hydrated, nourished, and easier to care for. That doesn't mean that everyone with 4C hair needs to use the same products. Your hair porosity, density and thickness will influence which products you should pick, regardless of your curl type.
To identify more about your hair type, and the right products recommended for you, take our curl quiz:
What’s The Difference Between Type 4 Hair & Other Hair Types?
It’s easier to understand the different curly hair types when looked at in relation to each other:
Within each of these numerical types there is also an alphabetical type and this explains the size of each curl within the category. Type C is the tightest curl size, type A the largest curl size, and type B sits between the two. Type 4C hair is the tightest Z-type pattern, making it the most densely packed curl type.
Hair Care for Curls from Curlsmith
Our range of products has something to enhance everyone’s curls, waves or coils. Our formulas are cruelty-free, vegan hair products that never contain silicones, sulfates or parabens which are too harsh on our precious curls.